By Bill Parry
Detectives from the 104th Precinct were investigating a bomb threat left at the home of Robert Holden, a candidate in next month’s Democratic Primary for New York City Council, according to the NYPD.
An unidentified man placed a campaign mailer from his opponent, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale), in Holden’s mailbox Saturday afternoon with “Take my kid’s scooter and I’ll blow your car up! I don’t care how many cops you know!” written on it and the word “Scumbag!” scrawled over Holden’s forehead.
The man who left the threat at Holden’s home sped off in a silver SUV, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
Crowley’s campaign literature had been an issue for Holden before the perpetrator took her mailers and scrawled a threat on it.
Holden called on Crowley to stop sending out the “hate-filled” campaign mailers Tuesday during a press conference at his Maspeth home, where he lives with his family including his 93-year-old mother and 3-year-old grandson. Holden had already denounced earlier Crowley mailings that questioned his values and connections with Queens Republican Party members.
“As a Democrat I am truly disgusted by Liz Crowley’s smear tactics,” Holden said. “After Charlottesville and the last few weeks of public outrage about the hate-filled protests and actions of those extremists it’s hard to believe that a Democrat in New York City would be participating in incendiary attacks.”
Crowley’s campaign mailer cites Holden’s “long history of shouting, attacking people and building walls instead of bridges,” and includes a cartoon of Grandpa Simpson, a character portrayed as an elderly senile man on the TV series “The Simpsons” and refers to Holden as “Angry Bob.”
“I forcefully denounce any threat or act of violence against anyone,” Crowley said. “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. This is just the latest example of my opponent trying to draw attention to his campaign.”
Holden called on city and state Democratic leaders, especially Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who endorsed Crowley, to condemn Crowley’s personal attacks. State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) did so Tuesday afternoon.
“A few months ago a Republican congressman, Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, and two police officers were wounded by a gunman who had railed about politics on social media,” Hevesi said. “Now a local candidate for office received a threat to his home and family. That threat is reprehensible and completely unacceptable. While I fully understand the nature of tough political campaigns, it is incumbent upon all of us to tone down the rhetoric and the attacks on each other. The last thing any of us should do is turn up the heat in the midst of a vitriolic political climate. We are better than this.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr