ANDY KIM DECLARES VICTORY
After more than 24 hours of counting votes in CD3
CD7 flips to Democrats
Tom Malinowski 50.91% - Leonard Lance 47.54%
CD11 flips to Democrats
Mikie Sherrill 56.10% - Jay Webber 42.79%
In a foregone conclusion engineered by South Jersey Dem machine
And bizarrely, Moms Demand Action, Van Drew 52.24% - Grossman 45.91%
@bluejersey Twitter
Kellyanne Conway changed her Twitter profile
So BLUE JERSEY did too (and we VOTED HERE)
The night Hillary Clinton lost
For my Hillary sisters. From your Bernie sister.
(And why I’m voting Bob Menendez)
Storm over Congress
2018 midterm issues
If there’s a blue wave coming, what are the issues driving it?

Latest Posts

Big City Mayors – Big City Money

March 16 is the deadline to file petitions for the non-partisan May 9 mayoral races in two of New Jersey’s largest cities, Paterson and Newark, and while there is technically still no contested race in either city, that hasn’t stopped the money from pouring in:

Only incumbent mayor Joey Torres has even filed in Paterson, yet:

The incumbent has already raised more than $700,000, with more than three months to go,

…[while] of the dozen potential candidates who are considering challenging Torres, none has filed the reports required under state law.

Meanwhile, in Newark, the much-anticipated rematch between incumbent mayor Sharpe James and challenger Corey Booker has yet to materialize because James has not yet declared. But that hasn’t stopped donors from piling on to both camps, who report nearly $3 million cash on hand between them.

Good to hear there are still investments being made in our cities.

Why Johnnie Can’t Poll

One of my pet peeves is polling.  By now, after the 2000 and 2004 Presidential races, everyone should have a fairly good idea of the weaknesses of polling.  Sometimes, like in just about every poll produced by FDU Public Mind, the problem is bad polling science – they tend to use samples that are too small (I’m guessing it’s probably because people hang-up).

Sometimes, it’s the psychology of the questions.  Sometimes, it’s just that the questions don’t tell you anything useful.

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?

****

Cross-posted at The Opinion Mill.

NJGOP: NJ Supports Kean Jr because of…Lautenberg?

NJGOP Chairman Tom Wilson makes the case for Tom Kean Jr. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it, but he essentially says that because Senator Lautenberg (yes – Lautenberg, not Menendez) has a 40%-44% approval/disapproval rating, New Jerseyans will pick Tom Kean Jr for Senator. Go read for yourself.

Logic apparently isn’t a strong point for the NJGOP, but I’ll play their game anyway. In a Republican Strategic Vision poll released today, George W Bush was found to have a 37%-57% approval/disappoval rating. Mr. Wilson argues that “New Jersey needs a Senator who can work with the majority, work with the administration and get the job done for us.” It’s a shame that facts have to get in the way of his rhetoric. New Jersey neither voted for nor approves of this administration. It certainly doesn’t want to elect a Bush rubberstamp to office, but if Junior wants to align himself with someone with a -20 point net approval rating, I’ll give him all the rope he needs.

Atlantic County Freeholders Split Proposed Domestic Partner Benefits Law in Two

Four days ago, jmelli reported in these pages that Essex County may become the ninth New Jersey county to pass domestic partner benefits laws.  Although it had appeared hopeful that such laws might pass in Atlantic County, passage of such a law is now doubtful.  On January 25, jmelli reported that the freeholders of Atlantic County were being pressured by a right-wing hate group to reject domestic partner benefits.  Now there is a report at pressofAtlanticCity.com that the proposed law has been split into two pieces.

Poll: Kean Jr leads

A Strategic Vision (R) poll out today has Tom Kean Jr leading Bob Menendez by 33%-27%. That’s the end of the good news for Junior. A plurality (39%) still have not made up their minds.

Both candidates are largely unknown to the public at this point.

          Favorable Unfavorable Undecided
Menendez     23%        12%        65%
Kean Jr.     21%         8%        71%

The numbers will shift once they realize daddy isn’t actually running again. It gets worse for Kean.

By a margin of 58%-30%, New Jerseyans say they do not want the US Surpreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade. Kean Jr is pro-choice, but even pro-choice Republicans recently showed that when it comes time to approve Supreme Court justices, party comes before principles.

Only 37% of New Jerseyans approve of Bush’s job performance (57% disapprove), and just 34% approve of his handling of the economy and Iraq.

Menendez voted against giving the President the authority to go to war in Iraq. Even with the hindsight of this disasterous distraction and the knowledge that it was based on lies, Kean Jr has said that had he been in the US Senate in 2002, he would have voted for war. Do we need any more proof that Junior just wants to be a rubberstamp for Bush? That’s not what New Jersey wants.

Democrat Wins Special Election in Burlington

According to politicsnj,  Democrat Marie Lollar defeated Republican Matt Garwood by 31 votes (294-263) in the special election held yesterday for Burlington City Council. The council will now have 4 Democrats and 3 Republicans.

Chris Fifis, a Democrat who in 2004 ran and lost for freeholder in Burlington County said before the election that this race would be “a good barometer of whether our message is resonating with the people…Are we getting people to the polls? Is the base excited?”

Yes and yes.

Let’s talk about the gas tax

The title read, in today’s Times of Trenton: Search continues for ways to save transportation fund. There is much talk in the article about refinancing the Transportation Trust Fund’s debt, which will only increase the total of the debt, and should be avoided as a gimmick that increases the load down the road. Refinancing the debt in the past has increased the total debt load and length, basically helping to put us where we are now.

So, should we raise the gas tax?

Free Speech in Private Communities

An appeals court has issued a great decision ruling that the NJ Constitution protects the free speech rights of residents of homeowners associations. 

The plaintiffs won the right to post political signs on lawns, have equal access to the community newspaper, and have equitable access to the community room for meetings for dissident members of the homeowner association.

More than one million NJ residents are subject to the actions of their homeowner’s associations.  Now, these associations will be held to constitutional standards:

“It follows that fundamental rights exercises, including free speech, must be protected as fully as they always have been, even where modern societal developments have created new relationships or changed old ones. Expressive exercises, especially those bearing upon real and legitimate community issues, should not be silenced or subject to undue limitation because of changes in residential relationships, such as where lifestyle issues are governed or administered by community associations in addition to being regulated by governmental entities.”

This is good for democracy.