Linda Stender is Right: Leonard Lance Stoops to a New LowIn fundraising and general campaign financial health,Republican congressional candidate Leonard Lance is in trouble, as Huntsu over at Blue Jersey has noted that Lance has close to $200,000 in debt, including a $100,000 personal loan he made to his own campaign. With no financial help on the way from the NRCC, at least not yet, Lance has decided to use Karl Rove-esque personal attacks on his opponent, Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender, rather than mount a substantive campaign. And as I've written elsewhere on Blue Jersey,, Lance is a dyed-in-the-wool right-winger who sometimes is mistakenly cast as a "moderate."
Thus the Lance campaign sent out press releases supposely concerning Linda Stender's finances that accused Stender of not paying her federal and state taxes on a family business. The only problem is that, according to records, Stender makes no money off the business, the business in question is owned by her mother and sister, and Stender only has a 5% stake in the business ownership.
Stender has used this opportunity to talk about middle-class economic struggles in the state and country, which is the right course of action to take: "It is shameless that Leonard Lance and the Republican Party are attacking my 80-year-old mother and sister's small business, particularly at a time when small businesses throughout New Jersey are struggling to make ends meet," Stender said.
Why Lance, a somewhat respected, anti-partisan (at least in the state senate) politician would stoop to this low level is clear: His campaign is losing any and all traction after a difficult GOP primary, and Stender is the superior candidate for this seat. Distractions and personal attacks, especially with they are based on questionable merit, are not going to win this campaign for Lance.