The New Jersey Democratic State Committee has released a campaign video attacking the Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli and a very strange law that he tried to enforce in the 1990s.
The advert starts with people standing in front of a picture of Ciattarelli and asked if they know who the person in the image is. Predictably, none of them knows who he is.
After it is revealed who he is, the people are told that Ciattarelli led an effort to outlaw swearing in his town back in 1994, while he was serving on the Raritan Borough Council. The law would have seen anyone found to be breaking it, fined a whopping $500.
Jokingly the people in the video react by swearing. “You’re sh****ng me,” one woman says with a man adding: “No f**king way.” One woman admits that it sounded “kinda nice” but when asked if she’s being serious she replies: “F**k no!”
The video ends with a message to votes saying: ‘Let’s show Jack how New Jersey f**king does it. Vote November 2.”
Amazingly, back in 1994, the anti-swearing bill did actually pass through the council 5-0 but it was soon opposed by the town’s police chief on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment. Although defeated, Ciattarelli still defended the policy claiming that “four-letter expletives” could prevent someone’s “right to a civil and tranquil environment.”
Ciattarelli is running against the incumbent Democratic governor Phil Murphy, who was elected in 2018, succeeding Republican Chris Christie.
In a comment given to the Huffington Post, a spokesperson for Ciattarelli said: “Phony Phil from Massachusetts is desperate to ‘act Jersey’ and I guess he thinks feeding into the worst stereotypes about the state is the way to do it. What’s next – auditioning to replace Ronnie on Jersey Shore next season?”