All five mayors accused of being associated with the Ku Klux Klan by hacktivists affiliated with “Anonymous” have taken to social media to deny the charges.
“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,” Lexington, Kentucky Mayor Jim Gray wrote on Twitter.
On Monday morning, Anonymous began to release the names of 1,000 people who the group accuses of being members of the KKK.
Other officials named in the document dump have begun to deny the charges including Mayor Paul Fraim, the Democratic mayor of Norfolk, Virginia.
“People have been spreading a report from the Internet that I am involved with the KKK. This report is a hoax and is absolutely false,” Fraim said on Facebook.
Mayor Madeline Rogero (D) of Knoxville, Tennessee also denied the allegations.
“I’m not even sure this is worth responding to, but for the record: There is a list circulating online purporting to “out” elected officials as members of the KKK. For reasons unfathomable to me or anyone who knows me, my name is on the list. 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 Facebook.
Ocala, Florida Mayor Kent Guinn (R) told WKMG-TV reporter Erik Sandoval he wasn’t a KKK member.
Fort Wayne, Indiana Mayor Tom Henry denied the accusations as well.
“Claims that I have ties to the KKK are totally false and irresponsible,” Henry wrote on Twitter. “Our City celebrates and appreciates diversity and acceptance. Racism has no place in our society and my life.”
Anonymous posted the names in a Pastebin account on Monday. Other politicians named by the group include Georgia Sen. Johnny Isaacson (R) and North Carolina’s Sen. Thom Tillis, a Tea Party Republican.
Twitter user Amped Attacks, who began attacking racist websites last month, took credit for posting the list, claiming he created it after hacking KKK websites.
“I worked for nine days to gather and verify all the information that was gathered before its release,” Amped Attacks told TechCrunch. “I got the information from several KKK websites when I [hacked] them and was able to dump their database. 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.”