On Monday, the online hacking group Anonymous began to release the names of 1,000 people and elected officials who are allegedly members of the Ku Klux Klan — but already several mayors have denied the accusations.
Both Democrats and Republicans were among those the group accused of being members of the controversial KKK.
Mayor Madeline Rogero (D) of Knoxville, Tennessee, matter-of-factly denied the claim that she was involved with the group in a lengthy Facebook post Monday afternoon and demanded a retraction of "irresponsible and slanderous" Anonymous posting.
"Given my background, my interracial family, my public record and my personal beliefs, this would be hilarious except that it is probably being seen by a lot of people who have no idea who I am," Rogero wrote on her public Facebook page.
"I began my political career working for the rights of farm workers with Cesar Chavez. I have spent decades working for causes of social justice and equality. As Mayor, I have pushed for diversity in our workforce and outreach to and inclusion of people of all backgrounds in our community," she continued. "In concert with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program, I began the Save Our Sons initiative to increase opportunities and reduce violence-related deaths among boys and young men of color. I have advocated publicly for LGBT civil rights, and I was the only mayor in Tennessee to sign onto the mayors’ amicus brief for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case. In short, I don’t think the KKK would want anything to do with me."
Democratic Mayor Paul Fraim of Norfolk, Virginia, also denied the claims in a Facebook post and unequivocally called the accusations "a hoax and absolutely false."
Mayor Jim Gray (D) of Lexington, Kentucky, denied the accusation that he was a member of the KKK in a series of tweets Monday morning.
This allegation from the group Anonymous is false, insulting and ridiculous. I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK.— Mayor Jim Gray (@JimGrayLexKY) November 2, 2015
I am opposed to everything the KKK stands for. I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong.— Mayor Jim Gray (@JimGrayLexKY) November 2, 2015
WKMG-TV reporter Erik Sandoval said on Twitter that Ocala, Florida, Mayor Kent Guinn (R) also denied the charges by Anonymous and said the police are investigating.
The group also accused North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R), Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R), Georgia Sen. John Isakson (R) and Indiana Sen. Dan Coats (R) of being members of the KKK.
Coats denied the allegations on Monday in his own series of tweets.
For those who are asking - I have never had any affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan and deplore all forms of racial discrimination— Senator Dan Coats (@SenDanCoats) November 2, 2015
This is baseless Internet garbage of the worst kind— Senator Dan Coats (@SenDanCoats) November 2, 2015
In a press release from a group claiming to be associated with Anonymous, the group said they do not plan to "oppress" or strip away any constitutional rights from the KKK; instead, the press release said the hacking group simply plans, somewhat ironically, to strip the group of their anonymity.
The press release also announced that the "hacktivist" group plans to kick off a social media campaign against the KKK on Nov. 4 called "Hoods Off."
According to Raw Story, Twitter user Amped Attacks has taken credit for the list of supposed KKK members. The user said it took nine days to gather all of the information.
"I got the information from several KKK websites when I [hacked] them and was able to dump their database," Amped Attacks told Tech Crunch. "I went through many emails that was signed up with these sites and a few of the emails that sparked my interest was the ones of the politicians in question there would be no reason for them to be signed up on any KKK website unless they supported it or was involved in it."
(H/T: Raw Story)