DeCroce says Christie will carry Morris, voices concern that Longean could hurt GOP Assembly candidates

Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) said today that a poll by gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan that shows him running

Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) said today that a poll by gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan that shows him running ahead of GOP rival Christopher Christie in DeCroce and Christie's backyard of Morris County is "totally wrong."

"Absolutely not. Half of everything he's been coming out with we have found out to be untruths in the largest way. Certainly this poll is totally wrong. We know for a fact that he's way out of line," said DeCroce in response to a question from PolitickerNJ.com.

DeCroce, who has faced intense criticism by the Lonegan campaign, is facing a Lonegan-sponsored primary challenge from construction company owner Lou Signorino. Earlier this week, Lonegan strategist Rick Shaftan said that DeCroce himself could be in trouble in the primary, since his own poll showed Lonegan leading Christie by seventeen points in Morris County.

DeCroce also said that a Lonegan primary victory could spell trouble for his own legislative candidates. But he said he's confident of a Christie victory.

"It's quite obvious that people are not necessarily overwhelmed with the Lonegan program. Do I think it might cost my caucus? I'm concerned about it, absolutely," he said. "I'm going forward with my program based on a Christie win."

DeCroce made the comments during a conference call with Sussex County Republican Chairwoman Ailish Hambel and Plainfield Republican Municipal Chairwoman Sandy Spector. All three were speaking as small business owners, and spent the bulk of the call pinning the blame for what they said was the state's hostile business climate on Gov. Corzine. But DeCroce also ripped Lonegan's flat tax plan, which he said would raise taxes on the majority of New Jerseyans.

"The Lonegan plan will not significantly reduce taxes. He appears to simply want to tax the middle tax and seniors…. The tax plan that the Lonegan people are promoting is wrong for New Jersey," he said.

Lonegan responded that Shaftan's is a reputation as a good pollster.

"I think Rick is known as a reputable and accurate pollster. That's fine. They can deny reality as much as they want," he said.

Lonegan argued that Pennsylvania's 3.07% flat tax rate has attracted many New Jerseyans to that state and that, while a flat tax might raise taxes on some residents, it will increase economic prosperity. He said that DeCroce, whose favored tax policy he likened to President Obama's, is an "income redistributionist."

"I've developed an entire package of policies desired to end the outward migration of upper and middle-income wage earners… A flat tax is one of the most essential elements of creating sound economic policy," he said. "Mr. DeCroce was a big part of the errors of the last two decades."

Lonegan said that he welcomed DeCroce's attacks.

"How about we make it really easy for the press and we get Alex DeCroce and Chris Christie on a conference call with the press and the two of them can gang up on me," he said.

 

DeCroce says Christie will carry Morris, voices concern that Longean could hurt GOP Assembly candidates