Author Archive: kalimirch

Garden State Equality disgustingly chickens out

Today, Garden State Equality sent out their list of endorsements to the press for the 2014 elections.  They endorsed candidates in nine of the twelve Congressional elections; what happened in the other three districts?  They refused to endorse.  Why are Bill Hughes, Ruben Scolavino and Mark Dunec not worthy of an endorsement, despite their support for LGBT rights?

Please call GSE at (973) 509-5428 and ask.

2014: Anymore retirements on tap?

With Rush Holt’s surprise retirement this week, does anyone think a 4th NJ House member will call it quits before the filing deadline?

Rob Andrews, Jon Runyan and Rush Holt have already announced they’re retiring.  I believe Frank LoBiondo and Bill Pascrell have announced reelection campaigns.

Any chance of Smith, Garrett, Lance or Frelinghuysen stepping aside at this late date?

Andrews’ retirement is an opportunity

South Jersey folks – particularly in Andrews’ CD1 – what say you? Promoted by Rosi

With seemingly no one stepping up to take on County Exec Joe D. in Essex, progressives have an opportunity to dent the South Jersey machine in the special primary for Andrews’ seat.  Norcross will be at his most vulnerable before his first election, and it is imperative that progressives rally around an opposition candidate for what is sure to be a low turnout affair.

The name of Logan Twp Mayor Frank Minor has been thrown around quite a bit; whether “our” candidate is him or someone else, this race should be the focus of progressive activism until the special primary is over.  Let’s not send another blow-dried boss-anointed politician to Congress.

Lazy Democrats and “Unaffiliated” Democrats

One of the indisputable issues the Democratic Party faces today is that our voters vote less often than do Republicans.  With the possible exception of Presidential elections, the electorate tends to be whiter, older and wealthier than the voting-eligible population at large.  Anyone who’s done field work before knows how difficult it is to get Dems who only vote for President out to vote (and anyone who has studied election returns knows that a significant number of people only vote for the top-line election, skipping all of the other offices).  The question is, how do we get these lazy Democrats out to vote?

Another issue we face, especially in New Jersey, is the prevalence of unaffiliated voters.  As it is impossible to tell which way these voters lean without individual visits, targeting becomes extremely difficult.  Yes, if you’re in a heavily Democratic precinct with an unaffiliated majority, it’s a good bet that most of those unaffiliateds are really Democrats.  But, this tends to occur in areas we dominate anyway.  In redder areas, where I know we all want to expand (and many of us in the progressive community live), I believe this is one of the biggest issues holding us back.

So, Blue Jersey, how do we solve these two problems?  Anyone who has run an election before knows the difficulty involved with getting lazy Democrats to vote.  And with young people increasingly registering as unaffiliated, that problem is only set to expand.  I think we all know the improvements the country would see if everyone actually took the time to vote, and to pay attention to what’s going on in their government.  That is where activists come in.  But without direction to solve these two issues, we’ll be lost.

Bottom Up

I agree with so much here, though quibble with a few details – according to the NJ AG’s office, the laws reserving one county committee slot per voting district for a female and one for a male, were changed some years ago. You can have two county committee seats held by the same sex. And I’d say these seats are often crazy-easy to get, but where there is contention, not easy. Dems in Bergen County have some stories to tell on that. Thanks for writing this, kalimirch – it’s important to remember. Promoted by Rosi.

The smallest elected position in the state of New Jersey, the local political committeeperson, is also one of the most vital towards influencing the politics of our state.  Every single voting district in our state elects a male and female Democratic and Republican committeeperson, producing a total of over 12,000 seats across the state.  The local committee chooses the municipal and county party leadership, the real center of power in New Jersey politics.  For years, progressives have lamented the corruption and nepotism that runs rampant through the most powerful county parties in the state.  Look no further than Essex, Hudson and Camden Counties, where the Democratic name is tarnished by petty bosses and their minions.  The key to reversing this trend of bossism is taking back control of the Democratic committee seats, especially in our most boss-plagued counties.

These seats are not particularly difficult to win.  The vote totals often resemble football scores more than they do elections, with a vote total of 100 being quite high.  Think of how quickly a politician like Joe DiVincenzo of Essex County would lose his power if the Essex County Democratic Committee were turned on its head, made up of progressive members more interested in policy than power.  It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do, and would involve a massive recruitment effort of ordinary citizens who vote often, but have never really been involved in politics.  But, if progressives in New Jersey (and, more often, in their counties) were able to rally together around this cause as the committee elections approached, taking our party back would be totally within the realm of possibility.

Syria Poll

Your senator, Bob Menendez, is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He’s on record calling for missile strikes, fast. Is he right? Promoted by Rosi.

What do you think we should do, Blue Jersey?

Joe DiVincenzo should be progressives’ #1 target in 2014

Blue Jersey – especially those from Essex – your thoughts? Promoted by Rosi

Some facts on Essex County:

1. It is the most Democratic County in the state, having delivered victories of 70%+ to every Democratic Presidential candidate in recent memory.

2. It is a minority-majority county, with more Black residents than non-Hispanic White residents.  Presumably, the legions of registered Democrats in the county are even more minority-heavy

3. Essex County has, perhaps, the most entrenched political class in the state, protected by ballot structures which prioritize the Democratic Party’s anointed nominees, and primary election turnout that would make any fan of democracy shed tears.

4.  Essex County is run, administratively and politically, by the cartoonishly corrupt, self-serving, double dipping pay-to-play king Joe DiVincenzo, a man who fancies himself a statewide kingmaker and old school political boss.

DiVinenzo is no liberal.  Nor is he a moderate, or conservative.  Nor is he a non-ideological do-gooder.  DiVincenzo’s ideology is green, green for the inside of his own wallet.  The power structure he oversees prevents legislators who I believe would be at least decent and honest from straying from his power-hungry needs.

Why is it that in a county with a minority-majority, and with multiple cities suffering under the strain of poverty, horrible schools and urban blight, Democratic primary voters continue to let this man run their county?  Corruption in urban areas is often blamed on racial bias by voters, but DiVincenzo is a minority in Essex County, so that ain’t it.