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Clark Democrats: 'Anti-Semitic Slander' on Mayor Bonaccorso's Facebook Page

This letter to the editor was received on Monday. Mayor Bonaccorso has also responded below.

Dear Ms. Remo,

I received this very disturbing notification this morning regarding a Facebook conversation documented on Incumbent Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso’s personal Facebook page from 04-Nov-2012.  I do not understand how the current figurehead of the Clark Community would have such lack of mutual human respect.  When asked by a Facebook ‘Friend’ “Can u run for Mayor in Holmdel!!!”, Mr. Bonaccorso callously replied “LOL, too many Jews

Mr. Bonaccorso has no respect.  He has no consideration of feelings.  Anti-Semitic slander, as well as all racial and derogatory comments, should not be accepted by our Community. Citizens are supposed to have a sense of comfort and safety in our townships.

There should be no tolerance for this type of deprecating behavior or public disparagement.  We preach to eradicate bullying in our school systems.  What about the bullying against our neighbors?  I am embarrassed for Mr. Bonaccorso and I apologize on his behalf, as it is apparent he lacks the humility, decency and common sense to apologize for himself.

Kind Regards,

Richard Kazanowski
Michelle Novak
Phil Laskowski
Michael Altmann

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In a phone conversation with Patch, Mayor Bonaccorso responded with the following:

The post mentioned was an inside joke to a longtime friend. I meant no offense to anyone who is Jewish, but rather was commenting on how a heavily Jewish community tends to vote Democratic and being a Republican, I would have a hard time getting elected.

It was an inside joke, but regardless, it was an off-color remark and I feel bad about it, I really do. Added to the fact that my running mate and dear friend Al Barr is Jewish and I have many Jewish friends who know that I meant no offense. Al is one of my dearest friends and biggest supporters. When I told him about this incident, he fell over laughing at the thought of me being anti-Semitic. After running around the clock on Monday dealing with Sandy, it was off-color stupid comment by me to a friend. I never meant to insult anyone.

In my mind, this is a last minute election stunt by my opponents. This was a personal comment made to a longtime friend who knew exactly what I meant by it. Another friend wrote to me that she was offended and I wrote her back an apology, which she accepted. A thousand apologies to anyone else who was offended.

However, what my opponents should be doing is worrying about people in town. Councilman Kazanowski has been campaigning throughout this tragedy, while my running mates and I suspended our campaign. We are out there helping people. They shouldn't be worried about reading my Facebook page and should instead be worried about the people of this town who are struggling.

Councilman Kazanowski is the only member of council who did not contact me to check in with our efforts during Hurricane Sandy or to offer help. That, to me, is more offensive. Shame on me for an off-color, personal joke between two friends, but shame on them for sitting on their tails doing nothing for this community and instead worryng about trying to get elected. I even got a call today at noon about a street in Councilman Kazanowski's ward that did not have power. I went out personally and got a PSE&G supervisor down there to flip the switch and get them power. Where was he? Did anyone call him?

Again, I feel terrible about the comment and the way it may have been perceived, but my good Jewish friends know there is no way in hell I feel that way in my heart.

Average Joe November 08, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I went to one of the schools on the Union County Vocational Technical School Campus in Scotch Plains, and I graduated a few years ago. Let me tell you, they don't offer bull classes like "puppetry" over there- we actually learn. And, I said county, not country. Get glasses. Furthermore, I gave people in this godforsaken town a chance, and most, not all, but most proved to be bozos. I actually went to school with these kids- you didn't. I saw the comments they made to students of different nationalities- you didn't. I saw the intimidation and bullying tactics that went on because somebody had a difference of opinion- you didn't. Don't tell me I didn't give these clowns a chance when I had schooling with them from K-8.
Average Joe November 08, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Lol there were three Jewish kids in the entire middle school when I was there. Only three. And yes, you are right, Julie. People do make honest blunders. However, I'm not mayor of the town, and I don't post religious jokes on Facebook, so I think it's reasonable for him to be held to a higher standard. Isn't that why we elected him? And, I don't want to argue either- it's just the fact that I've recently been involved in this town through the education system, and I know the negative racist comments and religious slander that is promoted by the students because I have seen it. In my opinion, I am very grateful to have been exposed to various cultures during my time at UCVTS. That is all.
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