GOP letter: Philly, Delco Democrats a 'cancer'

Michael F.X. Gillin in 2005. (Staff file photo)

Delaware County Republicans continue to dominate countywide politics, winning yesterday's races for county council, sheriff, register of wills and controller, despite the Democrats having the voter-registration advantage for the first time ever.

Maybe some Republicans were fired up by Newtown Township GOP leader Michael F.X. Gillin, who apparently rallied the troops with a pre-election "Dear Neighbor" letter claiming that the Philadelphia Democratic Party is attempting to "take over" the Delco government. The letter, which is basically the political equivalent of this Drexel frat bro's flag football speech (NSFW), went on to compare Democrats – some believe it's meant to refer to black Democrats in particular – to a disease that kills about half a million Americans a year.

"The Democrats are gaining strength in Upper Darby and have taken over Chester," reads the letter, which is written on Newtown Township Republican Executive Committee letterhead and concludes with Gillin's signature. "We cannot allow this cancer to enter the Courthouse."

In other words, stop the Democrats – or you'll die.

But how do you really feel, Mike?

For now, the Media courthouse will remain cancer-free, as Gillin might put it, but some Democrats think the lawyer should step down from his GOP post in Newtown. Gillin formerly served as the county's register of wills, an elected position.

“It's code language for 'bad elements' coming into Delaware County to take over. It’s absurd. It's to scare an older, white, Republican population," said Tony Campisi, chairman of the Marple Newtown Democratic Party. "I think Mike Gillin owes an apology to every voter in Newtown. He sullied the Republican Party and stained the reputation of Abraham Lincoln. If I were a Republican in Newtown, I’d demand his resignation."

Campisi called the letter, which he believed to be a dog whistle to white voters, as “tea-party politics at its worst."

"Quite frankly, it's a bunch of crap, and I think American voters are going to start rejecting these kinds of attacks," he said. "I think they're sick of them."

I put a call in to Gillin and will update if and when I hear back. Read the letter here.