MONTVALE, N.J. – National Democrats are taking shots at one of Democrat Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s possible 2020 challengers in battleground NJ-05.
The target didn’t take the attack lying down.
“Disappointing tactics with 100% wrong information, just to smear and scare off anyone thinking of running for office,” said Montvale Mayor Mike Ghassali on his Facebook page Monday night, responding to a DCCC press release accusing him of raising taxes.
A Syrian-born Republican mayor who has spoken out against sanctuary cities, Democrats clearly believe Ghassali, his record, and his biography constitute a possible threat to a seat they need to hold in the next national election.
Ghassali says the lies employed by the DCCC are designed to distorts his fiscal record:
“I am proud of our town’s financial due diligence and the work that every staff and council member have done in the past years. This year we have full police staff, and full administrative staff to support the community for the next five years. We saved close to a $million dollars in legal fees with the Eruv and affordable housing litigations, built a $5.4 million firehouse ready for the next generation, and spending a million dollar a year on road paving. Maintaining AAA bond rating and over $5 million in surplus, and giving reasonable cost of living salary increases.
2016 raised municipal taxes by $264,000
2017 raised municipal taxes by $94,000
2018 LOWERED municipal taxes by $3.50
2019 LOWERING municipal taxes by $4.50″
Gottheimer’s allies understandably feel the need to redefine the tax issue ahead of the next big race. Notwithstanding his vocal campaign against the new $10,000 SALT cap and tax reform generally, preliminary numbers show the vast majority of residents in his district receiving net tax cuts in 2018.