PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — At a short press availability in his campaign office here, NY-23 Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman said that a GOTV volunteer’s tires had been slashed, and all but blamed Democrats for the dirty trick.
“There are reports that they’re bringing in the troops and they’re bringing in ACORN,” said Hoffman. “I think the Democrats are doing anything they possibly can to steal this election away from the 23rd district.”
The campaign gave reporters the name and phone number of Jeremy Kain, the volunteer who claimed to have his tires slashed, but asked to confirm whether he was accusing the Democrats of supressing the vote, Hoffman started to backtrack: ‘We’ve called in the police and the police will be investigating.”
The campaign is pushing this story hard after a wave of morning reports that Hoffman’s grassroots supporters were misbehaving. Attacks on ACORN, and allegations that Democrats are trying to steal this election, have been striking components Hoffman’s hard-edged late-game messaging.
Update: Anton Troianovski of the Wall Street Journal followed up with the Plattsburgh police on this, and was told that the volunteer actually damaged his tire on a broken bottle. I asked Hoffman campaign manager Dan Tripp about this–he said he had no comment because the campaign had not heard this yet.
It’s not unheard of for a candidate to make an accusation like this without having all the facts, but it’s a strange sideshow in the final hours.