Wire Service: AP
On March 29, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Arab-American leaders told Gov. Corzine that the dumping of a Lebanese-born candidate for a county office because of comments he made about terrorism amounted to 'political lynching,' and asked the governor for help in fighting a renewed climate of Arab-bashing. At a private meeting Tuesday night with the governor in the statehouse, eight Arab-American community leaders protested the treatment of Sami Merhi of Totowa, according to Merhi and another Arab-American leader, both of whom were present. Merhi was chosen by Passaic County Democrats to run for freeholder, then dumped from the ticket a week later over comments he made in 2002 that some interpreted as sympathetic to suicide bombers... Participants at the meeting did not ask Corzine to try to reinstate Merhi to the ticket. Rather, they asked him to visit Arab-American communities on a regular basis, appoint qualified Arab-Americans to state commissions and agencies, and work to reduce negative stereotyping of Arab-Americans and Muslims. But the governor did not make specific promises, they said."