Democratic challengers in the 25th district took aim at Assemblyman Anthony Bucco’s law practice Tuesday.
Bucco’s law firm, Murphy McKeon, P.C., holds a number of public contracts with municipalities in the state, some of which fall in Bucco’s district. His Democratic opponents, Darcy Draeger and Lisa Bhimani, said that amounted to him fleecing the district’s tax payers.
“It takes a special kind of self-serving politician to lie to voters’ faces about affordability while cashing in for himself behind their backs — but that’s just another day on the job for Anthony Bucco,” said Bhimani and Draeger Campaign Manager, Daniel Fleiss. “Now we know why Anthony hasn’t done a single thing to bring down taxes for middle-class families over his ten years in Trenton: he’s one of the reasons they’re so high.”
The Democrats said Bucco’s firm received roughly $2.4 million from Netcong and Roxbury alone.
They identified two other municipalities, Randolph and Parsippany, and three fire districts — those in Parsippany, Montville and Hanover — with contracts to the law firm.
Bhimani and Draeger’s campaign said the latter five have not provided documents on the contracts in response to public records requests.
Bucco’s team said his firm’s services were well worth the price.
“While we are not surprised our opponents are stooping to this level, Anthony is more than happy to discuss his record of fighting for our state’s hardworking taxpayers and the bipartisan municipalities he represents,” Bucco campaign manager Rob Costello said. “As a municipal attorney, Anthony has produced countless savings which directly translate to a higher quality of services and lower tax bills for residents. Tax cheats Bhimani and Draeger, with their long history of ripping off taxpayers, should take a good hard look in the mirror.”
Last week, Bucco attacked Draeger over a farmland tax credit she takes on part of her property.
Draeger, a former investment banker who became a farmer after leaving Wall Street, raises sheep, chicken and bees. She sells the products they produce locally.
Bucco also brought to his defense some local Republican elected officials in the towns his firm represents.
“We have really appreciated the opportunity to work with Anthony over the years as the Borough’s municipal attorney. His expert legal advice over the last 25 years has been critical in guiding the Mayor and Council on issues that make Netcong the best possible place to live for our taxpayers,” Netcong Mayor Joseph Nametko said. “His ability to keep us out of unnecessary lawsuits has undoubtedly resulted in savings to the taxpayers. His work ethic and character are unmatched.”