Author Archive: Erik Preuss

Revisting the Gun Control Debate in NJ

Gun owners, what do you think? Gun control advocates, how about you? Promoted by Rosi

Shortly after the school shootings in Newtown, a lengthy debate over gun control took place across the country. The debate lasted for awhile (though not long enough), and ultimately ended with nothing getting done.

I bring the gun control debate back up because several heated arguments took place in the comments section of a few posts on this site. Some NJ gun owners made intelligent arguments against background checks. Even though I disagree with those owners, I respect their opinions and accept that there will always be a disagreement on fundamental values between them and I. Yesterday, however, I stumbled across this article in the New Republic:

Support Mark McCullough for Assembly at the DCBC

Mark McCullough is running to obtain the DCBC line for Connie Wagner’s assembly seat tonight. I strongly support Mark in this endeavor and ask that the rest of the Bergen County Blue Jersey contingent will as well.

Mark is a true progressive who will fight for Democratic ideals if elected to the state Assembly. He believes that the key to NJ’s recovery lies in reinvesting in infrastructure and education. Instead of cutting staff, Mark believes our government should be attempting to broaden the tax base by making New Jersey more attractive to businesses looking for a new home. By strengthening our state’s infrastructure we will be able to increase the salaries of essential members of the workforce: teachers, law enforcement, healthcare workers, and union employees. Decent salaries will ensure a big jump in tax revenues, a strong middle class, and stable property values.

Mark is also adamant about stopping the downward spiral our governor has put the state’s education system into. He believes that significant investment in our children’s education is the key to making NJ prosperous for the immediate and long-term future. Businesses will be attracted to a strong, educated work force and by the promise of superior education for their employees’ children.

In addition to his commitment to progressive values, Mark has proven to be a fighter time and again. For instance, Mark won a seat on the Glen Rock town council several years ago. For those of you who don’t know, Glen Rock is an overwhelmingly conservative town.

I will be supporting Mark tonight for assembly, and I hope everyone else who will be there tonight will join me. Casting a vote for Mark is casting a vote to repair New Jersey.

Why Garrett Loves the Fifth District Primary Process

Yeah, we’ll be discussing NJ-5 for a while. Again. Still. – promoted by Rosi

Every two years we all jump on Blue Jersey to discuss if we can find a candidate to beat Scott Garrett.  So far it hasn’t happened.  In my humble opinion, one of the big reasons that we haven’t been able to find a good candidate to stand up is simple: The party line on the ballot.

The BCDO line candidate won the fifth district primary yet again yesterday.  Looking at the numbers of the Democratic Primary in the Bergen County part of the  Fifth is a near useless endeavor.  The reason Gussen did so well in Bergen is simple: the party line.  This is a sad but very real reality.  In years where there is a low primary turnout, the majority of primary voters are uneducated on the candidates.  So what they do instead of educating themselves and making an intelligent choice, is vote straight down the line.  Time and again we have seen Fifth district candidates be able to put their campaigns into cruise control and coast to victory on the line.  The result of the line is that potentially good candidates are scared away from running.  While the candidates that do run don’t let themselves get fully invested in their campaigns, because everyone who has been around Bergen politics long enough know that you have to get the line and not getting it puts months of hard work to waste.

My mother (Camille Abate for anyone that doesn’t know) is a perfect example of why the line dilutes potential fifth district candidates.  Following her first run for Congress in 2006, she wrote a less than tactful email that was “leaked” stating that Joe Ferriero ran the BCDO like a mob.  She then decided she was going to run again in 2007–this time with a much more professional campaign.  At the BCDO convention that year Mr. Ferriero told every committee member in his pocket to vote for Dennis Shulman, the vast majority of them did.  Even though we didn’t get the line, our campaign didn’t think much of the results.  After all we were running a real campaign this time and had raised a bunch of money ($290K by primary day).  We were very confident, feeling we had marketed our campaign significantly better in 2008 than in 2006.  However the result–much like this year–was nearly identical to 2006.  I’m not saying whether she should have won or lost the primary–thats old news–but to spend that much money and have the result be basically identical is telling.  We had campaigned from June 2007-June 2008, spending 40-60 hours a week raising money on the phones, and spending the rest of our time canvassing (usually to a positive response).  Despite all of that, the line still proved to be more powerful.  

My mother said afterward she didn’t think she would ever run again.  She couldn’t afford to spend that much time of her life campaigning only to have it potentially be torpedoed–at the BCDO convention–before the primary ever takes place.  I think many potential fifth district candidates feel the same way.  In the two election cycles (counting this one) since 2008, no candidate has made a full time committment to running for congress.  I believe the party line has a lot to do with that.

As I said in a post earlier today, Adam Gussen raised no money, had almost no social media presence, and did almost no campaigning.  Yet Adam Gussen won 55% of the vote.  If it isn’t clear now, I don’t think it ever will be: we need open primaries throughout New Jersey.  We need to force citizens to educate themselves on the candidates.  Until this happens, our party bosses will continue to hand pick our candidates, and much of New Jersey (and most of Bergen) will essentially continue to be a Democratic Oligarchy.

If we really want to beat Garrett, we need a system that encourages potential candidates to make running for congress a full time gig, encourage them to take the hours, days, weeks, and months it takes to adequately fundraise, and promote primary competition.  I believe open primaries and eliminating the line would do this.

where do you go for Obama?

I was just wondering if anyone have any information as to where you would have to go to volunteer for Obama locally in Bergen County? Maybe this has been stated already but I missed the memo and would very much like to go volunteer for him.  So if anyone could let me know it would be very much appreciated.

Also I haven’t been able to see Obama speak in person yet and I told myself that I definitely would before the election.  Does anyone know if he is speaking in NJ again or at least within driving distance?  If so please let me know.

Why Polling is Inaccurate

As I’m sure everyone knows current polls show John McCain with roughly an average lead of 2.5 points nationally.  This may or may not be inaccurate but there are many reasons to think that it is and here is why:

1)  Polling is typically done through voters who have either voted in the last Primary or voted in 2 of the last 3.  This means that everyone who hasn’t voted in a primary recently won’t be included in these polls even if the may vote in this election, there are likely to be many of these people out there who are planning on voting in this election who haven’t voted recently and this can be expected due to the record turnouts in this year’s presidential primary’s which is only going to get larger come election time.

2)  Democrats hold a very large advantage as far as registering new voters go this year(if I’m not mistaken last time i checked it was something like 4 to 1 with new registrations).  Almost all of these new voters(except for the ones who voted in the Feb. 5 primary) will not be subject to polling due to the fact that they have never voted in an election before.  Due to the fact that Democrats do hold such a large lead in new registrations it can very well be expected that Democrats may hold a lead based on these new registrations alone.

3)  Three words: MARGIN FOR ERROR.  Most polls conducted usually hold about a 5% margin for error meaning that theoretically the Democrats could still be ahead anyway without the new registrations.

4)  The Republican Convention.  If everyone can recall Obama’s lead jumped to about 5-8 points in the polls(depending which one you were looking at) immediately following the Democratic National Convention.  This is exactly what is happening to the McCain campaign now.  McCain announced a running mate the day following the conclusion of the Democratic Convention which took the spotlight away from the Dems and put it right on Sarah Palin which lead into the Repuiblican Convention which got the entire Republican base energized and lead to a sharp bounce in the polls.  It should be noted that even with this bounce McCain only took a 2.5 point lead.  

5)  Sarah Palin.  She has been getting all of the press for about the last two weeks taking the spotlight off of Obama and McCain.  This cannot be expected to last, the only way she can be expected to get this much coverage  in a month is if something serious about her past is divulged or she has a MAJOR gaffe.  She is already being questioned in many people’s eyes after the Charlie Gibson  interview(which frankly is downright scary).

6)  New Jersey.  Many people are extremely nervous about the latest Marist poll that came out showing Obama only holding a 3 point lead over McCain in NJ.  On average Obama is holding about a 7 point lead over McCain in NJ in most polls.  Different polls are conducted in different ways and frankly I don’t put to much faith in College polls, I prefer the Gallup because it is usually the most accurate.  Just the fact that this poll shows this makes me think it can’t be true, I don’t believe I was even alive the last time NJ went for a Republican and in a political climate like this year there is NO WAY it will go for McCain.  

Right now is not panic time for Democrats.  Republicans are feeding themselves with false delusions of grandeur that maybe they can even take back the house(which a generic house poll shows Dems with about a 5 point lead nationally as opposed to the double figures they’ve been showing all year), wait about a month before you start taking these polls to seriously.  Most likely everything will return to the way it was before the conventions with the Dems with a sizeable lead in the house and a back and forth battle for the Presidentials.  The real time to look at the polling and start taking it seriously will be after the debates on a national stage, that should be able to give us a good barometer of how Obama is really fairing against McCain.

On another note I haven’t seen the Adler/Meyers polling numbers but again I wouldn’t make too big of a deal of it.  It is very hard to get accurate polling numbers for an individual Congressional race due to the fact that  so few people even know the candidates right now or even their own Congressman.  But again you may be able to get a better idea of their race in mid October but even then those polling numbers might be inaccurate, a safer bet is to see if you can get Obama’s polling numbers from the same area(Idk if you can or not) because Adler will most likely follow suit with Obama in that district.

Abate WILL support Shulman

[Promoted – This is an interesting diary, and it notes that Camille Abate is endorsing Dennis Shulman to take on Scott Garrett.  I might not have promoted it, but wanted to note that Shulman came to Blue Jersey and commented on the diary!  Other candidates should take note that that’s an excellent way to quietly and quickly engage us and get our respect — huntsu]

My name is Erik Preuss, I follow this website quite frequently but I have chosen tonight to sign up for it…most of you don’t know me…I am Camille Abate’s son.  The purpose of this diary is not to slander or smash anyone it is to make several points that some of you may not know or have refused to believe.

My mother is a compassionate, caring, and wonderful human being.  She has dedicated her entire life towards helping individuals and putting them above herself.  However, since declaring to run for Congress and in this entire run up until yesterdays primary she has been painted as a self-centered egotist who cares nothing about anybody or the party except to get herself into Congress.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  She is VERY passionate about the Democratic party and ran for Congress in 2006 and 2008 because she believed that she would stand the best chance to beat Scott Garrett in the fall.

Last night in her speech that she gave to her whole campaign team and to all of the volunteers who were on her campaign she told everyone that we needed to support Dennis Shulman against Garrett because beating Garrett has been the objective since day 1 and still is the obective.  She further told anyone who still has a vested interest in getting Garrett out of Congress that they should go and volunteer for Mr. Shulman.  This morning she called Dennis and left a voicemail in which she told him that he needed to fight hard against Garrett and that she would be completely behind him and do whatever he needed her to do to help him beat Garrett in the fall.  

Now you all may say to yourself that this is what any good democrat should do, however the purpose of me writing this is because my mother has repeatedly been painted as a disloyal Democrat who cares nothing about the party and I am trying to prove to everyone that this is in fact not true.  Her mailer’s that went out that were percieved as “attacking” Mr. Shulman were meant to show a comparison as to why she was the better candidate, granted maybe they could have been more tactful but when you run against the party line you need to try to do something that will shake things up and possibly give you an edge,  They were not meant to hurt Shulman and she will campaign and get all of her supporters out for him in the fall.  I myself and our campaigns field director Steve Carroll plan to call the Shulman campaign tomorrow to volunteer to help the effort to beat Garrett in the fall, he is the real detriment to our country and he is the ENTIRE reason that our campaign existed to remove a radical right wing Republican and try to make this country a better place.  That is still mine and my mothers aspiration(to have Garrett out of office this fall) and i want to congratulate Dennis Shulman on a race well run and i hope he plows through Garrett this November.