Leaders of Greater Philadelphia’s religious and political communities came together today to state their strong opposition to the extreme right wing, white nationalist, racist and antisemitic leanings of Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.
In a news conference called by Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania, speakers criticized Mastriano’s $5,000 contribution to the web site Gab – describing how it is home to a steady flow of extreme right-wing rantings.
They urged voters to reject Mastriano and his association with the website, comparing what the Rev. Dr. Wayne Weathers, Vice President of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, called Mastriano’s “philosophy of intolerance” with the tolerant, inclusive policies of Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro.
Weathers cited his own experience in the food management industry, likening Mastriano to a piece of “bad fruit.” Mixing “bad fruit” with “good fruit” creates only more “bad fruit,” he said
“Pennsylvania is a good state. It is a great state. It is good fruit,” he added. “We cannot allow a tree that bears bad fruit to corrupt the good fruit of the state of Pennsylvania. We must march together to make sure that the good fruit of Joshua Shapiro wins on November 8.”
Burt Siegel, Vice Chair of DJOP and former Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia, said that it is “time for decent Republicans to make it clear that they even if they disagree with us about certain policy issues they can’t remain silent when their candidates join hands with antisemites.”
Joining Rev. Weathers and Siegel at the news conference were Jill Zipin, Chair of DJOP; Rabbi Seth Frisch; Rabbi George Stern; Imam Salaam Muhim; State Reps. Jared Solomon, Malcolm Kenyatta, Danilo Burgos and Dan Frankel; City Councilmembers Alan Domb, Cherelle Parker and Jamie Gauthier; City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart and former City Controller Jonathan Saidel.
The news conference took place at the Horowitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial at 16th and Arch Sts.