Texas Gov Rich Perry and Dwayne Horner. Oct 2014 via facebook
Dwayne Horner, campaign manager for Leigh-Anne Bellew’s 2013 Bayshore Tea Party backed primary campaign against State Senator Joe Kyrillos, received an early Christmas present earlier this month when he was admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program.
The 45 year old resident of Little Elm, Texas woke up thousands of Monmouth County voters with a 4 am robo call on June 4, 2013 the morning of the primary election. The call purported to be from the campaign of Kyrillos and his running mates Assembly members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon, informing Repbulican voters that the still had four hours to vote. The calls were caller ID spoofed to falsely indicate that they came from a phone number owned by the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
Dwayne Horner of Little Elm Texas was arraigned in Monmouth County Superior Court on Identity Theft Charges stemming from a 4am robo call purported to be made on behalf of State Senator Joe Kyrillos, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin in the early morning of the primary election in the 13th legislative district on June 4, 2013.
Horner was the campaign manager for Leigh-Anne Bellew, Kyrillos’s challenger in the Republican primary.
Dwayne Horner of Little Elm, Texas was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury yesterday. Horner was the campaign manager for Leigh-Ann Bellew of Union Beach in the 2013 Republican Primary challenge to State Senator Joe Kyrillos.
At 4am on June 4, 2013, Republican voters in the 13th legislative district of New Jersey were awakened by a robo call purporting to be from the campaign of Kyrillos and his running mates, Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. The caller, allegedly Horner, said they were reminding voters that they still had four hours to get to the polls, as if the call was being make at 4pm.
A recording of the call can be heard here. Horner’s voice can be heard on the voice mail greeting of the Bellew campaign here.
The indictment charges that Horner impersonated another person or organization for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or for the purpose of injuring or defrauding another. The fourth degree crime has a potential sentence of 18 months in state prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
MMM could not find a current phone number for Horner. Bellew could not be reached for comment.
O’Scanlon said,“I’m glad to see that this matter was taken seriously and did not slip through the cracks. Those who would play these types of desperate games during campaigns need to know that there are consequences and they will be mete. It is hard enough to get eligible candidates interested in running without the threat of these juvenile type pranks. This indictment will hopefully be a message to anyone who would attempt it in the future – grow up.”
MMM has learned that at least one individual was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury today in the investigation into the 4am robocall that occurred on the morning of the 2013 Republican Primary in the 13th legislative district on June 4, 2013. The 13th, represented by Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon, is compromised of Middletown, Marlboro, the Bayshore and the Two Rivers area of Monmouth County.
The call, a recording of which can be heard here, was purported to be on behalf of the incumbents Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon. The caller said that he was reminding voters that they had four hours to get to the polls, as if the call was made at 4pm instead of 4am. The callers voice sounds very much like the recorded voice of the person on the Leigh-Ann Bellew for Senate’s voice mail greeting. That recording can be heard here. Bellew was Kyrillos’s opponent in the primary.
MMM was told that fourth degree identity theft was the charged the grand jury delivered. Fourth degree identity theft is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Charles Webster said he had not yet received a copy of the indictment and that he would provide it promptly upon receiving it from the prosecutor.
Wake voters up with a 4am robocall purporting to be your political opponents and you could go to jail for 3-5 years if legislation proposed by Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon becomes law.
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon
O’Scanlon and his colleague, Assemblyman Scott Rumana of Wayne, have proposed amending the “Fair Campaign Practices Act,” to provide that no person can direct, order or assist another person to produce, transmit or disseminate any communication that purports to originate from the campaign of a candidate for public office but is actually for the purpose of impeding the campaign of that candidate. Such activity would become a third degree crime which calls for a 3 to 5 year prison term and a fine of up to $15,000.
Steven Lonegan and Bayshore Tea Party Group Founders Barbara Gonzalez and Bob Gordan, 2010. facebook photo.
Bob Gordon, co-founder of the Bayshore Tea Party Group said that the organization had nothing to do with the 4am robocall that woke up LD 13 voters on June 4th and that the group considers the action “reprehensible.”
Gordon said that MMM should know better than to suggest that BTPG was involved in the robocall. He said we should have reached to the group. MMM contacted fellow co-founder of the group, Barbara Gonzalez on June 4th and got no response. Gordan said Gonzalez does not respond to our inquiries because the group does not consider this website credible.
Gordon said that he asked both Leigh-Ann Bellew and her campaign manager Dwayne Horner if they had anything to do with the call. Both Bellew and Horner denied involvement. He said he would ask them again today, following MMM’s report that the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the call.
Gordon said he would cooperate with the Prosecutor’s investigation and that he placed a call to them this morning, prior to calling MMM.