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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Help Us Make A Documentary

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our names are Sneha Mehta and Teddy Stern.  We are filmmakers based in New Jersey (Fort Lee and Englewood, respectively).  Right now, we are working on a documentary about the healthcare crisis.  While this is a national problem, we have been focusing on our home state of New Jersey.  With New Jersey residents paying the highest premiums in the nation, we believe that our state is suffering too much to just keep “staying the course.”  

Today, there are 45 million Americans without healthcare coverage and countless more who are dangerously underinsured. Too many Americans are forced to live day to day hoping not to get sick. Too many Americans are being drowned by insurmountable medical bills. What good is the most advanced medicine in the world when far too many Americans don’t have access to it?

Sneha Mehta and I explore these issues in our (currently untitled) healthcare documentary. There are only two of us working with a limited budget. But with your help, we can bring attention to the 45 million people who have been forgotten by our government.

Here is what you can do:

1) Do you have a video camera? Are you uninsured? We want you to videotape yourselves talking about how this crisis has affected you. Do you have friends that have suffered a healthcare injustice the world should know about? Interview them too!

2) Are you involved in the insurance or healthcare fields? If you have frustrations about the current crisis, speak out! We need to hear from you.   Are you willing to be interviewed? Let us know.

3) Our success depends on massive involvement. So PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to as many folks as possible.

Please, email us at for more information.

Also, feel free to check for further updates.

AP nationalizes (and internationalizes) Laurel Hester’s struggle

From the Associated Press:Gay couples face uncertain legal landscape
UPDATE: The Guardian (UK) is also carrying this story. Only through an act of heartless, hate-filled stupidity could Ocean County’s freeholders bring so much negative attention to their county. Congratulations.

In New Jersey, one of a handful of states with a domestic partnership law, activists were dismayed by two recent cases dramatizing the law’s limitations. In one case, Ocean County officials refused to approve the transfer of death benefits to the lesbian partner of a cancer-stricken law enforcement officer, Lt. Laurel Hester. In another case, also involving lesbians who registered as domestic partners, 66-year-old Betty Jordan is suing the state because of a ruling that she is not entitled to the couple’s home and cars after her partner’s death in July.

Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality and one of New Jersey’s leading gay activists, said he was optimistic despite the two cases.

“The Hester case proves how progressive the state is,” he said. “The outrage from the entire state is unbelievable – it brings home to legislators how narrow and insufficient the domestic partnership law is.”

The State Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday unanimously approved a bill which would, among other things, extend the benefits provided by the domestic partner law to allow partners to receive inheritances from each other upon death.

While the legislature takes positive steps to improve the lives of all New Jerseyans, these five men (the Ocean County freeholders) are so afraid that two women might ruin their marriages, that they treat them like second-class citizens.

Rep. Mike “Mr. Embryo” Ferguson

Via Dump Mike:

Congressman Mike Ferguson’s views on contraception, stem cell research and abortion are so far outside the mainstream that his own colleagues have nicknamed him, “Mr. Embryo.”

From the May 25, 2005 Subcommittee On Oversight And Investigations Of The House Committee On Energy And Commerce hearing on Community Health Centers:

Mr. Whitfield: I am 52 today.
Chairman Barton: Today is your birthday, so happy birthday. I need to give Congressman Ferguson, Mr. Embryo himself, credit for that. . . that is going to be on your tombstone.

Chairman Barton is Rep. Joe Barton, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Mr. Whitfield is Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-1) and chair of the the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Ferguson sits on both committees.

Can I Not Buy Cigarettes Anymore?

OK. Before I begin, I would like to say that smoking is bad and it leads to cancer and all kinds of nasty stuff so people shouldnt do it.

NOW. In the NJ State Senate, there is a proposal to raise the age of purchacing tobacco (aka cigarettes, cigars) to 19.

Proponents of the legislation contend that raising the age would make it illegal for virtually all high school students to purchase cigarettes and less likely that they would share them with younger students. It would also help tobacco vendors enforce the law by making it easier for them to identify younger teenagers attempting to buy cigarettes.

The measure (S-2783) is co-sponsored by Codey and Sen. Joseph F. Vitale (D-Middlesex).

“A year may not seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things, but in the year between high school and life beyond, our kids begin to take shape into the people they will become,” he said. “We are hoping that those people will be nonsmokers, and by giving them an added year of wisdom, we will hopefully better prepare them to say no to smoking.”

…my opinion below…

Boycott Six Flags Great Adventure in Ocean County

I’ve received information from an Ocean County local that the single most effective action which may pressure Ocean County’s freeholders to change their minds about granting domestic partner benefits would be a boycott of Six Flags Great Adventure, which is located in Ocean County. According to people familiar with county politics, Six Flags “wields big, big, big time power” in Ocean County and is one of the few areas where non-county residents can have a major impact on the situation.

This boycott is also being supported by the Big Gay Picture.

You can contact Great Adventure at (732)-928-1821 or or by snail mail:

Six Flags Great Adventure
P.O. Box 120
1 Six Flags Blvd.
Jackson, NJ 08527

WHOA! Endorsements abound (YADACSP)

Obligatory warning: This is Yet Another Diary About Corzine’s Senate Pick (YADACSP).

Bob Andrews picks up a few endorsements today from the Philly Inquirer, and Courier Post. Both eerily saying similar things, and both, eerily full of that stinky stuff that Ocean County Freeholders are also reeking of these days.

First off, the Courier Post endorsed Doug Forrester, so why should Gov. Elect Corzine give their opinion any more deference than a fruit fly?

Second, both these pieces look like perhaps someone sent a press release to some editorial boards and perhaps consulted with said boards on verbiage and such.  This is of course speculation and speculation is something I don’t like trafficking in.  So forget I just wrote this last part and let’s get to taking these babies apart like a cheap Lego set.

A Prophetic Senator

At least one Hudson County voter has a message for Jon Corzine: I don’t trust anyone.

The Jersey Journal reports that the ancient Jewish prophet Moses actually got one vote for governor based on a write-in ballot.  However, Moses finished well behind Acting-Governor Dick Codey in the write-in ballots – 227 to 1.

Laurel Hester has already made a difference

Last night, Union County freeholders voted unanimously (9-0) in support of granting county employees domestic partner benefits. According to one person who attended the meeting “[the freeholders] all cited Laurel Hester as their inspiration”. Lt. Hester has served in Ocean County’s prosecutor’s office for 23 years and has inoperable cancer. She would like to pass her pension benefits on to her partner, which is the only way she would be able to afford to keep their home, but the Ocean County freeholders have refused to grant her those benefits.

Last week, Mercer County also cited the situation in Ocean County as the reason why they were acting to pass domestic partner benefits. The person at the freeholder’s meeting continued: “I watched in tears – even if Ocean County doesn’t budge, Laurel has already helped so many with her courage and I wish she had seen it.”

If the Ocean County freeholders hope that this situation is just going to fade away, they are sadly mistaken. They are the laughing stock of not only New Jersey, but the entire country and if tourism declines next summer, they shouldn’t act surprised that people don’t want to visit the homophobia capital of the world.

The next Ocean County freeholder’s meeting is Wednesday, Dec 7th in Room 304, Third Floor, Administration Building, 101 Hooper Avenue, Toms River. If you’re from the county, come out in support of Lt. Hester.

You can also contact the following people and let them know how you feel:

County Administrator
Alan W. Avery (732) 929-2147

Gerry P. Little: (732) 929-2001
Joseph H. Vicari: (732) 929-2002
John P. Kelly: (732) 929-2003
James F. Lacey: (732) 929-2004
John C. Bartlett, Jr: (732) 929-2116

County Tourism Director
Barbara Steele – (732) 929-2000

Pension Crisis – How did it happen!?

Warning: Someday way too soon, postings about underfunded pensions will be as frequent as YADACSP’s are today, and when that happens (like in today’s New York Times article about proposals to overhaul NJ’s public pension system), try remembering this:

More than a decade ago, New Jersey’s pension system had a solid, no-nonsense reputation. The state was making regular payments into the fund.

But that changed in the 1990’s, when Gov. Christie Whitman altered the actuarial assumptions to reduce the state’s payments into the pension system, and helped set the stage for income tax cuts….

… and the gradual underfunding of our pension system.