Bergen Dems Hound the GOP over Garrett Comments

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Bergen County Democratic officials fire-blanketed U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5), condemning him for his anti-gay views while calling on the Bergen County Republican Organization, their elected officials and slate of candidates to join them in denouncing Garrett’s Statements.  In response the chairman of the Bergen County Republican Committee directed their attention to President Barack Obama’s Iran deal.

“Garrett’s view that he will not support the National Republican Campaign Committee because they have supported gay candidates is reprehensible and clearly shows how out of touch and bigoted his views are,” said County Executive Jim Tedesco. 

Two weeks ago, Tedesco announced the creation of the first LGBT Advisory Committee in Bergen County’s history.

“The declaration that all men (and women) are created equal is not a Democratic or Republican ideal, it is a fundamental right engraved in the United States Constitution.  I would hope that the Republican Party in Bergen County would condemn Congressman Garrett’s hate filled rhetoric,” said Freeholder Tracy Zur, who’s running for reelection this year. 

“Bob Yudin and the Bergen County Republicans must condemn Garrett.  Staying silent is no different than accepting his bigotry as a plank in their party platform,” said Freeholder Steve Tanelli, Zur’s running mate.  “I believe that all people are equal, regardless of race, gender identity, or sexuality. It is clear that Garrett does not agree with this.”

“Scott Garrett’s intolerance casts a dark shadow on Bergen County and is a disgusting testament to how far out of touch his positions are compared to the majority of Bergen County residents,” said Freeholder Chairwoman Joan Voss.

Yudin dismissed the cries for denunciation.

“Maybe they ought to concentrate on getting the congressman in the 9th District to vote against the Iran deal of the Democratic President,” said the Republican County chairman. “That is a much more pressing matter when you’re talking about the lives of people – one that deals with the direct safety of the State of Israel.”

Democrats continued to heap scorn on Garrett, however.

“Bergen County deserves better than Scott Garrett. We need a representative who is compassionate and cares about all residents, not one who is hate-filled and bigoted like Garrett,” said Freeholder Tom Sullivan.  “I am hopeful my fellow elected officials can put party politics aside and will speak up.”  

The Democrats are calling on all BCRO affiliated elected officials and candidates to denounce Garrett. The BCRO candidates and officials include John Mitchell, Ken Tyburczy, and Daisy Ortiz Berger for Bergen County Freeholder, Lisamarie Tusa and Frank Miqueli for LD 32 Assembly, David Jimenez and Ilia Villanueva for LD 35 Assembly, Forrest Elliott and James Lenoy for LD 36 Assembly, Joseph Fiscella and Gino Tessaro for LD 37 Assembly, Mark DiPisa and Anthony Cappola for LD 38 Assembly, Holly Schepisi and Robert Auth for LD 39 Assembly, David Russo and Scott Rumana for LD 40 Assembly, and all BCRO mayor and council candidates.  Senator Jerry Cardinale, Senator Kevin O’Toole, Freeholder Mauro DeNicola, Freeholder John Felice and Sheriff Michael Saudino.  
Schepisi posted a response to the Garrett story on her Facebook page.
It reads as follows:
“As a Republican assemblywoman representing a fiscally conservative yet socially moderate district in New Jersey, I believe it incumbent for our party’s future success to focus on inclusion, not exclusion. I support equal treatment of all people, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or religion. What gives me hope for our party is that I recently spent several days with Republican leaders from a wide swath of states who share the same belief. We must build our tent by proactively embracing people, not shutting them out. Religious beliefs do not preclude basic human kindness and acceptance of those who may not share the same beliefs. As a Catholic, I share Pope Francis’ message that we should focus on “open doors” to welcome all.”

  Bergen Dems Hound the GOP over Garrett Comments