Voters stand in line
A convo about Dem Party reform
Toward a more transparent, justice-focused, fair & fierce progressive party
Cory Booker’s act of defiance at Kavanaugh hearing
In those docs: affirmative action, racial profiling, abortion.
Donald Trump & Bob Hugin
Here come the PACS targeting Hugin
Is a few extra billions worth making life harder for cancer patients?
Democrats conference
So, here’s what the Dem State Conf Agenda looks like.
Our takeaways on this. Are you going?

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Atlantic County GOP unplugged


Call the number Atlantic County Republicans list on their Web site for the Atlantic City Republicans, and this is what you get:

“Doo dee dee. The number you have dialed, (609) 345-0050, has been disconnected. (609) 345-0050 has been disconnected. No further information is available for (609) 345-0050.”

Forrester Blames Bush

Sunday talkers tried to spin last week’s election results into some sort of ominous sign for George Bush and House Republicans come 2006. Some of the Sunday talkers went so far as to say that the Corzine campaign focused on linking Doug Forrester to George Bush (citing this ad). On the surface, and in the beltway, there may very well be some sort of “Bush effect” to the Republican losses in VA, NJ, and CA. While I can’t speak for the other states, I can speak for NJ. The NJ campaign despite Doug Forrester’s fiercest attempts to the contrary, focused on issues relevant to New Jerseyans. After all, where in the Bush agenda lie property taxes, corruption, and affordable cost of living? Ignoring the obvious joke that can come of this question, the beltway talkers missed the fact that Forrester had never achieved the magical 50% barrier in the polls. As a candidate, he waffled on issue after issue, his tax plan was pie-in-the-sky, promises without substance abounded, in short… Doug Forrester didn’t lose because of George Bush, Doug Forrester lost because of Doug Forrester.

Why Populism Rots in New Jersey

Populism can refer to two political items.  First, it is a rhetorical method – a way of shaping your arguments so that it puts the common man in the middle of the political debate.  Second, it is an ideology that holds the common man as the greatest bastion of democracy – it is the opposite of elitism and says that you don’t need to graduate from Harvard to understand what the government should do in any given situation.

I count myself as a populist (though I sometimes slip a bit towards true Progressivism – but that’s for another post).  I know that millions of New Jersey women and men sit down every month and pay their bills.  They prioritize.  They cut what they can and get what they need.  As Ronald Reagan once said, they put forth heroic efforts in their ordinary hard-working lives to provide for their family and are proud to contribute to the greatest governmental system ever conceived. (I’m not a big fan of Reagan, but he had some good lines.)

Good news for Paul Mulshine!

Two-time GOP loser Bret Schundler is considering a third run for governor of New Jersey.

After Dancin’ Doug got the big vaudeville hook from Garden State voters last week, Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine took up the perennial winger lament — Oh Lord, send us a truly conservative candidate next time and we shall triumph at the polls! This ignores the fact that such a candidate is usually found in every Republican primary, running dead last. But for the true believer, failure is never God’s way of telling you to try something new — it’s always a message from on high to yell louder and try harder.

As bad as property taxes are in New Jersey, endless tax-cut pledges are not enough to bring the voters around. You need other messages as well, and for somebody like Schundler that translates into lead ballast. Still, it’s nice to know that in a few years Mulshine and his fellow flappers can look forward to getting exactly what they want — good and hard.

Cross-posted at The Opinion Mill.

Federally monitored elections in Edison

Was the race card played in Edison?

Thursday’s Home News had some pretty damning comments about the election for mayor of Edison:

Race is no longer an unspoken topic in township politics.

William Stephens, who lost his bid for the mayor’s seat to Korean American Jun Choi, said residents voting along ethnic lines determined Tuesday’s election.

“The township was pushed further apart,” Stephens said. “He played the Asian card.”

…But the race issue has been around Choi since the Democratic primary campaign, where he launched his meteoric rise and upset three-term Mayor George Spadoro.

In April, Craig Carton and Ray Rossi of New Jersey 101.5 FM’s “The Jersey Guys” propelled Choi’s name to newspapers across the state and into the Philadelphia and New York City media markets.  During the show, Carton ridiculed Asian-Americans.

“No specific minority group or foreign group should ever dictate the outcome of an American election. I don’t care if the Chinese population in Edison has quadrupled in the last year, Chinese should never dictate the outcome of an American election, Americans should,” said Carton, according to a transcript of the show.

The radio-show hosts and the station apologized, but because of that broadcast a New York City-based Asian voting-rights group called on the U.S. Department of Justice to monitor the primary polls.

The Justice Department outlined its observations in a letter sent to the Middlesex County Board of Elections. Some of the findings were: poll workers telling federal observers voters should learn English in order to vote; and a poll worker stating when a Gujarati or Hindi-speaking voter appeared she would “send them to the nearest gas station.”

These observations led to federal monitors overseeing polls during Tuesday’s vote.

In the primary, Spadoro’s campaign also sent out three mailings featuring Choi’s face with a tight focus from his cheekbones to his forehead.

At the time, Choi had no comment, and Spadoro’s campaign said the mailers were in no way meant to be racist.

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.)