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A new campaign mailer from Republican legislators in a tough re-election campaign claims a leading role in passing New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, but the primary sponsor of the bill says that Jon Bramnick and Nancy Muñoz are exaggerating their role in passing the landmark legislation.
“Women deserve to be paid the same as men for the same job – Period! That’s why Bramnick and Muñoz led the fight for equal pay,” the GOP direct mail piece said.
But Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Cherry Hill), who sponsored the landmark legislation in the lower house, said she never heard from Bramnick or Muñoz.
“It was an honor to develop landmark legislation to end the gender pay gap in our state,” said Lampitt. “I was gratified to have the support of dozens of my colleagues in the Legislature, however my phone never rang from LD 21.”
The bill had nine primary sponsors and 31 co-sponsors in the Legislature from members of both parties – the law is named after Diane B. Allen, a longtime Republican Senator who retired last year – but Bramnick and Muñoz were not among them.
Bramnick and Muñoz were not among the legislators who spoke in favor of the bill during a nineteen-minute floor debate. They did vote yes, along with 72 others.
For Bramnick, it’s a stretch to say that he “led the fight,” since he voted against a similar bill to guarantee equal pay for women in 2016.
The Assembly passed the bill 54-14 with bi-partisan support. Muñoz voted yes, but Bramnick cast a no vote. The Senate passed it 28-4, with Bramnick’s running mate, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr., voting yes.
Then-Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the bill. Bramnick’s blind obedience to Christie has become an issue in his bid for re-election to a 10th term in the Assembly.
Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Mount Laurel) lambasted the two Republicans, especially Muñoz, for trying to take credit for the accomplishments of others.
“Working in a bipartisan way to champion our equal pay law has been among the highlights of my first legislative session. It’s just sad to see the hard work of many legislators being co-opted by a woman who is clearly afraid of losing her seat,” said Murphy. “Political expediency is no excuse for taking credit for the work of others.”
It’s not immediately clear if the Democratic challengers in the 21st district, Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman, will get a chance to confront the GOP incumbents on the equal pay issue: Bramnick and Muñoz have not responded to a debate challenge.
Earlier today, the Mandelblatt and Gunderman campaign released a campaign video calling Bramnick and Muñoz chicken.
Bramnick did not respond to a 5:43 PM text message seeking comment.