by: Natasha Chen Updated:SEATTLE —
Less than a week before Election Day state Sen. Ed Murray accused Mayor Mike McGinn's re-election campaign of cyberbullying.
McGinn's campaign staff posted the cellphone number of a Planned Parenthood staff member on social media, after Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest made campaign calls for Murray last week.
Planned Parenthood endorsed Murray during the primary.
The script of these phone calls did not mention McGinn, and at an Ed Murray press conference on Saturday, a board member for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Jeff Sprung, said that they are not suggesting McGinn is somehow less of a pro-choice candidate.
Both McGinn and Murray are pro-choice.
"We endorsed Sen. Murray because of his leadership and conviction on several issues," Sprung said.
Still, McGinn campaign workers said that they started receiving calls from their supporters, asking for clarification. They said supporters were upset that the Planned Parenthood phone calls could be misleading.
McGinn staff then encouraged supporters online, telling them to call Treasure Mackley, the political director of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. Staff members posted her cellphone number.
"Planned Parenthood has received a series of calls that amount to harassment. Members of the Planned Parenthood staff have had their phone numbers posted on the Internet. Well that, my friends, is a form of cyberbulling. Especially when you consider the safety issues that Planned Parenthood faces on a day-to-day basis," Murray said.
But McGinn, who spoke to KIRO 7 from Seattle City Light, where he was responding to storm damage, said the number was publicly available.
"I think it was the number that was posted on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission as their campaign number. So if people had concerns about how they were campaigning, then that wouldn't be surprising that was the number that was called," McGinn said.
He reiterated that he is 100 percent pro-choice, and that the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission website may now have taken down that Planned Parenthood contact number.
Aaron Pickus, McGinn's campaign spokesperson, said that as soon as they were told to use an office phone number for Planned Parenthood, they changed the number in their post.
The website for Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission currently does not list any contact information for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.
Treasure Mackley, their political director, said their filing with the commission has not changed, and that their staff could not find her cellphone number on any filing documents in the past.
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