Yungman Lee Supporters Demand an Apology 

Yungman Lee and his supporters rallied in front of City Hall to condemn Brad Lander’s remarks and demand an apology. (Photo by Mike Hong via World Journal)

Yungman Lee and his supporters rallied in front of City Hall to condemn Brad Lander’s remarks and demand an apology (Photo by Mike Hong via World Journal)

With the June 28 Congressional primaries approaching, the battle between two rivals in District 7 is escalating. A few dozen supporters of Yungman Lee, who is running for Congress against the veteran incumbent Nydia Velazquez, rallied at City Hall on June 6 to demand an apology from City Council member Brad Lander. Lander, a Velazquez supporter, ignited fury among the Lee supporters when he said at a recent press conference that the campaign was being supported by “dark money.” 

At the rally, the Lee supporters called Lander “shameless” and asked him to apologize. But Lander refused to apologize in an interview afterward, claiming his words were not against any individual but the influence of “dark money” that enabled the lies attacking Velazquez.

Lander made the inflammatory comment last week at a campaign event for Velazquez. He claimed the mailings sent by Lee’s supporters were “fueled by scumbags … small-minded, nasty, and funded by dark money.”

The words outraged Lee’s supporters. Those who gathered at City Hall June 6 were from various communities including Chinese, South Asian, Latino, African American and white. They held up signs that said “Lander apologize” “No room for hate” and “shame on Lander.”

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Xiaolian Fei, president of the Brooklyn Community Improvement Association, said with visible emotion that Lander’s words not only insulted Lee’s supporters but also the entire community. “So I support Yungman Lee. Am I now a scumbag?” Fei asked bitterly. Susan Wenyi Guan, chief of staff for State Assembly member William Colton, who has endorsed Lee, attended the rally. She said Lander’s comment didn’t match his standing as an elected official.

But Lander insisted that he was not talking about individuals in that comment but the limited liability companies, shell companies and other special interest entities that had been spreading rumors about Velazquez with the help of dark money. So he won’t apologize.  

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