Neither state Sen. John Adler nor Medford Mayor Chris Myers have ever held federal office before, but to hear their campaigns tell it, both are in some way responsible for the nation’s economic turmoil.
With President Bush in Colts Neck to raise money for Myers, Adler, a Democrat, took the opportunity to paint the Republican Myers with the same brush as the unpopular president. If Bush is to blame for the crisis, according to Adler, then Myers can’t be trusted to deal with it, having been one of the his”foot soldiers.”
"If Mayor Myers had any sense of the fear and feeling of utter helplessness gripping Americans being punished by this economic meltdown, he would not be standing arm in arm this afternoon with the very symbol of that failure, " he said in a statement. "Not since Herbert Hoover have we had a president whose blind spot on the economy had such a devastating impact on all Americans. For Chris Myers to be celebrating his friend and ally in the White House, especially at this time, demonstrates in the starkest possible way that he could never be trusted to be an advocate for the taxpayers of this district."
That brought a cry of hypocrisy from the Myers campaign, who pointed to a $1,000 contribution Adler received last year from Lehman Brothers Vice-Chair Barbara Moakler Byrne (the wife of former Democratic State Chairman Tom Byrne, who has given tens of thousands of dollars in donations to Democrats in recent years, and in 2000 donated $2,000 to John McCain's presidential campaign), and a $500 contribution Adler got from John R. Ryan, who’s listed as a vice-president of Fannie Mae.
The campaign also noted that Adler got a $1,200 donation from a firm lobbying on behalf of the mortgage industry in 2003 — shortly before he and State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest), who received $2,200 from a mortgage company during the same time period, introduced legislation that weakened the Home Ownership Security Act.
Myers Campaign Manager Chris Russell went on to cite a report from the Tax Foundation that said New Jersey has one of the worst business climates in the nation.
“If hypocrisy were a crime, career Trenton politician John Adler would be behind bars for life… John Adler is a shameless hypocrite and has long been part of the problem in Trenton. New Jersey voters know a Trenton politician is the last thing we need in Washington,” said Russell. “Chris Myers, on the other hand, is job-creating businessman, a decorated combat veteran and a tax-cutting local Mayor who will bring real change to Washington. He’ll be an independent voice that can’t be bought or bossed by anyone – let alone a President who will be out of office by the time Chris is sworn into Congress next January.”