One small example. In November John Saddy, operator of Bamboo Bar and Karma nightclub, sued Seaside Heights and various borough officials. Saddy charged police and the borough with unfairly targeting his business because he would not accede to their demands to stop hosting events that could attract African-American and gay patrons.
A telephone conversation taped by Saddy with former Borough Administrator John Camera encapsulates the problem. The administrator had earlier gone to the nightclub to check it out. In the phone conversation the Administrator says, I went there specifically because the word was you were having all kinds of people they didn’t want in town. Catering to, you know, different ethnic groups that were a problem and yeah, I remember that.”
In 2016 Ocean County voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump and its three Republican representatives (LoBiondo, Smith and MacArthur). In Seaside Heights Republicans Louis Diguilio and Richard Tomkins won the council seats. In 2017 Council President Michael Carbone and Councilwoman Agnes Polhemus – both Republicans – were re-elected to new council terms. They ran unopposed.
Ironically this is the town where MTV’s sleazy reality series “Jersey Shore” took place. It featured “eight buxom babes and buff boys — most from New Yawk — who made the rounds of clubs like the Beachcomber and Bamboo.”
Apparently “sleaze” was countenanced because the show brought in plenty of revenue to the township. However, now with less revenue at stake, this Republican enclave of 71% White, 17% Hispanic and 6% Black, looks askance at African-Americans and the LGBTQ community.