Jay Webber’s campaign manager says a labor union is paying for a TV attack in the Republican primary to help the GOP nominate a weaker opponent against Democrat Mikie Sherrill in the fall.
Stronger Foundations Inc., which paid for an ad calling Webber a supporter of higher taxes, has ties to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 Cooperative Labor Management Fund. The group is funded by a single source political communications organization, which means it has no other donors and makes no contributions.
“This ad is wholly financed by big labor in an effort to provide a weaker and more liberal opponent for Mikie Sherrill in the fall,” said Phil Valenziano, Webber’s campaign manager. “Liberal special interests know that Jay Webber is the strongest Republican candidate and are meddling in the primary in an attempt to produce a Republican In Name Only candidate for the Mikie Sherrill-Nancy Pelosi team to beat in November.”
A Democratic source suggested that the ad is not about helping Sherrill, but more about Webber’s anti-labor record in the legislature and a belief that he would continue that ideology in the U.S. House of Representatives. Webber voted against the gas tax in 2017, an issue the Operating Engineers strongly supported.
Valenziano said that the candidates the ad is designed to help are Antony Ghee and Peter DeNeufville.
“No one is a stronger advocate for lower taxes, less spending and less debt than Jay Webber. He received the Champion of the Taxpayer award and opposes corporate welfare to big corporations and special interests and instead supports tax cuts for all New Jersey residents and businesses,” Valenziano said.
Valenziano believes Ghee and DeNeufville are weaker general election candidates than Webber, a five-term assemblyman and former Republican State Chairman.
“Ghee has admitted he registered as a Republican just two days before announcing his candidacy for Congress, and voted for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” Valenziano said. “Peter de Neufville donated $15,000 dollars to Planned Parenthood, which funds Mikie Sherrill’s election coffers, and $20,000 to the radical Tides Foundation, which funds an array of left wing activists engaged in anti-American, anti-Capitalist, and anti-Israel activities.”