TRENTON – The state Republican Party chairman has called on Democrats to publicly condemn a union leader for remarks made Thursday comparing Gov. Christie and the Democrats who support pension and benefits reform to Hitler and Nazi Germany.
During a rally that drew thousands of organized labor members to the Statehouse Thursday in protest of the pension and benefits reform bill, Chris Shelton, vice president of the Communication Workers of America, compared Christie and Democrats who support the bill to Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Today, New Jersey Republican Party Chairman Samuel Raia demanded Democrats take a stand against Shelton’s remarks. At the rally outside the Statehouse, Democratic Sen. Raymond Lesniak did issue an immediate criticism of Shelton’s statements.
“Shelton took the level of political discourse to an unimaginable low,” Raia said in a release today. “By comparing Governor Christie, Senator Sweeney and Speaker Oliver to Hitler and the Nazis, Shelton not only crossed the line but he trivialized the atrocities committed under Hitler.
I applaud Senator Ray Lesniak’s swift and stern public condemnation of Shelton’s statements and I strongly urge those Democrats who attended or spoke at yesterday’s rally to follow Senator Lesniak’s leadership.”
Raia’s letter lists Democrats he said either attended the union rally or addressed the crowd:
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (LD-15)
Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (LD-31)
Assemblyman Dan Benson (LD-14)
Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (LD-14)
Senator Bob Gordon (LD-38)
Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (LD-32)
Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (LD-18)
Mayor Mark Smith (Bayonne)
NJEA President Barbara Keshishian
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (LD-28)
Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (LD-28)
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (LD-20)
Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (LD-20)
Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (LD-34)
Assemblywoman Linda Stender (LD-22)
Later Thursday, Shelton did issue an apology for his remarks to anyone he may have offended.