Among the most intriguing things in the article is that Purcell seems to have caught Johnson in a bold-faced lie. On June 2, Johnson stated categorically on his "Kamal Johnson for Mayor" Facebook page: "I have not been arrested." Still the Police Blotter that appeared in the Register-Star for June 5, 2008, indicates that he had: "On June 2, Kamal Johnson, 23, of Hudson, was charged with second degree harassment by [HPD Officer James] Nero. Johnson allegedly physically harassed a woman during an argument."
On June 2, after denying on Facebook that he was ever arrested, Johnson went on to say: "This is not to say that we should demonize people who have been arrested. I firmly believe that people can change--that a person can make a mistake and then redeem themselves." If this is what he believes, why not own and explain whatever happened in 2008 and assert, if he was in any way culpable, that he is now a changed man? Instead, in an apparent attempt to discount the information reported in the article and convince people that a Police Blotter entry from eleven years ago was a fabrication, Johnson posted this on his Facebook page today:
I am disappointed to see that forces working against my election are trying to distract us from these important issues with smear tactics and negative campaigning. I repeat: I have no criminal record nor have been arrested. Associating people of color and specifically, black men with criminality is unfortunately still a common tactic to undermine people of color in society. And in political races in the United States. It has been used for generations. It was less than a year ago that John Faso tried to use similar race-baiting techniques in his campaign for Congress. Luckily, Antonio Delgado overcame those tactics then, and we will similarly overcome them this week here in Hudson. Desperate tactics will not work.In this statement, Johnson characterizes the local newspaper as "forces working against my election," dismisses its journalism as "smear tactics and negative campaigning," equates an article in that newspaper mentioning two documented issues--a reported arrest in 2008 and tax warrants from 2017 and 2019--with an attack ad paid for by a Republican Super PAC, and in the process tries to label his opponent a racist. Talk about desperate tactics.
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