LAKEWOOD-This year, the influential Lakewood VAAD, a council of Orthodox religious, community and business leaders snubbed Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and announced their endorsement of Democrat Phil Murphy.
In a surprise preface to their endorsement of Murphy, the VAAD slammed the Direcotr of Government Affairs for the New Jersey State PBA, Robert Nixon. Nixon who is a lobbyist for the PBA and a township councilman in Jackson Township was branded by the Orthodox council as a “Nazi Forerunner”.
Nixon, who has been the driving force behind a series of Jackson Township ordinances the VAAD claimed were designed to curb the influx of Orthodox Jews into Jackson has been hailed as a hero by such groups in town as Jackson Strong, for which he has close ties to, was branded a “Nazi forerunner” by the VAAD.
“Such methods seem to follow Vienna’s Karl Lueger style Nazi forerunner political anti-Semitism from the 1900’s, matched by people like Jackson’s Councilman Robert Nixon, Jackson’s now disgraced Zoning Board member Larry Schuster, and by Toms River’s Mayor Tom Kelaher, among others,” the VAAD wrote about the Republican councilmember’s actions against the Orthodox Jews in his town.
Lueger was the mayor of Vienna, Austria around the turn of the twentieth century and used an anti-semitic platform to rise to power, blaming Jews for all of the problems his city faced. Lueger realized early on in his political career that “raising the Jewish question” earned him an enormous amount of political popularity within the disenfranchised citizenry of Vienna.
Riding shotgun with Nixon in the VAAD’s condemnation was Toms River Car Wash owner Larry Schuster, whom Nixon helped appoint to the township’s zoning board last month. Schuster ended up resigning from the board a week later citing familial issues, but minutes after his resignation, a Jewish online newspaper, the Lakewood Scoop, published a story documenting what it described as anti-semitic hate speech against the newly appointed zoning official.
In that release, sent by concerned Orthodox residents of Jackson Township were comments made against the Jewish community by Schuster and high ranking township Republicans, including Jackson Township Republican Club President Todd Porter.
“Over in Jackson, Nixon, together with Jackson Zoning Officials, apparently have their own obsessions,” the VAAD wrote. “These include working nonstop to ban any Yeshiva from opening there (sparking a number of lawsuits and a likely probe). They seem to worry too much about Eruvs, about Orthodox kids using Jackson parks, and about how to stop ‘them’.”
The VAAD also claimed the public officials were part of an effort on Facebook to attack Jews.
“Public officials were part of Facebook conversations where group members attacked Jews, the officials often applauded, and when suggestions were made by well-known people that it’s time for race riots and violence the officials were silent at best,” the VAAD said.
Just last week, Attorney General Christopher Porrino issued a stern warning to Nixon, the Jackson council, and the township’s Mayor, Michael Reina after charging public officials in Mahwah with discriminatory practices against that town’s Orthodox Jewish population.
“Our message to those public officials in Mahwah who are leading or following this misguided charge is meant to be loud and clear: We intend to hold you accountable. Our message to local officials in other towns who may be plotting to engage in similar attempts to illegally exclude is the same: We will hold you accountable as well,” Porrino said.
Leland Moore, a representative of Porrino’s said the warning was a clear message to towns engaging in the same behavior as Mahwah, and not just in Jackson.
Nixon has refused to comment all week on the VAAD’s statement or his role in the anti-Orthodox legislation in Jackson. A call for comment to the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association regarding Nixon’s actions also went unanswered on Friday.
Nixon also refused to comment on the Attorney General’s pointed statement against the Jackson Township Council.
Nixon is also President and Founder of State House Strategies, a political lobbying firm operating out of his Jackson Township, New Jersey home, which is currently listed for sale.
Nixon also teaches a Government Relations course at the University of Pennsylvania.