Posted by Jon Salonis on June 17, 2013
By Star-Ledger Editorial Board The Star-Ledger
on June 13, 2013 at 6:00 AM, updated June 13, 2013 at 9:23 AM
How is it possible, you may ask, that Democrats such as Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and Union City Mayor Brian Stack can endorse a stalwart Republican like Gov. Chris Christie?
Yes, Christie hugged President Obama after Hurricane Sandy struck, and skewered House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for delaying aid. His loyalty to the party has its limits. And yes, he is sensible enough to compromise on big things, and so he has scored bipartisan wins on pension reform and tenure reform. Compare Christie to his Republican brethren in Washington, and he starts to look like Abraham Lincoln.
But that’s because the Republican Party in Washington has veered off the charts into a strange new territory. Ronald Reagan would be an outcast in the party today for agreeing to raise taxes and grant amnesty to immigrants who entered the country illegally. Bob Dole, the Republican presidential candidate in 1996, recently said the party should shut down for repairs while it gathers its wits.
So really, the bar needs to be set a little higher. If DiVincenzo and Stack consider themselves Democrats, then how can they endorse a guy who routinely does violence to core principles of the Democratic Party?
Christie favors the rich over the poor every time. He vetoed an income-tax hike on the top 1 percent and a modest increase in the minimum wage. He is an aggressive opponent of abortion rights who closed down six Planned Parenthood clinics.
He pooh-poohs climate change, withdrew from the regional treaty to cut emissions, and depleted the state’s clean energy funds by a staggering $1 billion. He removed the only African-American justice on the state Supreme Court for no good reason. He reduced aid to cities, forcing police layoffs that increased criminal violence. He is still trying to grab money set aside for affordable housing.
He pooh-poohs climate change, withdrew from the regional treaty to cut emissions, and depleted the state’s clean energy funds by $1 billion.
This list goes on, but you get the idea. Christie is a conservative fellow. And if he wins re-election, as seems likely, he’ll become a lot more conservative as the 2016 GOP presidential primaries approach. Count on that.
The point is that guys like DiVincenzo and Stack don’t give a damn about grand causes. They think about state aid, and they think about hedging their bets. If Attila the Hun were favored to win in November, they might endorse him as well.
And if that means a single mom who can’t pay her rent because she works a lousy job for minimum wage must be thrown overboard, then that’s the way it goes.
The polite term for guys like these is “transactional politician.” They are guided by a simple calculation of benefits they provide against benefits they receive.
The impolite term for them is much shorter.
Comment: I wonder what that shorter term might be? JA Coan
Posted by JACoan on June 15, 2013
With the primary completed and candidates in place for November’s election, Democratic candidates across Ocean County are ready for their campaigns. At the top of the county ticket is George “Bob” Armstrong, 69 from Toms River, who is running for County Sheriff. Armstrong, who has an extensive background in law enforcement, said “I will put an end to the excessive overtime and misuse of Sheriff’s officers that has gone on for years.”
For the position of Freeholder, Patricia Barndt, 55 from Beachwood, and attorney Joseph Grisanti, 52 from Jackson, are the two Democratic candidates. Patricia is a licensed realtor who says the incumbent Freeholder Board “has failed to provide tax relief to Ocean County’s homeowners and seniors.”
Michael Collins, 60, is an attorney from West Creek who is running for County Surrogate. If elected, Michael will cut waste in the Surrogate’s office to render it more cost-effective. “The Republican party is Ocean County is not driven by ideology” said Michael. “It is an old school political machine which rests upon patronage. This patronage consists of awarding contracts and jobs for political support. The party is not concerned with cost-effectiveness in governing but rather with rewarding its supporters with jobs.”
In District 10, John Bendel, 70, is running for State Senate while Susan Kane, 62, Amber Gesslein, 25, are running for State Assembly. Bendel, who is a former editorial page editor, says “Poor state tax policy is making Ocean County and New Jersey unaffordable. The income tax should be used to support schools and reduce property taxes.” Kane, a retired accountant, supports quality education and believes that job growth is the key to rebuilding the shore and turning the Jersey economy around. Gesslein, an adjunct professor of Government at Ocean County College, wants to “ensure college remains affordable in New Jersey and raise awareness of the importance of civic duties amongst young voters.”
In District 9, the Democratic candidates for State legislature are Anthony Mazzella, 62 from Bayville, who is a former director at the Department of Treasury running for State Senate, Peter Ferwerda, 71, who is a retired municipal and civil engineer running for State Assembly and Christopher J. McManus, 21, who is also running for State Assembly. Mazzella is running to ensure the State government gives the shore area the support it needs to rebuild and recover after Superstorm Sandy.
All candidates can be reached through the Ocean County Democrats at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Jon Salonis on June 6, 2013
NOTE: It appears that this has become a national news item and most are saying it is wrong and self serving.
According to reliable election sources, the cost could be more like $ 24 million or more.
Imagine how much assistance this money could have brought to the people still in need due to Sandy.
By Star-Ledger Editorial BoardThe Star-Ledger
on June 04, 2013 at 6:23 PM, updated June 05, 2013 at 9:08 PM
Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to hold the U.S. Senate election three weeks before the general election in November is a shameless move that will waste at least $12 million and risk the integrity of the vote. For him to present it as a high-minded attempt to empower voters shows what nerve the guy has.
There is no legitimate reason to hold two separate elections, and the reason he’s doing it is purely self-serving. He calculates that more Democratic voters will show up and cast ballots against him if a popular Democratic candidate like Newark Mayor Cory Booker is on the ballot as well. Given the big lead the governor has already, the greed here is striking: He apparently wants to run up his margin of victory as a credential for his 2016 presidential campaign.
Remember, this is the same governor who opposed early voting by citing the extra costs. It seems different rules apply when he stands to benefit personally.
The governor has the unchallenged power to appoint an interim replacement for the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died Monday. The question is what comes next.
He could have allowed his appointee to serve until November 2014, cutting voters out of the process altogether. That would have been tough to justify in a state where voters have not sent a Republican to the Senate in more than four decades. So the governor was right to reject that option.
Tom Moran: ‘We’re all paying $12 million extra to help Christie’ With the death of U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg on Monday, it falls to Gov. Chris Christie to name a temporary replacement. New Jersey state law is ambiguous on whether a special election is required, leaving the governor with a range of options regarding a new election. Star-Ledger editorial page editor Tom Moran breaks down the choices Christie made. (Video by Nyier Abdou/The Star-Ledger)
He could have allowed each party to pick its own candidate without a primary, effectively placing the decision in the hands of party bosses. Again, he was right to insist on a primary. The $12 million cost of that election is justified.
But why hold the special Senate election on Oct. 16? Some Republicans claim state law bans special elections on the same day as regular elections. But that strained reading of the law has never applied before. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-10th Dist.) won a special election last year to replace his late father on the same day he won a primary election to serve a full term in his own right.
Aside from wasting $12 million, Christie’s stunt could create havoc with the November vote. If the Oct. 16 vote is challenged, voting machines could be impounded as a legal fight plays out, which typically takes a month or two. Democrats may have grounds to sue over this concern.
But ask yourself this: Why should they have to? What legitimate reason does the governor have to risk the integrity of the November vote?
This is naked self-interest. And as skillful as the governor is at political spin, that fact is obvious to all.
Posted by JACoan on June 5, 2013
By Julie Roginsky, Published June 03, 2013, FoxNews.com
Julie Roginsky is a Fox News contributor and political and media consultant. She has served as a senior political strategist for Senator Frank Lautenberg and Congressmen Frank Pallone, Jr., Albio Sires and Steve Rothman, among others. She was previously the Capitol Hill communications director for Senator Jon Corzine.
Goodbye to my friend, my role model and the greatest public servant I know, New Jersey Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg, who died Monday at age 89.
Goodbye to the last member of the Greatest Generation in the United States Senate and the last of the liberal lions.
Goodbye to the man who is likely responsible for saving more lives than any other politician of his generation.
In 2000, Lautenberg retired from the senate seat he loved so dearly and instantly regretted it.
Some politicians spend a great deal of time talking about the American Dream. Lautenberg lived it.
After all, this was the man who had authored laws that prevented tens of thousands of deaths from drunk driving and from second hand smoke and who saved countless lives by authoring legislation that banned those convicted of domestic violence from buying guns.
Resting on his laurels was not in his DNA.
Lautenberg once told me that the two years he was away from the senate were among the most miserable of his life. “I’m not the guy to retire to Florida and play golf,” he said. “I’m happiest when I’m working on something meaningful.”
He returned to the Senate in 2003 and spent the last decade of his life giving it meaning. A World War II veteran from an impoverished family who went to college thanks to the GI bill, he authored legislation that created a new GI bill for our veterans. He was a tireless champion on behalf of our troops and victims of terror. Our nation is safer today thanks to his work.
Most importantly, Lautenberg had great moral clarity about his views. A self-made millionaire, his ability to self-finance campaigns made him immune to lobbying by powerful interests, a rarity in today’s Washington. Once called a “swamp dog” by a rival, he relished a bare-knuckled political fight. A lightening rod for conservatives, he believed that he was in politics to make a difference, not to make friends.
He and I were driving through Paterson, New Jersey several years ago, when he asked his driver to take a detour and show me the street where he had lived as a child. At the time, Paterson was home to the silk industry, where his father had worked in the mills and where he grew up in poverty during the Depression, sharing bath water with his family. A few miles away was the headquarters of Automated Data Processing, the payroll company Lautenberg founded and which made him a millionaire.
To him, the two were inextricably entwined. Some politicians spend a great deal of time talking about the American Dream. Lautenberg lived it and he wanted to make sure he provided others with the opportunity to live it too.
When Lautenberg announced a few months ago that this senate term would be his last, those of us who knew him were concerned about the effect retirement would have on him. He was no more likely to want to spend time in Florida playing golf at 90 than he would have been at 78. And despite his unfathomable love for attending Lady Gaga concerts in his spare time, there was nothing that he would have done in retirement that would have provided him with the fulfillment he derived for fighting on behalf of what he thought was right in the United States Senate.
So once the initial shock and devastation of his passing has cleared, I am relieved that Frank Lautenberg died while working on issues that gave him meaning. He will be spared having to watch the battles from the sidelines of retirement, fought by others while knowing that he was better equipped to fight them himself.
Thank you, Senator, for doing what you thought was right and not politically expedient. And though you may be gone, many others are alive today because of what you did to give your life meaning.
Posted by JACoan on June 3, 2013