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The Michigan chapter of the Anti-Defamation League is accusing a Birmingham, Michigan politician of sending an email containing anti-Semitic tropes, the Detroit Jewish News reported.

In a message emailed to Birmingham residents before the November 2 election, Commissioner Clinton Baller accused another city commissioner, Brad Host, of being a “marionette of the cabal.” According to David Bloom, who ran for the Birmingham Commission, it also singled out Jewish families, claiming they influenced the election with their political donations.

“He said that two families pumped this money into my campaign and into Andrew Haig’s campaign,” Bloom told the Jewish News. “He said that they were buying the ponies and we were going to be doing their bidding.”

Bloom added: “He suggested that perhaps these families were donating to the political action committee that was backing us as well.”

The ADL filed a complaint with Birmingham officials, demanding that Baller issue an apology and retraction for the email. The ADL's concerns have been forwarded to the city’s board of ethics for review.

In a follow-up email, Baller responded to the controversy, stating he does not have “an anti-Semitic bone in his body.” He added that his father and ex-wife were both Jewish. He also accused his opponents of staging a political campaign against him.

“The ADL letter is born out of a politically motivated desire to continue the pre-election deceptions, misinformation and fear-mongering of a political faction clawing for traction and relevance,” Baller wrote in the email.

However, Bloom and the Michigan ADL do not agree, and are standing firm in their assertion that Baller’s original email contained phrases offensive to the Jewish community.

“Using expressions like ‘willing marionette’ and ‘this cabal,’ as well as calling out members of the Jewish community accusing them of using wealth and ‘buying the ponies,’ are common anti-Jewish themes that promote hatred of the Jewish community,” said the regional director of the Michigan ADL Carolyn Normandin in her letter of complaint to city officials.

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