Nassau Democrats are decrying mysterious Facebook ads that attempt to tie their candidates in Oyster Bay Town races to divisive national issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement.
In recent days, as the election neared, posts from a group called “Oyster Bay Leftists” began popping up as sponsored content on the news feeds of many local users, including some who contacted Newsday.
The posts represent the Democrats’ town slate as looking to “bring Section 8 housing into the Town of Oyster Bay.”
They also say town board candidate Eva Pearson was “leading the Black Lives Matter movement here in Oyster Bay against white privilege.”
One post shows Pearson next to an illustration of a large clenched fist.
Nationally, the Black Lives Matter movement, which draws attention to what it calls systemic mistreatment of blacks by police, has been criticized by conservatives as anti-law enforcement.
“Pure nonsense,” Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said of the “Oyster Bay Leftists” posts, which do not indicate who paid for them. “The closer you get to an election the crazier and more desperate politicians become in trying to win.”
Jacobs said Democratic town candidates were running almost entirely on the issue of political corruption after the state and federal corruption indictment of former Republican Town Supervisor John Venditto, and state charges against other former officials. All have pleaded not guilty.
“Even if they were leftists, what is the leftist way to pave a road?” Jacobs said.
A representative of Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Mondello’s office said the party committee “had nothing to do with the ads” and “we do not condone it.”
Pearson, in a Facebook post, criticized the ads for “claims that I’m a racist.”
“Needless to say, anyone who knows me, and my lifelong history of working toward issues of social justice for all, knows that this is not true,” Pearson wrote.
Pearson previously had an image of an American flag on her Facebook page that listed the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ along with pro-immigrant statements. As of Friday, the image had been replaced as her page’s cover photo.