Bloomfield Democratic mayoral candidate Michael Venezia and his council at-large running mates Joe Lopez, Wartyna “Nina” Davis and Carlos Pomares have called a press conference today in the parking lot behind Bloomfield Police Headquarters and have shared a letter asking Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray to investigate what they believe to be possible voter suppression attributed to Line B Republicans.
Venezia, who is backed by Essex County executive Joe DiVincenzo (who also backed Chris Christie) and Milly Silva, and his team obtained a a flyer attributed to Line B Republicans and contains possible voter disenfranchisement language.
According to Venezia, the flyer which was sent via U.S. mail, states “because of the increase in the crime rate here in Bloomfield, Line B is asking all voters to be extra careful when leaving your home to vote.” It also urges Bloomfield voters to, among other things, “stay safe on Election Day” and to “never tell anyone if you voted.”
Copies of the flyer and its envelope were given to Venezia Team candidates by residents while they were campaigning door to door on Saturday.
“The message contained in the flyer is designed to confuse voters,” Venezia says. “Our LINE – A team was campaigning door to door throughout the entire town on Saturday and only voters residing in areas with a concentration of minorities received this flyer. This clearly shows the intent is to scare and confuse minorities right before Election Day.”
The press release also includes a quote from Bloomfield Police Chief Chris Goul, saying:
“It is disheartening that our police department has been portrayed as being ineffective against crime in a political flyer. The fine men and women under my command give the residents of Bloomfield one hundred percent effort day in and day out. The reality is, thanks to their efforts, the crime rate in Bloomfield is down nearly 4 percent in 2013.”