Frank Lautenberg/Rush Holt paid out race-tinged hush money?

I believe that the word that both the senior Democratic Senator from NJ, and the Democratic Congressman from NJ-12, would insist on seeing here would be allegedly.  As in, allegedly former canvass worker Christopher Nastuk was told that it would be, ah, “demographically undesirable” to use African-American canvassers in Holt’s lily-white district.  Or, allegedly the minority canvassers that Nastuk did hire were fired anyway “and replaced by white canvassers whose names were provided by e-mail in a text document titled “nobrolists” — which Nastuk said he took to mean “no bro-thers,” in a disparaging slang.”  Not to mention, allegedly Nastuk got fired after raising a stink about this.  And, finally, allegedly Nastuk and four other plaintiffs took this to court and got a 40K settlement out of Lautenberg and Holt.

No, wait, that last one is a matter of record.

There’s not much else to say on this subject: although I will note that, having gone to school in the area, I am not entirely surprised that Lautenberg and Holt might have quietly decided that local residents would get their collective backs up over encountering anyone who might appear to be from Trenton (which, in that part of NJ-12, is more or less synonymous with ‘black’).  Trenton is widely despised in the startlingly agricultural and semi-rural areas that can be found quite near it, to the point where Trenton State College (my alma mater ) eventually changed its name to The College of New Jersey in supposed self-defense, despite the fact that doing so still rankles alumni twenty years later.  None of which is meant to excuse the two Democratic politicians’ (allegedly) racist behavior in this case, of course.  It’s not as if Trenton residents go out every weekend and burn Ewing to the ground, after all; at best Lautenberg & Holt have been studiously avoiding speaking truth to the prejudices of their constituents.

I will give them points for creativity, though: “The Lautenberg and Holt campaigns, which had called the lawsuit politically motivated, said the “nobrolists” referred to campaign workers from North Brunswick, which is part of Holt’s district.” If it wasn’t for that darn inconvenient second “O,” that explanation might have almost been believable.  Alas, unless they’re planning to change the name to “North Bronswick,” I can’t quite buy it…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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