Dear Representative Frank Pallone,
I read your remarks about Doug Forrester in the Star-Ledger article and the New York Times article today. I don't think you've done Corzine any favors here. When Rep. Andrews had his press conference on Friday to talk about the Philadelphia Inquirer article, he asked some good questions about Mr. Forrester's contracts with state and local governments and pay-to-play. You'd have thought Forrester would have responded a bit more strongly, since he's using governmental ethics as a big campaign issue, but he just had the spokeswoman basically refute it and comment on how competitive the marked for drug benefits is. Not a strong answer and he should have said more.
But on Monday, you piped in and I got to read this in my paper today: "This guy on the campaign trail is essentially using his run for office as a marketing tool to sell Benecard," said Pallone, the Long Branch Democrat hoping to finish Corzine's U.S. Senate term if Corzine is elected governor. "As he goes around and promotes himself as a candidate _ then (in 2002) for Senate or now for governor _ he has the opportunity to make himself known, make Benecard well-known, and essentially his campaign becomes a marketing tool to sell Benecard." (AP article) Boy, that sounds like political campaign sniping to me, especially when it's brought up that you really want that senate seat. Why did you say it? Do you really believe he's spending tons of his personal bucks and eating up the GOP's shot at the NJ Governor's seat simply to promote his business? I guess you do- from the NYTimes: ""This is almost as much as a gubernatorial campaign as it is a campaign for marketing BeneCard, particularly if you think he's not going to win, and I don't think he's going to win," said Mr. Pallone." Did you consider how petty these statements sound?
You also mentioned how he used the same pay-to-play practices he decries as a candidate to build his business. The Star Ledger writes: "U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, a Monmouth County Democrat, said Forrester's "fortune is built on pay-to-play contracts. This is hypocrisy at its worst." " Good, important point! But it kind of got lost in the shuffle, since I've got four articles linked here and only one quoted it. Even if you were right about everything you and Rep. Andrews said, all that is resonating right now is how snide your attacks were and how Forrester threw together a press conference of his own to refute yours.
This is Corzine's election at this point- he's 13 points ahead in the last Fairleigh Dickenson poll- but that also means it's his to lose. Corzine has an actual platform, plans for Our Fair State, a property tax plan (without a catchy little name, unfortunately) that may have some chance to help taxpayers- all things Forrester is behind in establishing. So the last thing the Dems should be doing is appearing to sink to that mud-slinging level.
Good luck on that whole senate-seat thing, if/when it comes up.