Mikie Sherrill owes an apology to Jay Webber’s daughters (Opinion)
Politics is a nasty business for sure. Seems it's even nastier in the Garden State as candidates struggle to gain traction among a very disconnected (with good reason) electorate. Seems like I could write a post every day on another negative attack showing just how unprofessional some campaign and candidates can be. The most recent "You definitely should apologize for this" incident involves Mikie Sherrill who is running in the 11th district in North Jersey. The district has been held by a Republican since 1933, but with the President's approval ratings relatively low in the Garden State, the Democrats are hoping to change that in November. They've essentially pinned their hopes on former Navy pilot and prosecutor Mikie Sherrill. Although she does have a primary to get through with the Democrat elites and power brokers (along with their money), going to Mikie is more of a formality at this point.
Enter the controversy. In a speech intended to help her fellow Democrat, Assemblywoman Nellie Pou lashed out at Webber and referenced his four daughters saying that their Dad's record is having a "truly cruel and vicious effect" on the girls.
Pou made reference to Webber’s daughters saying his vote against equal pay legislation is ‘yet another sign of the grossly distorted worldview that Webber has deliberately tried to make a reality despite the truly cruel and vicious effect that his voting record and rhetoric has had on not just his four daughters, but every woman throughout the state of New Jersey.’
Webber in turn issued a statement condemning the outrageous and inappropriate reference to his kids and even his primary opponent said that the Assemblywoman should apologize.
Statement from Assemblyman Jay Webber:
I am a husband and a father before anything else in this world, and I am outraged at the depths that Mikie Sherrill has sunk to already. At the mere suggestion that her association with the ethically challenged Bob Menendez is relevant and should be explained, Mikie unleashed a vitriolic and unhinged attack that uses my four daughters to take a political cheap shot. Trying to pit daughters against their dad to score political points is reprehensible. My wife Johanna and I demand an immediate apology.
I am proud of my record on issues important to women. I have won increased support for battered women shelters, protected our schoolchildren from sexual predators, and fought to make New Jersey a place where women can start a business and find good jobs. And in my professional career, I’ve represented many women who suffered discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. I'll do more of the same in Washington, D.C., to create and expand opportunities for women and men across the nation.
Sadly, Mikie has chosen to go down the tired and worn path of the politics of personal destruction that the Democratic party has trotted out for the last decade. NJ-11 deserves better than this. Mikie’s tactics are disgraceful and the exact type of gutter politics New Jerseyans should reject.
Even though Mikie didn't say it and it's unlikely she wrote those words or encouraged her political ally to say them, she needs to address the issue. For Mikie Sherrill to play innocent and turn a blind eye to a vicious political attack involving the children of her likely opponent in November is as disgraceful as the attack itself. As a candidate, mother and veteran, you'd think that she's learned at least something about the boundaries of what's appropriate and inappropriate in the arena of politics. It can and should be a nasty fight to win a seat. It should never involve a candidates children.
Yes, Mikie, you should apologize on behalf of the elected representative who was speaking up for your candidacy.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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