Andrews has not been shy about the fact that he wants a promotion to the Senate. Some reports have said that he plans to challenge Menendez in a primary, while others speculate that he’s bluffing and would rather hold off until 2008 than to possibly damage himself with a loss. While Andrews has claimed that Lautenberg has no plans to retire in 2008, today we learn from the Inside Edge that a fundraiser for Lautenberg’s 2008 re-election campaign has supposedly already raised $200,000. There probably won’t be another Senate opening for at least 7 years, so if Andrews is serious about moving up, this is his chance. I doubt he’ll pass on this opportunity.
A Rasmussen poll out today has some good news and some bad news for Bob Menendez. The good news is that a year out from the election, he would beat Tom Kean Jr 38%-34%. The bad news is a potential killer. Menendez’ favorability numbers start off bad. Although only half the state has an opinion of both Menendez and Kean, among those who do know him enough to have an opinion, Menendez is in bad shape: 27% have a favorable opinion while 24% have an unfavorable opinion of him (For Kean they’re 35%/16%). This is before a primary and general election, when the mud really flies and both candidate’s numbers typically get even worse.
Indeed, according to the Record, Corzine was worried about what kind of mud might be thrown at Menendez, but in the end felt he had no other choice:
Sources “close to Corzine have acknowledged that he was carefully considering Menendez’s drawbacks.” One strategist said many Dems “fear he may be hampered by published reports that he steered lobbying contracts” to an ex-staffer “and charges that he is Hudson’s de facto political boss. Corzine, however, had few politically attractive alternatives.” Choosing a different Rep. “would likely have provoked the wrath of Hispanic interest groups that lobbied for Menendez.”
By all appearances the anointment of Bob Menendez as New Jerseyâ€™s junior senator will not happen today. And while the delay could indicate that the pick is not yet a foregone conclusion, thereâ€™s a certain whiff of inevitability in the air. So before we learn for sure of the newest member of the second session of the 109th Congress, letâ€™s get one thing straight: the best interests of the voters of New Jersey factored marginally — if at all — into the selection of Bob Menendez. Instead, his is a constituency of one, a man not even from New Jersey but from Brooklyn: Chuck Schumer.
The following event will take place on Friday:
Fooled Again: Mark Crispin Miller on how the Right stole the 2004 elections
Friday, December 9 from 7-8 p.m.
McCormick 101 (lecture hall in the art museum building)
Sponsored by the College Democrats
Here’s how the email I received about the event describes it:
In his book â€œFOOLED AGAIN: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why Theyâ€™ll Steal the Next One, Too (Unless We Stop Them),â€ renowned media critic Mark Crispin Miller argues that it wasnâ€™t â€œmoral valuesâ€ that swung the 2004 presidential race; it was theft. While the greatest body of evidence comes from the key state of Ohioâ€”where the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee found an extraordinary amount of Republican-engineered vote suppression, election-day irregularities, old-fashioned intimidation tactics, and illegal counting proceduresâ€”similar practices (and occasionally worse ones) were applied throughout the country. Mark Crispin Miller will discuss the findings of his book and answer questions.
The event is open to the public. There is a chance that Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ-12), author of HR 550, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005, will be there. Congressman Holt currently, as you all probably have heard already, has a petition at his web site in support of HR 550.
Could Jon Corzine have managed this Senate appointment business any more stupidly? Would such a thing even be possible?
This endless dithering and the accompanying swirl of rumours — It’s Menendez! It’s Andrews! Wait, it’s Menendez again! — has given Corzine the image of an indecisive flake, just over a month after he won a decisive victory against a well-funded Republican opponent, and less than a month before he will be sworn in as governor. It has gone on so long that regardless of who he does choose to serve out the remainder of his term, the public’s reaction is apt to be less interest in the new face than exasperation over the new governor’s indecision-making process.
That’s a pretty lousy way to launch anybody’s Senate career.
Corzine’s apparent plan to avoid a messy primary battle by appointing Bob Menendez seems to already be doomed. Even before an announcement was made, Menendez, Andrews and Pallone all suggested they may challenge in a primary if they weren’t picked. In today’s Bergen Record, sources say Andrews is ready to challenge:
Democratic sources said Wednesday that Andrews appeared likely to challenge Menendez after a meeting with Corzine that had not gone well.
“Andrews is preparing for a primary,” said one Democratic strategist.
If Andrews jumps in, it’s likely others will follow suit.
On December 12, 2005 the NJ State Senate will vote on an important bill that will require health insurers and the NJ State Benefits Plan to cover prescription contraceptives for women. I’m not sure why it specifies women since I think all prescription contraceptives are for women, and if one comes out for men this would not require those be covered.
That quibble aside, this is a good bill and we should support it. With all the wackos out there refusing to fill such prescriptions, it is only a matter of time before insurers start popping up with “values” contrary to common sense.
Thanks to Senators Joe Vitale, Diane Allen, Barbara Buono, Shirley Turner, Ellen Karcher and Robert Singer for sponsoring the bill. You can find contact info for the sponsors and your own Senator on the NJ Legislative web site.
Is he serious about running for Congress in the 5th district against Scott Garrett, or what?
For months now, he’s been going on about a “Congressional Exploratory Campaign” and how he’s just not sure he’s a viable candidate or not. If he’s not sure, then who is? He’s got Bill Richardson, Paul Begala and members of the E Street band raising money for him, so what’s he going to do if he figures it out that he’s not viable? I just don’t understand this.
I haven’t met the man, but when he paid a visit to a field event for Damian Fracasso, the candidate for Warren County Freeholder, he did not even introduce himself to anyone. Never mind speaking, Damian had to drag him around to each person at the event and when he met the people I talked to, he didn’t say much.
Then there is the matter of the FEC complaint.
Anne Wolfe, a serious and declared candidate running for the Democratic nomination, who ran against Garrett last year, says that the amount of money he’s raised violates FEC regulations because he didn’t file as a candidate but he engaged in campaigning activities – and she filed a complaint to stress the point.
Maybe this is precisely why he didn’t introduce himself, or speak to most of the people at that event. Maybe I’m figuring this out as I write this. Is this how you walk the tight rope of a “Congressional Exploratory Committee”. Who ever heard of such a thing anyway?
Honestly, this is more suspenseful than waiting to hear who Corzine picks for the Senate seat.
Cross posted at NJ for Democracy
At the freeholder meeting tonight in Ocean County, over 100 residents packed the meeting room to support Lt. Laurel Hester, the cancer-stricken cop trying to get domestic partner benefits so she can pass on her pension to her partner.
Among those who turned out were cops, clergy – including Lutheran, Unitarian and Methodist ministers from the area, and gay and lesbian groups. The clergy cited scripture about compassion and justice for your fellow man, and one clergy member kneeled before the freeholders begging them to relent. In all, about 20 people spoke – pleading for justice – and without exception, each strongly supported Laurel. Many everyday county residents came out to express their outrage at the freeholders’ disgusting heartlessness.
According to a resident who attended “There was not a dry eye in the house, except for the freeholders, some of whom rolled their eyes and snickered at times.”
(there’s more below…)