Flyers complain of ‘sp*c,’ ‘n*gg*r,’ ‘f*g’ and Muslim candidates
PATERSON — A flier referring to four politicians by slurs or by ethnicity was left at homes over the weekend as primary campaign season continued.
Voters were urged to vote for Andre Sayegh for mayor "and make Paterson great again" according to a copy of the flier posted by the news site TAP Into Paterson. The flier includes small pictures of former mayor Joey Torres, the late former mayor Martin Barnes, and Planning Board Commissioner Al Abdel-Aziz with offensive terms written under each.
The origin of the fliers is not clear. A group called Progressive Values Committee's name was listed on the flyer, but it denied involvement in a statement to the news site.
"We think it is a disgusting piece and we have absolutely nothing to do with it. Whomever produced this garbage should be ashamed of themselves. We have been very clear about the fact that we are supporting Andre Sayegh to be the next mayor of Paterson because he has and will continue to fight for city residents," read the statement.
Racist fliers showed up during election season in Edison and Hoboken last fall, including one with a similar slogan to the Paterson flier, "Make Edison Great Again" — both takes on President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again."
The flier in Edison included pictures of two school board candidates, one Chinese-American the other Indian-American, with a red “DEPORT” stamp under their faces.
An ad appeared just before last fall's Election Day on Hoboken windshields, picturing a turban-wearing Ravi Bhalla with the large, red words "Don't let TERRORISM take over our town!" The rest of the flyer is about a conflict of interest involving a utility deal and makes no further mention of terrorism.
The pamphlet had said it was paid for by one of Councilman Ravi Bhalla's five opponents, Mike DeFusco. But DeFusco condemned the ad and said his campaign had nothing to do with it.
Both Bhalla and Shi won their respective elections.