The Latino American Democratic Association of Bergen County (LADA) blasts New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his decision to endorse radical, anti-Latino extremist Steve Lonegan for U.S. Senate. Chris Christie made the announcement today in Hunterdon County to stand by the leader of the Republican Tea Party’s most ultra-right-wing leader to be his endorsed choice and his vote for the U.S. Senate special elections for New Jersey.
“We need to call this endorsement for what it is, an endorsement of radical-right-wing extremism and anti-Latino sentiment,” said Bogota, NJ Councilman Jorge M. Nuñez, President of LADA who is a resident of the town where Lonegan once served as mayor.
“Steve Lonegan tried to stop McDonald’s Corp. from advertising in Spanish in Bogota claiming that it was ‘divisive’ and he even tried a referendum to effectively ban Spanish in Bogota. If Lonegan ever had his way, written and spoken Spanish would be illegal in America. Chris Christie has shown his true right-wing extreme values by endorsing Lonegan and his anti-Latino views. Christie’s endorsement of Lonegan is a slap in the face to Latinos in New Jersey.”
“Steve Lonegan tried to take Bogota backwards to the days of discrimination, but we fought him back and we won,” said Bogota, NJ Councilman Evaristo Burdiez, also a resident of the town where Lonegan once served as mayor. “There is no room in the U.S. Senate for a person who practically hates diversity in a state like New Jersey which depends on diversity for its economic growth. A vote for Steve Lonegan is a vote against people of color and immigrants in New Jersey. I condemn Chris Christie for standing on the side of extremism by standing with Steve Lonegan. We stopped Lonegan in Bogota and we will stop both of them on their Election Days.”
“If you think that former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina or former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina were ‘off-the-deep-end’ of the spectrum of right-wing crazies, wait until you meet Steve Lonegan,” said Cid Wilson, former President of LADA and a national Latino civil rights leader. “Steve Lonegan believes in ‘Lou Dobbs politics’, by opposing immigration reform, opposing The DREAM Act, supporting policies that promote hate against Latinos and immigrants, and suppressing civil rights and voting rights for people of color. This is who Steve Lonegan is, and this is Chris Christie’s partner in ultra-right-wing politics. The real Chris Christie has stepped forward with his endorsement of Steve Lonegan. It shows that Christie is truly a right-wing politician and wrong for the people of New Jersey.”
“Chris Christie’s endorsement of Steve Lonegan is yet another reminder to New Jerseyans who unlike Lonegan and Christie, understand that diversity is the strength of the Garden State,” said Assemblywoman Marlene Caride, who is the first ever Latino Bergen County resident to be elected to the NJ State Assembly. “That is why we are rallying behind our Democratic candidates, Newark Mayor Cory Booker for U.S. Senate and State Senator Barbara Buono for Governor of NJ. Both Booker and Buono believe that we move New Jersey forward by embracing the greatness of our diversities, not suppressing them.”
“Cory Booker is the right candidate for the U.S. Senate. He will fight to protect the lives of New Jersey families by voting to get illegal guns off the streets and from coming into our state,” said Ridgefield, NJ Mayor Anthony Suarez. “Similarly, as our next Governor, Barbara Buono would seek to protect women and children in New Jersey by funding badly needed programs for women’s health and fight to keep dangerous weapons off our streets and out of our schools.”
“Steve Lonegan and Chris Christie may be perfect Republicans together, but they are perfectly wrong for New Jersey,” said Dumont, NJ Councilman Rafael Riquelme. “Steve Lonegan is against virtually every major safety net program in the U.S. and even opposed relief for Hurricane Sandy victims. Chris Christie is being hypocritical to claim leadership in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and yet support a candidate for U.S. Senate who would have blocked federal relief for Sandy victims had he been a U.S. Senator at the time of the vote.”
“Steve Lonegan is anti-Latino and he is anti-women,” said former Palisades Park, NJ Councilwoman Germaine Ortiz “If Lonegan had been in the U.S. Senate during the Violence Against Women Act vote, he would have voted against it, which is consistent with his anti-women views. Chris Christie is also anti-women with his cuts to vital services for women’s health and crisis programs. New Jersey Latinas as well as all women must vote against Lonegan and Christie who together will take both Latino and women empowerment back to the stone ages.”
“Our message to the Latino community will be very simple, ‘No se puede con Steve Lonegan y Chris Christie. Sí se puede con Cory Booker y Barbara Buono’”, said Jesus Galvis, former President of LADA and former councilman in Hackensack, NJ. “We plan to inform and mobilize the Latino community that this election is about stopping anti-Latino extremist and supporting pro-Latino candidates like Cory Booker for U.S. Senate and Barbara Buono for Governor of New Jersey.”
The Latino American Democratic Association (LADA) of Bergen County is a New Jersey-based grassroots organization committed to empowering the Latino community in Bergen County through the political process. LADA is a partisan organization that promotes the policies and principles of the Democratic Party. Accordingly, LADA seeks to advance and promote Latino causes by increasing the participation of Latinos within the Democratic Party. Among other initiatives, LADA encourages the recruitment of Latino candidates, supports Latino elected Democrats, directs voter registration drives aimed at the Latino community, and provides forums and workshops for voter education and voter awareness initiatives.