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?”
This has been flagged 3x where we’ve seen @amitsinghbagga’s team poster over ours. 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? We have more photos https://t.co/tKU5PttBbg
— Julie Won for City Council (@juliewon2021) June 2, 2021
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.