Home>Congress>Dem, Rep state leadership trade jabs on Human Rights Watch staffer

Dem, Rep state leadership trade jabs on Human Rights Watch staffer

By Nikita Biryukov, August 14 2018 9:40 pm

Editor’s Note: This article formerly referred to Garlasco as Malinowski’s subordinate. He was not. Garlasco worked out of the organization’s New York office as a senior adviser, while Malinowski worked out of Washington.

State Democratic leadership is pushing back against attacks leveled at Democratic House candidate Tom Malinowski by Republican state chair Doug Steinhardt.

On Tuesday, Steinhardt took aim at Malinowski over a Human Rights Watch employee the latter had during his time as the group’s Washington director. Marc Garlasco, an HRW staffer, was suspended in 2009 following outcry over his collecting Nazi memorabilia.

“New Jersey and the Jewish community deserve Congressional representatives who will jump into action at the sight of even the slightest sign of anti-Semitism,” Steinhardt said. “Tom Malinowski stood by his senior advisor as he obsessively collected Nazi memorabilia to the point where his organization felt it necessary to suspend him. Voters deserve to know why Malinowski felt compelled to defend someone whose obsession with Nazi culture went beyond someone who merely ‘collect military items.’”

The organization defended defended Garlasco at the time, saying that his collection of Second World War memorabilia was brought by the fascination of a historian.

His suspension, HRW said in 2009, was not a disciplinary measure.

In his response, Democratic state chair John Currie didn’t focus much on Garlasco — his statement does not even mention the staffer — instead, Currie opted to defend Malinowski’s record on Israel while pivoting into an attack on Lance’s voting record on other issues.

“Leonard Lance is desperately working to salvage his political career by diverting attention away from his voting record. He votes against quality healthcare for his constituents while taking a Platinum health plan funded by taxpayers. And now desperate Lance is hiding behind the State Republican Party and issuing a completely false attack,” Currie said. “Malinowski is a strong defender of Israel, and he has a record to prove it while overseeing the Office to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism while working for the Department of State. This attack is based on completely dubious source material.”

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