The city’s voters received a racist flyer in the mail that describes former mayor Jose “Joey” Torres and Martin Barnes using racial epithets. Flyer also attacks gays and Muslims. The mailer purports to come from a super PAC that has been attacking councilman Andre Sayegh’s opponents in the six men mayoral race.
Joe Waks, chairman of the super PAC, Progressive Values Committee of Bayonne, condemned the flyer on Sunday morning, calling it a “fake news mail piece” dropped by Sayegh’s opponents.
“We think it is a disgusting piece and we have absolutely nothing to do with it,” said Waks.
The mailer claims to be paid for by and sent by Waks’s committee. However, it does not share the same characteristic as those pieces sent by the committee targeting candidates Alex Mendez, William McKoy, and Pedro Rodriguez.
For example, the super PAC’s has been “micro targeting” voters. Its flyers also list specific names and addresses of recipients. The racist flyer does not micro target nor does it identify a recipient.
The racist flyer is also poorly written compared to attack mailers against Mendez, McKoy, and Rodriguez. “Is time for the Christian silent majority to make Paterson great again!” reads the racist flyer.
The racist piece is sent to “Current Resident.” It encourages voters to back Sayegh on Election Day by asserting that Hispanics, blacks, gays, and Muslims “ran the city to the ground.”
Sayegh called the piece “despicable.” His campaign has been aimed at gathering support from the city’s many different racial and ethnic groups.
“We’re sending it to the prosecutor’s office,” said Sayegh on Sunday. Other campaigns also condemned the flyer.
“It’s not only offensive, but it’s racist. We condemn their behavior,” said former school board member Pedro Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has been targeted twice by the super PAC. “I don’t buy that story,” he said when told Waks denounced the mailer. “That PAC is creating hate.”
Rodriguez said his campaign had nothing to do with the racist mailer.
Mendez’s people were deeply upset by flyers the super PAC sent to target their candidates last month.
Mendez’s flyers raised questions about his failure to file campaign finance reports. He still has yet to file his required campaign finance reports.
Mendez did not respond to a call for comments for this report. Alex Cruz did not respond to a call for comment.
Councilmen Michael Jackson and William McKoy could not immediately be reached for comments.
“Whomever produced this garbage should be ashamed of themselves,” said Waks.