Governor, Edelblut Condemn DOE Spokesman Comment Some Called 'Racist'

Aug 2, 2018

Anthony Schinella, from his website.

New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut is condemning a statement by his departmental spokesman that has been called racist.

Anthony Schinella is the Department of Education's communications director.

In a recent discussion on his Facebook page, Schinella criticized a gathering of state business leaders focused on diversity.

Schinella wrote that "We don't want or need NH to become any kind of cesspool.....Diversity for diversity’s sake doesn’t bring us anything. An extreme example? 1,300 illegal alien Dominican drug dealers moving from Lawrence to, say, Concord will make the state 1% more diverse; but it would also bring more crime, higher taxes for public safety, etc." 

Schinella, a former journalist, has worked for the state since April. He told WMUR his comments were about the state's workforce, and "it wasn't about race at all."

Edelbut says Schinella's comments are "egregious, they're inappropriate, they don't reflect the spirit of New Hampshire, and we are going through the appropriate process to make sure the appropriate and available disciplinary actions are going to be taken."

Edelblut says that could include Schinella being terminated, but the first step will be an investigation by the state personnel department.

Gov. Chris Sununu said the comments are "unacceptable and wrong."

The two Democrats hoping to replace Sununu this fall have also weighed in.

Molly Kelly said she "would not tolerate discrimination or racism" in her administration.

Steve Marchand tweeted, "Obviously, Tony Schinella should resign. He is the Communications Director for NH’s Dept of Ed; either his belief system relating to immigrants, or his inability to communicate (or both), renders him unable to represent NH appropriately."

Commissioner Edelblut says, pending the investigation, Schinella will remain on the job. His Facebook page is no longer public.

One of the Facebook comments in question, before it was edited.