Conservative activist Brian Brown didn’t back down this week from what he says is his Constitutional right to run ads against Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, despite calls by both Democrats and Republicans in the 14th District for him to desist.
"It’s attacking the integrity of the clean elections program," said Greenstein’s Democratic running mate, Seema Singh.
"They need to stay out of the district," said Assemblyman Bill Baroni, Singh’s Republican opponent and co-sponsor with Greenstein and others of the clean elections pilot program here, which required each of the candidates to collect $10 contributions from voters in order to qualify for the same amount of public funding.
Now Brown is on the outskirts of town, calling up to 20,000 voters in the 14th District and refusing to back off of a $125,000 radio buy with WKXW 101.5 FM that targets Greenstein.
"The radio ads are running," said the former executive director of the James Dobson-backed Family Institute of Connecticut, who moved to Princeton two months ago and set up the 501-c(4) organization called Common Sense America.
Elizabeth Meyers, spokeswoman for the Greenstein campaign, dismissed Brown's allegation that the campaign improperly obtained the ad from the radio station prior to the ad's release over the airwaves.
"Last week we were notified about the ad by our media buyers,"Meyers said."But we hadn't heard the ad until this morning."
The chairman of Common Sense America, Brown is also theexecutive director of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
According to its website, "NOM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it. Founded in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage in state legislatures, NOM serves as a national resource for marriage-related initiatives at the state and local level."
The organization is chaired by Princeton professor Robert P. George.
The radio spot that began airing today is a tax ad, but among other things,Brown's questioning Greenstein’s record on same-sex marriage. As chair of the judiciary committee, the assemblywoman last year presided over hearings on that issue, which resulted in the state's Civil Unions Act, which had the bipartisan backing in the district of Greenstein and Baroni.
Greenstein wasn’t the only robo-call candidate targeted by Brown.
"Seema also got calls from people in the Indian community," said Greenstein, which Brown confirmed.
Today Greenstein is awaiting a ruling by the state election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) on whether or not she can receive $100,000 in rescue funds to combat what her campaign calls "an egregious attack campaign undertaken by a third-party organization."
"The radio advertisement purchase and push-polling is a clear violation of the Clean Elections program which prohibits expenditures by independent entities," said Meyers.