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Emerson Council President Gerald Falotico, left, with Westwood Mayor John Birkner.

LD39 GOP attacks Dems over outside group

Coughlin-linked PAC making TV buys

By Nikita Biryukov, October 30 2019 4:23 pm

Republican incumbents in the 39th legislative district took aim at their challengers over an outside group backing them.

“It is time to start asking the question, whose interests will John and Gerry represent if elected to the Legislature?” Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi said. “Will it be the residents of Bergen and Passaic counties? Or will it be the Middlesex County Democrats who are bankrolling their campaign? If you simply follow the money, the answer is self-evident.”

According to the Republicans, NJ United, a group formed by aides close to Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, has poured more than $100,000 into TV ads in the district.

The group intends to release its donors, but not before Nov. 5.

The Republican candidates want that stance to shift.

“Holly and I have always supported good government principles, which include increasing transparency in government and politics,” Schepisi and Assemblyman Bob Auth said in a joint statement. “We call on NJ United to release the names of its supporters, so the people of Bergen and Passaic counties can see who is funding these commercials.  We hope our opponents will do the same”

The Republicans face challenges from Emerson Council President Gerald Falotico and Westwood Mayor John Birkner.

The two Democrats turned the attack back on the Republicans, targeting Auth’s endorsement from the National Rifle Association.

“We will not be lectured on ‘loyalty to the district’ by a pair of Chris Christie loyalists like Assembly members Auth and Schepisi who repeatedly voted to slash or deny funding for the infrastructure, transit, healthcare and school funding needs of LD39.  We agree that politicians shouldn’t be bought and paid for by special interests — which is why we have called on our opponents multiple times to renounce the support the NRA is providing to Mr. Auth, which they have utterly failed to do. Shame on them.”

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