Dana Wefer is under no illusions about her uphill fight to win the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, and she thinks she’s been treated fairly by leaders of a party she has only recently joined – except in Bergen County, where Wefer is excoriating GOP Chairman Paul DiGaetano for her treatment.
“You should be ashamed,” Wefer says in a letter sent to DiGaetano today after a meeting with party leaders at the Bergen GOP policy committee meeting last night in Hackensack. “Last night’s spectacle exemplified why the Republican Party is on life support in Bergen County despite having 21,000 faithful Republicans who participate in the primaries.”
Wefer, who now lives in Bergen, says she has been knocking on Republican doors there to build a grass roots movement in a county that has become solidly Democratic in recent years. She thinks the effort ought to at least merit some respect from DiGaetano, including responses to emails and phone calls.
“Obviously, I knew the fix was in for Bob Hugin, the scandal-ridden wealthy pharmaceutical executive polling 17 points behind Bob Menendez, weeks ago. I understand that the GOP establishment has coalesced around his money,” Wefer said. “But where other county chairs treated me with respect and were open about the fact that I wasn’t going to get a fair shake, you obfuscated, avoided me, and, last night, made a fool of yourself in trying to make a fool of me.”
Wefer says she was under no illusions when she was summoned to the party headquarters for her interview.
“What I got instead made my stomach turn,” Wefer said.
Wefer tells DiGaetano that he has “spent too long on the inside and have forgotten that the apparatuses of government do not belong to the political insiders, they belong to the people.”
“Perhaps you’ve spent so much time trying to accumulate and hold on to power in a county party that is withering under your watch that you’ve forgotten what makes a party strong and resilient: the people who participate. I can think of no other reason why you would think it was a smart strategy to attack me for the fact that I am fed up with the corruption, ineffectiveness, and lack of representation in our congress,” said Wefer. “You read my own words to me as though I should be ashamed of this, but you failed to recognize that I am typical of most Americans and New Jersey residents. We are all fed up with our government, and the reason is leaders like you.”
Wefer, a 35-year-old lawyer, became a Republican last year after running for office as a Democrat in Morris and Hudson counties and serving as chair of the Hoboken Housing Authority.