If you thought Virginia Senator George Allen’s “macaca” comment was bad…
IN NEW RADIO COMMERCIAL AIRING IN NEW JERSEY, U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE TOM KEAN JR. PROUDLY SHOWCASES A SUPPORTER WHOSE RACIST, SEXIST AND ANTI-GAY VIEWS MAKE MEL GIBSON LOOK TOLERANT
Garden State Equality calls on Kean Jr. to withdraw the commercial and to apologize to New Jersey’s women, people of color and LGBTI community
Contact: Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality, cell (917) 449-8918
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 — In response to the new radio commercial of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr. in which Kean Jr. proudly showcases a supporter who made racist,
sexist and anti-gay statements in The Bergen Record from 1989 through 2005, Garden State Equality today called on Kean Jr. to withdraw the commercial and to apologize to New Jersey’s women, people of color and LGBTI community.
“The audacity of this candidate with low capacity,” said Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality. “You’d have to be a
dim bulb, or actually share your prejudiced supporter’s views, to fail to notice the supporter’s years-long newspaper trail of
deeply offensive statements. Tell us, Tom Kean Jr., which is it? You can’t affable your way out of this one.
Kean Jr.’s supporter, Larry Giancola of Gutenberg, New Jersey, is the only voice beside Kean Jr.’s to appear in the 30-second radio commercial that premiered yesterday.
“The most troubling thing about the commercial,” Goldstein said, “is the possibility that Larry Giancola’s statements over the years (detailed below) reflect Tom Kean Jr.’s own views given
Kean Jr.’s horrid civil rights record in the state legislature.”
In 2002, Kean Jr. missed a vote that would have created the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. In 2004, Kean Jr. was one of only nine members of the 40-member state Senate to vote against the
domestic-partnership bill that went on to become law with bipartisan support.
“We in New Jersey’s LGBTI community were devastated when Tom Kean Jr. voted against the domestic-partnership bill that – as state law today – gives gay couples a miniscule 10 of the 1,138 rights that straight couples get with marriage. The bill took gay people from third-class to second-class citizens, a very far cry from equality, and yet Kean Jr. couldn’t even vote for that. But several of his Republican colleagues did. How dare Tom Kean Jr. call himself a moderate.”
Here is the newspaper trail of prejudiced statements that Larry Giancola made in The Bergen Record from 1989 through 2005:
Kean Jr.’s radio hero calls being gay a sin – in an extremely progressive state that’s been a national pioneer for LGBTI rights. “Recent research suggests that biological conditions that exist before birth may be largely responsible for determining whether a person is homosexual or not. I disagree with you on this and so does the New Testament. The Bible calls homosexuality sin.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 9/24/89]
Kean Jr.’s radio hero believes there is no place in America for feminism and diversity. “We should export our college ideals of liberalism, feminism and cultural diversity.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 12/18/05]
Kean Jr.’s radio hero disdains diversity on college campuses. “What cultural diversity has to do with expertise in one’s field of work is anyone’s guess. I would much rather be under the care of a competent physician then some politically correct doctor.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 12/18/05]
Kean Jr.’s radio hero calls curriculum that teaches about race and gender “an absolute joke.” “Nowhere in this article is there any hint of really learning something useful. The academic courses mentioned — Gender, Race and Class; History of Ethnic Fashion Design — are an absolute joke.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 12/18/05]
Kean Jr.’s radio hero questions the need for U.S. aid to Africa. “The United States contributes far more money to Africa than any other country, and what does it have to show for it? Africa today is no better off than it was 10 or 20 years ago. The miracle of turning Rhodesia into Zimbabwe has resulted in starvation.” [Larry Giancola, Bergen Record, 8/28/05]
Kean Jr.’s radio hero calls Americans “wimps.” “The American people are turning into the biggest wimps this country has ever seen.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 3/20/03]
Kean Jr.’s radio hero questions the resolve of the American people. “When there is the least little danger, they run for cover like rats. It will be a miracle if we keep our freedom with such brave citizens.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 3/20/03]
Kean Jr.’s Democratic opponent, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, has compiled one of the best records on civil rights, including LGBTI rights, in the U.S. Congress. He has received a career 91 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign.
Among Senator Menendez’s achievements: He has fought passionately and successfully against a U.S. constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples. He is a national leader in fighting for the right of foreign-citizen, same-sex partners of Americans to immigrate to the U.S. as married opposite-sex spouses would be allowed. And in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, he courageously led the way in persuading the federal government to offer equal assistance to all surviving families, including LGBTI families, through the Victims’ Compensation Fund.