A Hopatcong councilman under fire for recent offensive remarks – he said Gov. Phil Murphy’s school aid plan “raped” his Sussex County school district and gave funding to “crackheads” instead – received a further rebuke today from the representatives of the 29th legislative district, the only district in the state represented only by women.
“In reading the councilman from Hopatcong’s words regarding ‘rape’ and ‘crackheads,’ the women representatives from Newark have words of their own to share,” State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark), and Assemblywoman Shanique Speight (D-Newark) said in a joint statement addressed to Councilman Ryan Smith.
“First, the seriousness of the term rape should not be used so recklessly, it diminishes the severity of such an act,” they wrote. “Furthermore, we are well aware that the term ‘crackheads’ is just a loud dog whistle… The bill referenced, S2, ensured that all schools would get 100% of their formula aid plain and simple.”
Smith, a Republican first elected in 2018 and re-elected last year, had posted a petition on his Facebook page calling on the governor “to stop raping our school system to support the urban crackheads. $8M of cuts in State Funding is NOT ‘we support education.’ It is simply forcing our schools to raise taxes.”
NJ Advance Media first reported on the post yesterday; Smith has seemingly switched his Facebook page to private since then.