Hackensack Education Association Prez: Stop Swiftboating

The president of the Hackensack Education Association today threw himself on the mercy of those political operatives in Camp Labrosse whom he says have cruelly and unnecessarily tarred and feathered the reputation of a school board member earnestly toiling as a campaign manager in local May nonpartisan elections.

“I ask that our members not be dragged into the political theater of trying to destroy one another,” wrote Mike DeOrio. “Their overall integrity should not be jeopardized through the deceptive ‘swiftboat‘ strategy of character assassination. I respectfully ask that all campaigns use better judgment and not engage in any political or personal attacks that could result in negative spotlight on our school district of create a media circus.”

DeOrio specifically cited a hit piece prepared by the Labrosse Team criticizing Caseen Gaines, campaign manager for the Lara Rodriguez Team and a teacher at Hackensack High School.

“Caseen Gaines’ claim that he had our press release before it went out is simply not credible,” Labrosse Team spokesman Phil Swibinski said in  the piece in question. “Hackensack High School students are being cheated by this political operative playing politics when he is being paid to teach. Is this why school spending is up by $5 million – over 7% in just one year – in the new school budget?”

Gaines thanked DeOrio for intervening.

“I appreciate the HEA President’s condemnation of the Labrosse Team’s attempts to politicize our school system through baseless and ‘deceptive swiftboat’ attacks on my character and professionalism,” the campaign manager said said in a statement.
Swibinski shot back:
“Caseen Gaines doing political work on school time has now been revealed for nearly a week, and still no one has provided any justification for this behavior whatsoever — not Gaines himself, not his union and especially not the Zisa-controlled Hackensack Board of Education. Hackensack taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for the Zisa team’s campaign and they deserve a straight answer to these allegations. If the school system won’t pursue an investigation then law enforcement should step in and stop this blatant taxpayer abuse.”

 

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