This story was updated to include comments from Vinny Mangiacopra.
NORWALK, Conn. – A six-second video recently posted on the Internet by Democratic mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra has rubbed Republican Mayor Richard Moccia the wrong way.
The mayor's campaign director, Art Scialabba [who is also chairman of the Norwalk Republican Town Committee] said in a statement Wednesday that he hads filed a complaint against Mangiacopra with the State Election Enforcement Commission for failing to properly attribute the video.
The crudely produced video, which has no sound, shows a 1977 picture of Moccia when he was an at-large member of the Common Councilman and a handwritten note that reads “Over 36 years in.” The clip also shows a computer screenshot of “Mangiacopra for Mayor” and an Internet address for his campaign.
“If you are running for the highest political office in the City, you have no excuse for not knowing or following the laws,” said Scialabba.
The dustup occurs a day after Moccia officially launched his re-election campaign. He is currently up against three announced Democratic candidates, Mangiacopra, former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel and Common Councilman Matt Miklave. Former Police Chief Harry Rilling has also made overtures for mounting a campaign on the Democratic side.
Reached Wednesday afternoon, Mangiacopra said he was unaware of the complaint, but he had been in contact with the SEEC and if the commission asks for a change to the video he will make it.
"This is a frivolous attempt by the same folks, to talk about nonsense," Mangiacopra said in a statement. "Our community needs help and the approach they have is outdated. While the Governor is making his budget presentation today, our Mayor and his Party boss are in his office worried about social media content. There are bigger issues facing our city and they need urgency and advocacy immediately. People are tired of these kind of gimmicks and attacks."
The video does not contain a "Paid for by..." statement at the bottom, but Mangiacopra said the it was distributed via social media so he does not believe it needs such a clause. But he said he would comply with whatever the SEEC says.
"The message of this video has never been more apt," Mangiacopra said. "If we want forward thinking and innovative ideas they won't come from this administration. They just react and attack. My campaign welcomes a discussion on the issues of the campaign instead of these same old tactics."
“Clearly, Vinny’s inexperience shows that he is not ready for prime time,” Scialabba said. “He needs to learn that we must all play by the same rules, and therefore he needs to remove his video immediately since it is not compliant with CT Election Laws.”