Connecticut candidate apologizes for flier featuring Jewish opponent holding $100 bills


(JTA) —The campaign of a state Senate candidate in Connecticut that sent out a flier featuring his Jewish opponent holding $100 bills has apologized.

The campaign staff of Ed Charamut posted the apology on Facebook late Wednesday.

The campaign mailer distributed earlier in the week by the campaign featured a manipulated image of Democrat Matt Lesser under text saying that he opposes lowering some taxes.

The apology read, in part: “The entire campaign committee, which includes members of the Jewish community, never discussed or considered Mr. Lesser’s ethnicity, race, religion or any other personal characteristic of Mr. Lesser and it was never our intention for the mailer to be anything more than a reflection of Mr. Lesser’s policy record. However, it is clear now that the imagery could be interpreted as anti-Semitic, and for that we deeply apologize as hate speech of any kind does not belong in our society and especially not in our politics.”

It also said: “Up until election day we will continue to focus on the issues and it is our sincere hope that people will understand that we in no way ever intended for the mailer to be about Mr. Lesser’s religious background. We agree with all those who have spoken out against hate speech and we stand united in that shared vision for our state.”

Charamut’s staff said that they “sincerely apologize to Matt Lesser, the Jewish Community and anyone who found the mailer to be anything other than a depiction of policy differences between the two candidates.”

The profile picture on the Facebook page Charamutforstatesenate now features a portrait of Charamut with the #Together Against Anti-Semitism logo that has become popular since Saturday’s shooting attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Charamut has not offered a personal apology for the incident. He had defended the flier on Tuesday saying it addressed their differences in fiscal management.

“The mailer makes the point that if elected, Matt Lesser will undoubtedly vote to hike people’s taxes again and again,” Charamut said in a statement. “Those wishing to portray a graphic illustration as something hateful are completely wrong.” He told the Hartford Courant “I reject hate speech in all its forms.”

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