Republican mayoral candidate Billy Ciancaglini says Northwood Civic Association President Joe Krause sent him inappropriate photographs and has been harassing him online for several months.
Krause, in response, says Ciancaglini is “full of sh–,” and he said he plans to file a defamation lawsuit against the South Philly lawyer. In his telling, Ciancaglini has been badgering him through instant messages and social media comments.
It’s a petty political drama that could only have happened in the last decade or so — with almost all interactions between the two men occurring on Facebook.
On Thursday, Ciancaglini, a longshot up against incumbent Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney, published a 550-word post on his Facebook page detailing his allegations against Krause, who has been on the Northwood Civic’s board for the last 11 years.
In the post, Ciancaglini told his 10,000-plus followers that Krause has been spreading misinformation about him for several months.
“It is simply because I have been harassed on a daily basis by Joseph Krause via his numerous fake Facebook pages, multiple accounts under his name commenting daily on multiple boards, and ‘inappropriate picture’ sent to me from him in the past (there is a slang term that rhymes for the type of pictures),” Ciancaglini wrote.
Readers could infer from the post that Krause allegedly sent photos of his penis, or “d— pics.” Ciancaglini, in an interview, did not elaborate on his somewhat vague Facebook description of the pictures.
“You can kind of guess what they were, and I deleted them instantly,” he said. “I don’t want to discuss that any more than what I wrote.”
Krause denied sending any photos, and he challenged Ciancaglini to produce the photos that were supposedly sent to him.
“I welcome him to post the pictures of me that I sent him or any of the messages I sent him harassing him because they do not exist,” he said. “If you saw me naked, I wouldn’t send anybody a nude picture of myself.”
In his post, Ciancaglini also brought up Krause’s criminal history. Krause served a couple of years in jail after pleading guilty in 2002 to aggravated assault, harassment and stalking in regard to an incident that occurred with his ex-wife in Bucks County.
“If he didn’t have the documented history of stalking and harassment and the court-ordered mental therapy for those two charges, I might feel one way,” Ciancaglini told the Northeast Times. “He has an obsession with me. I don’t know where it began, and I don’t know where it’s going to end.”
Krause acknowledged his incarceration, and he said everyone close to him knows about his past. He claims Ciancaglini posted about his record in comments under pictures of Krause’s 10-year-old daughter.
Ciancaglini said he’s concerned that Krause is mentally ill, and he questioned whether he is fit to raise his child.
“As a candidate, I’m concerned that this man is the president of a community organization,” he wrote on Facebook. “As a human being, I’m mortified that this man appears to be a single father of a young child.”
“My daughter lives a great life, man, better than any of them dope bags,” Krause said, referring to Ciancaglini and his most ardent backers.
What’s even stranger is that this feud, which has been boiling on Facebook messenger for at least a month, appears to have begun after Krause expressed interest in supporting Ciancaglini in his quest to become mayor.
Krause, a Kenney critic, said he first reached out to Ciancaglini on Christmas Day 2018 to let him know he wanted some campaign lawn signs.
Fast-forward several months: In July, Krause said he invited Ciancaglini to Northwood’s first-ever food truck festival, which was held on Aug. 17. Not long after, Krause said he started a Facebook page to support Ciancaglini, and apparently that’s where the trouble began.
Ciancaglini wasn’t happy about the page and believes some people may have thought it was his official campaign Facebook site. He said Krause used his name and photos without asking permission.
“This guy seemed unbalanced to me from the beginning, so I don’t want him running a page for me, especially without telling me,” Ciancaglini said.
Krause said he was simply creating a platform for Ciancaglini supporters, not seeking to impersonate Ciancaglini.
Ciancaglini said he and his supporters contacted Krause and told him to take the page down. Krause did — he said the page was up for only about 30 minutes — but shortly thereafter created another called “Childish Ciancaglini – The Joke Candidate,” which, as the name implies, wasn’t so friendly to the South Philly Republican.
“He’s a poor candidate. He’s got a bad attitude,” Krause said. “Anybody that listens to him has no sense in their head. He’s a little man with an ego issue.”
Ciancaglini says Krause turned on him and began to badmouth him when he asked Krause to take down the initial Facebook page. Krause, meanwhile, says Ciancaglini began pestering him multiple times a day after that original page was founded.
The truth may come out in the courtroom. Krause said he met with attorneys on Monday and is preparing to sue Ciancaglini. ••