Dante Atkins, WeHo City Council Campaign Manager, Spotted Texting Answers to Candidate Lindsey Horvath During Debate

Updated after the jump: Mito Aviles, another candidate, says he noticed the same damn thing.

This makes yesterday's LA Weekly cover, on which two West Hollywood City Council incumbents hang from puppet strings, so much more perfect.

We didn't see it with our own eyes, and can't ask the man in question because he refuses to speak to us, but one West Hollywood community member claims appointed City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath was being fed her answers by campaign manager Dante Atkins at the final election forum on Wednesday night.

Here's what commenter Joey Spanollie observed:

I went to the forum this evening, sat in the back....and guess what I saw.....Dante Atkins and his brother (i think, based off the shape of their noses) [Ed note: LOL] send Lindsey Horvath messages on her phone all night that she was reading and turning into her answers. Its so unethical and obvious. I was sitting right next to him. Every time he would send you could see her look at her phone and start wiring down her next answers. He is one crooked mother fucker....but so is she, she's a puppet! and Land and Heilman, you should have heard the crowd! They want CHANGE!

Atkins actually serves as campaign manager for all three incumbents: Horvath, John Heilman and Abbe Land. Just another insight into their stick-together, now-and-forever dictatorship mentality. But Horvath is the youngest and least experienced, having only been accepted into the city family in spring 2009 -- at which time the City Council avoided holding an actual election and just decided to choose their favorite instead -- so she must still need a little extra help. (Again, we hope you're getting the puppet imagery here...)

"I'm sorry, I'm not interviewing with you," Atkins said when we finally got a hold of him today, then hung up.

Didn't want to make this personal, but Atkins was Tweeting about a certain @simone_electra all yesterday, during the same time period we were trying to get him on the phone. Via @DanteAtkins:

Dante Atkins, WeHo City Council Campaign Manager, Spotted Texting Answers to Candidate Lindsey Horvath During Debate

In case you missed the shitstorm, here's what he's mad about: "Lara Logan, CBS Reporter and Warzone 'It Girl,' Raped Repeatedly Amid Egypt Celebration." And he's certainly not the only one who's pissed (though we're not sure where he got the whole "laughing" thing).

But the fact that he's letting that get in the way of his job as campaign spokesman for three major candidates in a city election that will affect 40,000 WeHo residents and the surrounding L.A. community is a disservice to us all.

Whether or not he was texting a candidate during a debate (which would be way pathetic, for obvious reasons), Atkins is now joining Horvath, Heilman and Land in the "no comment" camp behind drawn curtains when it comes to the LA Weekly -- one of the only major publications with an eye on WeHo politics.

And that, friends of West Hollywood, is wack.

Update: Now, this is coming from someone with an interest in Horvath's council seat, so take it with a grain of salt, but Mito Aviles -- the scissor-wielding star of the Weekly's WeHo puppet cover -- says he sat next to Horvath at the forum, and that she was glued to her phone through at least the first portion of the debate.

He says that as soon as they sat down, she pulled out her phone and started taking notes off it.

"I was so focused as to what I was doing that I actually didn't look to see again," he says. But when he mentioned it to his campaign advisor at intermission, he says his advisor told him:

"That's weird, because I also saw Dante feverishly texting during the debate."

Wonder who could have needed a text so feverishly at that particular moment? Eh. Probably just his mom or whatever.

Originally posted at 12:05 p.m.


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