Assembly candidates Tom Goodwin and Adam Bushman are already using a theme likely to become a sticking point in Republican legislative campaigns: tying Democrats to the Governor’s monetization plan.
The monetization plan involves leasing state assets – possibly including the New Jersey Turnpike — to private corporations.
In a press release issued today, the Republican candidates assailed Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein for not voting to strike monetization language from the budget during Thursday’s session.
“As I knock on doors, I continue to hear the same message: voters oppose selling the New Jersey Turnpike because it will lead to more toll increases,” said Goodwin. “Ms. Greenstein should have followed the lead of Assemblyman Baroni in voting to strike from the state budget the provisions to sell public assets.”
Although the Governor shelved monetization until after the November election, Republicans see the unpopular plan as an opportunity to score political points.
“Assemblywoman Greenstein’s vote to allow the sale of the Turnpike is bad for New Jersey,” said Bushman.
But Greenstein is against monetization, said John Duthie, her campaign manager. The language in the budget, he said, was merely preparatory, to allow the governor to study the idea.
“Linda absolutely does not support any sale of the turnpike or the garden state parkway,” said Duthie. “This is nothing but a political scare tactic. You can tell in the language, and it’s very plain, that all that the budget did was allow for preparatory expenses. There hasn’t been any plan out there. Everybody has to see a plan before they make a comment on it.”