The men behind an anonymous flier that was mailed out to registered voters during the Port Chester mayoral election campaign in March came to light during the past week and it was Westmore News columnist Bart Didden.
Westmore News Columnist Bart Didden, who was running on the Republican ticket for trustee until the trustee elections were postponed by a federal judge on March 2nd in connection with the voting rights lawsuit the village is currently facing, was questioned by the Department of Justice.
During that pretrial questioning, which took 3 ½ hours, Didden admitted that he co-authored the flier along with 12-year Board of Education member Dominic Bencivenga and Port Chester Trustee John Crane.
Crane and Bencivenga Say Bart Didden Is A Liar
However, John Crane and Dominic Bencivenga claimed they had nothing to do with writing the racist flier
They claim that they were merely called into Westmore News Columnist Bart Didden's office to look at the finished product.
"My involvement was he called me up and said to stop in his office," said attorney John Crane. "He handed me the flyer, I read it and said you're a sick fuck. I said it's campaign, not 'champaign.' Then we talked about the upcoming opening day and that was it."
"I don't think I even edited it," said Crane. "As I said to the attorney for the DOJ, he didn't need my contribution. I don't know why he called me to his office. I told him it was disgusting and it shouldn't see the light of day."
John Crane said he just assumed Westmore News Columnist Bart Didden wouldn't send it out.
But Bart Didden did, taking the envelopes to a mailbox in Greenwich himself.
Dominic Bencivenga said Westmore News Columnist Bart Didden gave him a call to come to his office one day, handed him the flyer and asked him to read it. "There was a whole section on the bottom regarding the City of Rye and I picked up a pen and crossed it out and asked why would he want to get into a confrontation with the City of Rye."
"I also said 'this is disgusting; you better tone this down' and flipped it back to Bart," said Dominic Bencivenga. I was only there for 10 minutes." Dominic Bencivenga said he had no idea who had actually written the piece.
Dominic Bencivenga said he didn't tell Westmore News Columnist Bart Didden not to send it out. "Bart is not the kind of individual you say that to," he said. "If Bart was going to send something like that out, it was his decision, not my decision. The next time I saw it was when I got it in the mail."
But Bart Didden Says Domminic Bencivenga And John Crane Are Liars
Bart Didden maintains it was not his idea to do the flyer but that of Dominic Bencivenga, John Crane and himself at a meeting a few weeks before the flyer was even created.
Bart Didden has been quoted in a press clip saying, "We knew we had to develop something that talked about issues, was hard hitting and that needed to start a conversation in this village about doing the right thing."
Westmore News Columnist Bart Didden has repeated said he is proudest of this section of the flier: "Don't elect carpet baggers, elect people who care about our history, heritage and what our kids will be told about us in the future. Are we to be known as racists or law abiding free Americans?"
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