NJDSC Calls Out GOP Candidate for Accepting Support from White Nationalist Fox News Host

NEWARK, NJ — When Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli appeared on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show earlier this week, the host was effusive in his praise for the GOP candidate. Carlson said in part, “I don’t even know everything you stand for. I know you’re not this guy, Murphy. He’s really loathsome, just the worst. So Godspeed. We are rooting for you.”

Now just days later, Carlson is moving on from promoting his new best friend Jack with a sinister suggestion that the U.S. Capitol Insurrection on January 6th was a “False Flag” operation, as seen in the trailer for an upcoming special on the disgraceful attack on Washington D.C. by Carlson’s white nationalist followers. 

“Tucker Carlson is one of the most notorious extremists in right-wing media and now he’s setting his sights on spreading reprehensible levels of disinformation about the attack on the U.S. Capitol by white nationalists, Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and other far-right Trump supporters,” said NJDSC Spokesman Phil Swibinski. “It’s no surprise that after fanning the flames of the insurrection by attending a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in NJ, Ciattarelli is begging for Tucker’s support. Jack Ciattarelli should be ashamed to receive the backing of a toxic figure like Carlson and he should join us in forcefully rejecting this kind of extremism and blatant lies about one of the darkest days in American history. Anything less from Ciattarelli is more proof that he supports the far-right’s assault on our democracy and our values.” 

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GOP Candidate Claims State’s Inclusive Curriculum Causing Children to “Question Their Sexuality”

NEWARK, NJ — Extreme Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli drew headlines earlier this year when he attacked the state’s LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, deliberately invoking the word “sodomy” and mischaracterizing the program. Now less than a week before Election Day, Ciattarelli is once again playing to the extreme fringe of the Republican Party by baselessly claiming that the new curriculum is causing children to question their own sexuality. 

Speaking at a forum last week, Ciattarelli said: 

(21:43) JC: “Thank you all the same. But again, this is the heartbreaking element to the story that Rosie tells. I will tell you as I’ve gone around the state, there have been a number of times because of the public school curriculum changes that we’re discussing here today that I will look to repeal, is I’ve heard parents, particularly mothers, say that a young child came home questioning their sexuality, questioning their gender. If that’s the consequence of what’s being taught, that should tell us there’s something terribly wrong with this curriculum. It is too young an age to comprehend this kind of subject matter.”

“Just as he has this entire campaign since he embraced Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election, Jack Ciattarelli is again siding with extremists and making it clear that he has no business being elected in one of the most diverse and inclusive states in the country,” said NJDSC LGBTQ Caucus Chair Lauren Albrecht. “Ciattarelli’s latest anti-LGBTQ comments are right out of the 1950s and reflect a total ignorance of the lived experiences of people in the LGBTQ+community. Again and again, Jack Ciattarelli shows how wrong he is for New Jersey, and why it’s so important for everyone who rejects his brand of bigotry and extremism to re-elect Governor Murphy.” 

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“I’ve already voted… but not for you” 

TRENTON, NJ — While desperately searching for votes this week at a Gloucester County diner, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli must have thought he had a sure thing when he approached a booth occupied by an older gentleman and asked him if he had voted yet. The exchange, which was captured by NJ Spotlight News, didn’t go exactly as Ciattarelli planned: 

VOTER: “Well, I’ve already voted, so…” 

CIATTARELLI: “Good! Thank you! [fist pump]!

VOTER: “But not for you….” 

“Jack Ciattarelli can go from diner to diner all he wants begging for votes, but he’s going to find the same thing everywhere he looks — a clear majority of New Jerseyans rejecting his extremism and voting to re-elect Governor Murphy,” said NJDSC Spokesman Phil Swibinski. “Maybe Jack should try hanging out at Trump rallies instead where he can find some more like-minded supporters.” 

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M4G Campaign Manager, NJDSC Executive Director Release Joint Statement Denouncing Physical Intimidation of Women

NEWARK, NJ — On Monday, two Latina staff members associated with the Murphy for Governor campaign and the New Jersey Democratic State Committee’s Forward 2021 coordinated campaign were lured into a parking garage, ambushed, and harassed by a team of six far-right extremists, including disinformation specialist James O’Keefe. 

After receiving a phone call from O’Keefe operatives who said that one of the women’s cars had been hit while parked in the campaign headquarters’ garage, the staffers were accosted by a group of men. The O’Keefe operatives proceeded to swarm the two women, corner them between parked cars, and chase them as they attempted to protect themselves by walking towards building security.  

This kind of physical intimidation and blatant harassment of women should never be allowed. Murphy for Governor Campaign Manager Mollie Binotto and NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda are releasing the following joint statement in response: 

“It is absolutely outrageous for the safety of our team to be compromised by luring women into a dark parking garage and ambushing them, causing serious distress and trauma at a time when people working on all campaigns should be allowed to do their jobs without fearing for their safety. This is criminal harassment, plain and simple. We are calling on Jack Ciattarelli to immediately disavow the conduct of these far-right extremists and join us in denouncing James O’Keefe.”  

Project Veritas is a “prominent right-wing propaganda manufacturer” known for using secret recordings and spliced video to “entrap” organizations and political campaigns, creating “elite disinformation campaign[s].” Just this month, a federal judge ruled O’Keefe’s schemes could be described as “political spying.”

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In Shocking Revelation, GOP Candidate Tells Star-Ledger He Would Roll Back Gov. Murphy’s Millionaire’s Tax

TRENTON, NJ — In a shocking new pronouncement that shows how out-of-touch he is with the people of New Jersey, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli told the Star-Ledger that if elected he would “cut the income tax rate on the state’s wealthiest residents by 30%, essentially rolling back Governor Murphy’s millionaires tax.” 

“Now we know for sure whose side Jack Ciattarelli is on — millionaires and not the middle class. Ciattarelli’s Trump-style giveaway to the rich would come at the expense of working families with income below $1 million per year, and it is unconscionable that at a time when so many people are struggling during the pandemic Ciattarelli’s focus is on taking money away from the middle class and giving it the wealthy,” said NJDSC Spokesman Phil Swibinski. “The revenue generated by Governor Murphy’s millionaire’s tax goes exclusively to tax relief for the middle class and working families, but they can say goodbye to that much-needed support if Jack Ciattarelli is elected. It’s more clear now than ever that Governor Murphy is the only candidate in this race who will invest in working families, not give our tax dollars away to the super-rich.” 

Governor Murphy and legislative Democrats passed the millionaire’s tax in 2020, providing $320 million in direct tax rebates to hundreds of thousands of working and middle-class New Jersey families and securing resources to invest more deeply in our communities by increasing the top marginal tax rate on annual income over $1 million from 8.97% to 10.75%. All of those programs would be threatened under Ciattarelli’s extreme giveaway to the wealthy and well-connected. 

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GOP Candidate Once Again Spreads False Conspiracy Theories About Vaccines and Masks 

TRENTON, NJ — A new column by veteran New Jersey political reporter Charles Stile reveals that Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli is once again doubling down on misinformation, anti-science views, and Trumpian lies about COVID-19. Interviewed recently while trying to seek the USA Today Network’s endorsement, which instead went to Governor Phil Murphy, Ciattarelli echoed the same kinds of far-right, anti-science talking points about vaccines and masks that are prolonging the pandemic and tragically stopping many people from following public health directives. 

“Jack Ciattarelli is still siding with a small, loud minority of anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers — spreading dangerous misinformation and conspiracy theories that are prolonging the pandemic and putting peoples’ lives at risk,” said NJDSC Spokesman Phil Swibinski. “While Ciattarelli rejects science and facts and plays politics with COVID-19, New Jersey voters recognize that we need responsible leadership to continue our recovery from the pandemic, which is why they see Governor Murphy as the clear choice and will be rejected Jack Ciattarelli on November 2.”     

In the column, Stile details how Ciattarelli continues to cast doubt about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines despite clear scientific evidence that they are safe and effective at protecting people from the pandemic: 

Although Ciattarelli says he has been vaccinated and urges others to do so, he also said it was his “strong feeling that government doesn’t have a right to tell anyone that they have to take a medicine.”

When reminded that governments have for generations mandated vaccines for measles, rubella, polio, and other childhood diseases, Ciattarelli argued that those vaccines have a proven track record of safety, while concerns about the new COVID vaccines linger.

But [Dr. Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers University School of Public Health] argues that the COVID vaccines are safer than the older vaccines were when they were first introduced and that the technology behind them has been studied and developed over two decades. He says Ciattarelli is “dipping his toe” in the anti-science fervor that has contributed to the vaccine hesitancy.

Similarly, Ciattarelli is still spreading a conspiracy theory that masks inhibit learning and using it to justify his opposition to mask mandates in schools, despite there being no scientific evidence of this and CDC studies showing that school districts without mask mandates are seeing more COVID-19 cases:

On mask mandates, [Ciattarelli] cites conflicting reports about the value and potential harm of mask mandates for children.

“For every column that says that it’s a public health imperative for a child to wear a mask, I’ve seen another column by another clinician who says mask-wearing “inhibits learning,” Ciattarelli told our editorial board. 

Still, Ciattarelli’s reasoning stands in sharp contrast to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends universal mask wearing for school students and faculty. And it flies in the face of two recent CDC studies.

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Chairman Jones: Ciattarelli’s Embrace of RNC Chair is More Proof He’s Loyal to Trump Over NJ

TRENTON, NJ — Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli will reportedly welcome fellow Trump apologist Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel to a campaign event next week. Described by the New Jersey Globe as “unswervingly loyal to Trump,” McDaniel has openly supported the same false, dangerous narrative that the 2020 election was stolen that Ciattarelli embraced when he headlined a “Stop the Steal” rally last year, which he continues to lie about. 

“To this very day, Donald Trump is still attacking the foundation of our democracy by spreading lies about the 2020 election and RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel has stood by his side the entire time, just like Jack Ciattarelli,” said NJDSC Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. “By embracing someone like Ronna McDaniel who has done real damage to our nation spreading Trump’s ‘Big Lie,’ Jack Ciattarelli is once again proving that he’s more loyal to the extreme Trump agenda than he is to New Jersey. The last thing our state needs is a governor who embraces Trumpism, and it’s imperative for every Democrat in our state to see this for what it is and use it as motivation to get our voters to return their vote-by-mail ballots, vote early starting on October 23 or vote on November 2, because our voices must be heard.” 

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Praising Governor Murphy’s Performance, Chairman Jones Calls on NJ Democrats to Get Out the Vote

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., is releasing the following statement after tonight’s second and final gubernatorial debate: 

“Governor Murphy showed again tonight why it’s so critical that New Jersey voters head to the polls in large numbers and re-elect him along with Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. It’s crystal clear that Governor Murphy’s leadership through the pandemic and his commitment to progressive values are what New Jersey needs right now, not the extreme far-right approach that Jack Ciattarelli represents. The stakes of this election are incredibly high. We cannot allow our state to be led by an extremist who embraces far-right, anti-science positions at this important moment. We need to re-elect our Governor, and I will be working non-stop over the next three weeks to make sure Democrats and all voters understand what’s at stake.” 

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GOP Candidate Continues to Politicize COVID-19, Demonize Common Sense Public Health Guidance

TRENTON, NJ — In yet another desperate attempt to appeal to the far-right, radical fringe that opposes all COVID-19 public health measures, Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is now running a newspaper ad that attacks Governor Phil Murphy for supporting masking, vaccine requirements, and other common-sense public health measures. Ciattarelli’s ad blatantly politicizes the pandemic, calling masking and vaccines “extreme liberal” measures.

“Jack Ciattarelli’s latest assault on public health is the kind of irresponsible messaging that has turned COVID-19 into a political fight and literally killed people by fomenting opposition to vaccines, masks, and other measures that have been proven to save lives,” said NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda. “Ciattarelli has made it clear that he values appealing to the extreme Republican base more than keeping New Jerseyans safe and putting an end to the pandemic, and that makes him 100% disqualified from being our governor.” 

Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s ad is just the most recent example of his campaign opposing public health initiatives. He has spoken out against mask mandates in public schools despite CDC evidence that shows higher case counts in schools without masks, even spreading baseless anti-mask conspiracy theories. Ciattarelli also famously claimed that “children are not vulnerable to this virus,” even with numerous children currently hospitalized across the country in states without masking requirements in schools. 

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What the F*ck was Ciattarelli Thinking?

TRENTON, NJ — Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is out of step with New Jersey — from his support for the Trump agenda to his opposition to public health measures to his attacks on LGBTQ inclusion and much more — but there is one issue where Ciattarelli’s position might be even further outside the mainstream: his opposition to a favorite Garden State tradition, cursing. 

While serving on the Raritan Borough Council in the 1990s, Ciattarelli voted for and championed a ban on cursing in the community — that’s right, a ban on cursing. In New Jersey. What the f*ck was Ciattarelli thinking? 

Watch some real New Jersey residents react to this blatantly unconstitutional, totally laughable policy in this new video ad.

Raritan’s cursing ban included a $500 fine for violators and it was opposed from the start by the town’s police chief, who said it was a violation of free speech. Residents also pointed out its absurdity, with then 21-year old Bree Dougherty telling the Council: “The days of ‘Leave It to Beaver’ and ‘American Bandstand’ are long gone. The council should be more worried about how to protect citizens from crime and how to keep property taxes low,” and resident Carmen Snell bemoaning the fact that: “The Joke Around Here Is That Now Raritan Is On The Map – For A Ridiculous Reason.”

The ban even attracted national news coverage, including the AP, New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, and many other news outlets. Ciattarelli defended the ban in the press, telling the Home News Tribune: “When four-letter expletives are used that violates an individual’s right to a civil and tranquil environment,” and even appearing on CBS This Morning on October 10, 1994, and said, “ … our sole purpose on the council is to preserve a certain quality of life that the people of Raritan not only want but they expect.” As this ridiculous “cursing ban” shows, Ciattarelli’s attachment to extreme social positions is nothing new and Jack will stoop to anything to play extreme politics.

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