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Republican Senate candidate in N.J. fires staffer after profane interview

By George Chidi
Saturday, October 12, 2013 16:33 EDT
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Steve Lonegan speaks to NJ.com (YouTube)
 
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If there’s still a line in political discourse, Rick Shaftan managed to cross it.

After giving a profanity-riddled website interview earlier this week in which he intimated that Newark N.J. mayor Cory Booker might be gay for not coming on more strongly in a Twitter conversation with a stripper, Shaftan’s boss, Republican New Jersey Senate candidate Steve Lonegan appears to have had enough of him.

Lonegan said Friday that he would fire his senior staffer Shaftan, multiple sources reported Friday.

“Mr. Shaftan’s comments are not reflective of my views or that of my campaign,” Lonegan said in a statement through his campaign spokesman, according to Talking Points Memo. “His comments are distasteful and offensive, and his contract as a vendor for my campaign will be terminated immediately.”

Shaftan’s interview with TPM on Thursday went viral after he called the relatively tame Twitter conversation between Oregon stripper Lynsie Lee that drew public attention last month as “weird” and “like what a gay guy would say. … It’s just like like there was no sexual interest at all. I don’t know. To me, if I was single and you know like some stripper was tweeting me, I might take advantage of the perks of the office, you know?”

Only four days remain in the campaign to succeed the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Voting commences Wednesday. Booker has held a lead throughout the race.

 
 
 
 
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