In a bold move that puts New Jersey Republicans out in front on combating complaints of toxic workplace environments on political campaigns, GOP State Chairman Doug Steinhardt is pushing to deny party support to anyone who requires non-disclosure agreements that would prevent them from commenting publicly.
Steinhardt’s move could deny Republican candidates and party organizations important party tools, like endorsements, use of their GOP Data Center data base, and use of their state party bulk mailing permit.
“We have all read the recent press reports on the misogynistic culture in New Jersey politics. Like you, I find them disgusting,” Steinhardt said in an e-mail to GOP county chairs and state committee members. “As a leader of one of the two major political parties in the state, I feel compelled to take action and pitch in to put an end to this behavior.”
Steinhardt is proposing that “all Republican candidates, county organizations, clubs and committees agree that we will never require female volunteers or employees of such entities to sign non-disclosure agreements that would silence them or prevent or discourage them from coming forward with complaints of sexual abuse or harassment.”
This may seem like common sense, but our own Governor, Phil Murphy, has failed repeatedly to show leadership and take meaningful steps to expose and combat sexual abuse and harassment in his own party,” said Steinhardt. “Because the leader of the Democrat Party in New Jersey is not willing to afford these basic assurances to women in politics and government, it is important that the GOP lead the way and set an example that will lead to a long-term culture change.”
Steinhardt is a potential candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination next year.
Non-disclosure agreements in political campaigns has become an issue in New Jersey politics in recent weeks.
Murphy has been criticized by lawmakers over non-disclosure agreements signed by members of his campaign that Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and others said prevent victims from raising issues about workplace conditions, including those related to sexual harassment.
Weinberg and Senate Minority Whip Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) co-authored a Star-Ledger Op-Ed today alleging that Murphy’s comments in Tuesday’s State of the State address in support of fighting a culture of misogyny in state politics was superficial.