Beck campaign warns of dirt digging

The 12th district Republican candidates issued a press release today warning that their Democratic opponents were going to conduct an “unprecedented” level of dirt digging.

Republican Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck is facing one-term incumbent Ellen Karcher for the State Senate seat on a slate with assembly candidates Declan O’Scanlon and Caroline Casagrande. Democratic Assemblyman Mike Panter, who beat O’Scanlon by less than 100 votes in 2005, is also running for reelection in what is expected to be a highly competitive race.

The press release evoked the 2005 Assembly race as a warning of what the Republican candidates say is likely to come. In that race, Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck toppled incumbent Bob Morgan. But just before the election, the Democrats charged that Beck lobbied for the German Insurance firm Allianz AG specifically to defeat bills that would compensate holocaust survivors and their families. Beck’s campaign denied the accusation and chalked it up to dirty politics.

“The accusations against Jen last time, they floated that story for several months and nobody paid much attention because it was garbage,” said O’Scanlon in a phone interview. “But they just kept coming back and coming back and eventually they made it a story out of the story just so they can get it out there… it’s a shame that’s the gutter that politics in New Jersey has sunk. They will outspend us in opposition research by 10 to 1 probably.”

The release said that the Democrats were “sending an army of political operatives” into the district, and expressed sympathy for bureaucrats who would have to comply with all the OPRA requests.

But Karcher’s Chief of Staff, Mike Premo, cautioned Beck’s campaign not to throw stones.

“I really think it’s interesting that while Senator Karcher is focused on getting the budget passed, Assemblywoman Beck is focusing on sending out partisan political press releases,” said Premo. “They do the exact same thing… She wants one set of rules for herself and one set for everybody else” Beck campaign warns of dirt digging