Power To The People!

President Obama remains 11.8% ahead of Romney in New Jersey polls. Sen. Menendez holds a 19.5 point lead in the polls in his race to retain his Senate seat. Nationally President Obama in an average of tracking polls is ahead of Romney by 0.5 per cent and Obama is still favored in electoral college votes. Nonetheless, with the calamity that has struck the east coast, the outcome is far from certain.

Robo calls are gaining in intensity. Although I was redistricted into CD5, it was still surprising to get this call: “Hello, this is “W.” I’m calling on behalf of my good friend Scott Garrett ….”   Bill Clinton, who called himself President Clinton, chatted me up in his usual charming and informative manner. Sen. Menendez had the decency to begin with words of sympathy over Sandy. These calls can become tedious, but if they empower people to vote, they are worthwhile.

SuperPAC money for ads and canvassing continues to be directed to Shmuley Boteach (CD 9). (He now has $1 million from Sheldon Adelson.) In the past few days SuperPACs have added new expenditures on behalf of Senator Menendez and his challenger Joe Kyrillos, and both for and against Democrat challenger Shelley Adler (CD 3).

Governor Christie has been hailed for his stand-up, take-charge efforts. Good for him. However, with hundreds of thousands of facilities still without power after seven days, people are getting antsy and angry. It’s getting much colder in many homes and more people are becoming homeless. A month from now Christie will be judged not by what he said during the crisis but by whether he brought power – gas and electricity –  to the people. As the new year starts and the gubernatorial and legislative elections loom, he and the legislature will be tested over their immediate and longer term efforts at reconstruction.

For the moment, one of our most precious rights is the power to vote. Some of us are are homeless, don’t have gas or electricity, are unsure where to vote or feel that any one of a hundred other matters takes priority over voting. That thinking could change the outcome of municipal, county, congressional, legislative, senatorial or even presidential elections. Our power to vote is important. Power to the people!  

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