Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer introduced a new campaign theme at a Passaic supermarket this afternoon: the “waste of the week.”
Zimmer today highlighted incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s support of the Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 – informally known as the Farm Bill – saying that it is full of pork-barrel spending, provides unneeded subsidies to agribusiness and raises prices for consumers.
“New Jerseyans pay twice for the Farm Bill: once in higher federal taxes to fund big handouts to wealthy farmers in other states and again in the higher prices they pay at their supermarket checkout line,” said Zimmer in a statement. “Politicians like Senator Lautenberg have been in office so long and are so disconnected with average taxpayers that they fail to see the wastefulness of this bloated depression-era legislation. To them, it is business as usual—catering to special interests, throwing good money after bad, all at taxpayer expense.”
Zimmer, who stood against federal earmarks, or “pork,” during his three terms in the House of Representatives between 1991 and 1997, has made that opposition the hallmark of his current campaign.
Lautenberg spokeswoman Julie Roginsky characterized Zimmer’s new tactic as a baseless partisan attack, and slipped in two references to Zimmer’s recent employment as a lobbyist.
"It's appalling that in a time of high gas prices, Washington lobbyist Dick Zimmer would criticize an energy bill that makes our vehicles more fuel efficient and invests in alternatives to foreign oil, and in a time of high food prices, he would criticize legislation to increase food stamps, food banks, and school nutrition programs for the neediest New Jerseyans,” she said. “Change is what we need but Washington lobbyist Zimmer just gives us more of the same partisan attacks we've been hearing from Bush Republicans for years."