TGIF News Roundup & Open Thread for April 6, 2012

Thanks to all who pushed @BlueJersey over 3,000 Twitter followers yesterday :)

Is Christie a birther like Bucco?

  • Surprise! The NJ Assembly has a birther! And he’s Christie’s Assemblyman …
  • Bucco doubts President Obama’s citizenship.
  • Bucco: “interesting points” in argument Obama’s not eligible to be president.

    6 Degrees of Separation

  • Chris “Who’s ALEC” Christie and ALEC. Now with new floating Christie head!

    Yo, Politicker ….

  • Are you missing something?

    Newark mosque uses NYPD Muslim surveillance in ad

  • “We have nothing to hide. Our doors are open” proclaims the ad in yesterday’s Ledger, aiming for a more realistic view of the Muslim community.

    Gloucester City: Largest rooftop solar project of its kind in America

  • Covering 1.1 million square feet of rooftop at the Gloucester Marine Terminal, generating enough power for 1,500 homes, qualifies for an $11M federal tax break.

    Cory Booker, no Springsteen tix for you

  • Newark mayor’s dispute with Devils managing partner may keep him out of the Prudential Center. Unless …. maybe Springsteen offers tix?

    Christie’s Israel trip

  • Christie meets with God to compare notes.
  • Pix & video from Israel.

    This is fiscal responsibility?

  • Columbia Journalism Review looks at yesterday’s piece in the Times by Charles Bagli, on Christie’s record $1.57 billion in tax breaks to corporations for promises of jobs, just for short moves inside Jersey. Subsidies that don’t go away when jobs don’t materialize.
  • Here’s the Times piece again: Christie Leaning on Tax Subsidies in Hunt for Jobs.


  • CD10: Former West Orange Mayor and current LD-27 Assemblyman John McKeon endorses Newark Councilman Ronald Rice for Congress.

    There’s more below the fold: Christie’s ‘asset monetization’ moment, Scott Garrett at the White House, New Jerseyans finding Christie “arrogant” more, driving less and less, NJ public colleges inflating SAT scores, and more.

    Christie’s ‘asset monetization’ moment in Camden

  • There’s now another way to say “asset monetization.” New Rowan University. Rather than a phoenix rising, these three words are an albatross hanging on the neck of Governor Christie. (Doblin)

    Scott Garrett at the White House

  • President signs bill originating in Garrett’s subcommittee. Garrett afterward paints Obama as bad for business.

    Additional Assorted Christie

  • More people describing the Gov as arrogant but he also gets props for “strong leader” and “smart”.
  • Romney’s Top 5 VP picks.

    Jerseynomics & Government Transparency

  • Road Warrior: We’re driving much less.
  • South Jersey firms lead pack in political donations.

  • Huge PAC donations to Dems pollute Middlesex pay-to-play initiatives.
  • On the other hand …

    NJ colleges inflating their SAT scores

  • Following the revelation that Rowan University misrepresented its SAT scores in the midst of a political battle to dramatically expand the school, a Record analysis shows that 3 other state schools have inflated SAT results – Ramapo College of New Jersey, New Jersey City University and William Paterson University.

  • Comments (14)

    1. zi985

      I’m placing my bets that Senator Rob Portman of Ohio will be chosen as Mitt Romney’s eventual running mate come August.  Here’s a good article from The Atlantic explaining why:

    2. zi985

      I’m happy to see Assemblyman John McKeon’s endorsement yesterday of Ronald C. Rice for Congress.  Unfortunately, the Assemblyman lives in the 11th Congressional District part of West Orange but perhaps his endorsement could help Ron Rice get votes in the eastern part of West Orange (in the new 10th Congressional District) as well as South Orange and Maplewood which he represents in the State Assembly and are part of the 10th Congressional District.  Also, why did Assemblyman John McKeon, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28) who lives in Nutley, and Senator Dick Codey (D-27) who lives in Roseland all decide not to run against Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen?  I can understand why Codey wouldn’t since he might run for Governor but since McKeon and Caputo both live in the new 11th Congressional District it would have been nice to see one of them challenge Frelinghuysen like how Chivukula is challenging Lance in NJ-7.

    3. zi985

      If Pascrell loses the primary against Rothman in June what do you think the chances are that he’d run in the Democratic primary for Governor in June 2013 or the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in June 2014 if Lautenberg (who would be 90 years old at that point) decides to retire?

    4. 12mileseastofTrenton

      Strike 1 and 2.

      Makes too much sense.

      Strike 3.

    5. Bertin Lefkovic

      …that Romney will get the 1,144 delegates that he needs before the convention, I predict that he will select NM Governor, Susana Martinez (with or without the gay hairdresser who now refuses to do her hair because of her positions on LGBT issues), or WI Congressman, Paul Ryan.

      Ryan can do more to help Romney in the Rust Belt, where this election will most likely be won or lost, but Martinez could help Romney narrow his widening gaps with Hispanics and women.  I see her as having a bigger impact nationally than Ryan, but it is a close call.  Much will also depend on how the Ryan budget is polling come the summer.

    6. zi985

      For his VP pick, Romney will pick someone he knows and trusts, who has extensive experience in the top echelons of government, and who will be entirely uncontroversial.  After the clusterfuck that was Sarah Palin back in ’08 and the strategic and careful planning of his presidential campaign to date the Romney camp will not be taking any risks with their VP pick.  He won’t choose Paul Ryan because the guy has only been a congressman for 12 years and has authored an extreme Republican budget in the House last year (which failed to take fruition) and another one last week which will also go nowhere.  Romney knows that Obama would just continually slam him for picking a running mate who was the main author of a House budget that destroys the middle class and so he will avoid that connection at all costs (the Obama campaign has already been railing against Romney’s association with Ryan over his House budget proposal and that stems only from Ryan’s endorsement and recent campaigning with him in Wisconsin).

      With regard to Susana Martinez, she hasn’t done any thing too radical in the 1 yr.+ that she’s been Governor of New Mexico.  She does have some baggage, however; she was a Democrat before 1995 and her paternal grandparents were undocumented immigrants from Mexico.  That will not go over very well among the Republican rank-and-file.  Also, she has outright stated that she would refuse the position of VP if it was offered to her.    

      Rob Portman is the cleanest cut VP possibility out there for Romney.  Romney knows and trusts Portman as a friend.  He also represents Ohio in the Senate, a crucial swing state that Romney won in the primaries a few weeks ago largely because of Portman’s endorsement.  Portman was a congressman from 1993-2005, was the U.S. Trade Representative from 2005-06, was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2006-07, and has been a U.S. Senator since last year.  He has a perfect balance of uncontroversial legislative experience in both Houses of Congress and has executive governmental experience working as the U.S. Trade Rep. and Director of Management and Budget.  He also began his public service career in 1989 working for President George H.W. Bush as Associate White House Counsel and later served as Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs until 1991.  He has a fairly bland personality like Romney but Romney will play it safe with his VP choice and so it makes perfect sense that Portman would be good for the job.  

    7. Bertin Lefkovic

      If Codey runs for Governor next year, McKeon will run for State Senate.

      Caputo would have been an interesting opponent for Frelinghuysen, but my guess is that Chivukula is more ambitious than Caputo and that Caputo is satisfied being a part-time, back-benching state legislator, making money however he does on the side, and does not have any interest in doing anything else of consequence.  Caputo has never had to run in and win a competitive election and I seriously doubt that he would have had the fire in the gut needed to run a hard-fought campaign in a tough district like CD11.

      In my opinion, the best candidate to take on Frelinghuysen would be the guy who used to represent a third of the voters in the new CD11 and was well-liked by both Democrats and Republicans.  Unfortunately, Pascrell, Jr. is more interested in being the Congressman from Paterson than representing an entire constituency.  Maybe he will give CD11 a shot after losing to Rothman in CD9.

    8. 12mileseastofTrenton

      But he has some baggage from his state house days.  Don’t discount Bob McDonnell.

    9. 12mileseastofTrenton

      And the same chances if he wins.

    10. tabbycat31

      But I would not discount the loser of the CD9 primary to run for governor next year.

    11. 12mileseastofTrenton

      Once again, that part of Pascrell’s district was the most Republican.  While the part of Rothman’s district in the fifth is Democratic.

      According to your logic, Rush Holt should leave his district and run against Leonard Lance.

    12. Bertin Lefkovic

      …Bloomfield, Belleville, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Montclair, Nutley and West Orange that used to be in CD8 and are now in CD11 are not the most Republican.  They were very Democratic and even the Republicans in those parts liked Pascrell a lot, because they knew that in his heart of hearts was more like them than any liberal Democrat.  Pascrell was also very popular in Republican towns like Cedar Grove, Verona, Little Falls, Wayne, Totowa, and West Paterson.

      Pascrell would have done very well in these towns, particularly against Frelinghuysen, because they know that under both Democratic and Republican majorities and presidencies, Pascrell has always been very good at delivering pork for his district and spreading it around, unlike Frelinghuysen.

      There are also significant socioeconomic divides between Republicans in Morris, Essex, and Passaic that Pascrell could have capitalized on very well.  Morris County is far more upper-middle-class/wealthy, while Essex is more middle-class/upper-middle-class, and Passaic is more lower-middle-class/middle class.  Pascrell would have worked those divisions for every vote possible.

      I also think that there are ambitious Republicans in the Essex and Passaic portions of the district who would love to see Frelinghuysen defeated so that they would have a chance to run for Congress at some point in their lifetimes.  Frelinghuysen has never had to put together a GOTV effort since being elected to Congress and if he was running against Pascrell, he would not have been able to in the Essex and Passaic portions of the district.

      If Pascrell loses to Rothman in June, which I predict he does, NJ’s sore loser law does not prevent him from running in the general election in a different district, which I don’t believe that it does, and the person who is currently slated to run against Frelinghuysen is willing to drop out and allow Pascrell to run in his place, which I think that he would be, I think that the odds are better than 50/50 that Pascrell is on the general election ballot in CD11 in November.

      If I am right about this, Frelinghuysen wins by no more than 5 percentage points and Pascrell could win by as many as 3 percentage points.  If the latter outcome occurs, it would be the greatest political comeback story in our state’s history and Pascrell would immediately become a potential opponent to Frank Lautenberg or Cory Booker and Steve Sweeney in 2014.

    13. 12mileseastofTrenton

      He only represented parts of Livingston, West Orange and Montlclair.  With the exception of Belleville, the parts that went to the 11th were not “very Democratic.”  Unlike the parts of the 9th that went to the 5th.

      As for you “scenario,” it is sheer fantasy.  And Pascrell’s not running for statewide office regardless of what happens in June, or November.

    14. Bertin Lefkovic

      The political career of whomever loses the Democratic primary election in CD9 is most likely over.  The only recourse that Pascrell or Rothman might have after losing in June would be to run in CD11 or CD5 respectively in November if the Democratic nominee in the district.

      A statewide run in 2013 or 2014 would be out of the question, because without an existing office, neither Pascrell nor Rothman would have the ability to raise the kind of money needed to run a serious statewide campaign.


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