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Council Candidates Spar in Campaign Poster War in Sunnyside

Twitter via @DoreenMohammed1)

June 3, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A campaign poster battle has erupted in the crowded District 26 City Council race just weeks before Election Day.

The saga began after a volunteer for Amit Bagga allegedly put up a campaign poster on top of rival candidate Julie Won’s poster. This allegedly has happened on two separate occasions, according to photos uploaded to Twitter.

A former part-time staffer and current volunteer with Won’s campaign tweeted the image of a Bagga poster on Wednesday with the corner peeled up to reveal a Won poster beneath it. The posters were hung up on a storefront at the corner of 48th Avenue and 47th Street in Sunnyside.

The same campaign volunteer tweeted a photo on May 16 of a Bagga poster also covering Won’s.

Won retweeted the photo taken yesterday and questioned if Bagga was trying to erase her candidacy.

“This has been flagged 3x where we’ve seen @amitsinghbagga’s team poster over ours,” she said. “shows character of candidate when you campaign this way. Does your team feel insecure about your candidacy? Are you trying to erase my candidacy as an AAPI immigrant and woman?”

Bagga responded to Won’s tweet saying a misguided volunteer covered both of Won’s posters with his own. He said that he didn’t authorize such behavior and condemned it on Twitter.

However, Eugene Noh, Won’s campaign manager — who referred to the situation as “postergate” — said the incidents reflect poorly on Bagga.

“There’s really only two possibilities here,” Noh said. “One — the campaign is engaging in these kind of petty attacks and campaigning in a dirty way and being deceitful or [two —] they’re just totally incompetent and they have no control over their volunteers.”

“Either of those options doesn’t bode well for the race,” he said.

Bagga’s campaign issued a statement in response to Won’s accusations.

“As we have stated previously, postering over another candidate’s posters is 100 percent unacceptable and unconscionable — and has never been authorized by Amit or any member of this campaign,” his campaign spokesperson said.

“Immediately after learning about an incident a few weeks ago, our campaign removed the poster in question and dismissed the offending volunteer, and as an extra precaution, we have since suspended volunteer-led postering, as well.”

“We suspect that what has been reported today is the result of the same (immediately dismissed) volunteer from the same shift, and we have asked to be given the location of today’s report so that the poster can be removed; in fact, Amit finds this behavior so objectionable that he has offered to remove the poster himself.”

Noh, however, claims that Bagga should be taking responsibility for what’s transpired and not blame a volunteer.

“I just think that it’s not a good reflection of the campaign if the candidate’s willing to throw a volunteer under the bus whenever there’s an error,” Noh said.

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23 Comments

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James Achilles

Julie Won’s rhetorical question, “Are you trying to erase my candidacy as an AAPI immigrant and woman?”, is a boring way to gain support: the race for City Council seems an oppression contest between candidates, as they lack substantive disagreement on political issues.

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Steven

I checked the tweeter page and she still has the same number of likes and less than 4 comments. Apparently few care. We are so close to the election. Better to focus on free healthcare, defund the police, real affordable housing, closed streets and bike lanes, BLM, etc. than talking about you feeling hurt because someone tore up a couple of your posters.

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Jackie

This could be her own staff/supporters trying to get publicity for their campaign. Local leaders and candidates love crying to the public and portraying themselves as victims to get votes. Its ridiculous but works for our districts.

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Omar

For all we know this could be the work of someone not affiliated.with the baga campaign staff. It could be anyone tearing or mishandling the posters. Or maybe someone just trying to clean up the posters. Unless there is clear video evidence of a staff member on video doing the tearing i believe this has nothing to do with Amit.

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Jackie

Maybe they talk with the place of business and get their permission to hang posters. I know that posters from progressive candidates and trendy logos bring more of their supporters in and is good for business. My friend a business owner in WQ told me so. It has increased business for him.

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Jack

Not Bagga’s fault. Campaign workers just apologize. Maybe fire one or two of them. Plus Amit is already on the road to victory.

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Anonymous

Amit stole the WFP endorsement from Julie Won and it appears this is payback for her telling everyone he is a fraud… real progressives will vote for Julie Won!

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Save the trees

Let’s all vote for the candidate with the fewest campaign posters littering the neighborhood.

It’s the eco-friendly solution as well!

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Gardens Watcher

The campaigns are leaving their cards on front doors, which is annoying and goes immediately into my recycling bin.

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Anon

The cards, unsolicited phone calls and text messages are bad, but I’ve had three idiots ring my doorbell. I told all three that there is no way I would vote for their candidate now. They seemed shocked.

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I'm pretty sure one

Tried to get into my building Monday evening. Buzzing random bells. I don’t allow entrance if I’m not expecting anyone/anything or recognize the person seen in the video channel.

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I guess we're out of the woods then

If candidates have reached the point where they’re fighting over trivialities, I suppose that means there are no longer any real problems to solve in new York. Congratulations everyone, we have achieved utopia.

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Sophia

Only Caban campaign workers have come to my place in Astoria to talk with my young adult daughters and not me.

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Sue smothers

It seems weird that we’re supposed to be impressed the candidate was willing to take it down himself. That sounds condescending, imho.
Also “postergate”? Really? Hashtag yawn.

I like the stores with everbody’s posters.

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Sunnysider

First – Julie’s campaign has been more aggressive than any other in postering over other candidate’s posters. I have seen her campaign put her posters over two of her competitors.

Both times I saw it and just shrugged my shoulders at them being silly.

But to now complain of another campaign doing this is laughable. Funny that the pointing finger often comes back to point at you. Shame on the Julie Won campaign for doing this and shame on her for crying foul.

How can we expect her to fight for us if she’s just gonna complain to teacher when someone does something she doesn’t like.

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James Achilles

Won’s rhetorical question, “Are you trying to erase my candidacy as an AAPI immigrant and woman?”, is a lazy way to gain support: the race for City Council seems an oppression contest between candidates, as they lack substantive disagreement on political issues.

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