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Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman at a Menendez campaign event on June 2, 2018. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov)

Watson Coleman rails against anti-Semitic fake email

Democratic congresswoman faces Lisa McCormick in primary

By Nikita Biryukov, June 17 2020 1:25 pm

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman’s (D-Ewing) campaign called on authorities to investigate anti-Semitic emails masquerading as having been sent by her campaign Wednesday.

Tuesday morning’s false flag email, which went out under the subject line “Don’t buy from Jews,” attacked Watson Coleman over a no vote on a non-binding resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement the congresswoman made last July

The email, like others before it, went out bearing Watson Coleman’s campaign logo and includes a link to the congresswoman’s House website. Put another way, the email is made to look as though Watson Coleman’s campaign sent it, though its contents focused solely on attacking the congresswoman.

“Today’s fake email with the headline, ‘Don’t buy from Jews’ to Watson Coleman supporters is not just a false claim, it’s an absolutely disgusting anti-Semitic attack that strikes at the heart of what Bonnie Watson Coleman has stood for her entire career,” her campaign said in a statement. “Bonnie has not only devoted her career in public service to being an inclusive, strong fighter for EVERYONE’S rights, she has long been on the frontlines in the ongoing battle against prejudice and hate.”

The fake email shows no connection to Lisa McCormick, Watson Coleman’s primary challenger, though the tactic resembles ones used in Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate in 2018 and Union County Surrogate in 2019.

McCormick was a candidate in both of those races, as she was for governor in 2017.

That year, a similarly deceptive email masquerading as having been sent by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) trashed now-former Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), then a candidate for governor.

That email was signed by Jim Devine, a political consultant and McCormick’s life partner, who last year faced fire after sending an email headed with an ethnic slur.

Wednesday’s fake email included quotes from Jewish lawmakers and activists who last year told the New Jersey Globe they were disappointed with the congresswoman’s no vote on the BDS resolution, which the congresswoman said she opposed on first amendment grounds.

“I do not support the BDS campaign, and I do not stand for anti-Semitism of any kind. I’ve spent my career fighting against hate and bias in every form, and that’s a fight that’s deeply personal for me,” she told the New Jersey Globe last July. “Boycotts have always been powerful tools against hate that have won rights for marginalized communities here and abroad — and denouncing the practice using the First Amendment right to boycott in the pursuit of change is a step too far.”

The fake email also included a photo depicting a vandalized Jewish-owned storefront in Nazi Germany.

Watson Coleman’s campaign has filed a complaint with law enforcement over the fake emails, a source close to the congresswoman’s campaign said.

Last month, Watson Coleman appeared to be the target of a trickster who has created a fake email address in a bid to tie the progressive congresswoman to President Donald Trump and Goldman Sachs.

The email uses Watson Coleman’s campaign logo and shows the sending as BWC Updates, as if it is an official campaign press release.

A nearly-identical story appeared on a news website run by McCormick.

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