District 39 takes the cake for the most humorous campaign commercials this election cycle.
State Sen. Gerald Cardinale’s is airing a cable television commercial of a hand puppet duckling criticizing state Senate candidate Joe Ariyan – for being a puppet. This comes after Democrats produced Youtube videos making light of Cardinale’s lobbyist-sponsored trips and his Caribbean home.
“People who call me a puppet don’t know Joe Ariyan,” says the puppet’s goofy voice. “The political bosses gave him three no-show taxpayer paid jobs – now they’re spending millions on a lying campaign to buy him aSenate seat.”
The puppet was referring to Ariyan’s role as the county’s public advocate for land use, Hillside public defender and commissioner of the Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority. Ariyan’s campaign has disputed the idea that the public advocate position is paid by taxpayer money, noting that he’s paid by a special account with funds drawing from construction application fees.
The puppet goes on to say that Ariyan will send more school aid to cities like Newark and Camden, vote to sell the Turnpike and Parkway, increase the sales and gas tax and vote to increase state debt.
“He’s a puppet that the taxpayers can’t afford,” concludes the commercial.
Ariyan has said in the past that he is against the concept of asset monetization and has criticized Cardinale for not doing more to reform the school aid formula when Republicans were in power.
Ariyan campaign manager, Jennifer Chirco, did not respond directly to the commercial’s allegations.
“It’s just further evidence that after being in office for nearly 28 years (Cardinale) has no record to stand on,” said Chirco.