GOP nominee for U.S. Senate Steve Lonegan’s chief strategist, pollster and spokesman, Rick Shaftan gave a profanity laced interview to Talking Points Memo this afternoon wherein he suggested that New Jersey voters would elect Lonegan to the Senate next Wednesday over Newark Mayor Cory Booker because of Booker’s “odd” way of relating to LynsieLee, the Portland, Oregon stripper with whom Booker interacts on twitter.
Shaftan implied that Booker is gay because he doesn’t relate to LyniseLee like a drunken frat boy might, with graphic descriptions of what he would like to do to her breasts. And he thinks that is why New Jersey will elect Lonegan.
In a disingenuous comment to The Star Ledger, Lonegan’s press contact, Will Gattenby , said Shaftan was not speaking for the campaign, yet attacked the TMP reporter published Shaftan’s comments.
“Rick Shaftan’s comments were not on behalf of Mayor Lonegan or his campaign,” said spokesman Will Gattenby. “This is a distraction from the issues by the left-wing media and a disreputable reporter, who on more than one occasion, has displayed a severe lack of journalistic ethics.”
Why would Shaftan be talking to any reporter, about Booker, if not for the campaign? Why would any reporter care about Shaftan’s vulgar comments if not for his key position leading a U.S. Senate campaign?
If Shaftan was aware that Hunter Walker, the TPM reporter, is alleged to reported off the record comments, why would he even talk to Walker?
Walker reported Barbara Morgan’s profanity laced response to former MMM contributor Olivia Nuzzi’s Daily News article last July about interning for Anthony Weiner’s New York mayoral campaign. Morgan, Weiner’s spokesperson, claimed her comments were off the record.
Why would Shaftan or Morgan use such language with a reporter while representing a candidate for such high public offices?
Gattenby verified the accuracy of the Star Ledger’s account of his comment.
Shaftan told the Star Ledger that Walker reported his comments accurately and doubled down:
“I didn’t think it was newsworthy enough to write about,” Shaftan told The Star-Ledger. “On the other hand, any story where Cory Booker is compared to Gary Hart and Larry Craig cannot, by definition, be a good story for Booker.”
Shaftan declined to comment further.
Shaftan is delusional if he thinks his behavior helps his cause or that resurrecting the @LynsieLee story will remind New Jersey voters of Gary Hart and Larry Craig. New Jersey voters are more likely to think of Lonegan as a Todd Aiken or Richard Murdock, two U.S. Senate candidates who cost the GOP seats last year with their stupid remarks, than they are to compare Booker to Hart or Craig.
Lonegan was not available for comment and has yet to return our call.