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Forbes: “strongly” supports Forrester; “tax plan won’t work”

Last night, Former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes said he “strongly” supports Doug Forrester despite disagreeing with his positions on abortion and gay rights.

“Well, unfortunately, you have to realize that even if he is [pro-choice and pro-gay marriage], he is to right of most of New Jersey. But it’s like a menu and you gotta go with the best pick,” Forbes told PoliticsNH.com

And during the gubernatorial primary, Forbes came to the obvious conclusion that “Forrester’s property tax plan will not work”. (mailer from Schundler campaign on left)

So Let’s summarize: Forbes disagrees with Forrester’s social AND fiscal policies, yet “strongly” supports him because Doug is to the “right of most of New Jersey”. In one shot, Forbes managed to throw his integrity out the window, and at the same time unmasked the facade of a moderate that Forrester has tried to fool New Jerseyans into buying.

Home Rule in New Jersey Raises the Cost of Government

The following was published in Blanton’s and Ashton’s on July 29, 2005.  I am reprising that piece as this, my first contribution to bluejersey.net.

The Courier News reported recently on tax assessor Edwin Kerwin and his wife Marcia. Edwin is the tax assessor for eight towns. Marcia has four towns. Edwin’s annual salary for his eight towns is “$238,076, which places him third in earnings in New Jersey for government employees with multiple jobs.” His wife earns $158,212 for her four government jobs. Together they earn around $400,000 a year, plus all the benefits (including pensions) that go with the jobs.

Frederick Millman is the tax assessor for Brick Township at an annual salary of $111,998. He’s also the Tuckerton tax assessor for $32,360 and the Eagleswood tax assessor for $38,600 a year.

I’ve been thinking the same thing some of you undoubtedly are: how do I swing a deal like that?

Zogby Polling on the ’05 & ’06 Races

The latest results of the 2005/2006 Zogby tracking poll are out, with a mixed bag for New Jersey. While the recent Quinnipiac poll showed the gubernatorial race tightening, Zogby shows Corzine pulling away from Forrester from August to September. I wouldn’t call any single poll definitive, but this one sounds about right, with Corzine’s 9.6% lead sounding more realistic than the 20% lead from the Star-Ledger/Eagleton poll or the 4% lead from Quinnipiac.

But the 2006 Senate race generates some much more interesting numbers. As we all know, if Corzine becomes Governor, he’ll appoint someone to complete his term in the Senate. While there’s been speculation as to whom Corzine might pick, there’s really no clear front-runner.

Zogby only polled on State Senator Tom Kean Jr. as the Republican candidate and asked about a number of Democratic candidates, beyond the three listed in the 2006 results. Of the three potential Democrats listed, only one beats Kean in a hypothetical match-up. Acting Governor Codey beats Kean Jr. by 4 points, 44.6% to 40.6%. Kean Jr. beats both Rep. Bob Menendez 42.6% to 34.4% and Rep. Rob Andrews 44% to 36.4%.

Granted, these numbers are likely a function of name recognition. And whoever replaces Corzine will have one year in the Senate to gain something of an incumbency advantage. However, Codey’s solid performance in the poll does make a strong case for his appointment, even if the poll doesn’t mean much otherwise. While most analysts are looking at New Jersey’s Congressional delegation for Corzine’s replacement, Codey has indicated that he is interested in the seat.

A few days ago, over at BOPnews, Stirling Newberry floated another possible name for the appointment — Paul Krugman. His name was obviously not included in the Zogby poll, but I know there are quite a few Democrats who wouldn’t mind the pick. I’ve included a poll below to gauge your thoughts on whom Corzine should pick.

Let’s give New Jersey back to the Proprietors!

I’m going to recycle a posting that i did on Dkos last month, with appologies to those few who saw it then:

Yesterday I got a mailing from the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Union County, NJ, where I live.  In it, along with the usual bunch of self-congratulatory promotional boilerplate wherein the freeholders took credit for everything short of the sun rising this morning, was this statement:

 We are supporting a citizens’ convention of property taxes and any other measures that would reform New Jersey’s system of property taxation.

Well, I have a modest proposal for the citizens of this convention:  Let’s give New Jersey back to the Proprietors.

Developers and Candidates: Perfect Together

Check out this webpage on money in NJ politics.

Besides seeing how weird New Jersey is in terms of having self-financed candidates – four of the top twenty political donors fall into that category — notice how seven of the rest are in real-estate or “building–materials and equipment.”  

No wonder we sprout new malls and Princeton Green Shady Oak Manor Estates weekly.

Our laws favor developers. McGreevey and our legislators sold us out by giving developers the fast-track approval option in exchange for passing the Highlands bill (option helps them rape the rest of NJ).  Cody put a moratorium on the fast track, but watch out.  Developers are not happy with the temporary measure.

Ruling in 37st District Senate Case

Report Courtesy of PoliticsNJ.com

A Superior Court Judge has ruled that uncounted ballots in the 37th district special election convention for State Senator should be opened, which likely gives the seat and the Democratic nomination to Loretta Weinberg.

Ken Zisa had defeated Weinberg by one vote at the September 15th convention. Attorneys for Zisa and the Bergen County Democratic Organization are expected to appeal Peter Doyne’s ruling directly to the state Supreme Court.  Doyne ordered the ballots to be opened tomorrow, and that a Special Election Convention for Weinberg’s Assembly seat be held this Thursday.

This contest came about when Senator Byron Baer stepped down from the seat creating an opening.  This issue has caused a divide in the local organization with Chairman Joe Ferriero backing Ken Zisa and Senator Jon Corzine supporting Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg.  One wonders how this will effect not only the contest for the now open Assembly seat, but future elections as well….

Should Weinberg win the Senate seat, speculation has centered around Ken Zisa possibly challenging Freeholder Valerie Huttle for the newly open Assembly seat.

Princeton in Dis-Service to the Nation

Call me a masochist, but after protesting Condoleeza Rice’s keynote speech last Friday at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, I was curious to find out what she did in fact say. The transcript of her remarks is available at the State Department’s website:

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2005/54176.htm

As one would expect from one of the Bush crowd, her speech was notable for the following: breathtaking generalities, distortions, and simplifications; glaring omissions; false choices; exaggerated claims of responsibility; and self-serving disconnects from reality.

That Rice and Michael Chertoff were invited to Princeton at all I find deeply disturbing. Reading President Tilghman and Dean Slaughter’s welcoming remarks and seeing how the speech was covered on Princeton’s website:

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S12/81/19E18/index.xml?section=

one would never know that the guest of honor repeatedly lied to the American public in making the case for war — an epic disaster of untold suffering and continuing failure that is a terrible betrayal of American ideals. Is this the proper role of the academic elite in our society
— to bestow its blessings on an administration full of war criminals? Or does it show how morally bankrupt and cowardly our colleges and universities have become?

Princeton University should hang its head in shame.

Forrester is not interested in debate

Like his national Republican counterparts who demand loyalty oaths to attend rallies, hand-pick audiences and questions, and fence off protesters far away in “free speech zones“, Doug Forrester’s campaign is only interested in giving the illusion of embracing open debate and dialog.

On his new “blog“, Doug complains about the lack of debate:

In a democracy, public debates are a traditional forum for such introductions. Unfortunately, since Senator Corzine continues to avoid debates, I am implementing ways that you can continue to get to know me better. I want you to have a chance to ask the questions you had looked forward to having addressed in the debates.

Feel free to submit comments and questions via the link below each entry, or email blog@doug2005.com.

But if you try to submit a comment, you get the message “Your message has been sent. Thank You.”

The comment is not posted – it’s just passed along to the campaign for careful screening where they will decide what does or does not become a part of the so-called debate. What is Forrester afraid of?

We invite Doug to join us here – for a real debate. There will be no censoring or screening of questions and comments, and you won’t find any hand-picked audiences here. Anyone can join and everyone has a chance to follow the debate. So what do you say, Doug?

Kornacki on the Rally

Journalistic laziness is one of my biggest pet peeves. And as much as I love online journalism, I have to admit that the internet has made that laziness even worse. The ‘mainstream’ political sites aren’t really that different from the political blogs, so writers are able to just cook up a quick response and fire it off without much actual work or even thought. The only difference is that their quick responses are accorded much more weight by the rest of the media than ours.

Over at PoliticsNJ, Steve Kornacki’s piece on Thursday’s Corzine rally illustrates the problem. Completely ignoring reality, he writes that “Corzine did little more than thank Democratic state Chairwoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and Assembly Speaker Albio Sires and remind the audience that the deadline to register to vote was nearing before turning the show over to Clinton, whom he called ‘my hero.’ ” Was he in the same room I was?

One of the most rousing moments of the speech — if not the whole rally — came when Senator Corzine rallied his supporters with an optimistic vision that “we can make sure we can have the kind of New Jersey that sends the message to America that we’re looking out for the middle class, we’re looking out for our seniors and our children, that we believe in the American promise.” There was certainly a lot of praise for Clinton. But anyone who was at the rally can tell you that Corzine’s speech was much more than just thanking Bonnie Watson Coleman and Albio Sires. And when Clinton spoke, rather than “outshining” Corzine, it was all about putting the spotlight on the Senator and his record of getting things done for the people of New Jersey.

Kornacki’s coverage of the rally was anything but a story about the actual rally. It was his preconceived notions about what the rally would be and what the rally meant. I don’t have any problem with political writers interpreting events. But they have a duty to be faithful to the actual events. Some writers have a bad habit of writing the bulk of an article based on what they think is going to happen and then finish up by plugging in a few facts or quotes. I’m guessing that’s what happened here.

Donning the Blue Jersey

It’s a great honor and pleasure to be a front-pager here at BlueJersey. Having been a front-page blogger at DailyKos.com for over a year, I know that such a job is time-consuming, yet immensely rewarding. I’m pleased to see so many New Jersey bloggers getting involved on this site, and I look forward to working with each and every one of them.

What part do I play in this? I intend to cover our 2006 US Senate race and all 13 Congressional races as well (as most likely a “domino effect” will leave some of those seats open), analyzing and keeping track of what’s going on. In addition, I’ll keep you (the reader) updated on the national situation, and how it affects New Jersey. Finally, I’ll be talking about the local scene: county politics from a teenager who’s had more than his fair share of experiences with machines and reformers alike.

With that said, I look forward to “donning the Blue Jersey” and posting here as frequently as I can. – Stephen “Mr. Liberal” Yellin