The ad wars are continuing in the 1st Legislative District this week as the GOP is out with a mailer that skews some facts.
As the federal showdown plays out in Washington, South Jersey Republicans are hoping to capitalize on it by accusing moderate Democrat Jeff Van Drew of voting to “Speed up Obamacare in New Jersey.”
The mailer is likely to score some points among Republicans, especially conservatives, who have fought since the law’s inception to keep it at bay. The vote the GOP is referencing has to do with educating the public over healthcare exchanges, which are a key tenet of the president’s health care reforms and among its most controversial. Van Drew did indeed vote yes as the ad alleges.
There’s only one problem: Van Drew voted “No” in the Senate on a bill seeking to implement New Jersey’s exchange. So how does a “No” vote translate into a “speed up of Obamacare?”
After the exchange bill was approved, the Senate floated another bill calling for the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance to establish a public awareness campaign about the new federally required health insurance exchange.
The bill, which was vetoed by the governor, directed the banking department to figure out how to let people know the exchange exists and how they could take advantage of it. Republicans in the Senate voted no, while Democrats, including Van Drew voted yes.
Van Drew’s people say their candidate voted no on the only substantive vote related to Obamacare, while the GOP says his vote on the education portion amounts to speeding up its implementation.
“These guys like to whine about being misleading when they just outright lie,” said Van Drew spokeswoman Allison Murphy.
But just as Van Drew’s people stood by an ad last week implying that a legislative ethics committee had found no fault with Van Drew’s running mate, Assemblyman Nelson Albano over a complaint Albano filed against a state trooper when in fact the committee voted to investigate further, a spokesman for Republican candidate Susan Adelizzi Schmidt said the ad was factually correct.
“The fact of the matter is that every Republican voted against spending taxpayer money to promote Obamacare in New Jersey, while Jeff Van Drew and every Democrat voted for it,” said spokesman Chris Russell. “Senator Van Drew is whining because he got caught. Maybe he should take a page out of his running mate’s book and write a bogus letter to the State Police to complain about it, because it’s falling on deaf ears over here.”
The LD1 campaign has been marked by accusations from both sides of misleading campaign ads as each side has gone on the offensive in the heated race.
The district is represented by three Democrats but leans demographically Republican. The GOP hopes to unseat at least one of the three on the strength of Gov. Chris Christie’s expected coattails.