Taunton Mayor O’Connell disavows ‘marxist-socialist hellscape’ email

Taunton Mayor O'Connell disavows 'marxist-socialist hellscape' email


TAUNTON — In early June, some Tauntonians were surprised to have received an email, seemingly from Mayor Shaunna O’Connell, that contained divisive, highly partisan messaging — something uncommon for the mayor. 

The email, sent from the email address support@cscaction.com, listed “Shaunna O’Connell” as the sender. 

In early June, an email went out, seemingly from Mayor Shaunna O'Connell, which contained some divisive, partisan messaging.

The body of the email was tame, and focused on the mayor’s proposed reform to the city’s charter. 

A fundraising message at the bottom was the first sign of inconsistency in the messaging. Above a “donate now” button which linked to a fundraising page for the mayor, read “Stop The Democrats From Destroying America. Donate $25 TODAY!” 

In early June, an email went out, seemingly from Mayor Shaunna O'Connell, which contained some divisive, partisan messaging.

But what really caught the eye of some of the recipients was the message that popped up when they tried to unsubscribe from the email list. 

The page contained a picture of and quote from founding father Thomas Paine, and seemed to be the unsubscribe page for a political marketing company called Common Sense Council. It then had four paragraphs that tried to persuade the email recipient not to unsubscribe. 

The second and most eye-catching paragraph read: 

“We know we send out a lot of emails. We do this to STOP THE DEMOCRATS from turning this country into a marxist-socialist hellscape.

In early June, an email went out, seemingly from Mayor Shaunna O'Connell, which contained some divisive, partisan messaging. The unsubscribe page was even more extreme.

In a private Facebook group, Tauntonians expressed their disapproval of the inflammatory messaging in the email and the unsubscribe message. 

“Local elections must remain non-partisan, this is sick and 100% false! Truly ashamed of whoever sent these emails!” wrote local Democrat Timothy Silvia Jr.  

“What in Marjorie Taylor Greene’s name is this?” wrote Taunton voter Mark Doherty. 

“This over-the-top, divisive rhetoric has no place in our community,” said local Democrat and City Councilor Barry Sanders on the matter. “Mayor O’Connell has preached unity and working together. I expect that she will explain how her name got associated with this, make clear that she condemns it, and take the necessary steps to ensure that her campaign isn’t associated with these negative elements in the future.” 



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