Storm over Congress
2018 midterm issues
If there’s a blue wave coming, what are the issues driving it?
Debate info
WEDNESDAYS in OCT: NJTV Debates
Next up: CD7 - Tom Malinowski v. Leonard Lance (Weds. Oct. 17)
Native American students
VOTE in Blue Jersey’s poll: Should NJ junk Columbus Day?
for Indigenous People’s Day (like other states)?
Voters stand in line
A convo about Dem Party reform
Toward a more transparent, justice-focused, fair & fierce progressive party
Khizr Khan and wife at Dem Convention
Gold Star father Khizr Khan for for Andy Kim
Watch.

Latest Posts

Menendez will vote against cloture

At this point it’s just a symbolic vote, but Senator Menendez will be voting to support the pretend filibuster. (and this time, it’s confirmed)

Update: both of our Senators votes against cloture. Call to thank them:

Sen. Bob Menendez: (202) 224-4744
Sen. Frank Lautenberg: (202) 224-3224

Forget Clothes, Gas, Tanning Salons; The Right Tax is Right Under Your Nose

Rather than go after items that are highly publicized and effect citizens psychologically everytime they tank up or buy a shirt; rather than do one-shot gimmicks or life-ruining tricks like taxing 401Ks; to avoid the ‘toilet paper tax’ moniker, the easiest thing to do may just be to just bite the bullet and raise the income tax.

But don’t get into the Florio trap of doing it as a budget-balancing act or even for school kids.  Do it, simply as a rebate on property taxes.  Appeal to the ‘what’s in it for me’ feeling of many New Jerseyans.

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?

Menendez Didn’t Announce Filibuster Plans (Live Blogging)

Check out my live blogging of the Jersey guys (Lautenberg and Menendez) down below. But first:

I heard from someone on DU that his staff was still taking a tally on the filibuster as he was on the floor between 2:40 and 3:00 pm.

The original part of this thread was posted at 1 o’clock about John Kerry, but it has morphed into something completely different. I include that stuff on top just for continuity.

—————————————————

John Kerry was just on the floor from 12:40 to 1:00.

He asked for 15 more minutes, but was granted it only at 2:00 as they were on an hourly minority/majority basis.

So if Kerry takes 15 minutes at 2:00, whoever goes before Lautenberg will go until 2:35 and then Lautenberg will go from 2:35 to 2:55, leaving Menendez only 5 minutes befor the majority gets their hour back.

Do you think that will be enough time for Menendez to make his announcement? I don’t.

I’m starting to think Kerry is really just a hog. John in DC and Matt Stoller may be right. Kerry is using the Netroots for his ’08 aspirations.

Live Blogging Below the Fold

Menendez Not Supporting Filibuster. Yet.

In a previous diary, jmelli claimed that Menendez is supporting the filibuster, citing only Grapevine evidence. In that thread, Bertin Lefkovic wondered where jmelli got that information because it was not verified on Google or anywhere else.

You would think, if this were true, that PoliticsNJ or the Star Ledger would have picked it up by now.

So in a display of the self-correcting nature of the blogosphere, I called Menendez’s office just now, 9 am on Monday morning, and asked them. The greeter told me that jmelli is wrong. Menendez is not supporting the filibuster. Yet.

So get on those phones and call him at (202) 224-4744. The time is now!

Podcast download time highlights evil of Verizon bill

I was just IMing with my friend who lives in the “hood” in Princeton (Maclean St.) and he was complaining because the BlueJersey podcast was taking so long to download.  He only has dial-up internet connection. How could this be??  It turns out that Verizon does not offer high-speed internet in his neighborhood.  They only offer high-speed internet where they think they can make a profit. 

Now Verizon wants to get a statewide franchise from our legislators.  They want to take over all of our communications with a legalized monopoly, putting all competition out of business with one easy bill.  They’re putting out press releases like this one claiming customers want this – while the competing cable companies, which on their website  Keep it Local produce another poll showing the opposite.

Verizon is fooling customers by promising them the moon and the stars in service, without mentioning the downsides. 

Wealthy customers and neighborhoods will continue to be favored while others will be neglected — this might be ok when we’re talking about some other market-driven service but not communication. 

Without competition, service will become even worse (as if Verizon service could become worse). 

With a statewide franchise, local public access channels will be dead.

But there are huge amounts of money involved and the legislation is backed by some Democrats. 
 

It’s ALIVE – the Inaugural Blue Jersey Podcast

We’re very excited to announce that our first podcast is live and ready to download. If you’ve already subscribed to our feed through iTunes, it should download for you next time you start the program.

For this month’s podcast, we sat down with Congressman Rush Holt to hear his thoughts on the upcoming State of the Union, political blogging, NSA domestic spying, rising energy costs, the President’s upbringing (hint: it involved immersion in oil) and more.

On Medicare Part D: “I’m not going to accuse them of designing it to fail – although that thought has crossed my mind.”

Holt answers the question: “Where are the Democrats?” and shares his thoughts on how to regain a Congressional majority.

If you’re already subscribed to our feed, the podcast should download for you the next time you start up iTunes. If you have iTunes (free download) and haven’t yet subscribed, just click the button below to subscribe to our feed. Otherwise, you can access the mp3 file directly through this link.

Joe Tricarico Endorses Linda Stender for Congress

Cross posted from Dump Mike.

I received this statement from the Tricarico for Congress Campaign:

Last summer, I began my campaign for the 7th Congressional District seat held by Congressman Mike Ferguson. His radical opposition to a woman’s right to choose and ready support for the Bush administration’s failed Iraq policy were simply too much to take. Put simply, Rep. Ferguson has demonstrated he is too far out of the mainstream to represent the 7th district and I am determined to see him defeated in 2006.

To accomplish this task will require a unified effort by the Democratic Party. As such, I have decided to end my campaign and heartily endorse Assemblywoman Linda Stender for Congress. Over a two decade career as a Councilwoman, Mayor, Freeholder, and Assemblywoman she has proven she shares the values and ideals of the citizens of the 7th Congressional District. I will work hard over the next 11 months to insure a Democratic victory in the 7th.

Joe Tricarico has run a good, honest and energetic campaign.  His choice to put winning for the Democratic Party and defeating Mike Ferguson over his own ambition should be recognized and valued.  I am confident he will be a large part of a victory in the 7th District this fall.

Tax cigarettes, not clothes

Crossposted at Mulligan Stew.

I was glad to hear that Corzine’s budget advisors advised against a clothing sales tax in New Jersey, according to the Star-Ledger. The lack of sales tax IMHO is one of the things that helps keep New Jersey viable for consumers and businesses, especially out-of-state consumers. I come from the perspective of someone who grew up in Westchester County and used to go shopping in Paramus several times per year because of the lack of sales tax. Not only do out-of-state shoppers buy clothing, they eat in restaurants, buy gas in New Jersey, and pay tolls on the Parkway and Turnpike.