On Saturday (April 24, 2021), an anonymous and vicious attack on one of the candidates in the Board of Commissioners election was delivered by mail to Haddonfield residents and business owners.
There is no place for this kind of electioneering in Haddonfield.
In denouncing it, I use former Mayor Bill Reynolds as my north star. Revered in our community, he served for many years as moderator for the Civic Association’s annual Town Forum. During his introductory remarks, he would always caution the audience: “It’s OK to disagree, but there’s no need to be disagreeable.” The mailer attacking Colleen Bianco Bezich is beyond disagreeable. The authors clearly never learned that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
I call on all of my fellow candidates to join me in denouncing this despicable attack on Colleen in the strongest terms. I also call on them to sign the Fair Campaign Pledge – below – used in a number of Board of Commissioners elections prior to 2017 and to post their signed Pledge on their campaign websites and social media.
Borough of Haddonfield
The Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Haddonfield believe it is important to have election campaigns carried out in a positive manner focusing on issues, qualifications and candidates’ views; and wish to encourage this type of election campaign by publicly agreeing to the following Fair Campaign Pledge and asking all future candidates to make the same pledge:
FAIR CAMPAIGN PLEDGE
I pledge to conduct my campaign for public office openly and fairly.
I will discuss the issues and participate in fair public debate with respect to my views and qualifications.
I will not engage in, nor permit defamatory attacks upon the character of my opponents; nor shall I engage in unwarranted invasions of personal privacy unrelated to campaign issues.
I shall not appeal to, and I shall condemn appeals to prejudice based upon race, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or political affiliation.
I will not permit the use of any campaign material or advertisement which misrepresents, distorts, or otherwise falsifies the facts regarding my record or that of any other candidate.
Specific Agreements – I will further agree to the following specific conditions:
1. I will clearly identify (by name and address) the source of all advertisements and campaign literature published or distributed on my behalf.
2. I will use individual endorsements only with the permission of the endorser. 3. I will make available at the Haddonfield Library a copy of all campaign reports required by law. In signing this pledge, I assume personal control and responsibility for the conduct of my campaign.