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NJ rejects personal attack ads

Doug Forrester was down in every poll before the election, and in a desperate move to try to get ahead (or rather, drag Corzine down to his level), he launched an attack ad on Jon Corzine using the words of his ex-wife. Joanne Corzine’s statements against her husband first appeard in the New York Post and were later repeated in other newspapers. According to a Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers poll out today, for the 19% of voters who had read and were influenced by her comments, “Forrester did slightly better than Corzine”.

But that wasn’t enough for Forrester. He chose to drag Corzine’s personal life into everyone’s living rooms by repeating Joanne’s words in a 15 second television commercial. Bad move:

Forrester’s use of some of Joanne Corzine’s comments in a campaign ad, however, appeared to have backfired. Of the 25 percent  who said the ad affected their vote choice, 78 percent voted for Corzine and 18 percent voted for Forrester.

Wow. If that’s not proof that people are sick of personal, slimy attacks, I don’t know what is. Unfortunately for Forrester, he didn’t have time to run this sleazy ad by a focus group to see if it would fly. The New Jersey electorate provided for the biggest focus group he could have hoped for, and their response was nothing short of a definitive two thumbs down.

Poll: Your Preference for a Senate Appointee

Rather than just posting another standard poll here, I’ve decided that we really need an instant runoff poll to gauge the collective Blue Jersey attitude on possible Senate appointees. (For the uninitiated, check out this entry on instant runoff voting at Wikipedia.) We all clearly have our favorites, but it’s helpful to know how they’d rank. Obviously this poll won’t really mean anything per se. But to the extent that we can make our opinions known, I’d say that’s a good thing. So here’s a link to the poll. The choices will come up in completely random order. (Do everyone a favor and refrain from freeping it.)

Click here to take the poll.

Donnybrook coming in N.J. Senate primary

Looks like next year’s Senate primary race is going to be the mirror image of the gubernatorial primary — a bunch of Democrats slugging it out while the self-evident Republican choice (some guy named Kean — heard of him?) sits on his war chest and watches. According to today’s Star-Ledger, Rep. Robert Andrews (D-1st Dist.) and Rep. Robert Menendez (D-13th Dist.) have made it clear they are going to run no matter who gets tapped by Jon Corzine to serve out the remainder of his term. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) is graciously holding back until he hears Corzine’s choice.

Much as I love the idea of state Sen. Nia Gill getting tapped with Corzine’s magic wand, she’ll have to be ready for a fight the minute she steps into her new role. Not that she isn’t up to it — anybody who can give the Essex County Democratic machine an elbow in the jaw and keep smiling is aces in my book.

All of which makes it sound like acting Gov. Dick Codey is going to bolt the door and hide under his desk if Corzine comes calling. From everything I’ve heard, Codey doesn’t really want to go to Washington, and I doubt that somebody who sends out this many mixed signals is the best choice for a post that’s going to have to be defended pretty fiercely.

The good news for Menendez is that he has the money and the drive. The bad news is that a lot of Democrats are worried that skeletons will come tumbling out of his closet during the shake, rattle and roll of a campaign. Call me crazy, call me nuts, but I think this improves Gill’s chances.

(Cross-posted at The Opinion Mill.)

Trentonian on Senate seat and Corzine’s agenda

L.A. Parker of The Trentonian asserts Trentonians — and Trenton — are getting the short shrift and the list needs to be more inclusive:

Now that Sen. Jon Corzine has his filthy rich hands on the New Jersey governorship he must choose a successor for his Senate gig…

There are no hard feelings here for Corzine because he’s not the guy responsible for the compilation of this latest Who’s Who list of contenders for the Senate seat.

Parker mentions Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer, Dem. State Chair and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, State Senators Nia Gill and Shirley Turner, Rep. Donald Payne as well as Trenton Democratic Municipal Chair Annette Lartigue.  

But he also reveals the stark reality about the political agenda and who sets it (and who does not):

But most of the debates between Corzine and Republican opponent Doug Forrester excluded issues urban area issues like unemployment, the homeless and poor.

The combatants rarely discussed guns and gangs.

Stem cell research pales in importance when you are unemployed and gang gun fire drowns out the hum of an empty refrigerator.

Do we care about this?

Two appointments or one?

Someone told me that if Corzine appoints a sitting congressman to fill his seat for the remainder of his term, then he also has to appoint someone to fill the congressional seat for the remainder of that term (unless he calls a special election, which I suppose we might be weary of by now).  Then if he picks a state senator or assemblyperson, I guess it goes to the party org. of the county.  

Do two appointments to federal office look to anyone like a little too much ‘imperial’ power (as G.F. Will referred to the NJ governorship recently)?

Are there obvious choices behind Menendez, Andrews, Holt and Pallone that are progressive and could diversify the congressional delegations?  Is there any hope of showing independence for such an appointment or is this influence that party heavyweights are waiting for?  

My Letter To Gov-Elect Corzine

I am writing you today to ask you to appoint me to serve out the final year of your term in the United States Senate.  I am a life long Democrat with respect for the position.  I will not disparage the office, nor will I do any political damage to NJ or the prestige of the Senate.  One year will be enough for me to serve.

Happy Veterans’ Day!

Last night I attended the Franklin Township Town Council meeting.  The mayor proclaimed today Veterans’ Day in Franklin Township (our Mayor, a Republican, seems to have an inordinate fondness for issuing proclamations, like maybe it makes him feel like a bigshot).  Anyway, I guess he turned today into Veterans’ Day.

Happy Veterans’ Day to everyone, and especially to all the veterans.

Any candidates to run against LoBiondo?

There’s a currently Recommended Diary over at DailyKos that lists all the 2006 Congressional Races which are presently uncontested by Democrats.

NJ-2 (DowntheShore, essentially) is listed as one of the uncontested races. It’s a seat presently held by Frank LoBiondo. Frank LoBiondo got swept into office in 1994 as part of the “Contract On America” Crew.

From his website:
Representing the resort city of Atlantic City, Frank has been a powerful voice in Washington on gaming issues, serving as founder of the Congressional Gaming Caucus.

Congressional Gaming Caucus? Don’t tell me that a Republican at the head of the Gaming Caucus, which oversees gambling and casinos, hasn’t gotten a “donation” from Abramoff.

I’m from Central NJ, and not familiar with the strange and what look obviously corrupt politics of Southern NJ/AC, but I cannot believe that we can’t find a Democrat to run against this guy. LoBiondo is a sitting duck.

Who is considering a run against this guy? If no one is, who might be a potential candidate? Any Paul Hacketts out there?