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Upset in Bergen County – Bad News for Junior

Holy shit. This is a big upset that few were expecting:

Bergen County Executive (Republican)
Todd Caliguire  51%
Kathleen Donovan  49%

This is bad news for the Kean Jr campaign. Caliguire and his slate (which also won) is allied with the incompetent Bergen County Republican chair Guy Talarico. Donovan was allied with Alan Marcus, who is challenging Talarico for county chair. Bergen – the most populous county – is also considered a “swing” county. Junior’s campaign was probably hoping that Talarico would get the boot soon, but this victory strengthens his hand and could help keep him in power. The Kean Jr campaign can’t be happy tonight.

Primary Results

Here are the election results that I can get now.  I’ll update them as information trickles in.  Er, IF it trickles in.  If not, I’ll read the early papers and fill them in.

RaceNameVotesWinner
US Senate (D)Menendez25624X
US Senate (D)Kelly1965
US Senate (R)Kean2516X
US Senate (R)Ginty383
NJ-13 (D)(unexpired)Sires17374X
NJ-13 (D)(unexpired)Geron1534
NJ-13 (D)Sires17533X
NJ-13 (D)Vas3683

These are only Hudson County votes thus far.

As of 8:54 pm, the following was posted at PoliticsNJ:

Early results show State Sen. Thomas Kean, Jr. with a wide lead over conservative John Ginty for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination.  The incumbent, Democrat Robert Menendez, will easily defeat a token challenger, James Kelly.

Former Assembly Speaker Albio Sires has won the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 13th district.  He has defeated Perth Amboy Mayor/Assemblyman Joseph Vas by a wide margin.

Sierra Club to target Ferguson

I’m happy to hear the Sierra Club is going to target Mike Ferguson.  We had a meeting with him last August through MoveOn, where his in district guy, Marcus told us that we could agree on the environment!  It seemed like they wanted to campaign on that, but then LCV came out this winter with a rating of 17% for Fergie on the enviroment.  His big local issue was moving some WWII era weapons that contained toxic chemicals (was it mercury?) from Hillsborough to Hawthorne, Nevada.  I’m sure the people there and all along the way are going to be happy about that.

Sierra Club vows to mobilize to defeat Rep. Ferguson

He calls 2 groups’ attacks on his environmental record unfounded

With Rep. Mike Ferguson’s rating by environmental groups dropping to an all-time low, the 7th District congressman is being targeted for extinction.

The Sierra Club, which has never opposed the three-term congressman, last week endorsed Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) and pledged to put money and volunteers into the field to unseat Ferguson. The 7th Congressional District includes portions of Union, Somerset, Middlesex and Hunterdon counties.

  Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club’s New Jersey chapter, said Ferguson now has one of the worst environmental records of the state’s 13-member congressional delegation.

“I think he’s more likely to be seen in Georgetown going to restaurants than be seen in his district caring for the environment,” Tittel said.

The League of Conservation Voters, which tracks environmental votes, said Ferguson, who scored a 59 in his earlier terms, had dropped to a 17 last year. Only Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5th Dist.) scored lower, receiving an 11, while Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.), Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.) and former Rep. Robert Menendez (D-13th Dist.) all scored 100s…

  The past congressional session witnessed some of the most anti-environmental votes in history, said conservation league spokesman Chuck Porcari.

Congress “slathered billions in subsidies to oil and gas” while making “minuscule investments in renewables … the kinds of things that can take us away from dependence on oil,” he said.

Ferguson “voted for every bad environment bill,” Porcari said.

The conservation league’s complete breakdown of how members of Congress voted on environmental issues can be seen at www.lcv.org.

Tittel maintains that Ferguson has drifted from the moderate Republicans who predominate the 7th District.

“He doesn’t represent the mainstream of his own party, let alone the people of his district,” Tittel said.

The Sierra Club, which has 3,500 members in the 7th District, intends to commit money and people to oust the congressman.

“I think we can muster a couple of hundred people,” Tittel said, noting that all of the chapter’s 24,000 members would be asked to help.

“This is our target race for the year,” he said. “This is where we are putting all our resources.”

Sierra officials believe that the 7th District race is the one contest in New Jersey where an incumbent is vulnerable and that Stender stands a real chance of winning in the Republican-dominated district.

“We’re going to make this a big push,” Tittel said.

A (very special) Special Session on Prop Taxes

Since New Jersey homeowners don’t get a vacation from high property taxes, the Legislature shouldn’t either.  Today we are launching a full-court press to make major repairs to NJ’s broken property tax system

-Assembly speaker Roberts in today’s press release

I was in room 103 of the Statehouse today for the big property tax press conference.  When Senate leader Codey and Assembly speaker Roberts arrived they were greeted by a skeptical press corps.  Hey, let’s face it, we’ve all heard a lot of hot air about property taxes over the past years and decades. 

But today’s announcement promised something new.  Senator Codey and Speaker Roberts called for an unprecedented legislative session that would work throughout the summer and fall with the goal of enacting property tax reforms by the end of this year

As usual the devil is in the detail.  And the details are below the fold.

Wilsonian Bloviating

NJ GOP chair Tom Wilson responds to Dick Codey and Joe Roberts’ announcement earlier today regarding property tax reform:

As for the summer session, why does this need to wait until then?

Did someone forget to send Mr Wilson the memo? Maybe he forgot that his own party has been calling for a summer session. Assemblyman Steven J. Corodemus (R-Monmouth):

“The Legislature should convene a special session this summer and consider every serious proposal that either political party is willing to put on the table.”

And Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce (on behalf of all Assembly Republicans):

“On behalf of my Republican Assembly members, I call on Governor Corzine and the Democratic majority to agree that we will return this summer for a special legislative session that would examine comprehensive property tax reform ideas such as these…”

Oops! But Mr Wilson insists we have the resources to do this now:

There are dozens of legislators who are not on either budget committee that can get started right now.

Legislators like Tom Kean Jr, who slithered away from the budget committee to avoid having to make any tough decisions.

Wilson is playing politics with the most important issue in front of New Jersey today. Instead of being glad that the state government — which under Republicans and Democrats did nothing — is finally moving, Wilson chooses to take potshots from the sidelines — sidelines he’s relegated himself to with his immature, wholly partisan behavior.

UPDATE: It appears that Wilson is on the other side from serious leaders of his own party, like Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce:

“I told Speaker Joe Roberts that I support the plan he and Senate President Dick Codey outlined today, given the alternative, which is continued inaction. I commend both leaders for finally agreeing on a course of action.”

Wilson needs to quit being an unthinking attack dog and join the process like the real grownups in Trenton are doing.

Watch Out Prince Charlie

The Star-Ledger is reporting that Gov. Jon Corzine is living up to his pledge to end “business as usual”.  First target: Camden Board of Education.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine has used his broad power over the Camden Board of Education to strike down an incentive-laden contract for the school district superintendent, after previous reports raised questions about the amount of bonuses she’s already received.

Why is Gov. Corzine picking on this district?

There’s Some Teeth In That Governor

A lot of folks on the right side of the aisle — and on the 101.5 side of the dial — seem to think that Governor Jon Corzine is more of the same.  Nothing will change, they say.  The corruption, the scandals, all of it will just go on and Corzine will let it.

I say to that, hooey:

Warren Wallace — fired last week from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey over serious ethics abuses — should immediately resign his public offices, both elected and appointed, Gov. Jon Corzine declared yesterday.

“I think it’s time for Mr. Wallace to step aside from public life,” said Corzine. “I would think he should step aside and I will recommend that he do that.”

Now, Walace is not just an administrator but also a pretty powerful Democratic Freeholder in South Jersey who can rattle a few Assembly and Senate cages.  If he wants to make life tough for the Governor, he can.

And right now Corzine needs all the friends he can get in the legislature to pass the budget.  There’s only 24 or so days left to pass the thing and losing a couple votes for pissing on a legislator’s friend is not usually considered a good move.

That said, the Governor stood up for what was right and not what helped him.  He saw a powerful member of his own party exposed as corrupt, and he called it like he saw it.

It looks like Jon Corzine may be the real deal, coming in to make some changes.  Time will tell, but the early returns are looking good.

Party Without DeLay!

Party Without DeLayPlease come out on Friday, June 9th for Blue 7th’s Party Without DeLay at the old Elks Club at 131 N. Washington in Dunellen, NJ.  [map]

Assemblywoman and NJ7 Democratic nominee Linda Stender will be our featured speaker!  We will have music, hors dourves, just a little political talk and a lot of fun celebrating the end of the Hammer!

Suggested contributions are $25 or higher, and all funds will go to Blue 7th PAC’s work to help Democrats and progressives win this November and beyond!  You can contribute at the door or online at Act Blue.

RSVP to nathanrudy@comcast.net are appreciated, but not necessary.

P.S. As long as we are talking about parties, don’t forget Bob Menendez’s big primary shindig tonight, and Jay’s fundraiser for Rich Sexton this Sunday.