NEGATIVE POLITICS: PERVASIVE IN NEW JERSEY

By Michael M. Shapiro
Politics has always had its share of negativity and personal invective. In the election of 1884, Republicans backing James Blaine for President circulated the phrase “Ma, ma, where’s my pa?” referring to an affair Grover Cleveland, the Democratic nominee, had engaged in prior to entering politics. Unfortunately, such a tactic is tame by today’s standards. In Hudson County, Democrat Sal Vega, who is running for State Senate against Brian Stack, accuses Stack and his allies of harassing and “paying off” the opposition and “abusing” City employees. Also in Hudson County, Assemblyman Manzo and Sandra Bolden Cunningham have unleashed assaults against each other for the right to claim the contested Senate seat there. On the Republican side of the aisle, Larry Casha and Jay Webber are engaging in a fiercely negative campaign for the District 26 Senate seat, with Webber recently stating that Casha “is proud of his tax and spend record.”

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