Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Gov. Jon Corzine’s running mate and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of New Jersey, personally voiced concerns to her running mate over their campaign’s use of negative advertising.
When asked to confirm that she conveyed her dissatisfaction to the governor himself, Weinberg replied, “Oh, yes.”
“We have a new pollster now,” she said, “with a new kind of over-arching theme.” The subject arose during Weinberg’s visit to The College of New Jersey on September 30.
Throughout the summer and early fall, the Corzine-Weinberg campaign devoted considerable resources to negative television ads, most of which called Republican challenger Chris Christie’s record into question. Such ads are common in American politics, but in New Jersey, they are the norm. Weinberg, who would be the state’s first lieutenant governor, agreed that the inundation of negative advertising during election season is often “disillusioning.”
She added, “Let me just say something else – as much as we all complain about it, negative advertising works, I’m sorry to say.”
Her rationalization might explain why the campaign has persisted in lambasting Christie over the airwaves. A recent Corzine ad, detailed in The New York Times last week, depicts the Republican challenger “stepping out of an S.U.V. in extreme slow motion, his extra girth moving, just as slowly, in several different directions at once.” A narrator then remarks that Christie “threw his weight around” to avoid a traffic ticket in 2005. Needless to say, attention is drawn to the candidate’s considerable heft. The ad has been chided as crude and insidious — and the Corzine campaign has since stopped broadcasting it on television.
But negative ads generated by the Democrats, even if less petty, are still abound in New Jersey. If Weinberg voiced her concerns to the campaign, they have apparently fallen on deaf ears.