|Says Nick Forster about robo calls made calling him a deadbeat dad, "If I find out who is behind this, the law won't teach them, Nick Forster will teach them."
Last Thursday, a robocall was made to homes throughout Niagara County accusing Nicolas J. Forster, chairman of the Niagara County Democratic Party, of being a “deadbeat dad.”
A “robocall” is a phone call that uses an auto dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message to a programmed list of phone numbers. The Forster-targeted robocall did not identify who sponsored it.
Forster said he believes the call, made countywide to registered Democrats, was scripted, paid for and delivered by operatives of the Republican Party.
The 45-second recorded message accuses Forster of being a "deadbeat dad."
The message, spoken by a woman, says: "Everyone pays the cost of helping when deadbeat dads don t pay up. Democrat Chairman Nick Forster is one of these deadbeat dads. Forster has had several judgments against him because he failed to meet his obligations as a father. That is simply disgraceful.
"Forster also just had a tax lien filed against him for failure to pay his taxes.
"When freeloader Forster fails to pay his bills, the rest of us are forced to pay more. Is this the man you want running the Democrat Party, a deadbeat dad, a tax dodger?
"Email Nick Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org
and demand his resignation."
The Niagara Falls Reporter investigated these allegations, which, if true, run afoul of the platform of the Democratic Party, which supports the right of a mother to abort her unborn child that she does not want, without a father's consent, but once born, supports stiff, mandatory penalties for fathers who fail to pay child support for children they would have chosen to abort had they been given the chance.
Forster, who says he has been very involved in all of his children's lives as a loving, committed father, said he is the opposite of a deadbeat dad.
"I've always been there for my children and I always will be," Forster said." I normally would not want to air my personal life out in public but the nature of these lies gives me no alternative."
Forster is required to pay child support for his 18-year-old twins and his 22-month-old daughter.
With Forster's consent, the Niagara County Office of Child Support Enforcement released his Support Obligation Summary. It shows that, for the support of his twins, he is obligated to pay $206 every week.
As of March 20, 2014, Forster has paid a total of $152,511.58 in child support to Niagara County and is current. In fact he is $56.43 ahead.
In Trumbull County, where his 22-month-old daughter lives part of the week (three days a week she lives with Forster in Niagara Falls), he is also current. The Ohio Office of Jobs and Family Services, with Forster's consent, released a document that shows Forster pays $524.16 per month for his daughter, and, as of March 20, he was one month ahead on his payments.
All told, Forster pays $1,348 per month in child support.
Forster also said that his 18-year-old son, Nicolas, Jr., is a member of the Marine Corps and is an emancipated minor, which means Forster is no longer obligated to pay his son's child support.
"I continue to pay for my son even though I do not have to legally," Forster said. "I do that because my ex-wife, his mother, needs the assistance. It makes my daughter's home life better. That's what's important to me."
So who made the robocall about Forster?
Robocalls are employed by both political parties in Niagara County targeting specific demographics. According to Republican State Sen. George Maziarz, they can be effective.
When asked about the Forster robo call, Maziarz said he first learned about it when contacted by the Reporter.
Niagara County Republican Party Chairman Scott Keidrowski also said he had no knowledge of the robocall, and added he does not support "going that deep" into people's personal lives.
The Reporter questioned other Republicans, all of whom denied any involvement.
Forster said he is not surprised that the call was anonymous.
"Basically it was a cowardly lie. That’s why they did not identify themselves," Forster said. "They crossed the line with me. Whoever did it is a yellow-bellied liar. What kind of coward says things then won't own up to it?"
Attorney Peter Reese of Buffalo said this particular robocall, if Forster can identify who is behind it, may provide a cause for a case of defamation.
"The fact that it is a lie does not alone prove slander," Reese said. "You also have to show some kind of damages. Not only that but that they were reckless with the truth, that they knew, or should have known, it was untrue and disregarded the truth."
Reese added that in slander cases that allege criminality or immorality, damages do not always have to be proven.
"That might be the case here," Reese said.
Soon after making inquiries about the robocall, the Reporter received documents anonymously by email that shows Forster once had a child support judgment, dated Nov. 20, 2007, which showed he owed $12,686.10. It also showed he had paid this amount in full by Feb. 16, 2011.
From information obtained by the Reporter from Forster and his lawyer, Johnny Destino, Forster and his ex-wife filed for divorce in 2005 wherein she made a claim for child support, and, upon the granting of the order of divorce, the child support claim was made retroactive from the date of filing.
In short, following his divorce, Forster owed, by order of the court, not only his current payments but had to make up back payments from the date of his divorce to the date the divorce was first filed - some $12,686.10. He did and is now current.
Destino said that Forster always identifies his name or the PAC who is paying for it on all his robocall messages.
"Nick's not afraid to put his name on anything he puts out there," Destino said. "That's the difference."