Author Archive: Rosi Efthim

Jessie & Izzy

I found her scrunched up sitting on the floor, this 14-year-old with long hair. She was balancing a ballpoint pen in one hand and a folder of papers in the other. Writing a letter to an Assemblyman she hasn’t had a chance to vote for yet, and asking some advice from my friend, Essex DFA leader Katherine Joyce.

Jessie & IzzyHer name’s Jessie. Earnest kid. Goes to Montclair HS. Half the people in the room were young. High school kids like Jessie, or college. But also couples. Families. About 150 people, spilling out into the hallway, sitting on the floor, cross-legged on tables, using each other’s backs to write on. An emergency meeting, one of 6 last night – all over North Jersey. Tonight, Central & South Jersey: Hillsborough (where I’ll be), Asbury Park, New Brunswick, Westfield, Collingswood.

But this was Jessie’s first time at HQ. Before Jessie’s best friend Isabelle came out last year, Jessie had no opinion one way or another about same-sex marriage. Never thought about it. But when it was about Izzy, she jumped in. Pretty simple stuff, the way she tells it:

GSE Hallway 11/4/09

I’m just standing up for my friend. And if I didn’t have a gay best friend, I’d be standing up for somebody else’s best friend.

Boom. There it is: After a couple decades of the gay rights movement resting too heavily on the shoulders of a minority population forced to advocate for their own rights, the movement’s now broader, more a consensus. Not just gay people anymore, but other people standing behind them, and with them. Just simply grasping the idea of fairness.

With Chris Christie’s election not 100 hours old, a shifting landscape, it’s absolutely the right time to reach critical mass, to let legislators know that we don’t go away, and we expect this to pass now. See, Jessie wants government to do “what’s right” for Izzy, “to get my friend set in a better future for when she’s older.”

See who else I met last night, after the jump.

News Roundup & Open Thread for Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009

Massive Corzine FAIL in Woodbridge

  • Middlesex, Hudson and Union, Sayreville, Gloucester …

    Same article, but look at this quote:

  • Sen. Ray Lesniak: “The governor turned his back on the political establishment that supported him throughout his political career. He was totally isolated by political reality and surrounded himself by people who were totally isolated by political reality.”

    Those rumors were true

  • Codey says a worried White House asked him if he was ready to run if Corzine dropped out.

    And in other news, matter collides with anti-matter, and the world goes bang-bang

  • Hudson County Dems pledge to work with Christie.

    Pass marriage equality!

  • Tom Moran: The political stars, for a few brief months, sit in alignment for a move to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey.

    And in other news, a bear does sh*t in the woods

  • Christie will suspend new regulations on business.

    Shifts in Bergen County

  • Freeholders no longer all-Dem, and control moves to GOP in several towns.

    Christie’s first executive order

  • Will be freeze unfunded mandates and new regulations for 90 days.

    What the mayor-elect of Edison heard on the campaign trail

  • I will vote for you, but I will not vote for Jon Corzine.

    The dog barked. Now what?

  • Blue NJ & Blue Westchester County, NY gave great nights to the Republicans, largely because of tension over taxes. So now they have to fix it instead of just complaining.

    There’s life in NJ’s progressive movement

  • First wave of emergency meetings on marriage equality last night all over North Jersey, crowded rooms and money raised. Tonight, that wave hits Central & South Jersey.

    A horrible showing for the “winner”

  • Let’s watch as a fresh new Governor with unrealistic and vague campaign promises actually has to govern, without the secrecy in which he operated in his last job.

    Menendez will feel heat from the new governor

  • Youch!

    Day after election

  • Christie talks reform.

    Christie goes to Newark

  • Talks bipartisanship.

    Yankees win!

  • Woo hoo!

    Buy your local newspaper

  • No way any state news source can fully cover, especially in brief, all you need to know about how Tuesday’s election affects your hometown. It’s such a good day – and week – to buy your local paper.

    Local News

  • New Brunswick: Vote count may be final in the next couple days in the close tally on restructuring city into a ward system.
  • Mercer County: Shifts in the political landscape.
  • Newark: Anti-violence advocate, killed in crossfire.
  • Tonight – the first meetings of progressives in the new era – on Marriage Equality

    Among the many things abruptly scattered into the air in post-election New Jersey is marriage equality, widely understood to be coming up during the lame duck session, and suddenly in if not jeopardy, in some doubt. The new realities are being sifted through right now, at hyper-speed actually, and two waves of meetings – tonight & tomorrow – all over the state will be a key part of the enormous progressive win that is still possible.

    Marriage equality is an issue with broad progressive – and now broad Democratic – support. How it got broad Democratic support is a combination of factors that includes a wise strategy – largely cinched by Garden State Equality – to frame it correctly as a civil rights issue, one with appeal outside the minority population of gay people. And in fact these meetings have the broad support of Blue Jersey, DFA, Blue Wave, Unitarian fellowships, synagogues, ACLU-NJ, Unity Church and a rainbow of gay rights organizations.

    Where everything lands in the pre-Christie world, I do not know. I’m not sure anybody does. And it’s that abrupt uncertainty, and need to focus – now that we’re actually in lame duck session – that makes two waves of strategy sessions all over NJ tonight and tomorrow emergency meetings.

    Jon Corzine has made plain that he will sign marriage equality if it comes before him. But how will the legislature react now? One theory in the haze of last night’s news is that legislators will snap to a “new reality” that the mood of the electorate has changed and voters will penalize electeds that push this forward, as they did Corzine. But the vote is almost certainly to come up – Dick Codey and Joe Roberts promised this – and it’s equally possible that the State House will use marriage equality to show an incoming right-wing governor – who’s on record he doesn’t think gay people are suffering – a show of Democratic resistance. An early warning that they don’t intend to be pushed around.

    I do know that what mattered before yesterday, still matters today. I’m going to be at the Montclair meeting tonight, Hillsborough Thursday. These meetings are billed as emergency meetings and they are also the first meetings of progressives in the groggy hours after the bomb dropped.

    Tonight’s sessions all at 7pm in the following cities:

    Jersey City

    Madison (at Drew University)





    Thursday’s sessions in Central & South Jersey, all at 7pm:

    Asbury Park



    New Brunswick



    News Roundup & Open Thread for the morning after

    Christie wins

  • Vote totals show voter turnout was a record low for a New Jersey governor’s race.

    Moran: Election of ‘unapologetic conservative’ marks personal rebuke of Corzine

  • The era of Jon Corzine – as senator, governor and the state’s most unabashed liberal leader – ended tonight at the hands of a political neophyte who ran as an unapologetic conservative. With the state house remaining in Democratic hands, this was a “pointed personal loss” for Corzine.

    State GOP is rudderless no more

  • Stile: The 47-year-old former federal prosecutor is poised to lead the Republican establishment back from its long, cashless exile from Trenton power. But unlike his moderate forebears Christie Whitman and Thomas H. Kean, voters may have picked the most conservative governor in modern state history.

    How Christie won

  • Clue: The arrest of 44 people is in the first few words of this analysis.

    How Corzine lost

  • The economy. And taxes.

    A major problem with last night’s NJ results

  • Is that now people are going to start taking this guy seriously.

    Some of yesterday’s other races, outside NJ

  • We lost marriage equality in Maine. 31st state to reject same-sex marriage at the polls.
  • NY-23 proves the high-five moment of the night for Democrats.
  • Bloomberg squeaks out a win in NYC in a closer-than-expected race.

    State’s best known enviro, hanging out with the Republicans

  • Picture Jeff Tittel hanging out at the Christie victory party, running down Corzine. Where does he imagine Christie takes the environment the first time business tells him something they want?

    Chris Christie is a man without a mandate

  • Mulshine: The winner last night, Republican Chris Christie, managed to get through the entire campaign without taking a single principled stand on a single issue. He was against waste, fraud and abuse. He was against corruption. He was in favor of tax cuts. And that was about it.

    College student wins township committee seat in Hunterdon

  • Plans to live at his parents house in Alexandria Twp and commute once a week to Johns Hopkins U. to finish his political science degree.

    Dawn Zimmer keeps mayoral seat

  • Defeats Beth Mason & Frank Raia in Hoboken’s special election.

    Democrats keep control of Assembly

  • Presenting a challenge to Christie’s rule. Thank goodness for those checks and balances.

    Assembly races in Monmouth & Ocean

  • GOP holds onto seats in 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 30.

    Antonia Ricigliano wins mayors race in Edison

  • Her last step after defeating Jun Choi in a rough primary.

    Essex County Sheriff

  • Armando Fontoura wins an unprecedented 7th term.

    Capital Games: Steve Sweeney gets an apology

  • For a fake quote attached to his name in a press release.
  • Open Thread – AP calls the race for Christie

    The news tweeted at 10:08 is now finally appearing in story form, the race called by AP for Christie.


    Chris Christie, an aggressive former prosecutor who racked up a perfect conviction rate in public corruption cases and became the darling of New Jersey’s Republican Party establishment, has unseated the deep-pocketed but unpopular Gov. Jon Corzine.

    Christie, 47, on Tuesday became the first member of his party in a dozen years to win a statewide contest in heavily Democratic New Jersey. President Barack Obama invested heavily in the race, campaigning with Corzine five times on three separate visits.

    They called it with 75% of precincts in, with Christie at 50%, 44% for Corzine, and a predictable caving of Chris Daggett at about 5%.

    This place – the East Brunswick Hilton – is a morgue. Tense. Reporters talking to each other because nobody in the campaign is saying anything. We don’t know when Corzine and Weinberg will come down.

    So, this is an open thread. What changes now? What infuriates you? What happens next?

    Where to get up-to-date local election info



    CAPE MAY:…



    HUDSON: http://www.hudsoncountyclerk.o…





    MORRIS: http://www.morriscountyclerk.o…



    Corzine Victory Party – East Brunswick Hilton

    pallone, Corzine Victory Party 09Well, Jason and I have landed at the East Brunswick Hilton, site of victory and site of defeat in the Democratic Party’s NJ modern history. Everyone here is wrapped up tighter than a drum. It’s either that nobody knows anything, or the incoming info is conflicting … or it’s not great.

    There’s not much to see here yet. Frank Pallone just arrived and was immediately set upon by reporters. We’re in a press room set up for writers. Kind Hunterdon folks are supplying me gin and tonic refreshment.

    And we’ve got massive problems with Jason’s computer, the one we were hoping to run Blue Jersey Radio off of in just 21 minutes.

    Corzine victory party media

    5-minute lunchtime GOTV tool – right here

    Stuck at work? Regretting you couldn’t take the day off to help get out the vote? I totally get it.

    So, this cool little tool is perfect for you. It generates 5 voters for you to call and remind to vote. And all five are your neighbors – they vote in the same precinct you do.

    All you do is enter your address. It spits out your polling place and 5 Obama voters to call (you can get more), with easy tips to make the calls a success. Just update to “today” where it says “Tuesday.” Love it.

    Just click Where Do I Vote?  

    Lunchtime GOTV tool – right here

    I really love this GOTV tool set up for NJ by DNC. It generates 5 voters for you to call and remind to vote. And all five are your neighbors – they vote in the same precinct you do.

    All you do is enter your address. It spits out your polling place and 5 Obama voters to call (you can get more), with easy tips to make the calls a success. Just update to “today” where it says “Tuesday.” Love it.

    Just click Where Do I Vote?