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Tweets from Marty Golden Troll Accounts

The Twitter banner image from Blue Collar Conservative, a fake account run by a staffer in Senator Marty Golden's office. It tweeted 17 times (with more replies), had 3 followers, 17 likes, and followed 29 accounts.

At A Glance

  • Republican State Senator Martin J. Golden’s staff have been campaigning using fake social media accounts, possibly using taxpayer funds.
  • There has been no comment to newspapers about Senator Marty Golden’s troll accounts.
  • This may be a state ethics violation.
  • We are providing a full list of Tweets from these fake accounts.

Yo angry Muppet, have you told the people you’re stealing from that you are losing by 46 points?

State Senator Martin J Golden via. Twitter

On July 8th, 2018 at around 5:38 pm, someone using Republican NY State Senator Marty Golden’s official account hit ‘Tweet’ on the quote above. It was directed to Andrew Gounardes, one of Mr. Golden’s possible Democratic challengers.

The Tweet was quickly deleted, but the Internet is forever. It was screen capped and re-posted by Mr. Gounardes. Some felt Golden’s comment was crass but ultimately harmless. Others laughed at the phrasing. Something deeper was happening, though.

The phrase “Muppet” in the Tweet was familiar to a few local social media users, including Radio Free Bay Ridge. We quickly linked the phrasing to an anonymous Twitter troll who for a few months had been attacking local politicians and hyping up Senator Golden’s candidacy. The account was called Blue Collar Conservative and went by the handle @JoeBlue24142498. It is apparent that it was run by a state staffer with access to Golden’s account, who had just accidentally Tweeted from the wrong account.


Other Troll Accounts Used by Senator Golden

This is not the first time a Golden staffer (or Golden himself) has been caught using Social Media accounts to anonymously harass constituents, attack journalists, or campaign outside of the legal limits of his office. Reporter Julianne McShane noticed a similar gaffe linking Golden’s account to South Brooklyn Red (@SouthBrooklynR) mere weeks earlier.

An additional indicator that both South Brooklyn Red and Blue Collar Conservative are run by Golden staffers is that both had gone out of their way to attack McShane’s award-winning local reporting for The Brooklyn Paper. Indeed, it was the focus of the South Brooklyn Red’s very first Tweet, shortly after McShane asked hard questions about the technology behind Senator Golden’s proposed bill to install security scanners in NYC schools. The only other named people on Twitter (we can find) who has been critical of McShane personally have been Golden staffers.

Possible Ethics Violations

While generally vile, nothing at first glance seems illegal about these accounts. However, the ‘Muppet’ Tweet cites polling numbers that don’t exist publicly (“losing by 46 points”). Combined with the fact that whoever posted this was working as a Public Officer for the NY State Legislature, it can be reasonably assumed that this data was confidential internal information. Leaking it would be a direct violation of the Public Officers Code of Ethics § 74.3.c. If the data was from Golden’s re-election campaign, it would instead be a violation of the Little Hatch Act of the Civil Service Law §107.1 which says Senate staff cannot engage in any outside activity which conflicts with their salaried duties or which imply a violation of public trust, nor can they use their official position to influence an election. In context, both accounts existed solely as an advertising campaign for Marty Golden’s reelection.

Blue Collar Conservative and South Brooklyn Red both tweeted extensively during office hours, on taxpayers time. This also implies the use of government-paid cellphones, computers, and wi-fi / internet connections. According to Tweetdeck, both Blue Collar Conservative and South Brooklyn Red tweeted from an iPhone.

Both fake accounts were actively campaigning for Mr. Golden’s re-election. This means that Mr. Golden’s staff is being paid by the state to campaign for his reelection… and they are actively concealing that activity, rather than making the separation between their job and personal opinions clear.

Also, while minor, we’d be remiss to point out that the profile picture for Blue Collar Conservative was a stolen copyrighted picture and had a watermark. Hilariously, the search terms for the photo include “looking crazy”, “desperate” and “loneliness”.

A Perception of Persecution

There are a few reasons why Golden or his staffers created these accounts. Most obvious is that it is an election year for Mr. Golden. Social Media has not been kind to the Senator or his staff, especially on Twitter. The majority of his staff Tweet amongst themselves during office hours, liking each other’s posts. The rest of their interactions are with a vocal set of progressive constituents (including this podcast).

This has led to a perception by Golden’s staff that most social media accounts critical of him are illegally run by his political enemies. His staffers have repeatedly accused City Councilman Justin Brannan and his Chief of Staff Chris McCreight. Both are proteges of his longtime political nemesis Vincent Gentile.

This belief that their opponents “started it” may have led them to be more comfortable with organizing and setting up fake accounts as part of their job managing Sen. Golden’s social media presence.

We can, however, personally vouch for the Twitter accounts most often accused of being run by Democratic functionaries. This includes Fight Back Bay Ridge, Bay Ridge Drivers, Fake Marty Golden, and others. They are not run by any elected Democratic apparatus or political club. We’ve met them in person. The only thing linking them is a shared disapproval of Golden’s policies, leadership, ethics, and influence on South Brooklyn. They are all, also, constituents.

The Testaverde Factor

Another contributing factor to the creation of Golden’s troll accounts is Anthony Testaverde, Golden’s former staff liaison for Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach. Testaverde was unceremoniously fired for comparing Parkland, Florida shooting survivors to Nazis. Testaverde was posting to his personal Facebook page outside of office hours but was a core member of the office social media circle.

A screencapture of Anthony Testaverde sharing an image from The Common Sense Conservative showing Parkland survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg next to images of Adolph Hitler and Nazis, comparing their poses and choice of clothing. The bottom of the image says "I knew something was off about this kid."
One of the posts that Anthony Testaverde shared which resulted in his termination from State Senator Marty Golden’s office.

South Brooklyn Red was created in April 2018, shortly after Testaverde was fired in March.

Blue Collar Conservative was created in June 2018, shortly after Sen. Golden was denied the Reform Party ballot in favor of Mr. Gounardes (thanks to local blogger Queen of the Click for pointing out this connection). The head of the Brooklyn Reform party, Bob Capano, was a frequent target of both troll accounts after this point. Capano was also a primary challenger against Sen. Golden’s staffer John Quaglione in the 2017 City Council race.

It is entirely possible that Testaverde’s firing was a ‘lesson’ to staffers to hide their more inflammatory opinions under fake accounts. This new anonymity may have easily snowballed into using their accounts to illegally campaign and otherwise ignore ethics rules. It also let them unleash themselves a bit, participating in fat-shaming, race-baiting, nativism, and more.


Staffers with Access

So who is responsible?

The Senator’s account is shared and managed by at least four staffers, not including Martin Golden himself. The first and most likely is his longtime spokesperson John Quaglione (whose Twitter account has grown saltier since losing his City Council election in 2017). On the day of the “muppet” Tweet, John claimed he was not responsible and was at a Cyclones game. We are unsure how this prevents one from Tweeting, but it was a denial all the same.

The second person with access would have been John Seravalli, who was promoted to full-time staff shortly before South Brooklyn Red was created. At a recent charity skydive event, Seravalli was on the ground and had filmed video through Golden’s twitter account.

Marko Kepi is another possible staffer with access to Golden’s social media accounts. A special assistant to Mr. Golden and one of his personal drivers, Marko has posted pictures of Golden attending the parade that Mr. Kepi organizes with his NGO, Albanian Roots.

Marko is the most likely suspect for running the Blue Collar Conservative account, for multiple reasons. Firstly, he is the only staffer with a background in England. Using “Muppet” as an insult is a British slang term, and Marko studied in England before moving to the United States from Albania, according to his LinkedIn profile. Perhaps most damning is the fact that Marko personally made the exact same mistake Blue Collar Conservative did a few weeks later, Tweeting from Golden’s account instead of his own. No other staffer has made this mistake.

The only other staffer we are aware of with possible access is James McClelland, one of his senior advisers and self-described “media specialist” who has formerly acted as Golden’s spokesperson.

Update: As of August 5th, 2018, we’re ready to confirm that, barring new evidence to the contrary, Marko Kepi was the person responsible for running Blue Collar Conservative. After being called to task on Twitter, there has been no denial from Golden’s office or Marko himself. Marko has also inadvertently confirmed he was using state resources to campaign for Golden using a separate account.

We strongly suspect a different staffer in Golden’s office is responsible for South Brooklyn Red, a staffer for a Staten Island elected official is responsible for at least two false Facebook accounts, and a state employee and friend of Golden is behind two other accounts, Billy Batts (on Facebook) and Jenny Ling Po (Twitter and blog comments sections since 2008).


Tweets from Known Marty Golden Troll Accounts

It is clear that these Tweets were subsidized using taxpayer dollars by people who were actively discharging the duties of their public office. As such, we are posting a full archive of this account’s posts for future reference as part of the public record, and to clarify this connection.

We will add additional accounts as they become deactivated or warrant inclusion in this archive. We are in the process of adding archives of at least three additional suspected accounts.

Blue Collar Conservative

Status: Deleted July 9th, 2018
(After being accused of being run by staffers)

Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Instead of patting each other on your collective a$$ses for doing nothing useful, Try and do something constructive for vets. Start with doing an audit of the NYC Department of Veterans Affairs. How many veterans sit on the committee? #novetsonveteranscommittee" replying to @JustinBrannan @eric_ulrich and 2 others
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "When did the R Train get a bar car?" replying to @SouthBrooklynR @BobCapano and @CurtisSliwa
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "his minions will be smoking pot while they bang pots as they sip Goose IPA from a brown paper bag and ubiquitously urinate throughout the streets of Brooklyn." replying to @SouthBrooklynR and @JustinBrannan
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Looks like Mr. Snuffleupagus has turn her back in disgust on the suds sucking bar car riding Reform Party chariman" replying to @SouthBrooklynR @ReformNYState and 3 others
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Capano is holding that GOOSE IPA so lovingly its borderline bestiality #takeyourhandsoffmygoose" replying to @JustinBrannan and @SouthBrooklynR
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "You should return the few dollars you stole from donors to fund your book research disguised as a fledgling campaign. #dotherightthing" replying to @RossBarkan and @SenMartyGolden
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Go away you angry muppet. Leave the legislative work to the big boys. Go get the BP a bagel" replying to @agounardes and @SenMartyGolden
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "The dems are in full blown hysteria. Trump is like the Pied Piper leading the demoRats to their demise!"
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Two losers united in defeat!" replying to @RossBarkan and @People4Bernie
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "I'd like to throw a hat on that big vacuous head." replying to @chrismccreight and @BayRidgeDems
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "The last thing @JustinBrannan needs is the munchies" replying to @SouthBrooklynR and @NYCMayor
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "LOL. Competitive? you are a three legged dog in a horse race!" replying to @agounardes
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Gounardes is going to ask Shelly Silver for advice or that corrupt bastard Andrew loves Congressman Bob Menendez" replying to @moreridgerider @SouthBrooklynR and @agounardes
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "He should yell at his barber" replying to @SouthBrooklynR and @agounardes
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "I hate to use the word douchebag but in this case that word is perfect #dopefromparkslope #comradedeLousio" in reply to @redsteeze and @ChristineSisto
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "He looks stoned" replying to @redsteeze and @ChristineSisto
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Well said Ned. Well said" replying to @Nflynn72 @RadioFreeBR and 6 others
Blue Collar Conservative Retweeted @JCats2013: "Quote of the day by Dianne Feinstein...... Dianne Feinstein: "All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms." Yep, - she really said it on Thursday in a meeting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee... WHERE HAS DEM PARTY GONE
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Disgusting" replying to @JCats2013
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Its really cute that Loss Barking is still pretending to be a candidate and stealing money from his handful of donors." replying to @RossBarkan and @SenMartyGolden
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Andrew you angry muppet" replying to @RossBarkan and @SenMartyGolden linking to a timesunion.com article about Senate GOP plans for school traffic safety.
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Loss Barking you moron" replying to @RossBarkan and @SenMartyGolden linking to a timesunion.com article about Senate GOP plans for school traffic safety.
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "did you tell everyone you are projected to get less than 3 percent of the vote? you couldn't flip a pancake, snowflake" replying to @RossBarkan
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "did you tell everyone you are projected to get less than 3 percent of the vote? you couldn't flip a pancake, snowflake" replying to @RossBarkan
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Bernie Sanders is a hypocrite and like Loss Barking stealing money from true believing progressives. Bernie "money bags" sanders made more than $1 million in 2017, making it the second year in a row that the senator has earned a seven-figure income." linking to a newsweek.com article.
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Marty is saying goodbye to a loved one and you think it's appropriate to take cheap shot? There is a special place in hell for you. Learn respect and dignity and maybe you will be more than a whining sniveling ankle biter. Slug" replying to @RossBarkan and @SenMartyGolden
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "He hates ICE but obviously loves ice cream" replying to @Nflynn72 @JustinBrannan and 8 others
Blue Collar Conservative Retweeted Donald Trump: "Thanks to REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP, America is WINNING AGAIN - and America is being RESPECTED again all over the world. Because we are finally putting AMERICA FIRST!"
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "I wish Chaim Douche was more concerned about fighting for veterans instead of defending illegal signage. #momzer" replying to @ChaimDeutsch and @SenMartyGolden
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "No one is going to vote for a socialist angry muppet like you." replying to @agounardes
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Hey Chaim Douche start fighting for veterans instead of illegal signs. #notaveteran" replying to @ChaimDeutsch and @SenMartyGolden
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Hey Chaim Douche start fighting for veterans instead of illegal signs. #notaveteran" replying to @ChaimDeutsch and @SenMartyGolden
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Loss Barking and Ham Douche want to allow illegal signage in your neighborhood." replying to @RossBarkan and @ChaimDeutsch
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "You are the least tolerant angry muppet Andrew. Smile and you will live longer" replying to @agounardes @JQuaglione and 2 others
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Yo Ham Douche are your panties still in bunch because unknown Saperstein almost beat your sorry incumbent ass?" replying to himself, @RossBarkan and @ChaimDeutsch
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "I feel sorry for those brave police officers forced to take a picture with a coward like Councilmember Ham Douche" replying to @ChaimDeutsch @NYPD61Pct and 4 others
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "I feel sorry for Julianne that her writing skills and her lack of unbiased reporting that the pinnacle of her career is at Brooklyn Paper." replying to @Brooklyn_Paper @juliannemcshane and @SenMartyGolden
Blue Collar Conservative Tweeted: "Thank you for your Military Service and your continuous commitment to America and our values." to @RepLeeZeldin
State Senator Marty Golden tweeted: "Yo angry Muppet, have you told the people you're stealing money from that you are losing by 46 points?"

If you are the copyright owner of the above Tweets, feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to credit you.

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