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?

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News Roundup

  • Laurel Hester thanked former colleague Dane Wells for his help: “I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the person most responsible for this, my first partner at the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Dane Wells.” For months, Dane has been contacting state, national and international media outlets to bring visibility to Laurel’s cause. He said that “tens of thousands of phone calls and e-mails from at least three continents were sent to the freeholders. Hundreds of thousands of people were outraged.” His effort s paid off. Freeholder John Kelly who once claimed that domestic partner benefits threatened the sanctity of marriage, noted that “advocates for change have done a very good job of humanizing the issue.” Republican State Senator Leonard T. Connors Jr. thinks that all counties will have domestic partner benefits: “A third of the counties have passed benefits, and I am sure they all will.” The Asbury Park Press has an online poll asking whether or not the freeholders should grant Laurel her pension benefits.
  • Governor Corzine isn’t ready to ban smoking in casino floors, citing economic reasons. Sharon asks: “Is it fair to treat casino workers as second-class citizens compared to other workers around Our Fair State?”
  • Some Republicans have doubts about Corzine’s nominee for Attorney General, Zulima Farber.
  • Doug Forrester has sold his business, BeneCard.
  • The balmy weather we’ve had the past month will be gone soon.
  • This week’s Carnival of New Jersey Bloggers is up!
  • Medicare Part D: Not-So Conventional Wisdom

    Cross Posted at Media In Trouble

    So it shouldn’t be news to anyone’s eyes ’round here, but we have our 341st failure of Republican leadership, Medicare Part D a.k.a. “How to make Health Care Costs Skyrocket and blame it on the Democrats <- (Warning Possible Lieberman attack point).

    Republicans whip some Democrats to vote for a plan to benefit only the Health Care Industry at the cost of usurping our Senrior citizens, the “Greatest Generation,” of their vital life sustaining chemicals.

    Glibbly, they smile, already co-opting the media into muddying up Democrats with the Abramoff rag, dusting off their shoulders in the process.

    Anyway, I digress. So it seems that every story you hear that is negative about Medicare Part D, is followed by commentary by none other than Scotti Doo’s Broski. Commentary which always concludes with something to the effect that “Medicare is filling 1 million prescriptions daily.” (Cue the Canned Applause) YEAY! *whistle*

    So how does 1 million prescriptions fare in today’s Medicare? Does it fulfill the demand? Or is it like Oil, where a handful of people seem to have their own version of “supply and demand.”

    (Hache Tchip to Xpatriated Texan for the research.)

    Blue Jersey Exclusive – Anne Wolfe to withdraw from 5th District Race

    5th District Congressional Candidate Anne Wolfe is meeting with supporters this weekend to discuss the future of her candidacy. Sources report Wolfe has decided to withdraw from the race. Money appears to be the biggest problem, as the 5th District’s viability has proved a hard sell to the DCCC.

    Wolfe’s withdrawal will leave soon-to-be-declared candidate Paul Aronsohn with the job of dumping Rep. Scott Garrett, but some are doubtful about Aronsohn’s chances.

    UPDATE: (Anne’s Press Release announcing her withdrawal appears below the fold)

    The same old song

      We hum the same old lines to a different crowd
      And everybody wants to cheer it
      We run on endless time to reach a higher cloud
      But we never ever seem to get near it
      We sing the same old song

        The Who

    Karl Rove has resurfaced to talk up the Republican strategy for the 2006 elections. I doubt that anyone on the face of this planet would be suprised by what he said. It goes something like this:

    Blah blah blah… 9/11… Republicans will protect you… 9/11… Democrats
    want to retreat and let terrorists win… 9/11… 9/11! NINE-ELEVEN!!!

    JUSTICE: Ocean County Freeholders Will Award Domestic Partner Benefits to Laurel Hester

    (Welcome AMERICABlog readers! Click here to read more about Laurel Hester.)

    “This is one of the happiest days of my life…I feel like David conquering Goliath,” said Laurel Hester on Saturday morning.

    After nearly a year of refusing to grant Lt Laurel Hester the right to pass her pension benefits on to her partner, Ocean County’s freeholders will finally grant Hester her dying wish when they vote on Wednesday.

    Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality: “Truth be told, we did lose hope for a reversal in the last couple of weeks. We had applied all the pressure in the world, embarrassing the freeholders and few public servants had ever been embarrassed before in the state of New Jersey or in this country, and they would not budge.  Finally they did. Hallelujah!  There is a God….Now that the Ocean County freeholders have done the right thing, we thank them with all our hearts and welcome them to the New Jersey of the 21st Century, where compassion and common-sense prevails over hatred and outmoded homophobia.”

    The change of heart came after the freeholders had a political meeting with other Republican leaders in the county.

    Freeholder James Lacey: “I think we’re doing the right thing now. I feel comfortable.”

    But there’s more:

    In addition, state Sen. Andrew Ciesla, R-Ocean, has asked the state Office of Legislative Services to prepare a bill he will sponsor that will eliminate the difference in the pension inheritance rights of members of the police and fire retirement system and other state public employee retirement systems.

    I want to thank the freeholders for deciding to do the right thing before Laurel dies. Today is a monumental victory for civil rights. Justice prevailed over bigotry, and a Laurel Hester can die in peace knowing she left the world better than she found it.

    SCONJ – are you watching?

    While New Jersey awaits the upcoming February 15th arguments before our Supreme Court in our own marriage equality case (and the February 14th rally the night before), lawyers for marriage equality supporters got one extra line to include in their oral argument: Maryland does it!

    A Baltimore trial judge ruled in favor of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking same-sex marriage in Maryland on January 20.

    The ruling by Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock found that a statute banning same-sex marriages violated the Equal Rights Amendment of the Maryland Constitution, which forbids the state from discriminating on the basis of sex.

    While the New Jersey case will be decided based on state law, and our state constitution, as a practical matter, the more favorable rulings for marriage equality there are in other jurisdictions, the weaker the arguments of the discriminators become.

    In Denmark! and Spain! and Canada! and Massachusetts! and Maryland!,…

    Kean to Pull Head Fake on NJ Voters

    My esteemed MyDD colleague and good friend to Blue Jersey Matt Stoller pulled an interesting item from the Inside Edge at PoliticsNJ. Likely recognizing that his polling popularity stems largely from name recognition, little Tommy Kean, Jr. has decided he wants to run for Senate as a big boy.

    The presumptive favorite for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination will run as Tom Kean — not as Tom Kean, Jr., as he did in previous races for Congress, State Assembly and State Senator.

    This is really, really gross. As Matt says, whether or not you’re a Menendez fan, you have to acknowledge that he’s a self-made man. Little Tommy Junior, on the other hand, has spent his political career capitalizing on good will earned by his father. Statewide, Kean knows that he needs the electorate to conflate his record with that of his father if he wants to have a chance at winning.

    Still, never in a million years did I think he’d do something this stupidly obvious. Then again, we’re talking about a guy who thinks Syria’s a democracy, so maybe I shouldn’t have put this past him.

    News Roundup

  • Corzine speaks in support of Laurel Hester: “My personal view is that this was a committed relationship, and I would be sympathetic with death benefits being paid.”
  • Senator Menendez expressed concerns about judge Alito’s views on abortion rights and presidential powers: “I am unsettled he is not willing to say Roe is settled law.” You can urge Menendez to oppose Alito by calling his office at (202) 224-4744.
  • State legislators wasted no time introducing a bill that would ban smoking in casinos, hoping to close the ridiculous exemption in the recently signed smoking ban.
  • A WSJ/Zogby poll has Tom Kean Jr leading Senator Menendez (45-38) in a Senate matchup. A recent FDU poll had Kean up 36-25.
  • DumpMike.com gets a mention in the National Journal’s Beltway Blogroll.
  • Democrats in the state outraised Republicans by 3-1, despite the new pay-to-play law. It’s time for real pay-to-play reform, not the half-assed measures we’ve been given by a leadership afraid to break the viscious power-purchasing cycle.
  • According to Cindy Adams of the New York Post, Corzine “thanked a laundry list of people at his swearing-in, but not” Bob Torricelli, “whose name was on his printed text.”
  • Republican Corruption, New Jersey Style

    It always starts with the small things, and grows up to be Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff:

    The day Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano was officially sworn in to serve his first term in January 2002, he stopped by a local dry cleaner and dropped off seven shirts, four pairs of pants and two suits.

    The bill came to $34.85. County taxpayers picked up the tab.

    Since then, Provenzano has racked up $3,981 in laundry bills at taxpayer expense by routinely submitting his dry cleaning receipts for reimbursement through the sheriff’s office petty cash account, according to an analysis by The Star-Ledger. …

    Between the 2002 swearing-in ceremony and November, when expenses were last submitted, Provenzano had 797 shirts, 232 pairs of pants, 84 sweaters, 54 uniforms, 47 suits, 28 jackets, 27 pairs of jeans and five ties cleaned with taxpayer funds.

    Provenzano also had a pair of socks cleaned at a cost of $1.95 as well as a few winter coats, scarves, a vest and a pair of shorts. Provenzano receives $106,740 a year as sheriff in addition to his monthly $5,750 pension from his June 2001 retirement after 33 years as a Bridgewater Police Department officer.

    The guy makes $175,740 a year and is too cheap to pay for his own freaking dry-cleaning.  Welcome to the “ethical” New Jersey Republican Party.