Tea Party Scorecard: The Tea Party is still with us and is trying to defend its incumbent congresspersons and make new inroads in the upcoming elections. Americans United for Change examined the voting records of 47 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are running for reelection in statistically swing districts or who are facing significant reelection challenges. As a group, these members voted for Tea Party priorities 81 percent of the time. In New Jersey the two House Republicans who fall into this category voted in support of Tea Party bills an average of 80 percent of the time. “Rep. Scott Garrett (CD 5) had the highest score at 88% with Rep. Frank LoBiondo (CD 2) voting with the extreme wing of his party 72% of the time.”
Scott Garrett, probably New Jersey’s most conservative Representative, both in financial and social policies, holds over $2 million in Cash on Hand as of the most recent report (ending 9/31/13) from the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Roy Cho, a 32-year-old corporate lawyer from Hackensack, is challenging Garrett and says his opponent embodies “a dangerous and toxic iideology.” The N. J. Herald reports Cho is taking leave of his job next week to spend full-time on the campaign. The most recent FEC report ending 9/31/13 indicates he had $79,000 Cash on Hand. He has a website for contributions and is on Facebook. He previously worked as an aide to Governor James McGreevey and as Special Assistant to James P. Fox at the NY/NJ Port Authority. Bergen Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato recently said, “He will be my candidate for Congress.”
Frank LoBiondo who has served in Congress for 20 years won his first election as part of the “Republican Revolution” that established Newt Gingrich as House speaker. Bill Hughes, Jr. a Democrat from Northfield announced he plans to challenge LoBiondo. Hughes is a criminal lawyer and son of a U. S. Representative who served in congress for 20 years. An opposition group had previously obtained the “BillHughesforCongres” URL which now tars him as “Helping New Jersey’s most corrupt criminals,” and seeks contributions to defeat him. See his Facebook page here. He has filed with the FEC but no financial data is yet available.
Today: Gov. Christie, 3:25pm, will be at Dudley Family School in Camden and later make an announcement with Mayor Dana Redd and Schools Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard. (Do not expect the Governor to take questions.) U. S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, 11:00am, news conference on the Superbowl, Meadowlands Hilton, East Rutherford.