To the Editor,
My heart sank when I received the dishonest and misogynist flyer mailed anonymously from a P.O. Box in our small town this past weekend.
The mysterious “Defend Haddonfield!” lobbed baseless smears against Commissioner candidate Colleen Bianco Bezich.
Whoever did this knows their claims are misleading—why else would they cite irrelevant sources that that do not support their claims or demonstrate just the opposite? And why would they remain anonymous if they truly believe they are “defending” Haddonfield by lying to its residents?
These dirty politics expose an absurd double standard that does not belong in 2021. It is no coincidence that this attack targeted Colleen Bianco Bezich among all of the candidates. Colleen is one of only two female candidates in a pool of six men running for this role, and only the second female Commissioner ever in Haddonfield.
Colleen has run a clean campaign and has a spotless track record. Yet this anonymous operation targets only her, and none of the male candidates, some of whom face ethics complaints, a whistleblower lawsuit, and even a cease and desist letter from a national charity.
If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Colleen, you will recognize that she is undeniably smart, friendly, compassionate, and incredibly qualified to serve this lovely town. She works tirelessly on behalf of all of her constituents, and is known in town for her responsiveness and dedication. In just two years, she fought to reach compromise and build creative solutions to many concerns and problems she inherited.
Her record shows honesty, transparency, and a commitment to unify and improve this town, in stark contrast to the underhanded group that seeks to tear her down.
In January, we saw the first ever female vice president be sworn into office, Kamala Harris. Our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins and daughters felt empowered and optimistic about the future for the first time in too long. While we watched history in the making, mesmerized by our televisions and smart phones, we also realized just how much work lies ahead.
It’s 2021, Haddonfield. Let us join together to say NO to smear tactics that play to our basest fears and insecurities. Let’s reject double standards that tear down female candidates for displaying the very same ambitions we reward in men who run. The women in our lives deserve so much more.
Let’s vote for candidates who genuinely care about making our community better, more caring, and more inclusive. We can, and we must, do better.