by W.J. Kennedy, Will County Gazette
Dickson “Kwasi” Amoah Jr. never received a response from State Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joilet) or Secretary of State Jesse White over a robocall he received on Aug. 25 from White endorsing Manley over her challenger in the 98th District: DuPage Township Trustee Alyssia Benford.
“White accused Benford of lying about her record,” the Romeoville resident told the Will County Gazette. “I was upset about it, because I sat down with Benford about a month before. It was refreshing because she never bashed Manley. Just talked about where she stands on the issues. So I wanted some specifics about what Benford was lying about. I called. I emailed. They never got back to me.”
Amoah said that on Sept. 4, he saw Manley at a political event at Starbucks in Bolingbrook. He again asked for specifics behind the allegations in the robocall.
“Manley did not give me a straight answer,” he said. “She told me she didn’t want to get into it.”
Benford has fallen victim to a classic smear campaign orchestrated by the political machine in Springfield. In addition to the robocalls, fictional, near scandalous political mailers from Manley targeting Benford are coming out as well.
Last week, one mailer accused Benford of “opposing funding [for] thousands of rape kits needed to put rapists behind bars.”
“It’s a complete fabrication,” Benford said. “I never held an office where I was responsible for rape kit funding.”
“As a former victim of sexual assault, I am especially offended (by the mailers),” she continued. “One day my daughters asked me why I was so over protective of them when they were growing up. It was because of what I experienced as a child at the hands of family members and those that my mother trusted.”
Benford, a certified public accountant (CPA), is also enduring attacks for trying to clean up a fiscal mess in DuPage Township.
On Tuesday, the Edgar County Watchdogs published an accounting of the latest campaign to malign Benford as a candidate and CPA.
For his part, Amoah said that he’s fed up with Democratic Party leaders presuming African-American voters are a rubber stamp for the party.
“Before the 2016 elections I just voted Democratic,” he said. “But that election really opened my eyes. Now I’m a free agent. For me, now it’s more about the candidates and not the party. So when I heard that robocall about Benford I wanted to know specifics. I’m a voter. Tell me what’s going on. But no one ever did.”