Author Archive: ken bank

Christie steals millions from taxpayers to promote himself

The Bergen Record is reporting that Christie steered millions of dollars to a politically connected advertising firm to pay for those STTS campaign commercials disguised as tourism ads. Hopefull the Buono campaign will take advantage of this report and demand that Christie be held accountable. A legislative hearing before the November election would be appropriate, and the other firms who offered lower bids should be able to testify.

Lonegan beats Oliver

Check out the latest Quinnipiac Poll on the NJ Senate race. Beating Oliver is bad enough, but he’s also competitive with Pallone and Holt. Cory Booker is the only candidate with a comfortable lead, though I consider it rather discomforting that Booker’s lead over Lonegan is less than that of Christie over Buono, who has already spent millions of dollars and has been the undisputed Democratic nominee for Governor the last six months. I can’t think of anything more embarrasing for the Democratic Party than for their condidate for Governor to lose to a Republican in a blue state by a greater margin than Lonegan loses to a Dem.

My point is that when it comes to decide who to vote for in the primary, I believe it is of greatest importance to choose the candidate who will defeat Lonegan by the biggest possible margin. It is not eneough to simply defeat the man, but to defeat him by such a wide margin that no self-respecting Republican will ever be tempted to vote for a Tea Party reactionary again, not just in New Jersey but other states as well.

If anybody is wondering why I am so obsessed with Lonegan it is because I’ve been familiar with his campaigns and political background for fifteen years, and also some of the people he associates with including his biggest supporters. It isn’t just the Koch Brothers, they are the tip of the iceberg. There are others as well who’s extreme views on various issues make the Koch Brothers look like the Kennedys. I won’t go into details now especially since it involves some personal experiences and recollections on my part that I could not be 100% certain about, and I don’t want to make allegations or accusations that I cannot back up with appropriate documentation. I’ll just leave it by saying that for me this election isn’t about a litmus test for who’s progressive credentials are bigger than anyone else, but about which candidate will not only destroy Lonegan politically but put the final nail in New Jersey’s Tea Party movement as well. I want to make absolutely certain that this special election for US Senate will be the NJ Tea Party’s “Last Hurrah”.

Reginald Jackson is a whore

I apologize to members of the world’s oldest profession for associating them with such a lowlife scumbag but I really do feel the analogy is appropriate. A few things to keep in mind about Reginald Jackson’s endorsement of Chris Christie that is not widely touted in the media. One is that he has a history of endorsing GOP candidates when it was in his personal interest to do so, such as Christie Whitman in 1993. Second is his extensive personal and financial interest in charter schools and religious schools, which was accurately described last year by noted education blogger Jersey Jazzman. Third is Jackson’s alleged involvement with attempts to bribe members of his Black Ministers Council in 1993 with GOP street money to suppress black voter turnout as described by Whitman’s campaign manager Ed Rollins.

I’m not surprised Jackson endorsed Christie, in fact I expected it given Christie’s support for charter schools and vouchers for religious schools that directly benefit Jackson’s interests. I can only hope, though I won’t hold my breath, that somebody in the media will expose him for what he is so that voters who may be influenced by his endorsement will take it with the grain of salt that it deserves.

Chris Daggett for LG?

I confess I voted for Chris Daggett four years ago. This year I’ll vote for Buono. Reaching out to a centrist Republican might be the shot in the arm Buono needs to gain traction, especially with moderate Dems and Independents. If not Daggett then perhaps former GOP State Senator William Schluter, who also has an independent streak and a reform reputation. I would even consider Diane Allen, but I doubt she would accept. The bottom line is Buono must do something dramatic to reach out to the Independent voters who outnumber Republicans and Democrats, and the LG choice is probably the only opportunity she’ll ever have.

Buono should withdraw

Brendan Byrne was right. Instead of going up, her poll numbers are dropping faster than the Mets combined batting average, and the way it looks now the Mets have a better chance winning the World Series this year than Barbara Buono becoming Governor. As Byrne suggested, Buono needs to do what’s right by the Party and get out now so that Party leaders have a chance to select a candidate who, if they cannot beat Christie, can make the race close enough to save Democratic control of the Legislature which right now has to be the top priority.

There’s no point in blaming other Dems for Buono’s embarrassing poll numbers and anemic fundraising. Joe D. and Brian Stack are not the reason she’s forty points behind in the latest poll. She’s had four months to introduce herself to voters, spent millions of dollars in advertising (including PAC money), and is now even further behind than when she started. Among nonprogressives, moderate Democrats and Independents she’s generated about as much enthusiasm as serving pork chops at a Jewish wedding.

Who should replace her? My first choice is former Congressman Steve Rothman. At least he’ll carry Bergen County and help Bob Gordon keep his Senate seat. He’s progressive, he’s Jewish (which helps with a key voting bloc), and he can raise money. If not Rothman then perhaps Congressman Bill Pascrell. At any rate, there’s nobody who can do worse. Democrats can nominate Snooki and she’ll likely get more votes than Buono.

A good example I can think of at a time like this is former GOP Presidential nominee Bob Dole in 1996. When it became evident Dole wasn’t going to win, he shifted strategy and instead of campaigning in states where he was still competitive, campaigned instead in Congressional Districts and Senate races to ensure that the GOP would still keep control of Congress. It paid off as the GOP retained control despite Clinton’s overwhelming victory. Hopefully Barbara Buono will exhibit the same sort of statesmanship.

Should Dems support Christie primary opponent?

Arguments can be made on both sides as to whether Dems should help Tea Party activist Seth Grossman get on the GOP ballot and support his candidacy against Chris Christie in the primary. However unlikely, should Grossman win he would be alot easier to defeat in the general election. Aside from that, a strong Tea Party challenger will force Christie to move to the right on issues that may hurt him in the general election. If nothing else, Grossman has brought up talking points and issues that Barbara Buono could use in the general election, such as Christie’s claims that he cut taxes and balanced the budget.

Anyway, whether he gets help from Democrats or not, I do hope Seth Grossman gets on the ballot and is able to make Christie sweat a little. Maybe it will force Christie to campaign more in GOP strongholds than he would otherwise so he won’t have as much time and effort available to go after Democrats.

Will Kean Jr. help Buono

I can’t help thinking this stunt by Tom Kean Jr. will do nothing more than awaken a sleeping giant. Without serious opposition my guess is that George Norcross and Steve Sweeney would have been sleepwalking through this election, giving nothing more than lip service tothe Buono campaign. They may still give lip service, but I suspect they will use all their considerable resources to GOTV, which means Democrats will turn out in larger numbers than they would otherwise, and it also means a larger than expected vote for Buono in South Jersey.

Like I said, I believe Tom Kean Jr. has awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.

Christie’s GOP opponent rips Town Halls

So Christie’s Director of Constituent Service says his ‘Town Halls’ are “private meetings on private property? (check ken’s link) What’s Christie so worried about that he has to control these ‘public’ ‘Town Halls’ so tightly? If Grossman does continue to make this point, it will be interesting to see if he gets any media attention for it. Promoted by Rosi

I don’t agree with GOP candidate for governor Seth Grossman very often, but on this issue he happens to be right. He has an interesting blogpost on his campaign website describing how he was nearly arrested for distributing literature at Christie’s campaign rally disguised as a Town Hall. He raises some important issues involving free speech and right of assembly. Keep in mind Steve Lonegan got himself arrested for doing the same thing at a Corzine Town Hall. and the charges were later dropped.

It will be interesting to see if Grossman seriously contests the restrictions on free speech at these campaign events. He is a lawyer and a former Atlantic County Freeholder, so he knows his way around.

Christie’s no bid contracts

Thanks to Barbara Buono for exposing this story and getting AshBritts CEO to admit the job could be done for less money. However, the real story here is Christie’s history of awarding his supporters and benefactors with no bid contracts, going back to his years as US Attorney when he routinely gave out such contracts to the likes of John Ashcroft and many others.

Nobody is more familiar with Christie’s no bid contracts than Congressman Frank Pallone, who held hearings on that subject four years ago when Christie walked out and refused to answer more questions. Even Steve Lonegan, who campaigned against Christie in the GOP primary that year, brought up the issue on many occasions and even used it in his advertising. There was a third party website set up to expose Christie’s use of these contracts as US Attorney. Now he’s doing the same as Governor.

Hopefully Senator Buono will remind voters of how Christie uses taxpayer’s money to reward his supporters, benefactors and campaign donors. It shouldn’t be hard for some group, maybe the Democratic Governors Association, to set up a third party website similar to what supporters of Steve Lonegan did four years ago, which would post information relating to Christie’s history of giving out no bid contracts.

Is LD39 winnable?

Good article in PolitickerNj leaves me with the impression this district might flip to Democrats. Republicans are at each other’s throats, Bob Schroeder is a major embarrasment to the GOP, Gerry Cardinale is ten years younger than Frank Lautenberg but appears ten years older. There’s also a good chance Rob Hermansen won’t go away quietly and may primary Schepisi and Auth for Assembly. He’s a strong candidate and could do considerable damage to the GOP ticket.

It seems to me that with a strong ticket and some serious money this district could change from red to blue and retire Gerry Cardinale, who looks like he needs a bib along with his bowl of Farina for breakfast.