(WEST ORANGE, OCTOBER 18) - Schundler for Governor campaign manager Bill Pascoe, in the wake of Jim McGreevey skipping yet another public forum with leaders of New Jersey’s African-American community, today issued the following statement:
“In last week’s televised debate, Jim McGreevey told Bret Schundler ‘you can run, but you can’t hide’ -- but it seems that the robo-candidate from Woodbridge is the one on the run. Jim McGreevey has traded in his platform-heeled combat boots for track shoes, so that he can run away from any joint appearance with Bret Schundler concerning minority issues.
“Last night, Jim McGreevey had an opportunity to discuss whatever plans he might have to revive New Jersey’s economy and to provide greater opportunities for minority businesses with several hundred members of prominent African-American Chambers of Commerce. Jim chose not to show -- and that’s not the first time he has left behind the African-American community.
“Just two weeks ago, on October 4, the Gloucester County Minority Coalition held a gubernatorial forum to talk about issues of importance to South Jersey’s African-American community. Once again, Jim McGreevey chose not to show, and he didn’t even bother to send a surrogate.
“In September, both gubernatorial campaigns received an invitation from the Concerned Black Clergy of Camden City to participate in a forum about the future of the State’s poorest city. We accepted, but McGreevey declined -- forcing the event to be cancelled.
“And finally, in August, Bret Schundler accepted a challenge to debate minority issues with Jim McGreevey in Whitesboro, a Cape May community with a predominantly African-American population. Even after securing Whitesboro’s most notable native as moderator for the debate -- none other than Stedman Graham -- Jim once again declined to participate in a debate on the issues.
“By contrast, Bret Schundler has met with African-American business owners, clergy, and community leaders. Bret has answered their questions head-on, in public, and has spoken about his specific plans to cut business taxes to help our struggling economy, to expand contracting opportunities for minority business owners, to make gubernatorial appointments that reflect New Jersey’s diversity, and to give parents the power to choose what schools their children attend.
“Why does Jim McGreevey skip forum after forum sponsored by African-American organizations? Does Jim take for granted the support of New Jersey’s African-American community? Or is Jim just embarrassed because he has no track record of helping expand opportunity for minority-owned businesses, no track record of helping revitalize New Jersey’s cities, no track record of helping parents whose children are trapped in failing schools, and no track record of appointing African-Americans to prominent positions in state or local government? If minority groups want to be ignored and disrespected, they just met their new best friend -- Jim McGreevey. Well, at least they TRIED to meet him.”