Fairfax County Democratic leaders are fuming over a flood of text messages that have rendered their cell phones virtually useless. Meanwhile, voters are also complaining of receiving suspicious texts — though fewer and not as foul.
Lola Quintela, a precinct captain in the Providence District, said she woke early this morning to a chorus of bleeps from her iPhone. When she looked at it, text messages were streaming in at such a rate that she was unable to call out. Many of the messages were vulgar and some were obscene. Others were simply ridiculous. One claimed that an opossum was sleeping in her living room.
Meanwhile, voters have been receiving texts that say local Democrats are conspiring with President Obama to raise taxes. Others say school board members have allowed the school district to “hide from parents” rather than discuss disciplinary policies.
Republicans say they know nothing about the messages and deny they had anything to do with sending them.
“I find it an odd coincidence that all the party leadership has been receiving these malicious and vulgar messages,” Quintela said, emphasizing that she was speaking for herself and not for the Democratic Party. She and other Democratic leaders have listed their telephone numbers on the party’s Web site so that voters and volunteers can contact them.
It’s doubly important that she be available since she is the only local party official who is fluent in Spanish, she said.
May be illegal
Meanwhile, party leaders say both batches of text messages may be illegal and said they are asking county and state officials to investigate.
“The smell of desperation is in the air,” said David Mills, the state Democratic party’s executive director. “Virginia Republicans know they canâ€™t win on the issues or with the radical slate of candidates they have running for State Senate and the House of Delegates. So theyâ€™ve resorted to the usual underhanded tricks trying to scare, intimidate or confuse voters.
“The DPVA has reason to belive that these text messages are illegal and we are doing everything we can to determine where they are coming from,” he said in an email. “Running a slate of extreme right-wing candidates with no plan to create jobs, improve education or fix transportation is no excuse for breaking the law and violating votersâ€™ privacy.”
Mills asked voters who receive anonymous or unsolicited texts attacking Democrats to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.