Unions defend Baroni against Bush comparisons

Two unions that back Assemblyman Bill Baroni for state Senate have stepped into their candidate’s corner to fend off what the groups see as unfair attacks against him.

New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech and New Jersey Education Association President Joyce Powell issued a press release today saying that Baroni had been unfairly maligned by being compared to President Bush in his opponent’s campaign literature.

“Accusations that Bill Baroni is a "Bush Republican" are laughable. Our endorsement was based upon his support for the issues our members care about,” said Wowkanech, who said that Baroni has a strong labor record, while Bush does not.

Powell said that her group’s endorsement of Baroni was based on his legislative record, including efforts to protect public employee benefits.

“Accusations that Bill Baroni is ideologically comparable to George W. Bush are an act of desperation and are completely out of line with Baroni’s proven voting record,” said Powell.

Singh spokeswoman Elizabeth Meyers said that her campaign sent out mailers comparing Baroni to Bush on three issues: stem cell research, environmental issues regarding the MTVE additive to gasoline and the Iraq war. None, she said, dealt with labor or education.

Singh, for her part, issued a statement in which she stuck to her guns.

"No matter how hard Assemblyman Baroni tries to ignore or camouflage it when t comes to stem cell research, women's rights, and the War in Iraq, his ecord is a carbon copy of George W. Bush," said Singh. "The voters of the 4th District have a right to know Assemblyman Baroni's stances so that they an decide for themselves how much he represents George W. Bush."

  Unions defend Baroni against Bush comparisons