What’s Happening Today Mon. 01/06/2014

Give Him Credit for Persistence: Conservative, Tea Party Republican Steve Lonegan announced last week his eighth political campaign – a hefty number of efforts with a history of only three wins. Now with his last victory eleven years ago this Bergen County Don Quijote moves his quest southward to Burlington, Camden, and Ocean Counties. A quick Wikipedia trip down memory lane:

  • 1995 Elected Mayor of Bogota.

  • 1998 Ran unsuccessfully for Congress (9th CD against Steve Rothman).

  • 1999 Re-elected Mayor of Bogota.

  • 2003 Re-elected Mayor of Bogota.

  • 2005 Ran in a gubernatorial primary finishing 4th.

  • 2009 Ran in a primary against Christie and gained 42% of the vote.

  • 2013 Lost the U.S. Senate Special election by over 10 points to Cory Booker.

  • 2014 Plans to run in CD 3 primary for post vacated by Rep. Runyan.

    During this period he filed an unsuccessful public referendum in Bogota to make English the official language for the municipality. He spent six years as NJ State Director of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. He also found time to oppose family paid leave, affordable housing mandates, and a gas tax increase.

    During his Senatorial run with little financial or party support he put up a scrappy campaign and garnered substantial press attention. His consistent, clear ideology was both his strength and his weakness. Conservatives and some libertarians loved it, but the other 54% did not buy it.

    With a record of never having won an election higher than the mayoralty, an inflexible personality, devoid of charisma, and an arch-conservative philosophy he now continues his dream against the windmill of CD 3. This is a district which leans Republican (Ocean County), but of its last four Representatives two were Democrats. If he follows his path of pro-extremism and anti-moderation and survives a primary he will once again learn that his is the impossible dream – one not held by the majority of voters. But the fight for the other dream – an “American Dream” held by Democrats – will not be easy. This man supports some repugnant positions, but he sure is persistent and can’t be easily dismissed.

    Christie is correct when he complained recently that State Supreme Court judges “are not accountable to anyone.” However, that is the way it is supposed to be. They are accountable to the N. J. and U.S. constitutions. If the writers of both documents had wanted them accountable to people, they would have placed them in elections. Instead the jurists are provided with long terms to free them from political pressure. They are nominated by the governor and confirmed by the Senate, but once in office they are not supposed to be accountable to a governor (which Christie would like) nor a party, nor voters. Relax Gov. Christie and stop your meddling with tenure, your efforts to “pack” the Court, and your anger when their votes don’t go your way. The system is working just fine.  

    Today: Governor Christie’s ceremonial signing of the Dream Act has been rescheduled for a day later this week. The Assembly will hold a voting session at 1:00pm with some sixty bills on the list. The Senate Budget and Appropriations committee meets at 10:00AM to review 27 bills including one (S2860) which requires municipal police vehicles primarily used for traffic stops be equipped with a mobile video recording system camera. For more information about today’s legislative activities go here.

  • Comments (4)

    1. Bill Orr (Post author)

      The Star-Ledger reports, “Christie will hold a news conference this afternoon at the Statehouse with U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, who will announce his re-election bid, according to the state GOP.” People are asking why LoBiondo is  announcing his bid for re-election to the 2nd congressional district in the 12th congressional district. Is getting love from a Christie press conference more important than making such an announcement amongst one’s constituents?  

      Reply
    2. Jeff Gardner

      He is indeed persistent. And his entry into this race a bit clunky. But, with name recognition, money, established supporters, and a record of winning the District, I don’t hate his chances in that primary.

      Reply
    3. zi985

      Yes, while Steve Lonegan did beat Cory Booker in CD-3 in the special Oct. 16 U.S. Senate election, it had the lowest turnout rate for a general state-wide election in NJ history at only 24.5% of registered voters coming out to vote.  If you look a bit deeper into the numbers, 26% of registered voters in Burlington County voted in the Oct. 16 election and 28% of registered voters in Ocean County voted while most of the Democratic-leaning counties were at or below 24.5%.  This means that, most likely, far more Republicans than Democrats in CD-3 came out to vote in the special election skewing the numbers for Lonegan.  In next November’s general election, Cory Booker will be at the top of the ballot and turnout will be higher than 24.5% so Lonegan would certainly not do as well as he did this past time around if he faced Aimee Belgard in a general election.

      Lastly, Cory Booker won Burlington County overall by 5,878 votes (42,543 to 36,665) and Steve Lonegan won Ocean County by 33,942 votes (68,166 to 34,224).  This means that if it turns out to be an Aimee Belgard vs. Steve Lonegan head-to-head in November, the Democratic Burlington County vote must be turned out high to offset the GOP numbers in Ocean County.  21 Burlington County towns and 1 Ocean County town (all located in CD-3) voted for Cory Booker in the Oct. 16 election, even with the low voter turnout.  

      Here are the CD-3 towns Booker won on Oct. 16:

      Burlington County:

      1) Beverly

      2) Bordentown City

      3) Bordentown Twp.

      4) Burlington City

      5) Burlington Twp.

      6) Delanco

      7) Delran

      8) Eastampton

      9) Edgewater Park

      10) Fieldsboro

      11) Lumberton

      12) Maple Shade

      13) Moorestown

      14) Mount Holly

      15) Mount Laurel

      16) Palmyra

      17) Pemberton Twp.

      18) Riverside

      19) Riverton

      20) Westampton

      21) Willingboro

      Ocean County:

      1) South Toms River

      Reply
    4. mmgth

      If a guy with a record of never having won an election higher than Freeholder can leverage that into the Governor’s office and be the front runner for the next President of the United States in spite of multiple ethical issues… anything can happen in New Jersey. Even Steve Lonegan.

      Reply

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