The 7th City Council district rate is getting heated with a new website alleging the challenger spouted racist, right-wing views on his Facebook account.
A spokesman for Manny Morales, who was endorsed by the Democratic City Committee to run against City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez , said the images on the website are fake and part of a deceptive smear campaign.
“If anybody takes this as even valid and truthful they're deluded,” said Morales’ spokesman Michael Blackie , who said the campaign is considering legal action. “It’s a mudslinging campaign because she feels entitled to the seat.”
MeetMannyMorales.com was created by “Friends of Maria,” the campaign group supporting Quinones-Sanchez as she runs for re-election. She is facing off against Morales for the Democratic nomination in the May primary.
The posts on the page include racist jokes about black people, including a picture of a blackperson and an animal with the caption “who is an animal? Awesome picture. [ sic ] ”
Another of the screen grabs, attributed to Morales, is a comment on a story about Dante Robinson, one of the brothers charged in the murder of suburban teenager Autumn Pasquale, being released from a youth detention facility.
“if it was white boys that killed a black girl trust me they would have given 25 to life to both white boys. Dante is home and he will kill in a very near future, write this date down and remember i said it [ sic ],” the post reads.
Other posts include shared posts by conservative Tea Party groups, and the comment “Good job jury” above a story about George Zimmerman being acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin.
“Clearly everything this man espouses is divisive, negative and degrading,” said Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez , who said she was “amazed” by the Facebook posts.
She asserted that they are real and said her campaign staff discovered them.
Quinones-Sanchez is a Democrat who has represented the 7th District in City Council for two terms, but the Democratic City Committee endorsed Morales in February. She has never been officially endorsed by city Democrats before a primary.
“The party did not do due diligence,” she said of their decision to endorse Morales. “That’s bad politics. This is the politics of hate and division, instead of the mantle they want to carry, which is one of unity.”
Blackie responded that Morales, who lives in Frankford , does not hold the views shown on MeetMannyMorales.com.
“Maybe there’s a Manny Morales who's a gun-toting Tea Party member. You can grab and paste this and say ‘Here’s the real Manny Morales.’ It’s not our Manny Morales,” he said.
Louie Ortiz, a resident of the district, said Morales does operate the account, and that Ortiz does not work for Quinones-Sanchez but shared images of the Facebook account with a friend working on her campaign because he was shocked by the posts.
"It's just wacky," Ortiz said. "Someone who is 'English only,' but is running in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. He's writing anti-immigrant stuff, but do you know Dominicans live in your neighborhood?"
Ortiz said he discovered the account because it was tagged in one of Morales' campaign videos.
"I thought I was insane until other people started saying they saw it too," he said. "It's definitely his."
Morales was not available to comment.