A controversial candidate for New York City Council, who is running on a platform against “greedy Jewish landlords,” admitted to raising money for his campaign through a crowdfunding campaign that was purportedly trying to stop him.
Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a democrat from upper Manhattan, acknowledged lying in order to fool his critics, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.
Lopez-Pierre, who is trying to unseat Jewish incumbent Mark Levine in September 12 elections, has built his campaign on attacking Jews, although he denies that he is an anti-Semite.
In a recent campaign YouTube video the candidate says, “Together, we can defeat the greedy Jewish landlords that are engaged in ethnic cleansing.”
A few days ago a page was set up on crowdfunding site GoFundMe to “Stop Thomas Lopez Pierre Hate Campaign.” The site quickly raised $5,871 (NIS 21,200). Then Lopez-Pierre revealed it was he who set up the site.
“I call it bait and switch,” he bragged to the Post. “I intend to use the money to pay for my marketing expenses. The people who are doing this oppose me. I thank them for their support.”
On his official account he tweeted about the lie.
The campaign is no longer active and the funds have been frozen.
“The GoFundMe was deleted by the campaign organizer, the funds have been placed on hold, and it will remain under review until additional information can be provided by the campaign organizer,” GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne told the Post.
On his website, Lopez-Pierre writes that “Jewish Landlords [own more than 80%] of the privately owned rental apartment buildings in Harlem/Washington Heights and are at the forefront of ethnic cleansing/pushing Black/Hispanic tenants out of their apartments.”
Politicians from both parties have condemned Lopez-Pierre’s hate campaign.
Manhattan Democratic Party Chairman Keith Wright is seeking to remove Lopez-Pierre from the party.
The Republican party issued a press release in which it “unequivocally condemns the repugnant statements and behavior of Thomas Lopez-Pierre… The fight against anti-Semitism and bigotry does not fall along party lines, and we are proud to stand with our colleagues across the political aisle in this endeavor.”