State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) accused conservative activist Steve Lonegan of supporting segregation after Lonegan said Lesniak’ s bill to “gut” the state Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) would expand the power of the New Jersey’s “low income housing bureaucracy.”
“Lonegan must have slept through the civil rights movement. He couches his language in big government terms, but when it come down to it, he’s simply opposed to the New Jersey Constitution’s requirement that all municipalities provide a reasonable opportunity for low and moderate income households to have affordable housing within their boundaries,” Lesniak said in an e-mail to PolitickerNJ.com. “He believes municipalities should be able to segregate themselves from low and moderate income families, which are mostly minorities or the handicapped.”
In a statement released yesterday, Lonegan, the state director of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), called Lesniak’s COAH bill “a hybrid super bureaucracy that combines the State Planning Commission, the Economic Development Authority, the Home Mortgage Finance Association and the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs into a super bureaucracy that puts COAH on steroids”. Lonegan said AFP will run radio ads opposing the bill.
Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Twp.) contends that Mount Laurel is a “constitutional fairy tale.”
“Have him cite me the language in the New Jersey Constitution which requires municipalities to zone for low and moderate income housing,” Carroll said. “A simple reference to the article and paragraph will do.”