This post has been updated to reflect inaccuracies on the anti-Berger website and Berger’s response.
A website that appeared Sunday aims to portray Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger and his record as a Halloween scare.
Bergieman.com has the headline “Don’t let The Bergieman get you” and features a cartoon likeness of Berger standing in a cemetery in front of a haunted-looking legislative building.
The website doesn’t include any information disclosing what group is behind the campaign. The site targets “his candidates,” referring to fellow Republican state senators up for election this year.
“Joking aside, Phil Berger and N.C. Senate Republicans are making North Carolina a scary place,” the site says, pointing to tax changes and efforts to defend the state’s ban on gay marriages.
The site also promises to post a daily quote from Berger. On Monday, it features a comment from July 2013 when it says onlookers in the gallery were asked to remain silent because “the senators on the floor are the only voices that matter.” The statement was attributed to Berger in several social media posts from pro-choice groups.
Berger, however, wasn’t presiding during the session when the Senate debated abortion restrictions. That was Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who repeatedly asked for silence in the gallery. “The senators on the floor are your voice on all matters,” Forest says in a video of the session.
“The phantom webmasters running this site clearly have the Halloween spirit, since they’re trying to trick the public using made-up quotes and mischaracterizations,” said Shelly Carver, a spokeswoman for Berger. “But no amount of scare tactics can make lower unemployment, tax relief for all North Carolinians, better-funded schools and higher-paid teachers look frightening.”