It’s two weeks until Election Day and there’s a cable ad hitting the incumbent in the 11th District.
That’s where longtime Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen in Morris County…
It’s actually the 11th Legislative District, home to state Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) of Monmouth County.
But Beck isn’t up this year.
No, she’s not, she’s up next year, but a public information campaign is now underway; an equal opportunity campaign that includes the sighting of another similarly TTF-harried target on the other side of the aisle: state Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1).
Here in the 11th, it dovetails, coincidentally, with Democrats and their allies – including labor – sensing Beck vulnerability now in the aftermath of the senator losing her two running mates last year in a big money contest.
Shark fins are up early at the shore.
Paid for by the Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative, the cable TV ad targets Beck over her opposition to a gas tax hike to pay for the replenishment of a depleted state Transportation Trust Fund (TTF).
“Senator Beck rejects the bipartisan solution to fix the TTF,” the ad declares. “Beck opposes fund fixing roads, end the estate tax, and cut taxes on retirees.”
Beck struck back against the ad today, noting that the plans she has heard discussed with Democratic Party input call for the hike of the gas tax by 20 or 40 cents.
It’s true the she absolutely opposes a gas tax hike, she reiterated in an early evening conversation with PolitickerNJ.
But she put forward her own plan, which is better, she maintains.
The senator favors a plan that would save one billion dollars over ten years by merging NJDOT, NJ Turnpike Authority, NJ Trust Fund Authority, South Jersey Transportation Authority, the Motor Vehicles Commission and possibly NJ Transit.
Beck’s plan, presented in conjunction with state Senator Mike Doherty (R-23), realizes a savings of $1.6 billion to avoid a gas tax hike and fund TTF, she says, seeking commitment by the state to implementing a seven year transportation funding plan that does not require an increase in the gas tax.
“There is no question it will require the fortitude of both the Legislature and Executive branch to advance this concept, but it clearly is possible,” Beck said. “In year 7 of this plan, New Jersey will be funding its transportation projects with limited amounts of borrowing. And over that 7 years, 11.2 billion in projects will advance utilizing 5.4 billion in bonds and 6.56 billion in cash for a total of 11.96 Billion. This leaves a 780 million cushion for the unexpected while allowing us to fund critical infrastructure.”