"I was appalled to read yesterday's Bloomberg report regarding the increasing number of
"You are quoted as follows, verbatim: 'It’s like an invasion. It’s the old throwback to the 1960s, when blockbusting happened in Philadelphia and Chicago with the African-American community -- ‘I want to buy your house. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.’ It scares the hell out of people.' ”
Kelaher's comments appeared in a March 14 Bloomberg article that delved into the recent tensions between Toms River and the Orthodox community in Lakewood that led to Toms River implementing a five-year ban on real estate soliciting in the North Dover section of the township.
"It is funamentally unjust and un-American to compare law abiding U.S. citizens engaging in legal real estate commerce to the hostile entry of a pernicious force," Miller wrote. "To say so, simply due to the fact that the homebuyers are of a different faith and ethnicity than your own, is pure, unadulterated bigotry."
Kelaher has announced a press conference for 4 p.m. Wednesday to address the issue, a township spokesperson said, as the quote and the response of Lakewood officials have gained significant attention. Kelaher told the Asbury Park Press, however, that he was referring to sworn testimony taken during a public hearing on the conflicts between North Dover residents and some real estate solicitors.
Miller, however, wrote that he sees the quote as "part of an unfortunate pattern where you've validated, even stoked, awful stereotypes of your Lakewood neighbors and, by extension, Orthodox Jewish residents of Toms River," citing as an example campaign literature Miller says was sent by Kelaher's campaign that utilized fear tactics to convince Toms River to vote for him.