Douglas Steinhardt's misleading video
The December 11 campaign launch video of former New Jersey Republican state chairman Douglas Steinhardt is poor propaganda and demonstrable evidence of why he should not be the GOP nominee for governor. First and foremost, Steinhardt claims in the video that "I'm not a politician at all," as if he had not been mayor of an N.J. municipality for five terms, a county GOP chairman since 2004, and chairman of the N.J. GOP. Starting off a campaign video aimed at rank-and-file grassroots GOP primary voters with a blindingly bright lie should in and of itself be automatically disqualifying.
Steinhardt goes on to state that he has "worked with conservative activists all across our state, we've built a Republican movement from the ground up." Except for the murmurs that it was he and/or his political camp that brought the cease-and-desist letter against the October 2020 3,500-person pro-Trump rally in the Skylands Stadium because he was not permitted to use the platform to launch his gubernatorial campaign, he might be right. This is not to mention his choice to huddle up with those GOP title-holders who would rather be allies with elected Democrat officeholders than build their local or county GOP organizations. Even recent 2020 congressional candidates who created substantive ground-up grassroots campaigns by force of will alone and with no institutional support, such as Billy Prempeh in the 9th Congressional District, have rightfully gone on the record calling out establishment "leaders" like Steinhardt on social media for abandoning the grassroots.
Steinhardt also says, "You'll always know where I stand." As a state committeeman for almost four years, I can attest that this is mostly true but not the way he means it. While at first, I believed Steinhardt that he was a man of his word, it quickly became clear that where he stood was not with the grassroots, nor with those working in urban and other non-traditionally Republican areas to spread the GOP message. It fast became obvious that where he chose to stand was with the too many county, municipal, and other titular leaders who have decades-long agreements with their local Democrat allies to abstain from competing with them and who try to kneecap grassroots Republicans spreading the gospel of accountable government — all to maintain access to the low-show public jobs and contracts that are their bread and butter.
He continues in the video, "If I look and sound different from the same Trenton insider politicians who run for governor, it's because I am different. I built a law practice around the corner from my house." What he fails to mention is that that very law firm he touts as an example of his faux down-to-earth outsider experience is the firm in which the other named partners include Democrat Lou Cappelli, the director of the Camden County Freeholders, and former N.J. governor Democrat James Florio (who recently attacked Trump and those who are fighting for election integrity). Finally admitting that he is a career politician, Steinhardt goes on to state that "for 15 years I served as mayor of my hometown." He continues, "That's the closest I have come to the Trenton swamp." Laughably, he also warns that "Trenton insiders will hate" him. Yet the reality is that from his sometimes persecution, sometimes abandonment of the grassroots in the 2020 election cycle; his cuddling up with local and county Republican title holders who themselves are in bed with the Democrats; and his very own partnership with Democrat Party leadership, Steinhardt has shown he isn't from the Trenton swamp. He is the swamp.