Questions left unanswered about Manny Morales
On Tuesday, 7th District Challenger Manny Morales defended allegations regarding objectionable material posted on his former Facebook page. In a media advisory he “categorically denies the characterization” of the MeetMannyMorales.com website.
His campaign media relations spokesperson Michael Blackie said that the candidate had received emails from Facebook warning him that his password might have been compromised.
“His page had been deactivated and even today he received an email saying that someone tried to reactivate his page and to log in and change his password,” Blackie said.
AL DÍA News asked for copies of those emails to verify when and if they had been sent to Morales, since content producers and editors at AL DÍA had been on Morales’ facebook page yesterday (to screen capture posts) and had seen racially charged items dating back to 2010.
So far, no copies of emails from Facebook to Morales have been forwarded, and The Daily News has reported that Morales said he deleted the emails.
“As of 4:30 of today on advice of counsel, Manny Morales is not making more comments as the matter is under investigation,” Blackie said.
Which is a shame because we had many other questions to fill in the holes in the story:
When exactly did he notice his account could have been hacked? As far back as 2010? Facebook advises those who feel their accounts have been compromised to change their passwords and then delete all of the photos and posts that have been compromised. Since we were on the FB page yesterday, we know this wasn’t done. Why not? And if he continued to be hacked, why didn’t he deactivate his account before rather than after the story broke?
Why didn’t he or his campaign team think to either deactivate the personal page or strengthen its security before becoming a candidate for public office? Why didn’t he just start an official page (even the journalists at AL DÍA have those) instead of keeping a personal Facebook page? Does his failure to manage a social media pr unprepared for this contingency?
In the bigger political arena, why didn’t Philly Democrats fully vet Morales before giving him their endorsement?
There were several posts related to voter ID and anti-immigrant sentiment. What is his stance on these issues?
How would he answer the fact that many from within the community have commented publicly (on AL DÍA’s Facebook) that they had, in fact, seen those racially charged posts and images on his FB page before?
The campaign announced Morales is retaining counsel and will seek to explore all legal avenues available to him, up to and including criminal charges for identity theft, and civil charges for libelous materials, damaging his character in his own community.
Morales was supposed to attend a community event at the Feltonville Recreational Center on Tuesday at 6:30, but cancelled his attendance due to the latest developments of his case.
On Tuesday his campaign team released the following statement:
“City Council 7th District Candidate Manny Morales, and the entirety of the campaign categorically deny these allegations made by the incumbent:
‘We are appalled by the baseless and fabricated accusations created by the incumbent (Maria D. Quiñones-Sanchez) and her campaign. While it would appear that the alleged remarks were made by a "Manny Morales", any 12 year old can manipulate and 'hack' or transpose any social media site. This attempt by the incumbent is a desperate attempt to discredit and hopefully remove her qualified challenger who she previously referred to as "bottom of the barrel" and "the puppet of (State Rep.) Angel Cruz" (D-180). (Incidentally, whom supported the Councilwoman in her first run for office).
"Further, it is below her stature as a seasoned veteran of city politics and a civil servant to attempt to discredit and dissuade a challenger and speaks volumes about her sense of entitlement to the seat.
"We will continue to campaign, in good faith and not participate in name calling, bashing, or 'mud-slinging' as our opponent has lowered herself to do. We will operate a fact-based campaign, a campaign about the people, the voters, the constituents of the 7th District. We will meet and greet all constituents of the 7th Council District, in their environment, where they live and work--and we will seek to serve and be a voice a for the voiceless and those under-represented, or not represented, or otherwise 'left out' of the District. Regardless of race, party, sexual orientation or perception, everyone in a Manny Morales council district will have a seat at the table--in our office, or at their kitchen table.
"Regardless of the outcome of the election, I will continue to serve my community, my city and the neighbors who asked me to run. I wish the Councilwoman well, and all I can say is may the best prepared candidate win." -- Manny Morales, Candidate