Since 2015, the Ocean County Republican Chairman’s PAC has been making thousands of dollars worth of consulting fee payments to Walter L. Fields, Jr., a self-described “race and public affairs” journalist from Paterson who has expressed anti-Republican views, often lambasting white Republican voters and supporters of President Donald Trump as racists in his columns written for his website. With views like that, why is he being hired by the PAC of the state’s most influential Republican chairman?
Fields, who is the executive editor of NorthStarNews.com, describes himself as “an award-winning journalist who has written extensively on matters of race and public policy.” He authors a column on North Star News entitled “Black is…” where he comments on racial and political issues affecting African Americans. Commentary written by Fields is often highly critical of the Republican Party and focuses on race. According to his LinkedIn profile, Fields ran his own political consulting business, Fields Communications, from 1994 to 2005 where he specialized in “contract lobbying and political consulting services.”
Questions Raised By Hiring of Anti-GOP Consultant by Ocean County GOP Chairman’s PAC
From August, 2015 to as recent as March of this year, the Ocean County Republican Chairman’s PAC has been making regular payments to Fields totaling over $41,000. The payments are only vaguely listed on campaign finance disclosures as “consulting fees” and do not specifically list the work done for the county political action committee directed by embattled Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, who faces a federal criminal investigation over his unpaid taxes.
According to publicly available campaign finance disclosure reports on file with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, payments made to Fields from the Chairman’s PAC have been sent to the office of South Toms River-based attorney Robert Tarver. Tarver is listed as the legal analyst and general counsel of Fields’ news website.
It is quite surprising that Fields has been consistently hired by the county GOP chairman’s PAC as a consultant because many of the views expressed by Fields in his columns are highly critical of the Republican Party, specifically white Republican voters.
Fields has criticized white Republicans as “dripping with contempt” for black people when he described the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain as the “beginning of the end” for the party. More recently, Fields provided his readers with a list of reasons why current Republican President Donald Trump may be a “terrorist in the White House.” The Ocean County Republican Organization endorsed Trump in April of 2016.
“The Great White Dope is lowering the Republican Party into its grave and the party has itself to blame,” Fields wrote of the then-presidential candidate in an earlier article. “Its rightward embrace of a racially constructed framework that denies historical injustices, discounts present day racism, casts people of color as leeches, feeds the wealthy and starves the poor, and champions wedge issues to divide Americans by race is shortsighted.”
“I am resigned to the sad realization that the Grand Old Party is infested with hate,” Fields would conclude about the GOP in a 2012 column. But despite that realization, Fields started receiving payments from the Ocean County GOP beginning in 2015.
If the Republican Party is as bad as he says it is, why is Fields taking money from the PAC of Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore? It begs the question. We asked multiple Republican sources familiar with the operation of the Chairman’s PAC, and none of them had a clue as to why Fields was on the payroll.
Fields did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment for this story.