NJ13

Your Liberal Media: NPR Edition

So I am barely waking up this morning and I hear a blathering Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborn Boggs a.k.a. Cokie Roberts talking about how the Katrina Report was all Republicans as is the opposition to the UAE owning the port system.

First off, in fairness, the Republican committee that issued a report on Wednesday is totally Republican. However, when asked on ABC’s This Week, Rep. Gene Taylor said that they didn’t bother to subpoena White House records, for fear of being stonewalled and thus delaying the report. I guess the report just HAD to come out February 15th so that folks planning Mardi Gras could prepare special floats with Chertoff bullseye’s painted on. Either way, the Republican committee failed to really scathe the White House because, the White House wouldn’t let them see their records. Good job Committee. In other words, the reasons Democrats boycotted the committee in the first place came to fruition in the Republican’s version of the GAO and DHS Inspector General reports. I won’t even get into how screwed up our country is when Republicans get stonewalled by their own party’s leader.

Besides, this is only the first of 3 reports on Katrina. The next one to come out is from a BI-PARTISAN Senate Committee. Too bad Cokie forgot to mention that.

However, Cokie wasn’t done lifting the Republicans above all ills.

She then went right ahead and blatenly lied.

Cokie went on to say that Republicans were the only one’s outraged over the UAE takeover of our Port system. This as we all know, is what Washingtonian Press Folk would potentially call, blatant disregard for the truth. Isn’t it enough that Bob Menendez has to issue rapid responses to Michael Chertoff?  Go ahead give it a listen, not one mention of Menendez, Clinton, or any legislation that they happen to have already introduced! Though there was a tone of belittlement when she mentioned Chuck Schumer using 9/11 familes to highlight the issue. You can almost hear her think “politicizing 9/11.”

However, NPR wasn’t done with their Republican cheerleading effort just yet. Immediately following Cokie Roberts’ wankery, Peter Overby filed this report, which basically tried to explain the already debunked convoluted way that Harry Reid shares guilt in the Abramoff scandal. The explanation itself is totally convoluted, then again, most baseless accusations come accross this way.

This Morning Edition’s pyloric parastolsis gives credence to the idea that NPR really stands for Nice Polite Republicans.

Government Stops EZ-Pass Robbery!

My State Senator Nick Sacco (sounds like he could get a part on the Soprano’s), chairs the Transportation Committee. He is pushing for a bill that would make it a “distinct” crime to steal an EZ-Pass Tag.

Now that is what I think every legislature should be worried about. Changing the penalties for EZ-Pass tag thieves.

There must be an astounding number of EZ-Pass tag thievery going on. It is most certainly the most pressing issue of the day! Great job Sen. Sacco!

Now if only your committee could figure out a way to solve the Transportation Trust Fund, and keep the EZ-Pass tag issuers from robbing the tag holders, we would be getting somewhere.

Mas Vas, por favor

If the term “political hack” is ever added to the Oxford English Dictionary, the entry could be well illustrated with a photo of Albio Sires — indifferent assemblyman, mediocre mayor of West New York and all-around undistinguished public figure whose most compelling reason for succeeding Robert Menendez as the representative for the 13th Congressional District seems to be that it will pump up his pension after he retires.

Nevertheless, Sires is the clear favorite straight out of the gate because the district lies mostly within his Hudson County home base, as this Bergen Record story lays out quite capably. He has also kissed all the right rings, played ball with the right cronies and gained the benediction of Menendez. He is also pocketing the endorsements of various unions whose leaders have apparently concluded that he’s going to be the new congressman, so why not bend with the wind?

What the story doesn’t make clear, however, is that Joseph Vas, Perth Amboy mayor and assemblyman, is an independent-minded, progressively inclined Democrat who would be a superb addition to Congress — as opposed to Sires, who would be a Republican if he hadn’t sussed early on that playing Democrat was the way to get ahead in Hudson County.

Vas has spent close to two decades being his own man in John Lynch territory, and under his stewardship Perth Amboy has started to realize its potential as a jewel on Raritan Bay. Contrast this with West New York, a chunk of pyrite embedded in New Jersey’s Gold Coast, run by a guy whose idea of constituent service is to work on his golf game whenever possible. Vas is clearly the better man.

Jake Stuiver, one of the new bloggers on the block, delves into the matter himself. I’d say Vas is a good candidate for netroots support. Can I get a witness?

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Cross-posted at The Opinion Mill.

13th District will stay unrepresented for now

Corzine declines to call for special election citing expense and low turnout for special elections.  Vas accuses Dems of plotting against him:

Perth Amboy Mayor and Assemblyman Joe Vas (D-Middlesex) has been lobbying for a special election.

Vas arrived unannounced at the governor’s office yesterday afternoon. Corzine met with him for 15 minutes. After the meeting, Vas declined to say what the two discussed privately, except to say that Corzine assured him he would notify him when he made a decision on the special election.

Vas, however, accused other Democrats of plotting against him: “They want to see the seat vacant at the expense of voters. They’re trying to give him (Corzine) some cover,” he said.

Vas was referring to a legal opinion issued earlier in the day by the Office of Legislative Services. The six-page report raised questions about the authority of the governor to call a special election.

Corzine considers his own legal advisers, including the state Attorney General’s Office, as a better arbiter of the governor’s powers. They have said the governor does not have the authority to appoint a successor to Menendez, but can order a special election if he so chooses.

Any threat of a legal entanglement was a non-factor in Corzine’s decision, according to the sources.

Will the winner of the election in November take office immediately, then?

Plus Ca Change, Plus Le Meme Chose

As Wally would say. Albio Sires is the former NJ House Speaker, and is now the front runner in the campaign to replace Senator “Pope” Bob Menendez.

Sires is long thought to be some sort of Menendez protege’ and his early actions are pretty indicative of that:

Sires, who is mayor of West New York as well as the 33rd District assemblyman, is barred by state election law from accepting campaign contributions from casinos, cable companies or the tobacco industry.

But federal election law has no such restrictions, and the Sires for Congress campaign has benefited with more than $40,000 in contributions from Caesars Entertainment and Harrah’s Entertainment, Comcast, Anheuser-Busch and tobacco giant RJ Reynolds.

“Albio Sires needs to explain why he took thousands of dollars from casinos and tobacco interests, that are unlawful as Assembly speaker, and then exempted casinos from the statewide smoking ban,” said Barry Brendel, a spokesman for Perth Amboy Mayor Joe Vas, Sires’s opposition in the congressional primary.

Ah… primaries, the only time NJ politicians are kept honest!

The best arguments against the recent smoking ban center around the Casino loop-hole. These nay-sayers are generally right. Why shouldn’t casino workers be offered the same protections offered to the rest of NJ employees under this new law? I don’t think I have to get into the specifics of how such an exception got made.

However, for the fightin’ 13th we have a big business Democrat to replace the one that just got appointed to a more powerful job left. Yipee!

Who wants to be a House member?

While 7th District Democrats battle just for the chance to take back the House in 2006, there’s also that little matter of our safe seats:

In the 13th District, a seat so safe that no republican is likely even to run (not even Bret Schundler), Perth Amboy Mayor Joe Vas is announced, Assemblyman Albio Sires is annointed, and Jersey City Councilman Steven Fulop is angling.

Hey, I guess it’s hard to resist taking a shot when all you have to do is win the primary.