Nehlen campaign tactics called privacy invasion - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Nehlen campaign tactics called privacy invasion

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Paul Nehlen Paul Nehlen

DELAVAN (WKOW) - An Oshkosh man and critic of the congressional candidacy of Delavan's Paul Nehlen says the Nehlen campaign's posting of his phone number was a privacy invasion, and likely sparked threats against him.

Republican Nehlen is challenging 1st District congressman and House Speaker Paul Ryan for the chance to run in the November, general election.  This week, Nehlen posted the names and twitter handles for more than eighty people who had criticized him on Twitter, and identified seventy-four of the critics as Jewish, drawing criticism over alleged anti-Semitism. Nehlen's campaign also posted the phone numbers of those the candidate says left harassing or threatening voice mails with his campaign.

Dylan Devetter says he responded to Nehlen's tactic by posting a comment to the Nehlen campaign Facebook page, and leaving the campaign two voice mail messages.

Devetter says the contents of a portion of one of his voice mails was posted to the Nehlen campaign page, including scathing criticism using graphic language.

"I did not believe it would be made public,"  Devetter tells 27 News.

Devetter's phone number was also posted to the campaign page.

"It is unlinked to Facebook, not even attached to Facebook,"  Devetter says. 

"No one has my phone number, outside of the people who need it,"  Devetter says, who works in banking and finance, and says he's voted for both democrats and republicans.

Devetter says he started to receive prank, and then threatening calls, after his number was posted.

"(Calls) Telling me that in fact Hitler did nothing wrong, and that people were going to find me, and quote, unquote, find a way to silence me,"  Devetter tells 27 News.

"I feel extremely threatened,"  Devetter says.

Critical comments from others - with telephone numbers - are also posted on the campaign page.

In a statement, the Nehlen campaign defends the actions of releasing the names of the critics and their contact information. 

"Of their own free will, these people either picked up the phone, or sat down to the computer with the specific intent to communicate vulgar, abusive, sometimes threatening messages, as is quite clear from their content. It is entirely acceptable to publicly expose such wildly inappropriate behavior, and hold those individuals accountable for their hate. Freedom of speech is not a one-way street," according to the statement.

WKOW is still waiting to hear back from candidate Nehlen on why, in the Twitter post, critics were designated as Jewish or Non-Jewish.

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