Newark civic leaders slam Guadagno's anti-Murphy TV attack ad

Newark leaders from top left clockwise, the Rev. Ronald Slaughter, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, state Sen. Ronald Rice and state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz and speak out against Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

A group of notable Newark leaders spoke out as one to protest the release by the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno of a highly negative attack ad slamming Phil Murphy, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

Across the board, all of these major city players, including a pastor and prominent politicians, called out Guadagno, who has served as Gov. Chris Christie's lieutenant governor for almost eight years, for putting out an ad that they found to be extremely offensive and totally unacceptable. 

The ad was released this week less that four weeks before the Nov. 7 election.

Sign Up for E-News

"Kim Guadagno and her campaign have unleashed the most despicable political advertisement I’ve ever seen. It is cruel and insensitive, not just to the City of Newark and our proud communities, but to the families whose wounds she is reopening for the sake of partisan politics," said Pastor Ronald Slaughter of Newark's Saint James AME Church, which is one of the largest African-American church congregations in the state's largest city.

"Her advertisement would be similar to one opposing gun safety laws by using the tragic events of Sandy Hook and Las Vegas," Slaughter said. "We have to be able to put the open wounds of grieving family members above political ambitions and fights. At a time when we should be lifting up our communities in hope and seeking a higher level of public dialogue, her campaign is sinking us lower into the muck."

"Over the years, I have corresponded numerous times with the Lieutenant Governor, on issues ranging from social justice concerns to the values of Dr. King. She always noted her agreement with me. Now, I have serious doubts over the sincerity of her commitment," said Slaughter, an early supporter of Murphy, who prayed with the candidate at Saint James AME on the day that Murphy launched his gubernatorial campaign in May 2016.

"When I spoke to the Lieutenant Governor this morning, I shared with her this isn’t about politics for me. It’s about people who are being further wounded because of political rhetoric,” Slaughter said.

"When I saw the Willie Horton ad in 1988, I thought we hit a new low in American politics," said state Sen. Ron Rice (D-28), referring to the caustic and divisive ad released by the campaign of then-Republican presidential candidate George H.W. Bush before his eventual victory over Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, the Democratic presidential candidate that year.

"When I saw Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno's ad yesterday, I knew we hit a new low. My heart goes out to the families who have to relive this horrific tragedy because of Kim Guadagno's desperate attempt to appeal to people's basest fears for political points," Rice said.

"I am outraged and disgusted by the Lieutenant Governor’s campaign ad. It is deplorable that she is exploiting the tragedies suffered by families in our community in a disingenuous ad that seeks to cast an entire population of residents as criminals," said state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29), whose district includes Newark's heavily Latino North and East Wards.

"This is designed to create racial, ethnic and cultural divisions in our state and to pit groups of residents against others. This has no place in our discourse. As one of the most diverse states in the nation, we must stand together to condemn these kinds of actions," Ruiz said. 

“Like Donald Trump, there is no limit to the lies that the Republican candidate for governor is telling. Donald Trump’s big lie is to equate murderers and rapists with peaceful undocumented immigrants who contribute to our economy. In her latest TV ad, the Republican candidate for governor does exactly the same thing," Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said.

“Newark is a sanctuary city because we are not going to sacrifice thousands of people who live among us, who are part of our community, and who contribute to the economy and vitality of our city. We are not going to tear families apart. Phil Murphy proposes to make that the policy of the entire state," Baraka said.

“Murders and rapists and other serious criminals in Newark and throughout America are prosecuted to the full extent of the law regardless of their immigration status," Baraka added.

"So, when the Republican candidate for governor says that Phil Murphy has the backs of murderers and rapists, she is repeating one of Donald Trump’s most despicable lies," the mayor said. "The Republican TV ad is yet another reminder of how important it is to vote this year to strike powerful blow against the Trump/Republican assault on social justice and racial equality." 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 11, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Mothers Mobilize in Newark to Protest Trump Family Separation Policy

June 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - A group of New Jersey mothers took time to come to Newark with the kind of loved ones recently taken from other mothers: their children.

"It's unconscionable that our government is stealing children from their parents and locking them up in cages," said Christina Liu, a Montclair mom holding her baby daughter, commenting on President Donald Trump's recent ...

Market Street Patrol Building May Be Named After Late Undersheriff

June 28, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The death of Essex County Undersheriff Kevin Ryan on June 20 was a "devastating loss" for the department and for the county’s sheriff, Armando Fontoura.

“He was like a son to me. He was always the first one on the scene. He was always there to help. It’s just devastating. There is not much more I can say," Fontoura said in a ...

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Opens Camp DeWitt Conference Center and Activity Building

July 2, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. – If you don’t know by now, Girl Scouts is much more than cookies, crafts, and summer camp.

In fact, the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey say they should host your next professional business conference, special event, or any other big celebration in which you are looking to seriously impress.

Look no further than Camp DeWitt in Hillsborough, the site of ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

A Statewide Solution on Disposable Bags Aids the Fight Against Litter

June 29, 2018

The New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) just released the results of a year-long visual litter study that shows that nearly 10 percent of all litter on our roadways and highways is in the form of plastic and paper bags.

There is no doubt that these bags are of significant and ongoing environmental concern, creating an even more difficult job for our clean communities volunteers across ...