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A political ad is not the place for reasonable discourse. Still, even with that understanding, some of the ads appearing in the LD25 race stretch the bounds of credibility.
That’s the nature of politics, but also a sign perhaps of the competitiveness of the race between the Republican team of Anthony M. Bucco and Brian Bergen and the Democratic partnership of Lisa Bhimani and Darcy Draeger.
Those, like me, who sat through the unfortunate Jets’ debacle Monday night could at least enjoy – assuming politics is in your blood – some of the local political commercials.
One of the ads on behalf of the Democrats has Republicans crying foul. They first objected more than a week ago, but the ad is still running. It suggests that Republicans Bucco and Bergen oppose breast exams and cancer screenings for women. That’s a pretty heavy accusation.
The supporting evidence points to votes Bucco has taken in the Assembly, A lot of times, various aspects of women’s health become entangled in the abortion issue. That was the case during the Christie years when the governor vetoed money for Planned Parenthood. But still, Democrats have votes to point to in the case of Bucco.
That’s not the case with Bergen. who is not in the Assembly, and therefore, wasn’t around to vote on any of this. The reported justification is that Bergen said he would have opposed the state budget, which of course includes money for women’s health. That’s pretty tenuous. Opposing a budget doesn’t mean you’re against everything that’s in it.
A Republican ad I saw Monday night was equally flawed in terms of accuracy.
Broadly speaking, it suggested that the Democrats support reducing state aid to Morris County school districts. No evidence exists to support that accusation.
And then, there’s the farm. Draeger owns a farm in Chester Township and, as such, qualifies for a farmland assessment. That means she pays virtually nothing in property taxes on a roughly 9-acre farm.
The GOP ad said she’s taking advantage of a “loophole.”
Not really. This is state law; not a loophole. Naturally, the commercial omits the fact that Draeger pays almost $24,000 annually in property taxes on her home, which is on the same plot of land as the farm.
We also have had some skirmishing over websites.
The site for Bhimani and Draeger says that the Democrats are backed by the state teachers’ union and the New Jersey FOP.
That’s half true. Only Bhimani is backed by the teachers’ union; only Draeger is backed by the FOP. Bucco is backed by both.
This discrepancy prompted the Bucco-Bergen camp to lambaste Bhimani and Draeger for “misleading voters again.”
Then again, judging from many of the political ads out there, an accuracy rate of 50 percent ain’t all that bad.