NAME: Steve Lonegan
HOME BASE: Larch Ave. Bogota, NJ
We needed to profile Bogota, NJ Mayor Steve Lonegan for a long time, but this entry is expedited because there is no way in hell we can allow a mayor in our stomping grounds with ties to hate groups go on with his BS without a response. There's a reason why this misuse of the word man was not elected governor of New Jersey last year, let alone allowed to go past the Republican primary, but we will get to that in a minute. What prompted us to write this is his current campaign to get McDonald's to remove a billboard from his town that is written in Spanish. He is just beginning to get some airtime on national television over this, and he appeared on the Faux News Channel to explain how McDonald's is causing division in the community, of which 21% is Latino, with their sign advertising iced coffee. "You know, the McDonald's marketing plan they announced was to put these billboards up in the communities of Newark…West New York, Irvington and East Orange, all of whom have large illegal alien populations," He said on the morning show Fox and Friends. "Bogota does not. And I think that McDonald's was mistaken in coming into Bogota and assuming our Latino population didn't speak English…"
Now it isn't just for "their" Latino population that he is speaking for. "What they've done is they've successfully caused a division in our community where the non-His - some of the non-Hispanic population is offended that this group is no longer, it appears, willing to assimilate. But that's not the case."
Lonegan is absolutely right that is not the case. It is also not the case that he is speaking for the Hispanic population. Later he notes that the division McDonald's apparently caused is best demonstrated by the fact that "the first thing people are doing now is calling me a racist and a bigot." Of course, it doesn't help Lonegan's cause when he makes the comment that "I know my Latino population." That's pretty much the same thing that Southern segregationalists used to say about the Northerners during the Civil Rights Movement, and just like then when they declared "We know our Negroes", Lonegan doesn't know jack about his Latino population. It was them that alerted us to the crap he is pulling, and it is them that are calling him a racist and a bigot. What's more, this has been said about him before the billboard. Way before. In fact One People's Project has twice gone to Bogota, NJ to participate in counter-demonstrations against Ron Bass' United Patriots of America (UPA) because Lonegan had repeatedly hosted them at the town's VFW hall. The UPA is shunned by other local anti-immigrant groups because they are cozy with anti-immigrant hate groups like the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF). This organization is the one that came up with the phony reconquista conspiracy theory - a concentrated effort by Mexicans to take over the Southwest and reclaim it for Mexico by crossing the border - and who's leader John Vinson is a Council of Conservative Citizens member. Lonegan, who has had police try to discourage protests at these events, and at one time was able to get the cops to make people leave (hey, if he is going after a billboard, you think free speech is going to be his top priority?), has spoken at several of the UPA's meetings and events, and for someone who "knows" his Latino population well enough to speak for them, he should know better than to hang with this crowd if he is worried about division in his community, not to mention being called out as a bigot.
This is all happening because Steve Lonegan thinks he is going to be the guy who will force neo-conservatism down the throat of New Jersey. He has busied himself with making the state as right-wing as he is for a number of years now. When he ran for governor, he made it very clear that's what his intentions were, and to that end he must feel he has to shape himself into the biggest asshole going. To be honest, it looks like that for him it is more about being right-wing than it is about being for the people he is supposed to serve. The indie film Anytown USA spotlighted his campaign for reelection in 2003, and in the movie you can see how much the people felt he was polarizing the community even then. Sadly, he was still able to win the election, but he went on, as we noted to get trashed in his run for governor in 2005. His next go around to reclaim his office for another four years is in 2007, and you can bet things will be heated.
There will be more in this entry about Lonegan in the near future, but as we said earlier, we needed to make sure this scumbag was noted in the Gallery. His hate routine for the past number of years has gone on long enough. Bottom line: he needs to go.
You know the funniest thing about all of this? Bogota doesn't even have a McDonald's!