By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent
Anthony Cappola is this year’s political curiosity. A book he self-published twelve years ago has recently blown up in his face. It’s out of print and unavailable even to us, but printed excerpts that have been reported are full of rants against gays, blacks, Jews and Muslims, to name a few.
For example, on immigrants, the book says, “Hello!!! You live in America!!!! Write and try your damn best to learn and use English!!!!!”
On lesbians: “What a waste!!! I don’t mind if you’re a mullet wearing, goatee sporting, butch, but when you’re beautiful, what a sin!! Aside from making porn, they serve no purpose.”
“I have nothing to be ashamed of. I know who I am. I’ve been apologizing and I need to apologize, because the things I wrote, no doubt hurt a lot of people, hurt my own mother,” Cappola said.
He says he was in his 20s, trying to become a comedian, and aiming for a certain style.
“You know, very insensitive, raunchy, rude, hurtful, along the lines of Richard Pryor or Andrew Dice Clay, Howard Stern type of show. Again, this is my responsibility. I’m not saying they had anything to do with that, these comedians, but that’s my mindset back then. I grew up. I’m not that person anymore. And actually I never was. I made fun of Asians. My wife is Korean. I have a Korean son. I made fun of gays. On my staff of 21 people, I have two gay people and I’d go to the ends of the earth for those people. They’re my friends.”
After Politico New Jersey unearthed the book, Cappola was drummed off the Republican ticket. He’s back because Assembly minority leader Jon Bramnick didn’t want to spend $200,000 on legal fees to get him replaced on the ballot.
Before a debate last night, Democrat Tim Eustace, who is openly gay, says he bears no ill will toward Cappola.
“Well, he also insulted chiropractors and Irish Americans, and I fall into those categories as well, so I don’t think he left any stone unturned,” Eustace said.
Cappola’s Republican running mate Mark DiPisa has disowned him and boycotted the debate.
“We spent a lot of time together, Mark and I, over these past seven to eight months. I broke bread with him, he broke bread with me. I’ve been to his house. He’s been to my house. Sometimes we were together every single day. So he knows I’m not a bigot, not a homophobe, not anti-Semitic. He knows those things,” Cappola said.
“His running mate obviously wants nothing to do with him. The Republican party seems like it wants nothing to do with him, although I know there was a statement made by the minority leader that if he wins, they’ll take him, which I find a little odd, ” said Assemblyman Joseph Lagana.
In every election, it seems, there is an anomaly or red herring that comes out of nowhere, grabs media attention and colors the race. This year it’s Anthony Cappola’s book. An even bigger anomaly would be if, after given what he wrote, he were to actually win one of the two Assembly seats here.