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