UPDATE (2/27/18): This afternoon, in an email statement, Senator Golden announced staff member Anthony Testaverde’s departure from the senator’s employment.
“Anthony Testaverde is no longer employed by my office. While freedom of speech is a right, that all citizens enjoy, what occurred in this instance was wrong and cannot be tolerated,” he wrote.
BAY RIDGE – Senator Marty Golden’s longtime staffer, Anthony Testaverde, shared anti-Semitic posts on Facebook comparing Adolph Hitler to Democrats, gun control advocates, and David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting. Andrew Gounardes and Ross Barkan, candidates running to unseat Golden, are calling on the senator to fire him.
“Marty Golden must fire Anthony Testaverde immediately. It’s that simple,” Barkan said. “Anti-Semites, racists, and far right conspiracy theorists have for years opposed common-sense gun control measures by invoking the name of Adolf Hitler. As the great-grandson of Jews who fled anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe, I am deeply mortified that a staffer for the state senator who represents me would endorse such vile viewpoints.”
Someone did point out to Testaverde that his post was rather offensive and that the comparison was “disgusting.” But the staffer had a response to that as well.
According to Barkan, if Golden does not fire Testaverde, then the senator is endorsing “these heinous ideas.”
“The survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School should be commended for their bravery, not likened to the worst mass murderer in history,” Barkan said. “We need serious gun control to prevent future school shootings. We don’t need people like Anthony Testaverde parroting absolute garbage.”
Gounardes went on Twitter to express his concerns, calling Testaverde’s comments “beyond disgusting — they are morally reprehensible.”
“No one who espouses such despicable hatred and idiocy deserves one dime of taxpayer money,” he tweeted.
.@SenMartyGolden must condemn these comments and fire Testaverde immediately. If he doesn’t, then Golden is complicit in spewing the same hatred.
Call Marty Golden’s office and demand that he repudiate this garbage and fire Testaverde. 718-238-6044. Or tweet directly at him. pic.twitter.com/MODtbCPOhh
— Andrew Gounardes (@agounardes) March 26, 2018
“The views expressed in this social media post are as wrong and offensive as they are misguided,” Golden told BKLYNER. “At my direction the post that was ‘shared’ has been deleted.”