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Question 1, Lieutenant Governor’s post

The Star Ledger endorsed voting against creating a lt. gov post, saying

The ballot measure is almost impossible to understand. Much of the amendment and the accompanying interpretive statement deals with what will happen in the period of time before the first lieutenant governor is on a statewide ballot, 2009, if the governor leaves office. Nor does it tell voters that when a lieutenant governor is elected, he will serve only until the next available election. That information is contained in enabling legislation enacted in Trenton.

NOTE the assumption that the lt.gov. will be a ‘he’.  

Last week they highlighted the same point:

New Jersey’s proposed lieutenant governor would not complete the remaining term of a governor who died or resigned. Instead, the following November, a new governor and lieutenant governor would be elected and would take office immediately.

Most troubling to me is that the lt. gov. will not be elected individually, as in many states, but be chosen by the gubernatorial candidate, like US vice-president, and then the pair will run as a team.  

Gubernatorial candidates would hand-pick their running mates for lieutenant governor, beginning with the 2009 election.

I see it as two steps forward, one step back. I would not go as far as the Star Ledger in saying vote against creating a lt.gov. post, but I think I’m in the camp that says we’re probably going to have to fine tune it later.

Congressman Andrews critical of war

An article in today’s Gloucester County Times talks about how NJ Congressman Rob Andrews is now critical of Bush’s Iraq policy. This is significant because he was possibly the strongest Democratic advocate of a preemptive war on Iraq, and even helped draft the resolution authorizing the President to go to war.

Andrews is calling for Bush to replace Donald Rumsfeld with someone with more credibility in the Arab world. That should be an easy job for Bush, considering about 6 billion options meet these qualifications.

More importantly, Andrews correctly points out that the artificial milestones touted by the administration as positive signs of success aren’t actually proof of progress:

Terror attacks on U.S. troops and on Iraqi civilians, Andrews said, had intensified after each milestone heralded by the Bush administration: after the end of major combat operations; after the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred political power from U.S. diplomats to Iraqi leaders; and after free elections were conducted throughout Iraq on Jan. 30, 2005.

Andrews claims Bush now is wrong to herald the Oct. 15, 2005, vote in favor of the Iraqi constitution, which was defeated in two Sunni provinces, as yet another marker of progress.

“Does anybody really believe that we’re going to be more effective in preventing violence because the constitution passed? I don’t.”

I applaud the Congressman for making these statements. It is difficult to criticize the results of a war that you were instrumental in starting, but I have some disagreements with the rest of Andrew’s criticisms:

Hackett Is The Man!

Cross Posted on Media In Trouble

Last night on The Majority Report Paul Hackett (the hero of Ohio) was on the horn along with Kos.  Hackett talked about what needs to happen about Iraq. It made total and absolute sense.  He said it isn’t the military loosing this battle its the civilian leadership.  OK no surprise there, but what he said afterwards made the real sense.  He said the President as Commander in chief has failed to listen to the real experts, the Generals, the whole time.  Hackett went on to say that the only option left is for the President to own up to this mistake, bring together a round table of Generals, and order them to come up with a withdrawal plan.

An update on LGBTI hero Gina Genovese and Garden State Equality’s next town meeting

Following is an e-mail that I received from Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality, the primary LGBTI advocacy organization in the state.  It is because of the situation described in this e-mail that it is vital for straight progressives to come to Garden State Equality’s next town meeting on

Thursday, November 10 at 7:00pm
at the Unitarian Church (67 Church Street) in Montclair.

The focus of this town meeting is straight supporters of marriage equality and it will be the best opportunity we will have to prove that people like George Dengler are simply a loud and obnoxious, but extremely small minority in our state. Please join me at this event. I look forward to seeing you there.

The Two Faces of Doug Forrester

Doug Forrester received, and accepted, the endorsement of Republican Majority for Choice yesterday. The result was a lot of flack for the Republican candidate. According to the Trenton Times:

Yesterday’s endorsement by Republican Majority for Choice was promoted as moderate support for Forrester, but it elicited concern from leading national abortion foe U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-Hamilton, who seemed surprised his fellow Republican accepted high-profile abortion rights support.

Smith said he talked to Forrester – who once frequently declared himself conservative but has lately tried to paint himself moderate – and thought Forrester would work to limit abortion rights.

Forrester has indicated his pro-life position by opposing embryonic stem cell research. Now he is trying to claim he is pro-choice and accepting an endorsement from a pro-choice group. On which side of the issue does Doug Forrester stand? Apparently, it’s both sides at once.

New polls: Corzine huge lead among women. Overwhelming support for Lieutenant Governor amendment

A SurveyUSA poll of likely voters has Corzine leading Forrester 50-41. Two weeks ago, Corzine led 49-41.

Corzine has a 20 point lead among women (55-35), while Forrester leads by 2 points among men (44-46). Independent voters support Corzine over Forrester by 3:2. Corzine leads 85-10 among blacks. Any rumors that Corzine needs to buy the black vote are beyond ridiculous. A summary of recent polls is below the fold.

Also, a Monmouth University/Gannet NJ poll shows overwhelming support for a Constitutional Amendment that would create the office of Lieutenant Governor (Yes: 75% No: 12%). Strangely, 8 in 10 voters didn’t even know that this question would be on the ballot in November. The director of the Monmouth Univ polling institute says that “this may say more about New Jersey’s predisposition to approve ballot measures than anything else.” A recent post at ChangeNJ makes a strong case for why we need the LG position.

Seymour Hersh 10/26 appearance at RU

I guess there isn’t a calendar function, and I don’t see this at a quick glance at the front page, so I’ll just pass on that Seymour Hersh will give a talk at 8 pm Wednesday, October 26, at 8 pm.  He will speak at the Student Center Multi-purpose room on College Avenue.  Topic, “From 9/11 to Abu Gharab.”  Q&A period to follow.

If there are indictments announced tomorrow, could be VERY interesting.