- Milly Silva Is Entirely Unqualified To Be Lieutenant Governor. She has spent her career as a special interest organizer, has never held elective office, worked in the private sector, nor served in government. Barbara Buono has put her own narrow political interests ahead of picking a qualified running mate.
- Picking Silva is a sell-out to the entrenched Trenton special interests who have backed Buono’s campaigns and Democratic politics over New Jersey taxpayer interests for years.
- Picking Silva signals that Barbara Buono has no interest in supporting New Jersey’s small business, creating private-sector jobs or growing the economy. Her only interest is in catering to the narrow interests that have dominated Trenton for years.
- Silva will do nothing to grow Barbara Buono’s support in this election as she only doubles-down on Buono’s Corzine-era governing philosophy of higher taxes and more spending.
- Silva praised former Governor Jon Corzine as a “true leader” and pledged to be “out in front” in his re-election campaign, but failed to vote in the primary or general election in 2009.
Picking Silva Was Payback To The SEIU:
The SEIU Has Donated $22,000 To Buono Over The Course Of Her Career. (New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Contributions To Candidates/Committees, Accessed: 7/28/13)
- In 2011 Alone, The SEIU Donated $17,400 To Buono’s Senate Re-Election Campaign.(New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Contributions To Candidates/Committees, Accessed: 7/28/13)
- In Total, The SEIU Has Donated $2.5 Million To Democratic Candidates And Committees In New Jersey Since 1997. (New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Contributions To Candidates/Committees, Accessed: 7/28/13)
The 1199 SEIU Was One Of Buono’s First Major Endorsements For Governor, Coming In January Of 2013. (1199 SEIU, “1199SEIU Delegates Endorse NJ State Senator Barbara Buono for Governor,” Press Release, 1/31/13)
A Special Interest Lifer:
Silva Has Spent Nearly Her Entire Professional Career Working For The SEIU.
- Silva Earns Over $125,000 A Year As A Vice President Of SEIU. (US Department Of Labor, Public Disclosure, Accessed: 7/28/13)
Silva has never held nor run for elective office, nor held any position in government nor the private sector.
Silva’s Only Previous Employer Was Controversial Organization ACORN. “Silva's mother, Andrea Rodriguez, left Puerto Rico and took a job at a health-care agency in the Bronx to support her four children. She earned $5.25 an hour with no health insurance, said Silva, who in college began advocating for poorer workers through a New York chapter of ACORN.” (Erik Ortiz, “Unions court immigrants,” Herald News, 9/5/05)
Silva Is Hostile To Small Businesses:
The New Jersey Chapter Of The National Federation Of Independent Business“This is an unmistakable message to small business in New Jersey that big labor is going to have the run of the Statehouse …” (Tom Zanki, “Business Groups Wary Of Buono's Expected Running Mate,”
- “Silva is a longtime union organizer and president of the SEIU Local 1199 — the organization is one of the most ideological political forces within the union movement, and has led fights in every state and in Washington, D.C., for policies that concern small-business owners."
- “This is [Senator Buono’s] first important decision as a candidate for Governor and it very clearly signals that she has already taken sides in future debates in which small business owners will have an interest … It’s very troubling and I think unfortunate for the business community in New Jersey.” (National Federation of Independent Business, “Small Business Worries about Labor Organizer on Gubernatorial Ticket,” Press Release, 7/29/13)
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce: "We have concerns about the lieutenant governor candidate in tandem with the governor. The track record doesn't leave a positive feeling.” (Tom Zanki, “Business Groups Wary Of Buono's Expected Running Mate,”
New Jersey Business Leaders Were Critical Of Legislative Democrats For Holding Up “The Long-Stalled” Economic Opportunity Act By Not Simply Say[ing] No” To The SEIU And Their Prevailing Wage Amendment. “Summer recess notwithstanding, another week has passed in Trenton without lawmakers putting the finishing touches on the long-stalled Economic Opportunity Act … Still in focus is a provision that would require prevailing wages - effectively meaning union labor - for post-construction building services at projects that receive incentives. A source said business leaders have voiced their disappointment with Democratic leaders who didn't ‘simply say no’ to the Service Employees International Union, which backed the mandate. Opponents to that provision argued that such a requirement would make operating costs unworkable at a new building.”(“Grapevine,” NJBIZ, 7/8/13)
Silva Joined Buono In Praising Jon Corzine:
Silva Praised Jon Corzine As A “True Leader” And Said The SEIU “Will Be Out In Front To Help” His Re-Election. “Governor Jon Corzine has been a true leader and advocate for New Jersey's working families throughout his public service and we are proud to stand with him now as he has so often stood with us in the past … We will be out in front to help voters understand that Governor Corzine is fighting for their families …” (Kate Thomas, “SEIU Members in New Jersey Endorse Governor Corzine,” SEIU.org“SEIU Blog”, 8/28/09)
- However, Silva Failed To Vote In Either The Primary Or General Election In 2009. (Essex County Clerk’s Office, Election Record Information, Accessed: 7/29/13)
- Silva Also Failed To Vote In The 2007 & 2011 General Elections. (Essex County Clerk’s Office, Election Record Information, Accessed: 7/29/13)
Buono Called Corzine “Thoughtful And Deliberate On Fiscal Matters.” “I feel fortunate to serve in my position at a time when we have a governor who is thoughtful and deliberate on fiscal matters.Rather than resort to telling the people what he thinks they want to hear, he is refreshingly honest about our fiscal predicament.” (“Statement Of Senate Budget And Appropriations Chair Barbara Buono On The Signing Of The Fy2009 Budget,” Press Release, 6/30/08)
- “The governor has earned our respect by his willingness to be frank even in the face of criticism that this approach may not be the most politically expedient way of dealing with our fiscal problems.”
- “The Governor has set the bar high. It is up to the Legislature to meet this challenge …”
Silva Does Not Think The Governor Should Represent Taxpayers:
Silva Took Issue With Assertion That The Governor Should Be Representing Taxpayer Interests In Negotiations With Unions. “No public employee in New Jersey is represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the union of which I am executive vice president. Furthermore, the notion that the interests of public-sector employees and the interests of taxpayers are somehow at odds is patently wrong-headed. Don't we, as taxpayers, want our public servants -- police, firefighters, teachers -- to be satisfied with their jobs and compensated fairly for the work they do for us and in our name? A governor should be an advocate for good jobs, both private and public. That is responsible, efficient and effective fiscal policy -- benefiting taxpayers and workers alike. Milly Silva, Montclair”
(“Reader Forum,” The Star-Ledger, 7/3/13)
Silva Does Not Help Buono Expand Her Appeal:
Monmouth University Pollster Patrick Murray: "It’s certainly a pick that says, ‘We know it’s a loser’s race, so let’s make sure it’s a study in contrasts ...” (Jarrett Renshaw & Salvador Rizzo, “Buono picks running mate in battle against Christie, sources say,” The Star-Ledger, 7/25/13)
NJ 101.5’s Kevin McArdle: “I think it doesn’t really help Senator Buono with her own name recognition. She’s struggling a little bit, obviously, so it doesn’t really help her there.” (NJ TV’s “Reporters Roundtable,” 7/27/13)
- McArdle: "Maybe this is a major voice, that to be honest with you, I don't really know much about ... but maybe behind the scenes is a major voice that can get out that voice ... so that's really the reason I can imagine it was done, beyond that it doesn't really help to tighten the polls in any other way that I can think."
Montclair State University Political Science Professor Brigid Harrison: “But overall, Harrison said, she doesn’t see the nomination as a “game changer,” underscoring the upward battle Buono faces in the polls and in fundraising.” (Jarrett Renshaw, “Buono picks running mate in battle against Christie, sources say,” The Hunterdon Daily Democrat, 7/25/13)
NJ TV’s Michael Aron: “Buono might have scored more points with this selection if it had been somebody of more stature in state politics. … A mayor like Dana Redd or a Chris Bollwage or a Dawn Zimmer might have moved the meter a little bit more than ‘Milly Who’.” (NJ TV’s “Reporters Roundtable,” 7/27/13)
- McArdle: “Agree. With any of the names that you just mentioned, those mayors, I had heard of all of them.”
- Aron: "She may have wanted to pick a more liberal member of the legislature ... I don't know if she tried, but's it's tough to imagine a legislator giving up their seat to take a run. And a long-shot at that." (NJ TV’s “Reporters Roundtable,” 7/27/13)
“New School political science professor Jeff Smith, a former Democratic Missouri state senator who now lives in New Jersey, characterized the Silva pick bluntly as Buono's attempt to persuade the labor community to rescue her candidacy.” (John Celock, “Barbara Buono Picks Milly Silva As Running Mate In New Jersey Race,” The Huffington Post, 7/25/13)
- Smith: "Buono's selection seems to be a last-ditch effort to mobilize the party base behind a candidacy that is struggling to gain traction," Smith told HuffPost.
- Smith: "She is clearly hoping that the money and clout of SEIU and allied public sector unions will be a shot in the arm. I doubt it will succeed."