Author Archive: Hopeful

Poll: Menendez doing well

It’s been like a dull toothache. History and common sense say the 2012 New Jersey U.S. Senate race won’t be competitive, but I always worry a little that Bob Menendez has a low profile. Today’s Quinnipiac poll release puts my mind at ease:

Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez leads State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, his Republican challenger, 50 – 40 percent in this first likely voter survey.

Women back Menendez 55 – 33 percent while men are divided with 47 percent for Kyrillos and 44 percent for Menendez. Independent voters go Democratic 46 – 39 percent. White voters back Kyrillos 49 – 41 percent while black voters back Menendez 89 – 5 percent.

Rutgers-Eagleton is still sitting on the Senate portion of their most recent poll — we should see it soon — but this is good enough for me.

As for that tooth ache, my root canal this morning seems to have fixed it.  

News Roundup and Open Thread

I’m celebrating Labor Day by posting the news roundup late. Tell us about anything you like in this open thread.

The Star-Ledger says everyone is talking about Cory Booker for Governor in 2013 at the DNC Convention. Sweeney is absent in the text but appears in the photograph.

Politico tells us Chris Christie is going to Iowa again. This time he is concerned about the state senate races there. Sure.

Despite good weather, it’s been a poor summer for shore businesses by all accounts.

Bob Braun looks at the constitutional amendment on judicial pensions.

The Times looks at Hoboken’s car sharing experiment.

The United Way says that more than a third of households struggle to make ends meet in New Jersey, much worse than the 10% poverty rate in official Federal statistics. Click through and read it.

One bright spot: It’s been a good year for trees.

State gambling is pointless

There’s no doubt that the New Jersey public and politicians support legalizing sports gambling. They proved in the vote last year, as if we needed the evidence after a generation of support for gambling in Atlantic City. Today, I saw Rob Tornoe’s cartoon and editorial on the hypocrisy of the NFL. All of that is true, but I’m going to shout into the wind and say it’s all pointless.

A 2002 National Bureau of Economic Research study of 21 states by economist Melissa Schettini Kearney found that, in the first year after a state instituted a lottery, consumer spending on other purchases fell by about $42 per month per household-nearly as much as was being wagered on the new lotteries.

Chris Christie plays Let’s Make a Deal with Revel

After his term as Governor of New Jersey is over, it would be fun to see Chris Christie on the Let’s Make a Deal. I see it going like this:

Wayne Brady: Governor, you can have the $261 million dollars, or you can have 20% of what’s behind Curtain #3!

Chris Christie: That’s a real New Jersey Comebackl!

Wayne Brady: Are you sure? Everyone else turned the deal down.

Chris Christie: I’ll make the deal!

Wayne Brady: Sorry, you’ve gotten 20% of nothing. I wonder what else you could have done with $261 million dollars.

It would be funny, if that wasn’t the actual deal Chris Christie negotiated with the Revel Casino, 20% of future profits in exchange for $261 million now. Analysts expect Revel to declare bankruptcy soon, leaving New Jersey with 20% of nothing:

The $17.5 million that Revel generated from its slot machines and table games was just a tad better than the $14.9 million it made in June – but still significantly below the $25 million to $30 million that Wall Street projected it needs to stay solvent and pay its bonds.

The next episode will feature Xanadu.

 

NRC Nuclear Freeze

promoted by Rosi

New Jersey depends on four nuclear reactors, and there’s long been talk of a new reactor in Salem County, so this CNN news on nuclear waste is important:

The U.S. government said it will stop issuing permits for new nuclear power plants and license extensions for existing facilities until it resolves issues around storing radioactive waste.

This is very sensible, though it’s disappointing it took a court action. Existing plants simply were not designed to have vast amounts of radioactive nuclear waste stored on site. The order includes the controversial reactor at Indian Point, New York.

On the other hand, don’t get too excited. The NRC order (PDF) makes clear they will take every step short of final approval:

This determination extends just to final license issuance; all licensing reviews and proceedings should continue to move forward

Reports: Norcross getting Philadelphia newspapers

It seems pretty definite now that that South Jersey political boss Norcross is getting the Philadelphia newspapers. This is the Philly.com version reporting rumors about itself being sold on Monday:  

The investor group has spent much of the last two months negotiating to acquire PMN from its hedge-fund owners in a transaction valued at between $55 million and $60 million, according to multiple reports.

The buyers of Philadelphia Media Network Inc. are a group of local investors, led by George E. Norcross III…

Other versions of the story are at the New York Times and  Jim Romenesko, so it seems pretty solid.  

Meanwhile…

I find Norcross and Lautenberg as interesting as everyone else, but let’s not forget every New Jersey Republican Congressman just voted to scrap Medicare today:

The blueprint by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is similar to his controversial Medicare plan last year, in that it ends the health insurance guarantee for seniors and replaces the program with a subsidized insurance-exchange system. Unlike last year’s plan, seniors can buy into traditional Medicare as a sort-of public option, and the vouchers it provides are more generous.

It’s astonishing but Leonard Lance and Frank LoBiondo are no different from Garrett anymore. The roll call is here.