NEWARK — During the first gubernatorial debate, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli repeatedly misled New Jersey voters about his policy positions and distorted the facts in an attempt to hide his extremism. On issues from concealed carry to driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants to reproductive freedom, and more, Ciattarelli simply decided to lie.
- LIE: Rejects concealed carry laws, claiming “it is not true” that he supports plans to roll back New Jersey’s nation-leading gun safety laws.
- FACT: Voted repeatedly against gun safety measures, including mandatory background checks, limits on magazine capacity, stronger concealed carry laws, and a ban on high-caliber weapons — measures which are overwhelmingly supported by New Jerseyans.
- LIE: Supports issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, saying “With regard to undocumented immigrants getting a license. I believe that’s a great security measure. They’re here, they’re not going anywhere. Let’s know where they are and let’s give them a driver’s license.”
- FACT: Opposed making New Jersey’s roads safer by issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. [New Jersey Globe, 7/27/21]
“Stop the Steal” Rally:
- LIE: Acknowledged President Joe Biden’s election victory from the “very beginning” and declined to comment on headlining a “Stop the Steal” rally in November 2020 to push Trump’s lies, saying: “So I’ve said from the very beginning that Joe Biden was the president. He’s a legitimate president. I said that before he was sworn in. I do think that Donald Trump’s rhetoric is what led to the riot that took place, I believe it was on January 6. In late November, I was invited to a rally by the organizer. He told me it was a rally focused on 2021 and as a gubernatorial candidate, I would speak on the importance of the entire legislature being on the ballot this year, as well as the governorship. When I went there, I didn’t see people in the kind of apparel that we find offensive. I didn’t see any of those signs.”
- FACT: Refused to acknowledge Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election for two months after the election — and two days after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. [Politico, 1/4/21]
- Continues to falsely claim that he didn’t know the purpose of the rally — despite video evidence of him speaking directly in front of a “Stop The Steal” sign and despite the fact that his name was prominently featured as a headliner on a flyer advertising the rally. [Star Ledger Editorial, 9/19/21]
- LIE: Supports reproductive freedom, noting “I’ve never advocated for the repeal or overturn of Roe v. Wade and I’ve never not advocated for a woman’s right to choose.”
- FACT: Boasted about plans to impose Christie-era funding cuts to women’s health care and family planning services. [NJ Spotlight, 5/19/17]
- Publicly supports NJGOP bill designed to undercut Roe v. Wade and limit access to abortion.Publicly supports NJGOP bill designed to undercut Roe v. Wade and limit access to abortion. [Jack4NJ]
- Opposed funding for women’s health care, stating there are “a number of other very urgent matters” than women’s health. [NJ Spotlight, 5/19/17]
- Pledged to veto legislation that codifies reproductive freedom as a matter of state law. [Ciattarelli for Governor – Press Release, 5/18/21]
- LIE: Claimed that his “flatter, more equitable” education plan would “not leave any student behind. I will not leave any community behind. I will not adversely affect the quality of education… We’re not going to send aid to people that own million dollar homes in places like Hoboken, Jersey City, and have them pay less in property taxes than a $400,000 homeowner in Toms River, Hillsborough and Parsippany. That’s what’s going on. That’s what’s going on and he knows it.”
- FACT: Proposed slashing state aid from the neediest school districts, leaving Black and Brown communities with insufficient funding. [Politico, 8/23/21]
- Ciattarelli’s call for “flatter, more equitable” funding mirrors Chris Christie’s “toxic plan” that was widely ridiculed as a “deeply irresponsible proposal for stripping New Jersey’s poorest communities of desperately needed education aid.” [New York Times, 6/25/16]
- Repeatedly voted in line with Governor Christie’s budgets, which slashed education funding and put lower-income students at a disadvantage. [Huffington Post, 6/29/15]
Children and COVID-19:
- LIE: Reiterated his stance on COVID-19 and its impact on children, saying “But my position is not inconsistent with what the CDC has said all along with regards to the COVID virus as it caused the pandemic last year. Children in general are not as susceptible to serious illness and death as adults are from the COVID-19 virus as we knew it last year. The Delta variant is different and we need to be vigilant in protecting our most vulnerable. The statistics you rallied off I think are national statistics, the really good news here in NJ is that 3 out of 4 adults are vaccinated and we are not seeing as many cases amongst children. Of course one is one too many and I will always preserve, protect the safety of our children.”
- FACT: Put politics ahead of New Jersey’s health and safety — Ciattarelli refused to wear a mask and would roll back vaccine requirements for childhood diseases like mumps and measles — taking us back more than 50 years. [Star Ledger, 3/24/21; Star Ledger, 7/27/21]
- Falsely claimed “children are not vulnerable to this virus,” while pediatric COVID-19 cases were at an all-time high in states without mask mandates in schools. [Star Ledger, 8/28/21]