State Rep. Anita Kulik's Carnegie office was chalked with the phrases, "Blue Lives Matter" and “Marxist” on Aug. 8. While the culprit hasn't been found, the action is believed to be politically motivated.
By Chadwick Dolgos
The sidewalk outside State Rep. Anita Kulik’s Carnegie office was defaced Aug. 9 with the chalked words “BLUE LIVES MATTER” and “MARXIST” along with arrows pointing directly to Kulik’s office.
Initially dismissed as a non-issue by Rep. Kulik, it quickly escalated into a political squabble when the representative’s husband Joseph Kulik took to social media to lay blame on a political opponent in the house of representative’s race for the state’s 45th District.
“I did not personally see it,” said Rep. Kulik, who had been attending the Coraopolis Back 2 School Bash that day with her husband. She was made aware of the incident from pictures shared with her by locals in the Carnegie area.
“It was a childish unfortunate thing, but it’s not a big deal. I’ve moved on,” she said.
Mr. Kulik, who serves as solicitor for Kennedy Township, shared a photograph of the handiwork on Facebook, stating “this is the level of idiocy of Anita’s opponent, puppet master, and his cronies.”
Referring to the text written in chalk, Mr. Kulik said these accusations misrepresent who his wife is as a person and as a candidate.
“She supports the police, she has always supported the police. The [Fraternal Order of Police] endorsed her,” Mr. Kulik said. “Anyone who knows Anita understands what she supports, who she is, and what she’s like.”
The representative’s opponent and Republican nominee for state representative in the 45th District, Danny DeVito, took offense to the attorney’s public accusation.
“We took offense to the post because he said that this is how idiotic Anita’s opponent is. For him to call me an idiot, for him to accuse me of something I had nothing to with, that’s ridiculous, and I think that people have a right to defend their reputation,” said DeVito.
In a public statement released Aug. 10, DeVito demanded an immediate apology from the Kulik campaign for the “false and baseless allegation.” He also called for the release of security footage from the representative’s office.
“I hope they do release the video footage, and I think it would be in their best interest to do so. If the Kulik's really believe that somebody on my side of the campaign was involved with it, I think that they should be pushing for the release of the videotapes as well,” DeVito explained.
DeVito said no one on his official campaign team was involved with the incident because the group had been together that Sunday when the chalk first appeared.
“I can state with 100% certainty that nobody from my campaign was involved with that,” he said.
DeVito submitted a right to know request to the State House of Representatives and to Kulik’s office seeking access to the tapes.
“Not just the tapes,” DeVito said, “We requested communications and emails dealing with the incident.”
He hopes to clear his name from any wrongdoing.
Rep. Kulik said she is not interested in pursuing further action at this point.
“I’ve moved on. I spent the day talking with constituents about the issues,” she said.
“It’s water under the bridge,” said Mr. Kulik. “God teaches us to turn the other cheek. Anita and I are Christians, and this is what we live by.”
If the video does not become available, DeVito said he believes Mr. Kulik owes him an apology or a public statement clearing his name of this incident.
“I think that if he can’t prove it, he needs to make a statement of apology, or even if he doesn’t want to apologize, a statement that there is no conclusive evidence that the DeVito campaign was involved with the sidewalk chalk incident.”
As of press time, no suspects have been identified in the chalking incident.