Greenwald, Van Drew and Whelan targeted with robocalls

TRENTON – The state Republican Party is again using robocalls to put pressure on Southern Democrats. The party ran a

TRENTON – The state Republican Party is again using robocalls to put pressure on Southern Democrats.

The party ran a series of automated calls Monday afternoon targeting several key Southern N.J. Democrats. The calls coincided with similar ones put out in northern districts, targeting Sens. Richard Codey, (D-27); Barbara Buono, (D-18); and Bob Gordon, (D-38).

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, (D-6), a potential gubernatorial candidate, and Sens. Jeff Van Drew, (D-1), and Jim Whelan, (D-2), both of whom represent competitive districts, were among the Southern legislators targeted in the recent robocall blast.

The caller, an unidentified female voice, tells constituents the lawmakers voted last week “to raise our income taxes by another $800 million.” The caller urges residents to call each legislator and provides a telephone number for their district offices.

“While Gov. Christie is trying to lower our taxes, Lou Greenwald is sponsoring legislation to raise our taxes instead,” the caller said. “We and Gov. Christie know we need tax relief, but instead Lou Greenwald has his hand out demanding even more of our hard-earned tax dollars.”

The caller made little mention that the $800 million tax increase passed by the Legislature would only be levied on millionaires and that it was vetoed by the governor.

However, party officials say the Democrats failed to act on immediate middle-class tax relief.

“For months it looked like New Jersey Democrats had finally come to their senses and were willing to act on middle-class tax relief. Turns out it was nothing more than political showmanship,” said GOP spokesman Doug Mayer. “Yesterday, Gov. Christie put the ball in their court and gave them a chance to make good on their promises but they decided they would rather play games than invest in New Jersey’s future.”

Greenwald, who has been the second target of robocalls from the state GOP in as many months, said the automated calls do “nothing but help me,” adding his office received 62 phone calls in response to the robocalls.

“We ask them very politely if they make over a million dollars a year, and shockingly, they say ‘no,’” he said. “We have not had one person say (they) like the governor’s plan.”

Van Drew, who said his office only received less than a dozen phone calls in response to the automated messages, called the message inaccurate.

“I didn’t find it to be an accurate robocall,” he said.

Mayer wouldn’t say if the state GOP planned additional robocalls in the coming weeks.

 

  Greenwald, Van Drew and Whelan targeted with robocalls