Brian Brown, Executive Director of the National Organization for Marriage and Chairman of Common Sense America, has begun airing radio advertisements targeting Assemblyman Nelson Albano in the first district, say Democrats.
Democrats say that Brown has purchased $21,000 worth of air time on two stations owned by Millennium Radio: SoJo 97.3 and Cat Country 107.3.
The 30-second spot reportedly refers negatively to Albano’s endorsement by Garden State Equality, the state’s most prominent gay rights group, who also backed his running mates, Assemblyman/State Senate candidate Jeff Van Drew and Assembly candidate Matt Milam.
Brown caused a stir when Common Sense America began a telephone and radio advertising campaign estimated to cost $230,000 targeting Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein in the 14th district, which is part of the Clean Elections Pilot Program. Greenstein got $100,000 in rescue funds to counter the group’s commercials.
But unlike in that district, where the ads targeted Greenstein on taxes and monetization, the first district ads are paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, and target Albano as being sympathetic to gay marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage’s president is Mary Gallagher, who sparked controversy when it was revealed that she received money from the Department of Health and Human Services to write favorable columns for the Bush Administration.
“It’s disgusting that Brian Brown’s special interest road show is now attempting to reach into another region of our state where it is not wanted,” said Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee spokesman Derek Roseman. “Brown and his ilk have rightfully received nothing but scorn from across the political spectrum since they arrived in New Jersey. Voters in the First District are smart, will see through Brown’s smoke and mirrors, and make up their own minds based on the facts.”
Despite numerous attempts, neither Brown nor Millennium Radio officials could not be reached for comment.
The district’s Republican state Senator, Nicholas Asselta, said he had no knowledge of the group or its ads.
“I don’t know who he is, what the group is or does, but obviously they have some type of agenda,” said Asselta. “There’s been no coordination and no contact with our campaign.”