Author Archive: Stephen Yellin

I won my primary; now it’s on to November!

From last night – congrats to Stephen. Promoted by Rosi Efthim

Hi all!

Just wanted to give you a quick update from tonight’s election in Berkeley Heights. My running mate, Linda Weber and I won the primary for Township Council. We will be running with Ray Sullivan, who won the nomination for Mayor as a write-in.  

Why I’m running for Council in Berkeley Heights

By Stephen Yellin

It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the Blue Jersey community since its inception. I remember the conversations that took place when this site was in development, and how excited its founders – people like Juan Melli, Jeff Gardner and Rosi Efthim – were to be leading the vanguard for progressive change online in New Jersey. Those hopes have come to fruition, as you can see by the fact that one of our front-page writers is Loretta Weinberg, and leaders like Frank Pallone post their diaries here. I hope to remain part of this community for many years to come!

Many of you know me for my work as an Internet blogger, or as a Democratic activist in New Jersey. Another facet of my life is less well-known in these parts- my work as an outspoken resident in Berkeley Heights, the town I’ve lived in all my life. My town has been very good to me, giving me an excellent education in a friendly and (largely) affluent community. Now that I’m graduating from college, I feel that it’s time for me to give back to Berkeley Heights. That’s the main reason – although far from the only one – that I’m running for Township Council.

What to watch for on Tuesday (a county analysis)

 by Stephen Yellin

Note: For this article, I am relying on David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Elections. His website can be found at US Election Atlas



In just two days, voters will go to the polls in New Jersey to elect its Governor. Jon Corzine is locked in a dead heat with Republican Chris Christie, and it’s clear that the winner will be the one that more successfully turns out their base of support. In a race that will probably be decided by a few percentage points either way, I feel it is worth examining where both sides will be expecting their votes to come from. Recent statewide elections in New Jersey have seen the Democrats win by comfortable margins, which will not be the case this year. What example, then, can we draw on to determine (as best we can) how New Jersey’s 21 counties will vote in a close statewide election?  

Thoughts on Loretta Weinberg

(Crossposted from http://www.dailykos.com/story/… . Please recommend there if you have an account. Thanks!)

Hot off the wire, and hot on the heels of the mass arrest of several New Jersey politicians (as well as several rabbis) on corruption charges, comes the news (now confirmed) that Governor Jon Corzine has selected State Senator Loretta Weinberg as his running mate for the 2009 gubernatorial race.

If anything good came out of the scandal that has rocked the Hudson County Democratic Party (although that was not the only area of New Jersey where politicians were arrested, it was the epicenter of events), it’s that Governor Corzine turned to Senator Weinberg today after previously considering several other possibilities (including State Senator Barbara Buono and “The Apprentice” winner/philanthropist Randall Pinkett).

Loretta Weinberg is the epitome of a progressive reformer. She’s also one tough grandmother who’s not going to let Chris Christie run away with this election.

The NJ-39 Series: Bergen Record calls out Cardinale, GOP cohorts

By Stephen Yellin

“Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, hates poor people. Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan hates immigrants. And state Sen. Gerry Cardinale, R-Demarest, loves bankers.”

Alfred Doblin began his Friday political column in the Bergen Record with those words. Doblin is an equal-opportunity critic of politics, who calls out politicians on both sides of the New Jersey aisle for corruption. As you may know, Garrett was one of just three Congressional Republicans in New Jersey to vote against the S-CHIP override. Lonegan is an anti-immigrant crusader who was recently caught employing illegal immigrants. So it’s good to see that Doblin is “playing fair” and telling the truth about Gerry Cardinale and his Republican cohorts – that they are hypocritical ideologues.

NJ-39: Note to Gerry Cardinale: Senators in Glass Houses…

By Stephen Yellin

From the way Republican State Senator Gerald “Gerry” Cardinale (the leading obstructionist in New Jersey’s legislature) talks about ethics, you’d think he was a spotless, blameless white knight of New Jersey politics. After all, he chaired the Ethics Committee in Trenton when the Republicans ruled the roost, and is on record as saying “I can’t be bought with a trip”. Furthermore, Cardinale has ceaselessly railed against New Jersey’s Democratic Party, blaming Governor Corzine, State Senate President Codey, Speaker Roberts and numerous government officials for New Jersey’s problems. The real “problem”, though is with hypocrites like Gerry Cardinale, who will say and do anything for a vote – or a free vacation. As the old saying goes, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”, and this axiom is true for Cardinale.

The NJ-39 Series: When it comes to ethics, Cardinale is “Gerry”-atric

In my last article on New Jersey’s 39th Legislative District, I discussed how Republican State Senator Gerald “Gerry” Cardinale has become entangled in the “culture of corruption” (to borrow a national term) that plagues New Jersey. To recap, in 2000 Cardinale introduced four pieces of legislation to improve profits for the banking industry; over the next two months, he received nearly $6,000 in vacation money from the same industries he was proposing to streamline. Coincidence? I don’t think so, Gerry. Luckily, Democrat Joe Ariyan, his opponent has been taking it to Gerry on the stump and in their debates. You can learn more about him at Voice for the 39th – Ariyan, Fletcher and Manna

The NJ-39 Series: Cardinale Caught Red-Handed on Ethics

I suppose one could call this a “breaking” news story, but in a way it’s not: the story goes back several years, and revolves around a Republican State Senator in New Jersey who’s been around for 28 years – Gerald Cardinale. “Gerry” (as he’s more commonly known) is an out-of-touch conservative obstructionist in a progressive state, and he’s in the fight of his life this November against Democratic challenger Joe Ariyan (Here’s his website) . But Cardinale’s fight just got a bit tougher, as he’s now being accused of violating the state’s legislative ethics laws. Which, in fact he has repeatedly done over the years, to his advantage and to the disadvantage of his constituents.

Read on to see what I mean…

The NJ-39 Series: Cardinale = Silence for Public Meeting information

On his new campaign website, Republican State Senator Gerald “Gerry” Cardinale explains in a video clip why he’s established the site: “So that you can know the truth about my record.” I’ll be happy to take Mr. Cardinale up on his offer, as I have been doing for the last month, and bit by bit reveal to you, the reader his extraordinarily extreme record in 28 years as a New Jersey legislator. For example, Cardinale talks a good game when it comes to government transparency, but did you know that he prefers cutting off newspaper advertisements of public meetings? I didn’t either at first. But if you get to know the real Gerry Cardinale as I have, you’ll understand as well as I do why he needs to be defeated on November 6th.

Read on if you want to know the dirty details?

The NJ-39 Series: Cardinale the Stem-Cell Obstructionist

By Stephen Yellin

Just yesterday I wrote about New Jersey’s upcoming referendum on Stem-Cell research, and why the proposal is an excellent one for New Jersey both economically and as a step in a progressive direction for the state. But while the voters of New Jersey will have their say on November 6th on the issue, they’ll also have their say on 40 legislative districts across the Garden State. One of the most competitive ones that will be decided is one I have covered extensively before – New Jersey’s 39th Legislative district, located in Bergen County. And one of the biggest opposition leaders in Trenton to the Stem-Cell referendum is Gerald “Gerry” Cardinale, the GOP’s State Senator in NJ-39. Think Mitch McConnell as a purely New Jersey-style legislator, and you’ve got Cardinale. And like Mitch McConnell, Gerry Cardinale must be defeated.

Click here to learn more about his opponent