Payne: Kean ’81 campaign harassed minority voters

Congressman Donald Payne took a sort-of shot at former Governor Thomas Kean by holding a news conference to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a controversial urban ballot security program that was likely the key factor in Kean’s scant 1,797-vote victory over James Florio in the 1981 gubernatorial race. “New Jersey was the birthplace of modern-day voter suppression tactics with the Ballot Security Task Force,” said Payne. “It was a disgraceful episode that signaled the start of organized efforts by Republicans to intimidate voters in minority communities. We wish we could say it is part of distant history but the sad truth is it is part of living history and has continued for 25 years.” From GOP State Chairman Tom Wilson: “I guess in honor of Halloween the Democrats decided they’d try to scare minority voters again with 25 year old tales of voter suppression. Their press show today was a sad effort to excite minority voters with scare tactics because Bob Menendez’s record as self serving crooked politician is turning off voters of every race, color and creed.”

Payne: Kean ’81 campaign harassed minority voters