Calling it a “rigged game,” Republican congressional candidate Paul DeGroot rebuffed the Star-Ledger editorial board’s invitation to be interviewed earlier this month as part of their endorsement process.
“The editorial page editor, Tom Moran has created a Hobson’s Choice for Republicans: either show up and be battered by the editorial board and have your beliefs distorted and ridiculed, or don’t show up and have the board brand you as cowardly,” DeGroot stated. “I reject Mr. Moran’s invitation, because it serves no purpose except to extend the biased views of the Ledger and Mr. Moran’s preferences while masking the board’s unfairness under cloak of journalistic integrity.”
He is part of a growing number of Republicans who have rebuffed the Star-Ledger’s endorsement process. The newspaper endorsed the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), on Sunday in an editorial that slammed DeGroot.
“DeGroot has mostly refused to answer questions from reporters,” the editorial board wrote in their endorsement of the two-term congresswoman.
But the 11th district Republican nominee alleges that the Star-Ledger editorial board “has repeatedly distorted my positions while going out of their way to support and amplify my opponent’s accomplishment, without question.”
“Sadly, the Ledger has lost its way,” DeGroot said.
In the next-door 7th district, Republican Tom Kean, Jr. also turned down a chance to interview for the Star-Ledger endorsement because he said Moran was biased. His father, former Gov. Thomas H. Kean, backed up the decision and sharply criticized Moran.
The former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor said the current Star-Ledger “has become a mouthpiece for the most extreme members of the Democratic Party.”
“While there are still many good reporters who do their job well, the Ledger has become an advocate for liberal causes, not a reliable source of fair, unbiased information,” DeGroot said. “Its editorials and most of its opinion columns are leftist diatribes attacking anyone or any organization that doesn’t adhere to the progressive orthodoxy.”
DeGroot alleges that a GOP candidate “has no chance for fairness and almost no chance of being endorsed by that news organization.”
“The only Republicans the Ledger will consider endorsing are those who sound like Democrats and denigrate their own party and their voters,” said DeGroot. “That’s a lot like playing in a football game and fumbling the ball on purpose so the opposing team will congratulate you.”
Instead of “wasting hours groveling for the approval from people who have no tolerance for views that clash with their own,” DeGroot said he’ll spend his time “meeting voters throughout the district and talking about ways to fix Biden’s runaway inflation, the border crisis and the increase in crime that progressives have encouraged.”
The Sherrill campaign declined to comment for this story.