The state Dems put out a comprehensive, linked, year in review for political news both statewide and national, sent a few hours ago via email. It’s pretty good, so I thought I’d post it here. Thanks to the NJDSC communications team of Alicia D’Alessandro and Matt Bonasia for it.
Take a look at 2012, from January to December, from the state Dems’ viewpoint – all after the jump.
- President Obama gave his State of the Union Address, calling income inequality one of the defining issues of our time.
- Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver called upon the legislature to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage.
- Assemblyman John Wisniewski was re-elected Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, with Camden Mayor Dana Redd serving as Vice Chair.
- Shelley Adler, widow of Congressman John Adler, announced that she would run to represent New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional district.
- The New Jersey Attorney General attempted to nullify the votes of New Jersey’s 4th legislative district by challenging Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera’s November 2011 election to the legislature.
- New Jersey Spotlight pointed out that under Christie, New Jersey’s property taxes are up an average 20%.
- Governor Christie gave a “State of the State” address. Democrats including Chairman Wisniewski, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, and Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo spoke about the difference between the governor’s speech and New Jersey’s reality.
- The Governor released a silly YouTube video proclaiming the “Jersey Comeback,” a slogan that had no basis in reality then or now. The Star-Ledger was among the first to point out that the governor’s video was hyperbole.
- Governor Christie was made a rude comment to a female protester at a New Hampshire event for Mitt Romney, prompting the Star-Ledger to call upon Christie to stop the condescending attitude when he speaks to women.
- Governor Christie tried to make the case for putting marriage equality on the ballot, claiming, “The fact of the matter is, I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.” With this statement, Christie illustrated that his understanding of civil rights history is about as good as his grasp on the reality of New Jersey’s economic situation.
- Christie’s words were so offensive that Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights hero who was nearly beaten to death on the bridge in Selma, traveled to New Jersey to speak out against the governor.
- When criticized by openly gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, the governor reverted to a favorite page in his political playbook: childish name-calling. Christie called Gusciora “numbnuts.”
- The Record found that dozens of appointees to the Port Authority had ties to Governor Christie. Princeton Professor Emeritus Jameson Doig noted that these patronage jobs were excessive, given that “other governors might have four or five.”
- Senator Frank Lautenberg wrote an editorial criticizing the governor’s stance on marriage equality.
- The General Assembly and Senate passed marriage equality, which Governor Christie promptly vetoed. New Jersey Democrats criticized the governor for his choice to deny a fundamental civil right to LGBT New Jerseyans.
- The Star-Ledger editorial board called out the governor for pushing an income tax cut benefiting the wealthy rather than property tax relief for the middle class.
- Governor Christie’s gave a budget proposal address that the Star-Ledger said included “dubious claims.” Christie’s proposal was pure political theater, using revenue estimates that one might generously call unrealistic.
- Democrats rightly called Christie out for proposing a budget that had little relation to reality.
- Wall Street experts cast doubts about the governor’s budget, which contained overly optimistic revenue estimates.
- New Jersey’s Supreme Court invalidated the election of Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner dissented: saying that the decision “not only changes the rules after the fact, it also silences 19,907 voters and strips away respondent’s victory.”
- Following an audit that revealed significant mismanagement at the Port Authority, Transportation Chairman John Wisniewski introduced legislation to give the legislature greater oversight of the agency.
- The New Jersey Democratic State Committee launched a political resume bank. You can share your resume with the NJDSC at email@example.com.
- While the New Jersey Supreme Court attempted to invalidate the will of New Jersey’s 4th Legislative District voters, Gloucester and Camden County Democrats voted to appoint Gabriela Mosquera to represent the voters in the Assembly until a special election in November 2012.
- Congressman Donald Payne announced that he had colon cancer and sadly passed away only a few days later.
- Chairman John Wisniewski, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver paid tribute to the congressman.
- Congressman Payne, the first African American elected to Congress from New Jersey, served New Jersey in Congress for 23 years. Hundreds, including President Bill Clinton, paid honor to a man who fought for his constituents in Newark and those struggling around the world.
- Payne’s son, Donald Payne, Jr.announced that he would seek to serve the 10th Congressional District in Congress.
- Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula announced that he would seek to represent New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District.
- Governor Christie once again displayed his inability to control his temper or his mouth when he called a Navy Seal an “idiot” when they disagreed over policy at a taxpayer-funded town hall.
- A poll released in March had 87% of New Jersey voters wanting politicians like Christie to cool it on the name-calling.
- Christie traveled to Illinois to stump for Mitt Romney, and the NJDSC highlighted their similarly terrible records on women’s health.
- The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Christie’s transparent attempt to pack New Jersey’s Supreme Court with Republicans, declining to approve Christie’s nominees.
- Congressman Paul Ryan introduced the Republican 2013 budget plan, proposing additional tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires while cutting programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. In a preview of his eventual running mate selection, Mitt Romney offered a full-throated endorsement of Ryan’s plan.
- New Jersey’s entire Republican delegation to Congress voted to support Paul Ryan’s budget.
- The United States Senate held a vote on the “Buffett Rule,” which would ensure the very wealthy cannot use loopholes to pay a lower tax rate than middle and working class Americans. Both Senator Frank Lautenberg and Senator Bob Menendez voted for the legislation. Unsurprisingly (given their party’s 2012 Presidential nominee), Senate Republicans blocked the legislation.
- Senator Frank Lautenberg held a hearing to investiate the Port Authority’s decision to raise toll rates significantly. At the hearing, Christie friend and Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni was rude and uncooperative throughout his testimony.
- The NJDSC hosted the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. The dinner, attended by 300 New Jersey Democrats, featured a keynote address from Senator Bob Menendez and tributes to Congressmen John Adler and Donald Payne.
- Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, a Republican who represents Mendham (making him Christie’s own Assemblyman), revealed himself to be a birther. Bucco told The Huffington Post that he did not believe that President Obama’s birth certificate had been fully examined.
- The Star-Ledger revealed alarming similarities between legislation proposed by Governor Christie and his allies and the legislative agenda of right-wing advocacy group ALEC.
- Further digging revealed ties between Christie, New Jersey Republicans, and ALEC, including donations to Christie and his allies.
- Christie gave a pandering, partisan speech at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Presidential Center. In a speech that sounds similiar to the comments made by Romney about 47% of Americans, Christie said, “We are turning into a paternalistic, entitlement society. That will not only bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally. Because when the American people believe this is no longer a place where only their willingness to work hard, to act with honor, integrity and ingenuity determines their success in life, then we’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for a government check.”
- Mitt Romney traveled to New Jersey to fundraise for himself and Joe Kyrillos. At the Romney fundraiser, officials removed Star-Ledger reporter Matt Friedman. Perhaps they didn’t want Matt to catch a version Romney’s 47% remarks?
- A GAO report found that Governor Christie exaggerated worst-case scenario cost estimates to justify cancelling the ARC tunnel project, leading Paul Krugman to say that Christie may be the least responsible governor New Jersey has ever had.
- President Barack Obama became the first sitting President of the United States to state his support for marriage equality.
- New Jersey Democrats praised the President for his support for extending a basic civil right to LGBT Americans. Statements from:
- Assemblyman John Wisniewski, New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Congressman Steve Rothman, and Congressman Rush Holt
- Meanwhile, Governor Christie took the opportunity to reiterate his opposition to marriage equality.
- Senator Frank Lautenberg, along with Congressman Steve Rothman, State Senators Loretta Weinberg and Robert Gordon and Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Connie Wagner, spoke at the George Washington Bridge to call upon the Port Authority to hold off on toll hikes while an independent audit is under way.
- Christie headed to Wisconsin to campaign for anti-worker, anti-women Governor Scott Walker.
- Christie also campaigned in Virginia and Kentucy for Republicans, and headed to New York for a Romney fundraiser.
- The Star-Ledger reported on the the extensive travel schedule of Governor Christie, who had been out of state 54 times since the previous September.
- ABC News did the math and showed that his travel averaged to more than 1.5 days per week. If you didn’t show up for your full time job 1.5 days a week, would you still have a job?
- The New Jersey Environmental Federation, which endorsed Christie in 2009, gave him a D on environmental issues, for his poor record on climate change andgreen energy, and his decision to remove New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
- Christie vetoed legislation that would set up New Jersey’s health insurance exchange in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Christie’s justification for the veto: “Because it is not known whether the Affordable Care Act will remain, in whole or in part, it would be imprudent for New Jersey now to create an exchange before these critical threshold issues are decided with finality by the Court.”
- Another day, another insult from the governor. This time, Christie belittled David Rosen, the nonpartisan budget officer at the Office of Legislative Services, calling Rosen the “Dr. Kevorkian of numbers.” Why? Rosen’s office found that New Jersey revenues would be $1.3 billion short of what the governor’s office had predicted.
- Democrats in the state legislature defended Rosen as a principled, non-partisan professional who did nothing to warrant the attack by the governor.
- The United States Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (also known in right-wing circles as Obamacare) as constitutional.
- Congressman Frank Pallone, who helped craft the law, and other New Jersey Democrats praised the decision.
- Vice President Joe Biden articulated his vision for America’s middle class on the Obama-Biden campaign Tumblr: “To me, being middle class is not a number, it’s a way of life, it’s a value set. It’s about a minimum standard of living. It’s about being able to own your own home and not just rent it. It’s being able to live in a safe neighborhood where your kids can walk the streets, where there’s a playground that’s not polluted, where you can send your kid to a decent school, knowing if they do well they’ve got a chance to go to college- and if they have that chance, knowing you have a chance to get them there. That’s what being a middle-class person is. That’s not asking too much. That’s who we are.”
- Mitt Romney traveled to New Jersey to fundraise and New Jersey Democrats held a press conference outside of his event to highlight the dangerous Romney-Christie education agenda.
- New Jersey held primary elections to determine the party nominees for the November elections. Congressman Bill Pascrell defeated fellow incumbent Steve Rothman to run in New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District, while Donald Payne, Jr. won his primary to seek the seat previously held by his father.
- Senate Republicans filibustered legislation to help women fight for paycheck fairness (equal pay for equal work). New Jersey’s Senators Lautenberg and Menendez voted to support women’s economic equality in the workplace.
- Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, asked that the Port Authority turn over any documents from 2010 forward related to the toll increases, the tunnel, hiring practices, overtime and property leases.
- The U.S. District Court of New Jersey found that the one-year residency requirement for legislative candidates cannot be applied in the elections immediately following legislative redistricting, as those districts will have only existed for seven months at the time of the November elections. The ruling made it clear that future candidates like Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera would not have their elections invalidated by an overzealous court.
- Chairman Wisniewski commented on the ruling: “This is a great win for common sense democracy in New Jersey and a loss for Governor Chris Christie and anyone who would seek to use our judiciary system to disenfranchise New Jerseyans. The effort to prevent Assemblywoman Mosquera from representing the constituents who duly elected her has always been about sour grapes: Republicans didn’t like the results of the 2011 legislative election and found a loophole they believed they could exploit, even if they had to ignore judicial precedent to have it applied. This ruling means that no future candidate will be forced to run twice in the span of two years following redistricting.”
- Mosquera continued to work on behalf of her constituents, as she called upon the governor to help New Jersey’s working poor and raise the state’s minimum wage. The Star-Ledger said Christie’s “stubborn refusal to sign [legislation raising the minimum wage] once again short-shrifts hardworking people.”
- After recognizing that Governor Christie’s revenue estimates were more than $1 billion lower than he’d projected, Democrats worked out a budget deal that would address the shortfall responsibily. The Democratic budget agreement provided for property tax relief (rather than the governor’s income tax cut to disproportionately reward the wealthy) if the revenue projections proved true at the end of the year. The Record called Democrats the “fiscally responsible ones,” for the wait-and-see approach on taxes and revenues.
- The Record reported that New Jersey ranks 47th out of 50 among states in terms of economic performance. Wisniewski pointed out that 4th from last doesn’t seem like a comeback, despite Governor Christie’s continued sloganeering.
- Christie kept company with the far-right at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago, where he gave the keynote address in a speaker’s lineup that included Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rick Santorum.
- More Reporters noticed Christie’s penchant for insults when things don’t go his way: The New York Times and The Record both wrote stories in June titled, “As His Optimistic Budget Falters, Christie Comes Out Swinging” and “Tactical purpose to Christie’s jibes?”
- Christie kicked off the month by line item vetoing key sections of the Democratic budget. Among his targets? The Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps the working poor make ends meet, and women’s health funding (for the 4th time in 3 years).
- Christie enjoyed the 4th of July holiday by engaging in one of his favorite ways to pass the time: bellowing at people he disagrees with. This time his targets were a reporter and a heckler on the Seaside Boardwalk (who the governor chased, ice cream cone in hand). Is it any surprise that the most common way poll respondents described Christie was “bully?”
- Christie had a busy travel month, swinging by DC to fundraise for Mitt Romney, as well as leaving the state to attend events in Idaho, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Illinois, and Minnesota.
- Governor Christie’s staff apparently didn’t think he was spending quite enough time out of town, so they asked the Brookings Institute if he could come to Washington and speak. While there, Christie continued to speak about his imaginary Jersey Comeback (The Star-Ledger it “fictitious.”). The Washington Post pointed out that Christie’s rosy speech didn’t match New Jersey’s reality.
- CNBC ranked New Jersey 41st in its rankings of “Best States for Business.” We dropped 11 from #30 last year. The response from Team Christie? There must be something wrong with CNBC’s metrics.
- New Jersey’s unemployment rate rose to 9.6%
- The State Budget Crisis Task Force reported that New Jersey was a long way from economic recovery, with high unemployment, lagging revenue, unmet pension obligations, crumbling infrastructure, and debt.
- Three New Jersey teens pushed to have a female debate moderator for one of the fall presidential debates. The presidential debates have not had a female moderator since 1992. Their push was successful, as CNN’s Candy Crowley moderated the town hall debate.
- Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, dashing Governor Christie’s hopes of being #2 on the Republican ticket.
- Christie’s consolation prize, of course, was the keynote address at the Republican National Convention. Chairman John Wisniewski laid out clearly why Christie was a poor pick for the big speech.
- While Christie was busy running around the country in July for Republicans, New Jersey’s unemployment rate rose to 9.8%. Christie’s response to the rising unemployment numbers was to complain about the press reporting them.
- So it’s no surprise that after months of proof that the governor’s “Jersey Comeback” slogan was a fiction, Christie decided to drop his slogan from the biggest speech of his life.
- Still, Christie did make the speech all about Christie- speaking for 16 minutes about himself before even mentioning Mitt Romney. The speech was widely panned:
- The Record noticed that Christie “strayed from the truth several times to inflate an accomplishment or exaggerate its impact.”
- The Washington Post called him “phony, phony, phony,”
- Forbes said “there wasn’t a whole lot of truth to be found in the content of his twenty-minute address.”
- MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow called it “one of the most remarkable acts of political selfishness I have ever seen.”
- New York Magazine’s Frank Rich said, “it’s clear that Christie regards Mitt as merely a passing sideshow in his own glorious narrative.”
- New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait remarked, “why Romney would give Christie the best speaking slot of the convention to lay out such a self-serving argument, I cannot fathom.”
- The Tampa Bay Times named Christie among its losers of the 2012 RNC, writing, “Me. Me. Me. The keynote speech did nothing to elevate his political stature.”
- Congressman Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican candidate for Senate competing with Senator Claire McCaskill, told a reporter that women do not get pregnant from rape, in response to a question about his opposition to abortion for victims or rape: “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
- The GOP platform committee approved the party’s official position on abortion: supporting a full ban, on abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
- New Jersey Democrats headed down to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention. Several New Jersey delegates were featured in articles about the convention, including: Ed O’Brien, New Jersey’s youngest delegate; Babs Siperstein, the first transgender member of the Democratic National Committee; Jeremy Feigenbaum, outgoing Vice President of the College Democrats of America; Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, a delegate from south Jersey.
- A group of New Jersey Democrats including Chairman Wisniewski and his family lent a hand to the Craftman “House United” project, which had teams from state delegations at the DNC and the RNC build and paint a house that will go to a military family in need.
- New Jersey’s delegation was joined by 300 guests from New Jersey who came to Charlotte to celebrate. The week was packed with events. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz started the week off right when she spoke at our Convention Kickoff Party. Each day began with breakfast featuring New Jersey Democrats and other speakers who included David Simas (Director of Opinion Research from the Obama Campaign), Donna Brazile, Lisa Jackson, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and President Obama’s sister Maya Ng.
- Following the first breakfast, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg gathered women delegates and attendees together to hold the first meeting of the “Jersey Girl Caucus.”
- Each evening, in the Time Warner Arena, our delegation was wowed by the energy of the crowd and the stirring speeches. On Tuesday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker introduced the Democratic platform, and was followed by the Keynote Address from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. First Lady Michelle Obama closed the evening with one of the best speeches of the week. On Wednesday, delegates heard Sandra Fluke speak about the critical choice young women had in this election, Elizabeth Warren rebutted Mitt Romney’s claim that “corporations are people,” and President Bill Clinton proved to be the “explainer-in-chief” while nominating President Obama for a second term. That same night, following President Clinton’s nominating speech, the roll call, in which each state casts its votes for the nomination, began. New Jersey’s roll call was given by New Jersey Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski and Senator Bob Menendez. Thursday was the main event:speeches from Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination!
- Mother Jones released the infamous 47% video that showed Mitt Romney’s true colors. Among Romney’s comments: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax. My job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
- Joking that he’d have a better shot at winning the White House if he was actually Latino, rather than having a father born in Mexico to white parents.
- Meanwhile, Standard and Poors downgraded its outlook on New Jersey from stable to negative. The financial ratings agency cited continuing budget imbalance and revenue projections for the fiscal year. Ratings agency Fitch warned of notable downside risk in New Jersey’s revenue budget for fiscal 2013 as well.
- For the second month in a row, the governor’s office was late in delivering revenue numbers, a violation of Christie’s own executive order. Maybe they were embarrassed that Governor Christie overestimated revenue projections for the fiscal year by $100 million?
- In May 2011, the Christie administration was awarded $300 million in federal funding to help New Jersey homeowners avoid foreclosure, but by the end of September 2012 had only distributed $47 million.
- Moody’s Investor Service said that New Jersey’s high rate of foreclosures, second in the nation behind only Florida, could result in downgrades for local municipalities’ credit ratings. The Star-Ledger said, “Christie, while running around the country brushing up his political credentials and talking up his imaginary ‘New Jersey comeback,’ wasn’t paying attention.”
- New Jersey’s unemployment rate went up to a record 9.9%.
- While New Jersey’s economic numbers continued to get worse and worse, Christie’s busy campaign schedule showed no sign of slowing. He campaigned for Congressman Steve King in Iowa. King is an extremist in the same vein as Todd Akin, who Christie publicly called upon to resign. He also had trips to North Carolina, Utah, DC, New Hampshire, and Missouri. Christie also got himself booked on the three Sunday shows to chat about Mitt Romney’s chances in November. The story of much of this year for Governor Christie seems to be: lots of time for Republican campaigning, little time for job growth in New Jersey.
- President Obama had an off-night in the first Presidential Debate, but followed it up with back-to-back debates where he didn’t just win, he wiped the floor with Mitt Romney.
- Vice President Biden called out Paul Ryan on his malarkey and scored a win in the Vice Presidential Debate.
- Senator Bob Menendez handily beat state Senator Joe Kyrillos in their three debates. Menendez was clear on both his record and Kyrillos’s, while the Republican had trouble keeping up.
- The Star-Ledger said “no sane person would want to clean up the mess Christie has created. That’s right, this governor, the guy who keeps telling the world that he’s straightened up Jersey’s budget, has made it worse.”
- Maybe that’s why Governor Christie spent more time out of state in October, campaigning in Washington state, Montana, North Dakota, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Virginia.
- His campaign stop in Indiana was for Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock. Right after Christie’s visit, Mourdock said this in his final Senate debate: “I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.“ Chairman Wisniewski called upon Christie to denounced Mourdock. The entire 72-member Democratic legislative caucus wrote to Governor Christie demanding that he repudiate Mourdock. New Jersey voters should take a hard look at the extreme candidates Christie has campaigned for throughout his time in office. Their views do not represent New Jersey values.
- Of course, the biggest story in New Jersey in October was the devastating blow we were dealt by Superstorm Sandy. President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden each visited New Jersey in the aftermath of the storm, meeting with Governor Christie, members of the Congressional delegation, and local leaders, to determine how government could help our communities recover. As we move into 2013, know that the families and businesses affected by Sandy are still in our thoughts and prayers. We will be with you next year and beyond to help rebuild New Jersey even stronger!
- President Barack Obama won re-election handily. In New Jersey, the President won with a bigger margin than he did in 2008.
- Since many of you spent time helping re-elect the President, check out this video of the President thanking some of the people who worked so hard.
- Chairman Wisniewski released a statement congratulating Democrats in New Jersey on the many wins we have to celebrate! We will re-elected Senator Bob Menendez, Congressmen Rob Andrews, Frank Pallone, Albio Sires, Bill Pascrell, and Rush Holt, and elected Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. Gabriela Mosquera was elected to continue to serve the 4th legislative district in the New Jersey General Assembly. Democrats in Bergen County took majority control over the Board of Freeholders. In Passaic County, every Freeholder is now a Democrat. In Burlington and Cumberland Counties, Democrats won two seats each on the Board of Freeholders. In Atlantic County, we won one Freeholder seat.
- Donald Payne, Jr. was sworn in on November 15, because he was elected to fulfill the remainder of his father’s unexpired term in 2012 (before beginning a full two-year term in 2013).
- Following the confusing and disorganized voting process in New Jersey (caused by Superstorm Sandy), Democrats in the legislature introduced bills to bring early voting to New Jersey.
- New Jersey’s 14 Democratic electors met to cast their votes for President at the State House in Trenton.
- Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, Senator Frank Lautenberg renewed his push to ban high-capacity ammunition clips.
- The New Jersey Attorney General’s office announced that it would no longer pursue its appeal of the U.S. District Court’s ruling that found it unconstitutional to apply the one-year eligibility requirement in election years immediately following redistricting.
- New Jersey Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski released the following statement about the AG’s decision: “It does not seem to be a coincidence that the Attorney General’s office has finally dropped its meritless appeal after Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera won her election so decisively. It is shameful that the Attorney General’s office wasted time and taxpayer dollars in an attempt to invalidate the will of the voters. From the beginning, this was a partisan effort by Republicans to litigate an election result that they didn’t like. The constituents of New Jersey’s 4th legislative district have now spoken twice in two years: they want Gabriela Mosquera to serve as their representative in the General Assembly.”
- Legislation to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage was sent to Governor Christie, who hasn’t yet acted on the bill. Senate President Steve Sweeney said, “We are just giving the governor a chance to do the right thing for working people. If the governor fails to sign this bill, then we will put the decision directly into the hands of the people.”
- Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, along with Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski, Majority Conference Leader Gordon M. Johnson, and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Vincent Prieto, released a multimedia package highlighting the Assembly’s final approval of the minimum wage legislation.
- Governor Christie announced that he would seek re-election. Senator Barbara Buono announced that she would seek the Democratic nomination for Governor.
This year seemed to speed by, and next year we’ll be just as busy working hard to rebuild New Jersey and elect a Democratic Governor. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to working hard with you and for you in the coming year!