“This is not a list you want to be on; trust us,” the Gottheimer campaign said in an e-mail seeking campaign contributions. “It’s basically a who’s-who of right-wing extremism.”
Also on the list is Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), who is challenging freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) in the adjacent 7th district. It’s hard to fairly describe Kean as a right-wing extremist.
Placement on the NRCC Young Guns list is a highly competitive early benchmark for GOP congressional candidates that requires early fundraising and organizational successes. Admittance to the Young Guns program opens the door for additional fundraising opportunities for challengers seeking to flip Democratic House districts.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee equivalent is the Red to Blue list.
Gottheimer aggressively touted his own inclusion on that list when the DCCC added him in early 2016 during his challenge to seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage).
The Gottheimer fundraising pitch calls Pallotta a “Tea Party opponent.”
“The Subprime King of New Jersey is the extreme right’s top choice to try and unseat Josh and this proves it,” the campaign said. “That means he’ll have tons and tons of money to play with as his campaign picks up.”
The DCCC began labeling Pallotta, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, as the subprime king last March.
“When the housing bubble burst, thousands of hardworking New Jerseyans found themselves underwater on their mortgages and deeply in debt through no fault of their own,” said Mike Gwin, a spokesman for the DCCC, told the New Jersey Globe. “The last thing we need in Washington is a guy like Frank Pallotta — the Subprime King of Jersey — who literally got rich ripping off struggling homeowners.”
Pallotta said that the DCC was lying about his record.
“To be clear, in my 25 years on Wall Street, I never spent a single day in subprime mortgages,” Pallotta told the Globe. “It’s also disturbing to see that nearly nineteen months before an election, they are already resorting to lying to the public with a personal attack.”