- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

With Election Day arriving next week, it’s the thick of political advertising season in New Jersey - and across the country.

Almost every time a campaign makes an assertion about an opponent in New Jersey’s most heated races, the opponent fires back that the facts are off. Here is a guide to some assertions being made in key congressional races: what they got right, and what’s missing.

___

THE RACE: U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Jeff Bell.

THE AD: Booker’s “Tomorrow,” which criticizes Bell’s policy stance on issues ranging from Social Security to contraception.

Bell has several complaints, saying that Booker’s campaign incorrectly stated Bell’s positions on some issues and made it look like Booker was attributing his own opinions to third-party sources.

ON ECONOMIC POLICY: Titles on the screen say “Jeff Bell’s Failed Economic Policy Punishes New Jersey’s Middle Class and Kills Jobs” above a citation for an article in Politico. The article describes Bell’s economic policy beliefs, which include cutting taxes and putting the U.S. dollar on the gold standard. While there certainly are experts who agree with Booker’s interpretation of the implications of those policies, that is not addressed in the Politico article mentioned.

ON INSURANCE: Citing Bell’s pledge to support repealing President Barack Obama’s health insurance overhaul, Booker’s campaign says Bell wants to let insurance companies deny coverage because of customers’ pre-existing conditions. It’s true that Bell does want to repeal the law, which includes requiring coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Bell lays out on his website a proposal to have the government offer plans for those with pre-existing conditions rather than requiring private businesses to do so.

___

THE RACE: The race for the U.S House seat between Republican Tom MacArthur and Democrat Aimee Belgard. The seat is open because the current representative, Republican Jon Runyan, is not running again.

THE AD: Throughout the campaign, MacArthur has used a low-budget YouTube ad Belgard made for her losing 2010 Burlington County Freeholder race. In that video, which has fewer than 900 views on YouTube, Belgard uses markers and a yellow legal pad to say that she had not raised taxes as a member of the township committee in Edgewater Park and that she would not draw a salary if elected county freeholder.

The four-year-old video has been reused in MacArthur’s ads asserting that Belgard lied about increasing taxes and did take a salary as freeholder.

ON TAXES: The narrator in MacArthur’s latest ad, “Plan” says “Belgard increased taxes and lied about it” in 2010. In July 2010, the Edgewater Park township committee did increase the property tax rate that year as part of its municipal budget. Before the budget was adopted, in June 2010, Belgard joined the rest of the committee in submitting papers to the state to request permission to raise taxes beyond the state’s cap, which was then 4 percent. But according to meeting minutes from when the budget was adopted in July, Belgard was the only committee member to vote against the spending plan itself.

ON SALARY: In a 2010 video of Belgard that appears in the MacArthur ad, she promised not to take a salary if she was elected freeholder. She lost that election. The no-salary promise was not part of her campaign when she ran two years later and won a place on the board. According to a financial disclosure she filed as a congressional candidate, she received $13,600 for the job last year.

___

THE RACE: The 5th Congressional District, which goes across the northern tier of New Jersey from the Hudson River to the Delaware. First-time candidate Roy Cho, a Democrat, is trying to unseat Republican Scott Garrett, who is running for his seventh term.

THE AD: This race features dueling advertisements on the same topic. In a flier, Garrett says he “worked to bring immediate relief to Sandy victims.” In ads that have run on cable TV, Cho says Garrett is telling it wrong. In the latest iteration, Cho’s campaign said Garrett is “lying about helping Sandy victims.”

THE ISSUE: Cho is criticizing Garrett for being the only member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation not to sign a November 2012 letter calling for aid for people hit by the Superstorm Sandy days before. Garrett did not sign that letter, but he did sign others calling for congressional action. He was also the prime sponsor of one of the two Sandy relief bills that were ultimately adopted. His bill restored funding to the National Flood Insurance Program so payments could be made to policyholders with losses from the storm. He also voted for a larger allocation that paid for aid through other programs and is being used to increase storm resiliency. But days before that vote in 2013, he said he was still unsure of whether he would support the measure.

___

Follow Mulvihill at https://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide