Campaign efforts to redefine ex-Jersey City mayor as a tolerant uniter belie Schundler's longstanding ties to Robertson, other far right voices
Recent campaign ads for Bret Schundler have sought to redefine the gubernatorial candidate as a moderate and non-confrontational leader who, in the words of one ad, will "focus on working together" to solve problems. Another Schundler ad has warned that his opponent "would take us back to the intolerant days …" Ironically, Schundler himself has nurtured close ties to many extreme and intolerant groups, and these allies are detailed in a new report released today by People For the American Way (PFAW).
The PFAW report, Bret Schundler and the Radical Right: A Closer Look at the Candidate and His Agenda, examines these allies and how their agendas mirror Schundler's positions.
"Schundler's ties to the far right and the nearly identical agendas they share raise serious questions about whether Schundler might lead New Jersey down an extreme and divisive path," said PFAW President Ralph G. Neas. "These are issues that the people of New Jersey should explore very carefully."
Specifically, Bret Schundler and the Radical Right includes information on:
Schundler's connection to right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson. Schundler has addressed students at the Virginia Beach, Va., law school founded by Robertson and activists at a conference of the Christian Coalition, a group started by Robertson. In addition, Schundler's campaign has received the maximum contribution under state law from Robertson. These close ties may explain why Schundler has refused to repudiate statements by Robertson and Jerry Falwell that blamed civil liberties groups, gays, feminists and many other Americans in part for the Sept. 11 terrorist tragedies.
how Schundler's positions on a range of issues firmly embrace the radical right's agenda-a fact that prompted one moderate Republican to tell The New York Times, "Bret Schundler hasn't stood up and told the far right 'no' on anything."
the radical education views that Schundler has embraced, including his call for shutting down the U.S. Department of Education, his support for a tuition tax credit plan that a nonpartisan analysis found would drain $199 million from the state treasury, and his opposition to a school construction bill that passed the state legislature with broad bipartisan support.
Schundler's extreme philosophy on justices who serve on the state Supreme Court. The Star-Ledger recently summarized his view that in cases in which legal or constitutional precedents are unclear, a justice should "refuse to act, even if it led to an unjust result" in these cases.