Stronger Foundations, a non-profit 527 group with ties to the Operating Engineers Local 825, won a Reed Award for the Toughest TV Ad by an Organization or PAC for an attack on statements made by Gov. Phil Murphy that helped incumbents Jon Bramnick and Nancy Munoz win a tough re-election campaign for State Assembly.
The ad, “The Stakes,” was considered a game-changer during last year’s 21st district legislative campaign.
The ad included audio of Murphy saying, “If you’re a one-issue voter and tax rate is your issue, either a family or a business, if that’s the only basis on which you’re going to make a decision, we’re probably not your state.”
“If taxes are your issue, then Lisa and Stacey aren’t the candidates for you,” the ad says.
The Reed Awards are named after Campaigns & Elections founder Stanley Foster Reed. Along with the Pollies, they are considered the most prestigious awards available for political consultants.
Stronger Foundations spent almost $400,000 to help re-elect Bramnick and Munoz.
Much of the independent expenditure’s creative and strategic work was directed by Michael Makarski, who runs the external affairs operation for the Local 825 Engineer Labor-Employer Cooperative. Makarski is a former Secaucus school board member who had worked on dozens of federal, state and local campaigns.
Greg Lalevee, the IUOE Local 825 business manager, was ranked #12 on the 2019 New Jersey Globe Power List. Mark Longo, the director of the Local 825 Engineer Labor-Employer Cooperative, was ranked #52.