As U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) campaigns in the Garden State for Republican Senate contender Steve Lonegan, Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s campaign hopes to remind voters what Lonegan thinks of Superstorm Sandy aid.
“If Steve Lonegan were a senator, he would have been working against sending money to his own state,” said Little Ferry Mayor Mauro Raguseo, adding, “It doesn’t make any sense.”
Raguseo, who represents a borough that was hit by the storm that slammed into the New Jersey coast nearly a year ago, spoke during a conference call Friday arranged by the Booker campaign. The Democratic mayor’s campaign staff invited Raguseo and others to speak with reporters about how Lonegan would have joined “with Tea Party extremists in Congress to stop aid” from heading to New Jersey, Raguseo said.
“I just couldn’t imagine if Steve Lonegan was a senator for New Jersey at the time,” he said.
Paul, who is in New Jersey today for a rally and two fundraisers for Lonegan, opposed Sandy aid in Washington. Lonegan has since referred to the billions of dollars the state received as being “over the top” and has said publically he disagreed with the state’s Republican governor on the amount of Sandy relief.
“Without federal aid, this town would never survive,” said Ocean Gate Councilman James McGrath on the conference call.
“Without FEMA and federal aid, this town of ours wouldn’t be the same,” he declared.
Booker was absent from the call and Lonegan’s camp did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Booker’s campaign has ramped up criticism of Lonegan over his lack of supporting federal Sandy aid since the Republican contender announced recently that Paul was traveling to the Garden State.
In an e-mail earlier this week, Booker’s campaign told supporters it was rumored Paul could help Lonegan raise “at least $20,000” and urged supporters to donate to the Democratic hopeful.