Things are getting explosive in the City Council 30th District race.
One of the candidates, Robert Holden, said he received last weekend a bomb threat to his Middle Village home — which doubles as his campaign headquarters — that was written on one of his opponent’s campaign fliers.
In recent weeks, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s campaign has been sending out fliers, giving Holden the moniker “Angry Bob,” and once referencing a “Simpsons” character with a quote from Holden reading: “I’m at a point where if I see another kid on a scooter, I’m going to stop him and take it away myself.”
The quote comes from a New York Times article from 2003 in which Holden was interviewed regarding the rise in gas-powered scooters in the neighborhood.
On Saturday, Aug. 26, Holden said, a man allegedly placed one of Crowley’s fliers in his mailbox with a message written on it in black marker: “TAKE MY KID’S SCOOTER AND I’LL BLOW YOUR CAR UP! I DON’T CARE HOW MANY COPS YOU KNOW!” The word “SCUMBAG!” was also written across Holden’s forehead.
Officers from the 104th Precinct came to Holden’s residence, which he shares with his family including his 93-year-old grandmother and 3-year-old grandson, to investigate the threat.
According to the police, there is a report on file for aggravated harassment. There are currently no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.
Holden, however, was quick to suggest that Crowley’s campaign tactics inspired someone to make an explosive threat against him.
“Liz Crowley’s use of hateful personal attacks, including ageism, to try to discredit me should have no place in New York politics,” Holden added. “This must be condemned by city and state Democratic Party leaders, especially Governor Andrew Cuomo. Is this what her ‘Democratic Values’ are? I didn’t think that even a career politician like Liz Crowley would stoop so low but she obviously has to because she can’t run on her poor record.”
Crowley denounced any acts of violence — and called Holden’s claims that she would condone it absurd.
“I forcefully denounce any threat or act of violence against anyone. That said, for Bob Holden to equate the use of a Simpsons character in campaign literature with a threat or incitement to violence is the height of absurdity,” the Councilwoman said in a statement.
She further referred to a 1999 Daily News report in which the franchisee of a 7-Eleven convenience store on Eliot Avenue in Middle Village claimed to have received death threats, and that tires were slashed in the store’s parking lot. Those events happened, according to the store owner, after the Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) — of which Holden was, and still is, the president — orchestrated a community-wide boycott of the shop.
“This is just the latest example of my opponent trying to draw attention to his campaign,” Crowley said. “Where was Bob Holden when his own actions upended lives or provoked threats against people like the 7-Eleven owner in Middle Village? These are real questions that my opponent has frankly never answered.”
In the 1999 report, Holden dismissed the accusation, noting that the owner couldn’t make enough money to continue running the store. The 7-Eleven remains in operation today.
Voters will hit the polls on Sept. 12 to cast their vote in this Democratic primary race.