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PARSIPPANY – Democrat Laura Fortgang came to Jay Webber’s office on Monday with dinosaurs in mind.
She said Webber’s overall philosophy has morphed from just out of touch to “Jurassic.”
The specific purpose of the press event outside Webber’s legislative office on Littleton Road was to highlight Fortgang’s endorsement from two unions – the state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers and the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, which represents nurses and other health care workers.
Beyond that, Fortgang also used the event to stress that Webber’s conservative views are out of sync with the 26th District, which includes parts of Morris, Essex and Passaic counties.
To that end, Fortgang mentioned what she said was Webber’s opposition to abortion rights, gay rights, strong environmental regulations and equal pay for women.
The equal pay issue is a “leftover” from last year’s congressional campaign, one that Webber lost to Democrat Mikie Sherrill.
In the state Assembly, Webber was one of two “no” votes against an equal pay for equal work bill named after former Republican state Sen. Diane Allen.
Notwithstanding that vote, Webber maintains he supports equal pay – both as a legislator and as the operator of a law firm. He says the Assembly bill was irrelevant and redundant because the law already protects women workers. The suggestion here is that Republicans may have voted for it, because it was named after Allen.
All that may be well and good, but the Democrats are unlikely to let the issue die.
As for Fortgang’s event outside his front door, a statement from the Webber campaign said as follows: “This is exactly who Laura Fortgang is – she pushes to raise our property and other taxes to do the bidding of hard-left special interests.
There is no better friend of the taxpayer than Jay Webber.
This is simple: while Laura Fortgang wants to raise our taxes, Jay Webber wants to cut them.”
This Assembly race, of course, is not merely Fortgang against Webber.
The other Democratic candidate is Christine Clarke. The other Republican is incumbent BettyLou DeCroce.
Clarke was not at the event; DeCroce was mentioned in a press release and in passing by Fortgang.
But most of her comments were about Webber.