Peter DeNeufville is hitting Jay Webber from the left, the right, and maybe even on the top of his head, figuratively speaking at least.
DeNeufville, one of five Republicans seeking the GOP congressional nomination in District 11, says in a mailer this week that Webber’s views “are too whacky for New Jersey.”
Interestingly, that is precisely what Democrats likely will say about Webber this fall if he becomes the Republicans’ nominee.
More specifically, the mailer faults Webber, an assemblyman from Morris Plains, for doing nothing to stop the state’s debt from increasing by 353 percent. Left unexplained is what Webber, who is in the minority in Trenton, could have done about it.
Additionally, the mailer criticizes Webber for opposing such things as equal pay for equal work, taking firearms away from those convicted of domestic violence and allowing police to “collect DNA evidence from people arrested for violent crimes such as rape and murder.”
Webber Campaign Manager Phil Valenziano responded to the mailer with a statement.
“This is a ham-handed attack, riddled with inaccuracies, from a flailing campaign that will cease to exist on June 6th,” Valenziano said. “Jay is the husband of a Harvard-trained lawyer and the father of four girls. He’s represented women who have suffered discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, and has fought for increased funding for domestic violence victims. Peter’s offensive attacks do only one thing, and that’s earning him the same contempt Mikie Sherrill received when she attacked Jay’s daughters. With just $12,000 raised since his entry in the race, no support from grassroots Republicans from around the district, and a campaign propped up solely by hundreds of thousands of dollars from the de Neufville family inheritance, it’s no surprise Peter’s desperate campaign is slinging mud.
“Jay Webber is the only candidate who can beat the ultra-liberal Phil Murphy-Bob Menendez- Mikie Sherrill machine,” the campaign manager added. “We look forward to bringing Jay’s positive, optimistic, and future-focused campaign for more jobs, better border security, and lower taxes to the voters over the summer and fall, which will bring victory for Republicans up and down the ballot in November. “
Some of the examples raised by DeNeufville are aimed at the heart at what some may see as Webber’s strength – a tendency to oppose so-called feel good legislation that wins near-unanimous support.
For example, Webber was one of only two votes earlier this year against a bill mandating equal pay for equal work. He said at the time that the measure was unneeded, because there already are laws on the books prohibiting pay discrimination in the workplace.
DeNeufville’s mailing also attacks Webber for accepting campaign contributions from the state teachers’ union. That’s really not surprising as the New Jersey Education Association, notwithstanding its perceived leftward leanings, has a history of supporting many incumbents regardless of party.
A source in the DeNeufville campaign said the hard-hitting mailer is less strident than what Webber likely will see from Democrats this fall if he gets the nomination.
That’s an interesting spin.
On one hand, DeNeufville is trying _ quite obviously – to win the nomination himself. The mailer describes him as “a political outsider dedicated to serving us.”
Yet, on the other hand, DeNeufville’s attacks – and there may be more to come we are told – can help prepare Webber for nastier accusations that are bound to surface this fall if he survives the primary.
So, you see, all this is a kind of “friendly fire.”
But you’ve got to wonder if Webber sees it that way.
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