Author Archive: Rosi Efthim

Noon today – Gov. Corzine speaks at Netroots Nation

UPDATE: This is LIVE with Corzine now, and Adam and I are live-blogging the panel here at Daily Kos. If you have an account there, please recommend the post so it stays up on the front page.

Here at Netroots Nation, Valerie Jarrett is in the big convention hall being interviewed right now by one of my favorite people, Baratunde Thurston. In less than two hours, it will be Gov. Corzine on that stage, headlining a panel: Building a 21st Century Economy.

It’s a big deal here. There are 2000 progressive political bloggers here in Pittsburgh and every one of them knows that there are only two governors races in the country in 2009; two chances for a moribund Republican Party to try and generate some momentum for 2010. Virginia’s an open seat. And Jon Corzine is the only incumbent governor in the US up this year. We already know – and so do colleagues here – the GOP’s going to pour in resources in the Garden State.

That’s why Jon Corzine is such a featured player here, headling on of only 6 plenary sessions: Bill Clinton, Howard Dean, PA Senate candidates Joe Sestak & Arlen Specter, Valerie Jarrett from the White House, and Darcy Burner, and Corzine.

Adam and I will be interviewing the Governor in a few minutes along with a handful of bloggers including Chris Bowers, Duncan Black, Marcy Wheeler, Amanda Terkel and Joe Sudbay. And – big news – we’ll be bringing you Gov. Corzine on Blue Jersey Radio Tuesday.

Want to watch Corzine’s session LIVE? Here’s the live stream, Corzine will be on at noon.

Twittering? Use the hashtag #NN09. If there’s a hashtag for you to lob questions in to the panel, I’ll post it when I know it.

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The big headline here at Netroots Nation is New Jersey

Picture 2

Hot damn.

This is how you want to arrive at Netroots Nation – the former Yearly Kos – the now-massive annual mojo-booster for progressive political blogger titans and titans-to-be. Clammyc – oh, hell, let’s just call him Adam – and I rolled in this afternoon, and promptly started drinking, and connecting up.

And it’s a buzzy night here right now.  New Jersey is on the front page of DailyKos, in a great diary by Jake McIntyre: NJ-Gov: The Other Shoe Dropping for Christie. So … Chris Christie’s got a little Karl Rove problem. Please go read it, add your own New Jersey-flavored comment, and then shoot that bad boy to 10 of your bestest friends. Especially the ones leaning toward Christie.

It’s important to understand what the stakes are here: Karl Rove, Republican strategist, architect of the Bush White House, and pit bull for the man who appointed Christie the US Attorney, said on the record to the House Judiciary Committee July 7, 2009, that he spoke to Christie several times over several years. That is, apparently, while he was United States Attorney. US Attorneys are barred by the United States Justice Dept. from engaging in partisan politics while in office. It’s a safeguard to avoid undue influence, impropriety, even the appearance of impropriety. Given that Christie is running on his record as USA, a violation of the Hatch Act further soils his credibility.

As Jason points out, huntsu had this more than two years ago.

Word spreads fast here in Pittsburgh. I just walked through the lobby and got high-fived by five people. Everybody knows Jon Corzine is coming to Netroots Nation Saturday. He’ll be here to talk economy, but the buzz has already started that the truth will out when it comes to what Chris Christie doesn’t want voters to know about. Christie was George Bush’s hand-picked – and now we find out, hand-fed – man in the Garden State.

We’re in the car, on the way to Netroots Nation


This morning, clammyc and I are hitting the road on the way to beautiful Pittsburgh and Netroots Nation 09. I’m stoked.

I’m going as one of Democracy for America’s Netroots Nation Scholars. DFA has this fabulous competitive program to underwrite costs for people they think ought to have that opportunity. It’s a savvy way of undescoring deep ties between grassroots political organizers and those of us who ride the interwebs. I’m very lucky they chose me. (Shrugs.)

If you’ve got the means, throw DFA some coin. They’re sending 40 of us this year to NN09- and that’s all expenses paid.

Last year, they sent 30. On of them was Jeff Gardner, my buddy and a denizen of this site, and of DFA-NJ, like I am. There was a friendly, but cutthroat competition for votes with one Robert Harding at The Albany Project, which Jeff won, being that he’s awesome. Don’t worry, Robert got to go, too.

Clammyc’s an old hand at NN, and he’s participating in a session on red districts (for the fighting NJ-5) and moderating this one on PTSD.

Saturday, we’ll be there to greet Governor Corzine, headlining the keynote panel, on 21st Century economy. It’s a great “get” for Netroots Nation. With just two big state races this year – NJ & VA – the Republicans are focusing a lot of resources here to try and climb out of their hole. That’s a story every blogger at NN09 is going to know. (Barring last-minute surprise, Creigh Deeds, running for the open seat in VA, won’t be there).

Bill Clinton, Valerie Jarrett, and Howard Dean are also coming. Here’s the full schedule. And some vid from past NNs.

Blue Jersey’s friends TJ and Ian are coming. You going? It’s not too late – drop us a note  here, so we can be on the lookout for you.

Here we go!

News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bush’s “architect” Karl Rove helped build Chris Christie

  • United States Attorneys are prohibited from partisan political activities. But when Christie was in that capacity in NJ, he spent some of his time seeking out George Bush’s chief political operative, so he could get advice about who he needed to make friends with.

    Somebody call the waaaaambulance!

  • The Sierra Club wants the Republican Governors Association to stop using their logo in an ad it’s hard to imagine they didn’t anticipate would be made.

    Abuse of state contracts?

  • New Jersey State Comptroller picks up some questionable expenditures in an agency overseeing services for disabled New Jerseyans.

    Cost savings

  • By switching prescription plans for NJ’s 800,000 active and retired workers, NJ keeps a whopping $108 million in our pockets.


  • Gov. Corzine is seeking federal disaster funding for farmers in Warren County, and Burlington, Camden, Mercer, Ocean and Sussex counties for damage created by this summer’s bad weather.


  • Union County Jail inmates are on lockdown, following feuds between rival street gangs that escalated to violence.

    On the Waterfront

  • “Total agency breakdown.”

    Carving up New Brunswick

  • How shall the City Council be configured?

    T-t-t-t TUBES!

  • Edison residents can now use the interwebs to get stuff done.

    Health care insurance reform

  • Quinnipiac University Poll: New Jersey voters approve 56 – 39 percent of the job Barack Obama is doing as President, down from 61 – 33 percent July 14. Let’s see … why might that be? Could it be that the huge step forward advocated by Obama is being met with shouty, teabag-driven, disruptive opposition as congressmen try to speak to constituents?
  • Rothman: Goes on the record not being on the record yet.
  • News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Corzine gains ground

  • Three months out, a new Quinnipiac University poll has Corzine trailing Christie by 9 points, 51-42, among likely voters. A mid-July poll gave Christie at 12-point lead. When independent Chris Daggett is factored in, Christie’s lead shrinks to only 6 points.

    Process story

  • Bill Maer in. Jamie Fox in. Yeah, it’s not really about that.

    Ron Chen joins suit against landlord

  • NJ’s Public Advocate is stepping into a case of a disabled woman denied an apartment lease in Mercer County because she can’t pay her rent without NJ’s rental assistance program. Chen joined the case to protect the housing rights of low-income people.

    Rothman and the tea party people

  • Rep. Steve Rothman got interrupted and shouted down at his health care reform event last night.

    Steady paycheck, regular raises

  • As private sector jobs dry up, professionals who never thought they would, turn to teaching.

    Triple-word score

  • Think the Governor’s race goes for the jugular?


  • Getting ready for the national headcount.

    Firing striking workers

  • Local 1199 SEIU says 11 striking workers at 3 nursing homes in Union City, Jersey City & Guttenberg were replaced because they’re on their union negotiating team, or strong union supporters.


  • A recall committee organized to recall the mayor calls shenanigans on the Point Pleasant Beach clerk for nullifying an effort to recall Mayor Vincent Barrella because one of the circulators didn’t sign at the bottom. To court, that will go.

    5 years after Hurricane Floyd

  • Why are the 40,000 square ft. of office space built into Rahway Library still

    mostly empty?

    Lock him up!

  • North Bergen right-wing hate blogger Hal Turner was ordered held without bail in Chicago. Hal Turner wrote on his blog June 2 that 3 federal appeals judge “deserve to be killed” for a decision on handguns.

    Former Springfield mayor and current candidate, dies

  • Two-term committeeman Kenneth Faigenbaum, 57, was running for re-election.
  • News Roundup & Open Thread for Monday, Aug. 10, 2009

    Studying #2 hopefuls

  • Trenton Times looks at Weinberg and Guadagno and finds one well-equipped with comprehensive knowledge of NJ, and the other knowledgeable but questions the validity of her campaign’s claims of her qualifications to become governor in an emergency.

    Stimulus pie

  • A pie-chart view of where stimulus money’s going in Mercer County, and what towns feel a let down.

    University diversity

  • Want to know which two universities in NJ are the most diverse?

    Expanding in South Jersey

  • Recession’s produced an uptick in shelter drop-offs, but the overcrowding of stray animals in Camden County’s animal shelter predates it. Time to expand.
  • Gloucester County’s Justice Complex is getting better parking.

    Rob Andrews credits the stimulus

  • Unemployment figures are improving in Camden, Burlington & Gloucester counties. Andrews points to the federal stimulus program.

    Get your arms ready, South Jersey

  • Health care professionals are practicing on peach-shaped stress balls to give you good injections for more vaccinations this year, including for H1N1 virus.

    Want to buy a casino?

  • You can get one cheap right now.

    Ocean County fortuneteller tells a man he’s headed for Hell

  • A 22-year old man, accompanying his grandmother to hear annual visit to a storefront fortuneteller, who says he’s full of negative energy and his family doesn’t accept him. Shouting match ensues.

    So … what’s going on where you live?

  • Weekend News Roundup & Open Thread for August 8-9, 2009

    Hrmmmm….. I wonder where he’ll start

  • Mayor Jerramiah Healy is calling for an independent audit and for ethics training for Jersey City employees.

    $10.67 million in property tax relief

  • Roseland, Bound Brook and South Orange get the largest shares.
  • With homelessness on the rise, some of NJ’s at-risk citizens will benefit from a $10.5 million surge in federal stimulus funds headed for homelessness prevention assistance.

    Searching for bodies in the Hudson River

  • Search resumed this morning for bodies in yesterday’s crash over the Hudson River, with low water visability hampering the search of the helicopter wreckage 100 yards off Hoboken. The crash occurred in clear skies and both craft – a copter owned by a Linden company and a plane taking off from Teterboro Airport – had a right to use that airspace.
  • The helicopter pilot was from Lacey Twp., in Ocean County.

    Princeton slips

  • In its annual ranking of America’s Best Colleges, Princeton U. has slipped from #1 to #2. Want to go to #1? You’ll have to keep your shoes shined, and your room clean.

    Sample ballots won’t be mailed to inactive voters anymore

  • Legislation that ends the mandate that sample ballots be sent to inactive voters was overturned with a signature by the Governor. That eliminates annual mailings to about 320,000 people.

    Arising from grassroots organizing

  • Parsippany will consider pay-to-play Tuesday, the result of a citizen-organized movement there.

    Trying to head off trouble in Maplewood

  • Mayor Victor DeLuca is looking to form a citizens committee for a smoother property revaluation.

    Getting Hatched?

  • The mayor and city council president of Salem, both Democrats who work for Salem County, may be unable to keep their elected offices after a Hatch Act investigation prompted by a local Republican.

    “I watched the dazzling flash in the sky …”

  • Sixty-four years after the atomic bomb was used to kill people on a mass scale for the first time, survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki speak out in Upper Deerfield Twp.
  • Unintended irony

    In not one but two diaries yesterday, a reader took issue with our posting Chris Christie’s disapproving remarks about Justice-elect Sonia Sotomayor. Twice, the reader linked to the same quote from Christie, as evidence he supported Sotomayor:

    After watching and listening to Judge Sotomayor’s performance at the confirmation hearings this week, I am confident that she is qualified for the position of Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

    But here’s the thing; his link to the Christie quote above is from this Daily Record editorial. And – Holy unintended irony, Batman! – what this editorial’s about is how Christie’s kind words on Sotomayor are a decision “rooted in politics” … “showing he can read the political winds.” What does The Daily Record suggest is really behind Christie’s new warmth to the judge? Fear, that strident opposition to Sotomayor risks losing support from a growing voting block: Hispanics.

    I agree. That’s what I think too.

    And this is a problem. Christie’s very hip to the politics of self-preservation, of couching his answers so that he says very little.

    Avoiding uncomfortable topics …

    Dodging reporters’ questions…

    Controlling his perimeter …

    Getting prickly when called to explain his actions as US Attorney.

    And with Sotomayor, revising stuff not because he reconsiderswhich I’d respect – but because he’s figured out he aint got the winning strategy. Christie seems unwilling, or unable, to make decisions based on the merits.

    Christie’s laudatory words came after he dismissed Sotomayor with a gentlemanly “Not my kind of judge”. And after realizing- along with the rest of the right-wing fake outrage machine – that scare tactics mocking Sotomayor as some kind of crusading, white guy-hating racist wasn’t going to fly.

    I know he never said those words. Listen up: He did not have to. That’s what the right-wing fake outrage machine is for. They bleet the on Fox, and anywhere near a radio microphone. Then the candidate comes along behind with much, much more modulated language, and scoops up all the people riled up by the bull.

    That’s how it works. And we all know that.  

    Blue Jersey Friday political haiku

    Still unfolding fallout from those political corruption arrests just 15 days ago. A shiny new Supreme Court Justice. A feisty Democratic LG candidate shaping up as Corzine’s pit bull. Christie grandstanding on ethics. Christie’s trackers popping up with signs … everywhere.

    Oh, there’s plenty to work with, in this week’s Friday installment of daily politics in verse.  Rules are simple: You compose a haiku (5 syllables, then 7, then 5) on the topic the last poster suggests. Then you get to set the next topic.

    First topic: Sotomayor only the 3rd woman appointed to Supreme Court

    The Supremes need more

    I am woman, hear me roar

    Frank and Bob said yes

    Next topic: Feisty Loretta Weinberg