The LGBT Democratic group indeed endorsed Milteer, but a lengthy quote personally praising the candidate, attributed to Stonewall Democrats board member Juliana Illari, was fake. The quote said, among other praises, that Milteer has a “diverse campaign that is leading the way on addressing issues facing all residents in Sandy Springs” and that “Le’Dor will be an ally to the LGBTQ community in Sandy Springs.”
“I didn’t say that … It’s very disappointing,” said Illari, who learned of the fabricated quote from reading it in the Reporter, adding that her group did not provide any endorsed candidates with individual praise quotes this year.
At Illari’s request, the campaign issued a new version of the endorsement press release that retracted the false quote and attributed it to “staff error.”
“We accept the campaign’s sincere regrets and then acting swiftly to retract and send a corrected release,” said Illari. She said Stonewall Democrats will continue endorsing Milteer and other previously announced candidates “unless new information comes to light.”
Steen Kirby of Bold Blue Campaigns, a Florida-based Democratic political consulting firm hired by Milteer, declined to describe exactly why the quote was fabricated, saying that it was a “rookie staff error” and that Milteer was not involved.
“The quotes were erroneous due to a rookie staff error and no other reason,” Kirby said in an email. “Le’Dor did not write or involve herself in the statement in any way, as she is far too busy campaigning to be responsible for internal day-to-day campaign operations. The staff takes full responsibility for this matter and it has been dealt with internally.”
Kirby added that “these types of errors and mistakes are common, and frequently far more serious, particularly when campaign staff lacks significant experience (as is common in a grassroots city council race).”
Georgia Stonewall Democrats represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community interests and works to elect Democrats.
Milteer is competing with Jody Reichel for the City Council District 4 seat on the Nov. 7 ballot.