New York Attorney General Letitia James doesn’t pull punches with getting the people’s justice. James announced Thursday her office filed a $2.75M lawsuit against two right-ring conspiracy theorists who disseminated false information to Black voters.
Ahead of the 2020 election, Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman used a fake organization “Project 1599” to target Black voters. The pair used robocalls to misinform Black voters about vote-by-mail efforts.
“Wohl and Burkman used misinformation to try to disenfranchise Black communities ahead of the election, in a clear attempt to sway the election in the favor of their preferred presidential candidate,” James said in a statement.
Wohl and Burkman’s disinformation campaign violated state and federal law, according to the Office of the Attorney General. The robocalls told voters that voting by mail would expose their information to law enforcement and debt collectors. The automated calls also told people the CDC was collecting data to target Black communities. James estimated the scheme targeted 5,500 New York residents.
News broke last fall that voters in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York reported receiving the deceptive calls. And estimated 12,000 voters in Detroit received the call in August 2020. NPR reported the calls specifically targeted areas with large Black and other communities of color.
Full text of the message sent to prospective voters:
Hi, this is Tamika Taylor from Project 1599, the civil rights organization founded by Jack Burman and Jacob Wohl. Mail-in voting sounds great, but did you know that if you vote by mail, your personal information will be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts? The CDC is even pushing to use records for mail-in voting to track people for mandatory vaccines. Don’t be finessed into giving your private information to the man, stay safe and beware of vote by mail.
James explained email evidence obtained showed Wohl telling Burkman they should target Black communities the day before messages went out. Wohl sent his partner a virtual high five, saying the number got angry call backs from Black people and it was a “win” no matter what.
James seeks to join an action brought by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the law firm of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, on behalf of a number of voters and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. The lawsuit alleges six violations including the New York Civil Rights Law, the New York Executive Law, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, and the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Concerns of Russian election interference persisted after the 2016 election. The full scope of domestic disinformation efforts became more clear since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Former President Donald Trump and other leading Republicans intentionally misled the American public about the safety of vote by mail and routinely lied about the presence of “voter fraud.”
Recently a coalition of civil liberties groups requested the Biden Administration create a task force to address disinformation. Called the Disinformation Defense and Free Expression Task Force should be chaired by the Executive Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
“We urge immediate creation of a task force to identify steps that the federal government can take to combat disinformation while safeguarding freedom of expression,” said the group in a letter.
'Karens' Gone Wild: Videos Show Privileged White Women Can't Stop Trying To Police Black People
1. ‘Stay In Your Hood’: Dog Park ‘Karen’
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At the dog park in Brooklyn with my fiancé and this white woman was threatening to call police and told us to “stay in our hood” because she had our dog confused with another dog who had been barking loudly. So, I started recording and she tried to slap the phone out my hand. pic.twitter.com/9MXwMiU3Qb— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) September 26, 2021
2. School Committee ‘Karen’
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3. Tigger flag Karen
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Nosy woman complains about a flag pic.twitter.com/srQk12YmW9— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) August 9, 2021
4. Victoria's Secret Karen
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Karen charges at a black woman and then turns on white woman tears when she realizes she’s being recorded. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/9gzksgorLN— chris evans (@chris_notcapn) July 12, 2021
5. Mailbox Karen
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I wish a Karen would roll up and call herself taking a package from my house because she suspects “something is going on in there.”— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) July 7, 2021
What is wrong with these white women? pic.twitter.com/ROX3zLPcTY
6. Karen goes shopping at Ross
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This happened at a Ross Dress for Less…— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) June 13, 2021
Told you. pic.twitter.com/FkSLsgxPUc
7. Karen Defaces Monument To Only Black Member Of Lewis And Clark Expedition7 of 35
8. Judith Ann Black, racist Burger King Whopper KarenSource:Sumter County Sheriff’s Office 8 of 35
9. Stephanie Denaro, AKA "Bagel Karen"
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RACIST Anti-Masker Karen Calls Black Bakery worker B**** Ass N-word for denying service. pic.twitter.com/nRsF95RFmK— Karen (@crazykarens) March 24, 2021
10. Courtside Karen
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PRAY FOR LEBRON pic.twitter.com/Z8oAhl2kqf— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 2, 2021
11. Arlo SoHo Karen
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Wow! This woman made baseless claims against @keyonharrold and his 14yo son at @arlohotels Arlo SoHo — then assaulted them, scratching Keyon & tackling his boy. Worse, the hotel manager defended & empowered her actions, and refused to apologize after her claims were proven wrong! pic.twitter.com/LqHboiAEd6— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 27, 2020
12. Trader Joe's 'Karen'
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This is a Trader Joe’s today. In Los Angeles. Cases are through the roof in California. Is there any way to reach these people?— Read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (@JoshuaPotash) June 27, 2020
13. 'Karen' the angry neighbor
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hey guys!! this is my new neighbor!! pic.twitter.com/yZxsQD1daS— bailey (@bailey3jenkins) June 27, 2020
14. ‘Karen’ Pulls Gun On Black Woman And Daughter After Chipotle Argument14 of 35
15. Nurse ‘Karen’ Fired
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Caron Jones — that’s Caron with a “K” as in “Karen” 👩🏼⚕️ — also called the Black Lives Matter movement a "ploy" for Black votes before the North Carolina nurse got fired for her racist social media posts.https://t.co/WQn68gNToF— NewsOne (@newsone) July 1, 2020
16. St. Louis 'Karen'16 of 35
17. ‘Karen’s Husband’ Investigated After Calling Cops On Black Men17 of 35
18. Convenience Store ‘Karen’
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It was the I’m the wrong nigga for me 😭 pic.twitter.com/2Rv33NNn2k— HEAVYY ON IT 🗣💕 (@HeavyyCampp) June 25, 2020
19. Nurse ‘Karen’ Loses Her Job For ‘Black Privilege’ Video19 of 35
20. Seattle ‘Karen’ Has A Total Meltdown After Black Driver Records Her ‘White Tears’
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"I HAVE A BLACK HUSBAND!"— NewsOne (@newsone) June 23, 2020
A "Karen" in Seattle identified as Leah completely lost it when Karlos Dillard, a Black man, confronted and recorded her after he says he was the victim of her racist road rage.
The video has gone viral as Karening gets worse.https://t.co/X5ryYpQlhF
21. Officer ‘Karen’ Is Slammed For Crying White Tears Over McDonald’s Wait21 of 35
22. Kroger ‘Karen’ Blocks Black Mother From Pulling Out Of Parking Lot Over ‘Gatorade’22 of 35
23. San Francisco ‘Karen’ Who Called Cops Over ‘BLM’ Art
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A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall. “Karen” lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/rOpHvKVwgP— James Juanillo (@jaimetoons) June 12, 2020
24. Karen the "Shorewood Spitter"24 of 35
25. Karen's husband
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26. Karen's other husband26 of 35
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Question: I get we’re living in stressful times but why do we keep seeing so many white women abusing workers like this? pic.twitter.com/UKfWG631TX— tyler perry’s shake-and-go wig (@notcapnamerica) May 18, 2020
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Racism rots your brain pic.twitter.com/OuzPmyRN6d— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) May 17, 2020
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On the next episode of “are white people ok? 👀”.... meet Red Lobster Karen 🦞 pic.twitter.com/ElgRipPyrU— Lives in a Police State. ✊🏽🦺🌈 (@angel_felixv) May 13, 2020
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I can’t believe this is real. This lady went out to video shame everyone who dared to have fun in the sun at the beach and then she yelled at a Trader Joe’s worker over social distancing.— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 18, 2020
Karen needs to just stay home and leave the rest of us alone... 🙄🤦🏻♂️pic.twitter.com/QUeZkRSudW
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K*ren: "Arrest me"— Scottie PIPM (@scottiepipm) April 23, 2020
K*ren: 😲 pic.twitter.com/5NJnPsSj8k
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I’m baffled. Just saw this on the news. Woman who drove 1.5 hours to go to the beach with her family complains about other people at the beach who have done the same as her. Does she not see she’s part of the problem #StayAtHomeSaveLives #COVIDIDIOTS pic.twitter.com/iowllyZEk2— Colm McAfee (@mcafee77) May 17, 2020
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Letitia James Files $2.75M Suit Against Right-Wing Voter Operatives Who Targeted Black Voters was originally published on newsone.com