After months of relatively calm waters in North Bergen, the feud between Mayor Nick Sacco and persistent opponent Larry Wainstein has resumed after the incumbent dropped his first campaign ad.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“If you want to know the real Sacco, look no further than the executive producer of his new campaign ad, Rick Shaftan,” Wainstein said in a statement.
“Shaftan worked with a Mayor of a neighboring town to attempt to prevent McDonalds from advertising on a billboard in Spanish, he supports ripping children from their parents arms and separating families in detention camps, and he says conservative Phyllis Schlafly was worthier of accolades than Rosa Parks. Schlafly was an anti-feminist, who advocated ignoring Hispanics voters.”
Shaftan, a well-known conservative political consultant, has rarely entered Democratic circles outside of North Bergen.
And according to Sacco campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski, also the Vice President of Vision Media Marketing, that is now a thing of the past.
“As usual, Larry Wainstein is spreading absolute lies and distorting the truth to such a ridiculous degree that any underlying facts are almost totally unrecognizable. The ad posted today was produced by Vision Media, just like every other political ad that Mayor Sacco has done over many years,” Swibinski said in an email.
“Mayor Sacco severed his relationship with Rick Shaftan in 2018 after inappropriate and racist comments Shaftan made came to light while he was involved in a U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia.”
In July 2018, while working as an advisor to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart, Shaftan came under fire for referring to majority-black cities as s***holes, The Washington Post reported.
While Wainstein noted that the North Bergen Democratic Committee recently paid Shaftan a little over $25,000 based on their campaign filing, Swibinski stressed that the GOP consultant had not worked with Sacco and/or North Bergen since the incident with Stewart.
He also said that the payment in question was to pay off an outstanding balance that Shaftan had billed for previous work – which he will no longer receive from North Bergen.
Wainstein countered that July wasn’t that long ago and that “any decent person would run from Shaftan. He also delivered a concise message to Sacco about what to expect on Election Day.
“Sacco is out of touch, he’s out of time, and come May 14th he’ll be out of office,” he exclaimed.
To the contrary, Swibinski claims that North Bergen residents are tired of Wainstein’s “disgusting, false attacks” and that another definitive Sacco victory is on the horizon.
“Larry Wainstein has launched disgusting, false attacks at Nick Sacco for years and North Bergen is tired of his constant negativity and mudslinging,” Swibinski countered.
“As the ad states, the Sacco Team is committed to diversity and inclusion, as well as to delivering great services, giving local children an outstanding education, keeping the community affordable and much more.”
The ad in question, which was released today, can be viewed below: