Officers’ Emotional Testimony Highlighted First Day of Committee Hearings

TRENTON, NJ — After gripping, emotional testimony at the first day of committee hearings on the January 6th insurrection from members of the U.S. Capitol and the D.C. police, NJDSC Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., is calling on Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and other Republicans who helped incite the insurrection to apologize to the officers whose lives were impacted by their embrace of extreme right-wing conspiracies. As the father of a law enforcement officer, Chairman Jones reiterated that Republicans like Assemblyman Ciattarelli had a direct role in causing the Capitol insurrection by spreading misinformation and headlining a “Stop the Steal” rally. Assemblyman Ciattarelli has also refused to disavow the candidacy of Ed Durfee in Bergen County. Durfee is a member of the right-wing militia “The Oath Keepers,” and was present at the January 6 insurrection.

Chairman Jones released the following statement:

“The men and women of law enforcement leave their homes every day knowing that they may face extreme danger in the line of duty, but they could never have imagined their lives being threatened by the actions of President Trump and reckless Republican politicians putting their radical agenda ahead of the officers’ safety. You can draw a straight line from actions that Republicans like Assemblyman Ciattarelli took in spreading Donald Trump’s lies to the disgusting riot that took place at the Capitol that shook our nation to its core and resulted in the death of one officer and numerous other injuries, both physical and mental. Republicans claim to support law enforcement, but their party’s total refusal to take accountability for their actions and their embrace of dangerous, far-right conspiracies makes that rhetoric ring absolutely hollow. Assemblyman Ciattarelli should stand up and apologize to all of the members of the Capitol Police, to the family of Officer Sicknick, and to everyone else who was scarred by that harrowing day. Anything less is a disqualifying refusal of his duty as a public figure and a supposed leader.”

GOP Candidate’s Embrace of Extreme Right-Wing Fringe Continues

TRENTON, NJ — Another day, another instance of Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli pandering to the most extreme right-wing fringes of his base. The Republican gubernatorial candidate told an anti-vaccine group that he supports adding a so-called “Philosophical Exemption” to childhood vaccine mandates for diseases like measles and the mumps, according to a story in POLITICO. This dangerous, anti-science proposal could lead to lower vaccine rates among New Jersey children, putting the health of all New Jerseyans in jeopardy. It’s just the latest example of Assemblyman Ciattarelli playing to the most extreme right-wing elements of the Republican Party, just like he did by praising Donald Trump, begging for “Wiggle Room” to lie about his record and attacking the LGBTQ community

“Jack Ciattarelli never misses an opportunity to appeal to the most extreme fringes of his right-wing base, and now his latest idea is to cave into the anti-vaccine movement by drastically weakening school districts’ ability to ensure that children are vaccinated,” said NJDSC spokesman Phil Swibinski. “This would open the floodgates for more anti-science disinformation and make all our kids less safe, potentially even allowing dangerous diseases like measles and the mumps to re-emerge here as they have in other states with large anti-vax contingencies. At a time when we need our leaders to promote science and truth more than ever, Jack Ciattarelli makes it more clear every time he opens his mouth that he is absolutely unqualified to be Governor.”

Democrat,

Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli hit another major bump in the road this week when a new video was published featuring him asking Republican voters for “wiggle room” on the far right policies he has adopted on everything from women’s reproductive rights to the minimum wage to voting rights. Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s comments are another clear sign that he’s willing to say anything to get elected, as well as the latest case of his campaign blundering its way through the Summer. 

Read our full statement on Ciattarelli’s comments here.

GOV. MURPHY UPDATE

While the state’s continued response to COVID-19 and the effort to get more residents vaccinated is taking center stage, that doesn’t mean that Governor Murphy and his team are ignoring other critical issues. This week the Governor signed a package of bills that will make New Jersey the national leader in protecting children and all residents from lead poisoning. The legislation includes funds for mandatory inspections of lead paint in apartments, replacement of lead service lines at residential homes and much more. 

Read more about these landmark new laws here. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN UPDATE

This week marked six months since President Biden took office, and during that time he has put our country back on the right track. Millions of Americans have been vaccinated to protect them from COVID-19, businesses are opening back up with federal support, families are receiving direct cash assistance from the Child Tax Credit at a level that has not been seen before and our country’s future is bright. Thank you President Biden! 

— Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr.

GOP Candidate’s Recorded Comments are Latest Blunder for Struggling Campaign

TRENTON, NJ — In a newly released video recording first published by POLITICO, Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is caught on tape exposing his dishonest attempt to mislead voters by hiding his embrace of far-right extremists. Speaking at a campaign event in deep red Hunterdon County, Assemblyman Ciattarelli explained to the assembled crowd of Republicans that “ … you guys got to give me a little wiggle room.” Ciattarelli asked his base for permission to lie to mainstream voters and hide the extremist positions he has adopted on everything from spreading lies about the 2020 election at a Stop the Steal rally with white supremacists, to rolling back common sense gun safety measures, to attacking women’s reproductive rights, to wanting to make it harder for communities of color to vote.

“Assemblyman Ciattarelli told us who he was loud and clear when he spoke at a Stop the Steal rally, defended Donald Trump’s disastrous record, and embraced policies that would take our state right back to the Chris Christie era — there is no amount of ‘wiggle room’ that will hide the fact that he’s a right-wing, partisan Republican. Let’s be clear, when Jack Ciattarelli says ‘wiggle room’ he means lie and mislead,” said NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda. “While Assemblyman Ciattarelli has to lie and hide his true nature to appeal to mainstream voters, Governor Murphy is exactly who he always said he would be: a pro-growth progressive leader who means what he says and delivers on his promises, from raising the minimum wage to instituting the millionaire’s tax to delivering middle-class property tax relief to making New Jersey stronger and fairer for everyone.” 

GOP Candidate Postponed LG Announcement, Now Scrambling in the Face of Thursday Deadline?

TRENTON, NJ — With his campaign mired in scandal due to his bigoted, anti-LGBTQ views being exposed, Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is facing another hurdle — the state’s mandatory deadline to name a Lieutenant Governor candidate is rapidly approaching, and so far it looks like Jack is coming up empty. 

Assemblyman Ciattarelli postponed his LG candidate announcement, originally set prior to June 30th, leading many to question whether he’s having a difficult time finding a compelling candidate to join his ticket. After all, the longtime Trenton insider is facing a massive name ID deficit, a one million-plus voter registration disadvantage, the looming spectres of Donald Trump and Chris Christie, and a matchup against a popular, accomplished incumbent team in Governor Phil Murphy and Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. Is it any wonder that Assemblyman Ciattarelli is having a hard time finding a running mate? 

“The Ciattarelli for Governor campaign is sinking under the weight of the candidate’s embrace of Donald Trump and the MAGA movement, throwing away any semblance of a moderate reputation and doubling down on the extremist base of the Republican Party,” said NJDSC Spokesman Phil Swibinski. “If you were an ambitious, up-and-coming Republican politician who wanted a future in New Jersey, would you want any part of that? The answer is no, which is why Assemblyman Ciattarellli’s team is scrambling to fill out its ticket and waiting until the 23rd hour to meet this obligation. If he can’t even handle picking a running mate, how can we count on Assemblyman Ciattarelli to manage our state?” 

Haley Appearance is the Latest Example of Jack Ciattarelli’s Allegiance to Donald Trump and the Far-Right

TRENTON, NJ — Jack Ciattarelli is once again proving how out of step he is with the voters of New Jersey by campaigning this Sunday with former Trump official Nikki Haley. Ciattarelli’s embrace of far-right policies and campaign surrogates further demonstrate that his claims of being a moderate are unequivocally false and that he is just another radical Republican. 

“If supporters like Nikki Haley are any indication of what Jack Ciattarelli would be like as Governor, there is a greater urgency now than ever to ensure that never happens,” said NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda. “Ciattarelli chose to align himself with the far-right and Trump loyalists from the onset of his campaign when he attended a ‘Stop The Steal’ rally and he has refused to distance himself from the extremist elements of his party that Trump loyalists like Nikki Haley exemplify. New Jersey voters have already rejected these far right politics and we will not go back.”

As Governor, Nikki Haley relentlessly put big corporations and polluters first, starved funding for public schools and restricted access to women’s health care. Haley is virulently anti-labor, once saying: “I’m not going to stop beating up on the unions.” Appointed by Donald Trump to be his UN Ambassador, Haley continued to serve the former President after he called neo-Nazi protestors in Charlottesville “fine people” in 2017. Even after the former President incited a deadly insurrection on our nation’s Capitol on January 6, Haley stated that she would still support Donald Trump should he run for President in 2024. 

Haley joins a growing list of Trump friends and confidants who have endorsed Assemblyman Ciattarelli, including turncoat Congressman Jeff Van Drew who has now pledged his undying support not just to Trump, but to Ciattarelli as well. 

GOP Candidate Tweets in Support of Police Pensions, Quickly Backtracks

TRENTON, NJ — While desperately pushing a false narrative about public safety, Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli can’t seem to keep his story straight on pension payments for the very same first responders he claims to support, as well as other public servants like teachers, public health workers and more. In a hastily deleted tweet, Assemblyman Ciattarelli said he would “Protect police and fire pensions” — directly contradicting his lengthy record of shorting the state pension system, includingcalling for the state to skip this year’s pension payment and supporting Chris Christie’s budgets that shortchanged billions of dollars from the system and jeopardized the livelihoods of middle-class families.

“New Jersey’s public pension system is the only thing standing between thousands of middle-class families and financial ruin, and if the state had followed Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s horrific advice and skipped this year’s pension payment, police officers, firefighters, teachers, public health workers and others would be on the brink of seeing their retirement disappear,” said NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda. “Assemblyman Ciattarelli clearly can’t be trusted to manage the pension system — he can’t even manage his own Twitter account. Meanwhile, Governor Murphy just made the largest pension contribution in state history and has made tremendous strides in cleaning up the mess left by Christie and enablers like Jack Ciattarelli, whose record of betraying the public servants we rely on every day is another reason why he will never be Governor.” 

Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s hypocrisy on pensions goes even further — while he continues trying to cut others’ pensions, he’s benefiting from the pension system himself. Ciattarelli participates in the New Jersey Defined Contribution Pension program due to his long tenure as a career politician.  

Van Drew was the only member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation to vote no

TRENTON, NJ — On Thursday, July 1, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a bipartisan infrastructure package that would allocate millions of dollars to New Jersey roads, bridges and transit infrastructure. Every member of the New Jersey congressional delegation voted in favor of the bill except for Congressman Jeff Van Drew. NJDSC Chairman LeRoy Jones is releasing the following statement on Van Drew’s decision to vote against this critical bill: 

“Today, the US House of Representatives did their job and passed a bipartisan bill that is desperately needed in order to address our nation’s faltering infrastructure. Jeff Van Drew was the only member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation who voted against a bill that would result in millions of federal dollars coming into our state and going towards roads, bridges, drinking water, public transportation and more. Congressman Van Drew once again has chosen to put partisan politics ahead of the needs of his own constituents. South Jersey deserves a representative who will fight for them and Jeff Van Drew has proven time and again that he will never do that.”

Chairman Hails Inclusion of Expanded Free Public College, Middle Class Tax Relief and Historic Pension Payment as Major Wins for NJ

TRENTON, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially signed into law the state’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget today after it was passed last week in both the State Senate and General Assembly, including numerous investments in New Jersey’s working families that will make a major difference in their quality of life. NJDSC Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. is releasing the following statement on the budget: 

“I applaud Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin and all Democrats in our state legislature for adopting this historic budget that will make critical investments in working families throughout our state. 

From expanding the Garden State Guarantee program to offer four years of tuition free college to eligible students for the first time, to providing more direct property tax relief to the middle class than we have seen in decades, to making a massive $6.9 billion payment to strengthen the pension system that so many working families in our state rely on for financial and retirement security and so much more, this is a budget that funds many of our greatest needs and it will have a significant, positive impact on New Jerseyans for years to come. 

At this critical moment in time when our state is still addressing the pandemic and beginning our recovery, these investments will undoubtedly support the residents who have been on the front lines of COVID-19 working hard to keep our state afloat. It means more funding for our public schools to ensure that they can safely, fully reopen in September; more support for small businesses that desperately need it so they can expand their workforce and create more opportunities; more assistance for hardworking middle-class taxpayers with a new $500 rebate program and expansion of the Homestead Rebate program; and much-needed relief for lower income residents still struggling with an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, additional funding for anti-hunger efforts and much more. 

This is a state budget we can be immensely proud of and I once again thank Governor Murphy and our Democratic legislators for taking the immense challenges we face head on and delivering for the people of New Jersey.”

Republican Nominee Supported Christie-era Cuts to Women’s Health Care Funding, Would Veto Reproductive Freedom Act 

TRENTON, NJ — In the wake of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey’s endorsement of Governor Phil Murphy, it has never been more clear how damaging Republican gubernatorial nominee Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli would be for the cause of women’s reproductive freedom. Ciattarelli’s regressive views and harmful policies would instantly take New Jersey back to the Christie era, when painful cuts were made to women’s health care services in the name of extreme conservative politics. This would come at an incredibly precarious time, with the U.S. Supreme Court soon hearing a challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that could threaten reproductive rights nationwide.

“While Governor Murphy has been an ally and a champion for women’s reproductive rights, Jack Ciattarelli would be a disaster who would immediately drag our state backward into a dark era when women didn’t have safe, affordable access to health care,” said NJDSC Vice Chair Peg Schaffer. “From supporting Chris Christie’s cruel cuts to women’s health care funding to pledging to veto laws that would protect and expand reproductive freedom, Jack Ciattarelli would set women back years — that’s why we will rally behind Governor Murphy and re-elect him this November.”  

Some of Assemblyman Ciattatarelli’s attacks on women’s reproductive rights include: 

  • Boasted about plans to impose Christie-era funding cuts to women’s health care and family planning services [NJ Spotlight, 5/19/17];
  • Vowed to sign a 20-week abortion ban [Ciattarelli for Governor – Press Release, 5/18/21];
  • Pledged to veto legislation that codifies reproductive freedom as a matter of state law [Ciattarelli for Governor – Press Release, 5/18/21]; 
  • Said Donald Trump’s “greatest legacy was the appointment of all the conservative judges to the federal bench, including the Supreme Court” [Virtual Town Hall, 5/18/21]; and
  • Supports parental notification law deemed unconstitutional by the New Jersey Supreme Court [Ciattarelli for Governor – Jack’s Plan: Rights & Freedoms, 5/19/21].