Racially charged tweet by Lonegan campaign draws fire from Eck, Booker

Eck says Lonegan is not a viable candidate. Says the former Bogota mayor and his team are “angry white men”


During last night’s Democratic U.S. Senate debate, a racially insensitive tweet was sent out from former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan’s campaign account, @Lonegan.

Politico captured an image of the tweet which depicted Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s foreign policy prep notes as a map of Newark with Guaya, West Africa, Portugal and Brazil noted as parts of the city and the Middle East as Afghanistan, Pakistan PLUS Bangladesh and Trinidad.

Lonegan-Booker tweet

The tweet was quickly deleted and Lonegan spokesman Rich Shaftan told Politico that Lonegan did not find it funny or reflective of how he thinks.

Shaftan told The Star Ledger that the  staffer responsible had been discipline but probably would not be fired.

“It’s not Lonegan’s tweet. It’s not from his personal account,” Shaftan said. “Sometimes things happen in political campaigns. People put things out that are not reflective of what the candidate thinks.”

Shaftan declined to say who was responsible for the twet and said the individual had been disciplined but would likely not be fired.

“Everyone does stupid things,” Shaftan said. ” Steve’s not a believer in throwing people over because they make mistakes.”

Lonegan press contact Jon Meadows referred MMM to Shaftan. Shaftan did not respond to a message via facebook and said he would call back when reached on the phone.

Lonegan’s opponent in the August 13th Republican primary, Dr. Alieta Eck said the gaffe is indicative of Lonegan’s world view.  Eck said the Lonegan and his campaign staff are “angry white men.”

In a statement released by Eck Campaign Manager, Thomas Roberts, the campaign said that Lonegan’s candidacy is “unviable”

“Steve Lonegan just continues to demonstrate how uncomfortable he is addressing people other than his own acolytes,” said Eck campaign manager Thomas Roberts. “From his English language debacle in Bogota, to his refusal this week to meet with the NAACP in Newark, and finally last night’s horrifyingly racist tweet, how on earth is he supposed to ‘represent’ a state as culturally rich and diverse as New Jersey in the Senate? He is completely unviable as a candidate, and I think he owes a lot of people an apology.”

Eck told MMM that Lonegan did not reply to the Newark NAACP’s invitation to a debate earlier this week.
Booker’s campaign spokesperson said, according to the Ledger,

“The Lonegan campaign’s tweet is inappropriate, offensive and fundamentally out of step with New Jersey values. It’s also not surprising,” Booker campaign manager Addisu Demissie said. “This is the same misguided person who was offended by an advertisement simply because it was in Spanish. We need leaders who will lift up our communities, not tear them down — leaders like Cory Booker.”

Posted: August 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Cory Booker, Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

9 Comments on “Racially charged tweet by Lonegan campaign draws fire from Eck, Booker”

  1. Tommy De Seno said at 3:13 pm on August 9th, 2013:

    What was racist about this?

    It looks like ethnic areas of Newark were pointed out.

    So let me get this straight – I’m to accept that diversity is good, but to point out diversity where it exists is racist.

    Good grief.

  2. GothKid said at 3:45 pm on August 9th, 2013:

    I want to be different, just like everyone else!

  3. Barbara said at 4:23 pm on August 9th, 2013:

    If this were the other way around, Lonegan would have been on the attack on Eck and her campaign. Anyone who knows Lonegan, knows that he “plays the political game” and will do whatever it takes to win. That includes challenging the signatures of Eck just to cost her time and money. Let’s face it…what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. He had a glitch in his campaign and he needs to accept it. Like we have been saying all along….someone as polarizing and opinionated as Lonegan is not the right person be the republican candidate to represent the whole diverse state of NJ. We are not talking about republican counties here, we are talking about all of NJ. Not a good day for Lonegan.

  4. Politicalpony said at 9:52 pm on August 9th, 2013:

    Ecks manager should be careful not to put this woman in the category of all the rest of the politicians. Let her keep a clean nose of all the bashing.
    As well, someone already made a comment with my sentiments. Where is the racism in that? Have we all become Al Sharptons of the world.
    Did anyone else besides me see the poll yesterday about the most unfriendly cities in the world? Newark second on the list? Among ask the worst of the worst including many from the a Arabian peninsula. Jezz people come on. Now e have whites fighting against whites and republican against republican with the same extremely low tactics of the democrat communists. Frankly I think the whole issue is asinine.

  5. Milisent Fenwik said at 11:32 pm on August 9th, 2013:

    So what’s “Bergen Hal” Turner up to these days?

  6. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Lonegan Takes The Offensive said at 10:49 am on August 11th, 2013:

    […] held a press conference in Kinnelon yesterday afternoon to address the reaction to the tweet(pictured to the right) posted by his campaign on Thursday night during the Democratic Senate […]

  7. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Christie Says Lonegan Tweet Was Inappropriate said at 2:32 pm on August 12th, 2013:

    […] Chris Christie said this afternoon that the controversial tweet sent out by a Lonegan for Senate staffer last week during the Democratic Senatorial Debate was […]

  8. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Booker Has Corzine Covered said at 11:04 am on August 22nd, 2013:

    […] far the New Jersey media is not making a big deal about this gaffe, like they did about the Lonegan staffer’s gaffe on twitter. But Business Insider picked it up for […]

  9. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Alert the Media! Buono’s Vulgar Tweet said at 5:31 pm on September 20th, 2013:

    […] when a Lonegan campaign staffer made a stupid silly tweet last month during a Democratic U.S. Senatorial debate? That tweet was deleted in less than 15 […]