Contact: Wefer for Senate Campaign April 3, 2018
For Immediate Release
“MAKE THE GOP GRAND AGAIN”
Wefer files petition to run for U.S. Senate, making her one of only two Republican women running for Congress in New Jersey in the Year of the Woman
Englewood Cliffs, NJ Dana Wefer, a Bergen County attorney, mother, and government reform activist filed a petition to run for U.S. Senate. Wefer and another woman, Lindsay Brown, who is seeking the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District against incumbent Leonard Lance, are the only two Republican women who filed to run for Congress. Neither has establishment party support and both are former Democrats.
Wefer’s ballot slogan, “Make the GOP Grand Again” was inspired by conversations she had with Republican Party members as she knocked on more than 1000 doors to gather signatures for her nominating petition. “The Republicans I spoke with are not insiders, many don’t even vote in primaries, and they have a very different perspective of the NJ GOP than the party insiders do,” Wefer said. “At least 3 times a day, I had people tell me they weren’t Republican anymore or that even though they are registered Republican, they don’t want to associate with the party. There is a general sense of disillusionment, even disgust. It’s a very different group than the Republicans who show up to events and participate actively in party politics.”
Her slogan also captures Wefer’s views on the role the Republican Party has in NJ politics. “We need a minimum of two strong parties for our system to work,” Wefer said. “The minority party plays a critical role in keeping government honest and providing a check on runaway government. We owe it to the people to do better.” Wefer says her candidacy is about growing the NJ Republican Party. “We can’t persuade people if we can’t get their attention, and we can’t get their attention if we’re doing the same thing we’ve always done. My candidacy is a sharp departure from business as usual, and I hope that it will lay the foundation for party growth in the years to come.”
Wefer has a well-established history of fighting for efficient and ethical government as the former volunteer chair of the Hoboken Housing Authority where she blew the whistle on an assemblyman who was using the housing authority to give out no-bid contracts to campaign contributors. As an attorney she litigated the NJ Supreme Court case Mazdabrook v. Khan, which preserved and expanded the right to political free speech in New Jersey.
For Immediate Release
March 14, 2018
“YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED”
U.S. Senate Hopeful Blasts Bergen County GOP Chair
Englewood Cliffs, NJ Dana Wefer, Republican hopeful for U.S. Senate blasted Bergen County Chairman Paul Digaetano Wednesday morning in an open letter stating that he should “be ashamed” at the manner in which he is running the Republican Organization and has treated Wefer, a Bergen County native and resident. The letter is below.
Dear Chair Digaetano:
You should be ashamed.
As you know, I am a Bergen County resident, mother, and Republican running for the U.S. Senate. I am the only candidate seeking the Republican nomination who has an established record of fighting government corruption and extensive experience, all volunteer, in local government. I am also the only Senate candidate who is knocking on Republican doors in Bergen County, speaking to Republican voters, and building a grassroots movement that will bear fruit for the Bergen County GOP for years to come. And yet, you have not responded to any of my emails and you have refused to hold a convention so the Republican committee members of Bergen County could decide who their Senate candidate would be.
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. 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.
When I was summoned to Bergen County Republican Headquarters to speak with the municipal chairs, I was under no illusions. I knew that you had already ruled the out-of-county pharmaceutical executive with no government experience was going to get the line. But, I thought, the opportunity to speak with the municipal chairs would give me an opportunity to gather volunteer support and meet other Republican leaders. What I got instead made my stomach turn.
Perhaps you have 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. 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.
You compounded your foolishness by asserting a basic untruth: that I was not running a real campaign. You asserted, wrongly, that I have only sought to compete in Bergen and Sussex counties when, in fact, I have participated in screenings and conventions all over the state and submitted letters of intent to all but two county chairs. If you had deigned to answer one of my emails or picked up the phone, you could have avoided the egg on your face.
Chair Digaeteno, 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. You should be ashamed.
Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate
"My experience on both "sides of the aisle" has taught me that ALL people are horrified by the slaughter of children, regardless of political affiliation. I share everyone's feeling of grief and helplessness over the mass shooting in Florida yesterday. But over time, I have hardened, and the predominant emotion I now feel is anger. I am furious that the leaders we have in congress refuse to lead on this issue. I am furious that in an age where private citizens can launch rockets into space and fly drones overhead, we are not able to prevent the violent massacre of our citizens by one person with a gun.
The inability to do anything about gun violence is the bloodiest evidence of the partisan divide that has paralyzed our government for several decades now. Conservative arguments in favor of the right to own guns, the philosophical underpinnings of the 2nd Amendment, are important and hold as true today as they did when our founding fathers drafted the constitution. Liberal arguments for the regulation of guns are grounded in a genuine love for people and a desire to live free of the fear of mass violence. We need both viewpoints at the table, but both parties must be willing to come to the table.
We have guns in our home. My husband owned them when we met and, at first, I was horrified by them. It is scary to hold in your hand something that could snuff out another person's life in an instant. I am not fully educated on guns, but I have become more comfortable handling them and having guns in our house makes me feel safer, especially after an incident last year when someone tried to get into our home in the middle of the night. Most people who own guns are like me and my husband, regular people who want to feel safe and laws intended to stem gun violence must bear this in mind.
There is low hanging fruit on the issue of gun violence. Bump stocks are an obvious start. People who are convicted of domestic violence should lose their right to own guns, not just their right to buy new ones. Getting illegal guns off the streets and crafting legislation to stem the flow of illegal guns should be a top priority to protect civilians, law enforcement, and people who come into contact with law enforcement. Mental illness and the role that psychotropic pharmaceuticals play in these mass shootings needs to be candidly explored. Our technology has advanced greatly and I believe that it can help us tackle the issue of gun violence, especially accidental gun violence, which concerns me as a mother, or having your own gun turned on you while defending yourself, which concerns me as a woman.
There are areas where the right and the left will never agree on this issue, but our common desire as Americans to be able to send our children to school safely must overcome our partisan tribal instincts. We desperately need leaders, free of special interest influence, who will focus on solutions to gun violence while honoring the right of law abiding citizens under the 2nd Amendment. We need progress. As Senator, I will lead the way."
WEFER ANNOUNCES NOTICE OF INTENT TO SEEK NOMINATION HAS BEEN FILED WITH 19 GOP COUNTY CHAIRS
Englewood Cliffs, NJ- Dana Wefer, a 35 year old attorney, former chairwoman of the Hoboken Housing Authority and former Democrat, has officially filed her intent to seek the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate with 19 Republican County Chairs, the campaign announced Thursday afternoon. The campaign filed notices with the Bergen County Republican Organization on January 27th and all other counties except for Hudson and Essex on February 7, 2018 by regular mail.
“I am thrilled to officially throw my hat in the ring for the GOP nod and look forward to a robust democratic process through the primary over the next few months,” Wefer said. “One of the Republican Party’s strengths is that the candidate selection process is more democratic than that of the Democrats, where party bosses have obediently lined up behind Bob Menendez despite his ethical issues.” Senator Bob Menendez, the incumbent Democrat who recently escaped retrial on public corruption charges, cemented support among Democrat leaders after an ominous warning to fellow Democrats stating “To those who were digging my political grave so they could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won't forget you.”
Wefer is optimistic that the democratic primary process in the GOP will draw early attention to the race and attract Independent voters in the general election. “This democratic process will be the backbone of growing the GOP in New Jersey as we reach out to Independent-minded voters and wake up the electorate to the fact that the GOP is the party that celebrates our common values concerning the importance of free speech, personal liberty, and the power to self-govern.”
The primary election is on June 5th, 2018 and registered Republicans as well as unaffiliated voters may vote in the GOP primary. Voters who are registered with a party other than Republican must file paperwork by April 11th to participate in the GOP primary. Party declaration forms are available at http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/form_pdf/party-affiliation-form.pdf.
Contact 973-610-0491 DanaWeferforSenate@gmail.com
For Immediate Release January 25, 2018
“Recovering Democrat” Joins Republican Hopefuls to Take on Bob Menendez
Englewood Cliffs, NJ Dana Wefer, a former Democrat, who made news last year when she publicly left the Democratic Party calling it “too corrupt” and then briefly entertained a gubernatorial run, has officially thrown her hat in the ring to win the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate this year. Wefer is running on an anti-corruption platform focused on reforming the electoral process and government. Wefer cut her political teeth in Morris County where she ran for freeholder and then in Hudson County where, as Chairwoman of the Hoboken Housing Authority, she uncovered and blew the whistle on a former assemblyman who was giving out millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to campaign donors.
“I think that because my political activism has always been focused on government reform, Donald Trump’s election to the presidency affected me differently than it did most other Democrats,” Wefer says. She says the election “popped her bubble.” “It changed my whole worldview,” she said. “Someone who terrified me being elected president made me appreciate the importance of smaller and more limited government. It made me more conservative.” But, her “awakening” didn’t end there. “Once I broke out of my bubble, I realized that a lot of the stuff that was floating around in that bubble had actually distorted my understanding of reality. Credible news outlets were running stories comparing Donald Trump to an authoritarian. At the time it terrified me. Now it makes me angry, because it’s such a transparent lie. I feel manipulated.”
Wefer says she’s not wholly on board with President Trump. She cites the fact that he has not divested himself of potential conflicts of interest as an area of top concern for her, but she feels the public perception of him is being driven largely by a dishonest narrative. “There are policy areas where I disagree with him quite strongly, such as the issue of off-shore drilling, but at the end of the day, these are policy disagreements and we should be able to discuss them and things like immigration, tax policy, and the role of government without hysteria.” As to objections to his character? Wefer says neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are paragons of virtue, “but Donald Trump won because he was promising to disrupt the whole system. If the Democrats don’t like it, the answer is to nominate better people, talk about the issues that matter to people, and stop rigging elections.”
Wefer says she’s found a home in the Republican Party. “I have found the people of the Republican party to be independent-minded, welcoming, and tolerant of diverse opinions unlike in the Democratic Party, where, she says, there is little room for diverging views. “You have to be completely onboard with the party orthodoxy you’re deemed a racist or a bigot by the party’s base. It got to a point where I was afraid to express my views to Democrats. It’s a very unhealthy place for a political party to be. In addition, they’re supremely corrupt.” Wefer says the words of Ronald Reagan, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me” resonate with her deeply.
Dana Wefer may feel she’s found a home in the Republican Party, but will it embrace her? Wefer’s pitch: “I can grow the GOP and draw other people out of their bubbles. I can attract Independents and young people into the party with the message that this is where free-thinking and civil dialogue are welcome. I can be the bridge that brings moderate people concerned about policy into our fold. In this political climate, against a candidate like Bob Menendez, I am the Republican who can win.”