Jeana Sager is defiantly continuing her campaign for Middletown Township Committee.
The Chairmen of the Monmouth County and Middletown Democrat organizations have condemned the anti-police comments of Middletown Township Committee candidate Jeana Sager reported by MMM yesterday.
The Democrats credited NewJerseyGlobe with our scoop in their statements released on facebook and twitter. The Globe credited MMM in their coverage and via twitter.
“The Middletown Democrats have acted swiftly and decisively upon seeing the video of Jeana Sager’s statements disparaging police officers,” said Middletown Democratic Municipal Chairman Michael Dicicco. “We have withdrawn our endorsement of her candidacy for Township Committee and will commit no resources to her campaign which we have asked her to end. Her comments are inaccurate, unfounded, and hurtful.”
Dave Brown, the Chairman of the Monmouth County Dems, said, ““The comments made Jeana Sager shouldn’t be said on camera or behind closed doors, because they are unequivocally wrong. Her false and demeaning assertions do not represent the values of the Monmouth County Democratic Party or the dozens of Democratic candidates trying to better their community across our county. Our Democratic candidates focus their campaigns on fiscal responsibility, supporting law enforcement in their protection of our communities and maintaining Monmouth County’s character and values. Our Party will not stand for this disgraceful way of thinking, which is why we are refusing all resources to the Sager campaign and formally withdrawing the endorsement of the Monmouth County Democrats. Let it be a clear message: The Monmouth County Democratic Party will not stand for this disgraceful behavior now or in the future.
Sean Byrnes, the other Democrat nominated for Middltown Township Committee, reiterated his comments made to Patch on Friday afternoon. Byrnes said he was suspending his campaign and would withdraw if Sager does not withdraw as a candidate. Byrnes’ facebook page as been updated to promote a solo campaign.
All of the condemnations of Sager have focused on her anti-police rhetoric. Her radical views on the use of narcotics and the government’s role in facilitating “safe” illicit drug use have not been commented on by the Democrat leaders.
Sager told InsiderNJ that she will not withdraw her candidacy . She issued a blistering statement bashing Brynes, Middletown Mayor Tony Perry, police, and her party:
Her full statement follows:
It is a sad state of affairs when Americans cannot have honest conversations about timely issues such as police violence and the racist and prejudicial drug war, which is killing our youth, without fear of political crucifixion by both political parties.
The off the cuff conversation, which occurred in June in a parking lot was not a prepared speech. I was not discussing a Middletown campaign platform. I was talking about issues that impact families in my community. My opponents held on to this information while they figured out how to hurt my candidacy, a move which clearly shows ulterior motives rather than being the forthright and honest people they would have you believe they are.
I do wish I had stated some points more clearly, given there is a distinction between each candidate’s opinions and their joint platforms. My statements were an attempt to say that this is not an official campaign position but I’m willing to have a side conversation with those present. To be clear, with this immature distraction, the incumbents, and unfortunately, my former running mate Sean F. Byrnes, have moved the attention completely away from issues directly impacting Middletown families and other communities.
They do not want to talk about how taxes here keep going up or that Middletown has become cost prohibitive for families like mine, as a single mother of three paying nearly $14,000 a year in property taxes.
They don’t want to talk about how ineffective drug treatment costs New Jersey tax-payers $1.2 billion a year with a 40% failure rate and skyrocketing overdose deaths, (according to NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services) yet jurisdictions that have decriminalized and developed robust harm reduction have nearly eliminated fatal overdoses. This is while our community, Middletown, ranks #17 out of the top 30 heroin using communities in New Jersey. If we keep doing things their way and not having these conversations, our youth will keep dying.
With regards to my reference to police crime, Mayor Perry who is calling for my resignation is one of the biggest hypocrites who sat silent along with Republican candidates Rick Hibell and Kevin Settembrino, when a Middletown police officer recently almost killed a New York resident while driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of a severe accident. I encourage people to take a deep breath and focus on what was actually said about police violence and not what people say was said.
If we can’t have an honest conversation about police, some of whom act criminally, then we are not protecting our citizens or the police who risk their lives for us. Middletown clearly wants to have these conversations as evidenced by the wildly successful Black Lives Matter event at The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County. Clearly one more issue of importance to the community ignored by the entrenched political powers.
Over half the population in Middletown is female, yet women represent only 1/5 of our township committee, a gross underrepresentation. I am the only woman currently running. People have always come up with reasons to silence and push women out of politics. Just because I want to have tough conversations about difficult issues, some private and some public, doesn’t mean I will be bullied out of this space by the very cowards who think they are in a better position to ignore these issues to the detriment of our community.