Massachusetts College Democrats planned for over a year to sabotage primary challenger: Report

Students reportedly spread innuendo that politician engaged in inappropriate relationships.

Updated: August 13, 2020 - 5:05pm

A Democratic politician in Massachusetts looking to unseat a long-term U.S. representative in a primary race was the victim of a premeditated campaign brought by a group of College Democrats, a Thursday report alleges. 

The Intercept news organization claims that online chat logs it recently obtained reveal how the College Democrats at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst planned how to sabotage the primary campaign of Alex Morse, who is challenging Rep. Richard Neal for the Democratic nomination in the state's 1st Congressional District. 

The chat records reportedly reveal that the college group sought to determine "how they could find Morse’s dating profiles and then lead him into saying something incriminating that would then damage his campaign."

That group went public with allegations against Morse last week, claiming the 31-year-old — who has been mayor of the Massachusetts town of Holyoke for nine years — used his position as both a politician and as a university lecturer to compel students into sexual relationships. 

No detailed allegations have been leveled at Morse; rather, the College Democrats claimed that Morse sought out college students via dating apps and at some of the group's events. Morse has acknowledged that he has had sexual relationships with students, but he stated that "every relationship [he's] had has been consensual."

Morse, a gay man, has claimed that he is "being held to a different standard, one deeply connected to a history of surveilling the sex lives of people like me."

Neil Ennis, the chief strategist for the student Democratic group, meanwhile, reportedly said in the chats that he was hoping to land a job with Rep. Neal at some point. "Neal will give me an internship," he allegedly said. The group has denied that Ennis's political ambitions played any role in the decision to go public with the allegations.

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