Commission Candidates Square Off Over Facebook Post
July 6, 2018
A Democratic Livingston County commissioner candidate made several allegations against a Republican candidate concerning a Facebook post implying he condones white supremacy. But at least two of the accusations are being disputed as false.
Democratic District 6 candidate Kasey Helton issued a Facebook post calling out District 3 Republican candidate Wes Nakagiri for posting a meme quoting what she called a “white supremacist and promoter of Nazi-centric philosophy” Hans Hermann Hoppe on the Livingston County For Trump Facebook page. Helton claimed Nakagiri was the sole administrator of that page. The quote reads “Democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for anything else”. Helton further alleged Nakagiri is the campaign manager for Brighton Township Clerk Ann Bollin, who is running as a Republican for state representative in the 42nd District.
But both Bollin and Nakagiri say Helton is wrong that he manages her campaign. Bollin said the post was “inaccurate and a cheap shot,” adding that attempts to make leaps to create controversy are not helpful to the election process. Bollin said she will, "remain positive and focus on my own candidacy and the opportunity to work for the citizens of the 42nd District." Meanwhile, Nakagiri provided WHMI with proof that he is not the only administrator of the page and did not post the Hoppe quote, saying Helton should have checked her facts before publishing her post. He, however, declined to say who did post the quote. Nakagiri noted Helton is a former journalist and says had she published the assertions at her old newspaper, she “clearly would have been guilty of journalistic malpractice.” Nakagiri says had Helton taken the time to contact him, he would have set the record straight.
Helton maintains Nakagiri is an administrator of a Facebook page that has reposted propaganda from a known white supremacist and if he disagrees with those points of view, he should have removed the post as soon as a user pointed it out last week. Helton says she raised issues because Nakagiri has a leadership role in a group that is comfortable promoting and spreading harmful messages. Helton said if she incorrectly involved Bollin's campaign with her remarks, it was based on misinformation she received prior to this occurrence and for that she apologizes and will amend her post.
Nakagiri told WHMI Helton has not substantiated her claim that Hoppe is a white supremacist. He says until Helton makes her case, her unsubstantiated claims do not merit further comment. Statements from Helton and Nakagiri are attached. (JM/JK)