More evidence that Randy Weber is not ready for prime time, i.e. serving in Congress: tonight one of his campaign agents verbally and physically harassed Congressman Nick Lampson at a polling location.
Weber flew in the hack in question, Bill Cortese from New Jersey (more on that later) earlier this week. It is unclear if Cortese was paid, but he was clearly working alongside the campaign. Weber staffers Tweeted their excitement that Cortese was joining the team. Cortese tweeted photos of himself in Texas with Weber and Senator John Cornyn (at right, in Brazoria County) as well as with Rick Perry.
Tonight at a polling location, Cortese shoved a camera in Lampson's face and pretended to be a “citizen journalist” who tried and flailed to aggravate the Congressman. (Evidently Cortese thought he was visiting Bush League City. #rimshot) Weber then posted the video on his Facebook page. Frankly it's not really that scandalous. It's clear that Lampson is actually trying to engage with the heckler and give honest, fair answers.
Multiple witnesses who saw Cortese attempt to provoke Lampson tonight confirmed that the man in the photo at right was the same man at the polling location.
After the altercation at the polling place, Cortese deleted most of his Twitter mentions of being in Texas, and seems to be alleging that he's back in the northeast. Too bad that he wasn't earlier today! As a fourth-generation native New Jerseyan, I think Cortese should fly his sorry ass back to the Great Garden State and clean up the f'ing hurricane damage rather than engage in harassment and stupid polling place shenanigans. Randy Weber doesn't need Bill Cortese to make himself look stupid; he does a perfectly fine job of that on his own. Meanwhile, New Jersey needs all the help it can get.
This is the death rattle of a dying campaign. Randy Weber can't win on ideas, he can't win on his record in the Legislature, and he can't win on his vision for Texas. It's no surprise that he's now relying on dirty tricks from cheap out-of-state paid hacks in a desperate, last-ditch effort to avoid losing.
Lampson's statement is below the jump. Below is the release from the Nick Lampson campaign:
Randy Weber Fabricates Hoax and Harasses Voters
On Friday evening at a League City polling location Nick Lampson was harassed by a staffer working for Republican Randy Weber. The man who approached Lampson tonight is a Weber staffer named Bill Cortese who came from out-of-state to help Weber's desperate campaign.
While Cortese was actively tweeting under the tag of “Texas 14” he has now attempted to delete his past tweets to give the impression that he is not in Texas. However, screen caps taken from twitter and instagram show Mr. Cortese posing earlier this week with Randy Weber, John Cornyn and Governor Rick Perry (images attached). Multiple eyewitnesses at the scene today have reviewed these photos and have positively identified Mr. Cortese as the person in question.
“What's clear is that Randy Weber is instructing his staff to engage in polling place harassment and he is feigning ignorance over it. The truth is, Mr. Weber was photographed with Mr. Cortese earlier this week, and was present at the polling place today when the intimidation took place,” said Lampson Press Secretary Daniel van Hoogstraten. “Mr. Weber is fully aware of the hoax that transpired, he should immediately dismiss Mr. Cortese and apologize to the voters of the 14th district for creating a hoax.”
It's no surprise that after losing every debate and newspaper endorsement to Nick Lampson that Randy Weber would choose to send in a out-of-state operative under the guise of a voting citizen-journalist to do his dirty work. Mr. Cortese is neither a journalist, nor a voting citizen of Texas. Mr. Weber's actions are a demonstration of cowardice.
Remember, you can always donate to Nick Lampson through our Burnt Orange to Blue page.