Tag Archive: Richard Codey

Koch Conspirators

There’s an old Middle Eastern saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I don’t buy into this philosophy, but it does provide a starting point for evaluating that enemy of my enemy.

Today, the Koch Brothers’ organization, Americans for Prosperity, released a 2014 scorecard of New Jersey legislators. AFP has a simplistic philosophy – government and taxes are bad. However, the real world is more nuanced than that, but it’s interesting to see how AFP rated some of our New Jersey legislators.

What’s Happening Today Tue. 09/24/2013

Fuzzy Teddy Bear vs. Pit Bull: While U. S. Senate candidate Cory Booker has portrayed himself as above the fray, sometimes aloof with an inexhaustible number of fuzzy quotes that appear on his Facebook page, Republican Steve Lonegan has been tenacious, even ruthless, in stalking his prey even in Booker’s habitat of Newark. Today’s Quinnipiac University Poll finds “Booker leads Lonegan 53 – 41 percent among likely voters in the U.S. Senate race, closer than expected given Booker’s wide lead among registered voters last month.” However, don’t underestimate the importance of Booker’s huge warchest and staff, for even while he is out fundraising his people are mounting a substantial ground game. Nonetheless, for some who may not like him, consider the alternative: a pit bull, who once seated as a Senator becomes extremely difficult to dislodge, and one who will seek to destroy so much that progressives and moderates support.  

Public Schedules (your opportunity to jeer or cheer)

Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 8:00am, The Hoboken Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Council, Teak On The Hudson, 16 Hudson Pl., Hoboken; Barbara Buono: 2:-00pm, with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, New Brunswick Voter Registration Event, Rutgers University, Brower Commons, 145 College Ave., New Brunswick; Barbara Buono: 4:00pm, NJEA Fall Focus Program, The Westwood, 438 North Ave., Garwood.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:45am, dedication of Union Township train station in honor of the late U.S. Rep. Bob Franks; Christie: 12:00 noon, Richard J. Codey Arena, remarks at Essex County Senior Wellness Day, West Orange; (Will he make a comment about his not so good friend Sen. Codey?); afterward a walk through the Orange downtown business district with Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and Mayor Dwayne Warren.

U. S. Senate candidate Cory Booker: Deval Patrick is in New Jersey, as the press reports, stumping “for” (not “with”) Cory Booker. Booker had a celebrity high-dollar fundraiser last night in L. A, and he has two scheduled events tomorrow in New Jersey. However, it’s unclear as to whether he will accompany Patrick at any of the below events. Patrick is using money from his political action committee to pay for this trip.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick: 9:30am, visits with seniors at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center, Willinboro; 12:00 Noon, rally with Princeton University College Democrats and the American Whig-Cliosophic Society; 2:00pm, with Barbara Buono (see above); 5:30pm, Essex County Democratic Committee meeting, East Orange.  

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.: 10:00am, news conference on the upcoming enrollment period for New Jersey’s health insurance marketplace, PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital, New Brunswick. The often complicated and confusing enrollment, which can benefit so many New Jerseyans, starts October 1 – underfunded with little support from Christie.

U. S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan: 6:45pm reception and 7:30pm, speaking at the Rebovich Institute for NJ Politics, Rider University, Yvonne Theater, Fine Arts Building, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville. (An opportunity to question Lonegan: RSVP to Susan Cuccia at 609-896-5350 or scuccia@rider.edu. free and open to the public.)

Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

What’s Happening Today Tue. 09/03/2013

Post Labor Day, election efforts now pick up for our State legislators: All 120 seats will be on the ballot in November. It’s time to get involved in donating and helping our candidates. Incumbents (generally) rule, but some seats are more tenuous than others and call out for help.

Below is a list of incumbents in the primaries who received less votes than their challengers – preceded by their legislative district and an asterisk to denote the incumbent. The fact that an incumbent got less votes than a challenger is not an indication that the person will lose (primaries are peculiar animals), but it can raise a flag and suggests that the Democrats in the race merit more assistance. Likewise, the fact that Democratic Assembly challengers like Marie Corfield (16th) and Ed Zipprich (11th ) received less votes than the incumbents serves as an incentive for Democrats to provide additional help.  

  •  Senate: 1st, Jeff Van Drew* (D), Susan Schmidt (R); 2nd, Jim Whelan* (D), Frank Balles (R); 7th, Diane Allen* (R), Gary Catrambone (D); 27th, Richard Codey* (D), Lee Holtzman (R); 38th, Bob Gordon* (D), Fernando Alonzo (R). 8th, no incumbent: Peter Barnes (D), David Stahl (R). 14th very close race with incumbent ahead by 61 votes: Linda Greenstein* (D), Peter Inverso (R).
  • Assembly: 1st, Nelson Albano* (D) & Bob Andrzejczak* (D), Sam Fiocchi (R) & Kristine Gabor (R); 27th, John McKeon* (D) & Mila Jasey* (D), Angelo Tedesco (R) & Laura Ali (R); 38th, Timothy Eustace* (D) & Connie Wagner* (D) who dropped out from the race and was replaced by Joseph Lagana, Joan Fragala (R) & Joseph Scarpa (R). 14th, close race: Wayne DeAngelo* (D) & Daniel Benson* (D), Steve Cook (R) & Ronald Haas (R).

    Senator Robert Menendez: 2:30pm, presides over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Syria Hearing with testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey, Washington, D. C. Live webcast here or probably CSPAN.

    Buono, Silva to Unveil Plan to Improve Higher Education in New Jersey: With thousands of students opting to leave the Garden State every year, the Buono/Silva campaign today presents a plan to lower tuition costs at public colleges and universities, reinvest in county colleges and improve vocational skills. (See Public Schedule below.)

    Public Schedules (your opportunity to cheer or jeer):

    Buono/Silva Campaign: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono and Lt. gubernatorial candidate Milly Silva: 11:30am, Higher Education Press Conference, Rutgers University, Brower Commons, New Brunswick; Barbara Buono: 6:00pm, Hawthorne Democrats Cocktail Party, Brownstone House, 351 W. Broadway, Paterson.

    Governor and gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie: 11:00am, makes an announcement about New Jersey Institute of Technolog, Summit St., outside NJIT’s Central King Building, Newark; 2:00pm, Gotham Burger Co., 1383 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck.



    Email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com.

  • Waiting for Codey: Why a Primary Election Would Be Good for Democrats and Democratic Candidates

    As Barbara Buono’s gubernatorial candidacy continues to pick up steam with endorsements from party leaders in Monmouth and Somerset Counties in addition to her home county of Middlesex as well as positive statements from political machine bosses like Joe DiVincenzo and George Norcross, it appears as if the only thing standing between her and the Democratic nomination is our state’s former Acting Governor, Richard Codey who is currently considering a gubernatorial run of his own and has been talking to the Democratic Governors Association and national labor leaders to gauge how much money they would be willing to commit to help him take on Chris Christie in the fall if he was successful in becoming the Democratic nominee.

    Codey’s delay in making a decision is clearly a product of Cory Booker’s decision to take far too much time to tell the rest of us what many of us already knew, which was that there was no way that he was going to put his political career on the line in a tough battle against Chris Christie when he could run for the United States Senate next year and have a much easier path to victory (that is, unless Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, and/or Steve Sweeney decide to stand in his way) and while credit should be given to Buono for being willing to put her political career on the line before New Jersey’s answer to LeBron James got around to making his big decision and the impatience being expressed by many in the Democratic Party is understandable and as much as I would love to see this primary election season get underway, I believe that Codey should be given sufficient space and time (until the end of the month) to make what amounts to the most important decision of his political career.

    There are many good reasons why Codey deserves this.  First and foremost amongst these is the fact that throughout his distinguished political career, he has set the standard for good governance and political independence.  He has also been a good and loyal Democrat.  When he was Acting Governor, he could (and probably should) have challenged Jon Corzine for the Democratic nomination in 2005.  He would have had nothing to lose by running that year.  Even if he had lost, he would have still been a State Senator and would have most likely remained Senate President.  But he was more interested in governing well than campaigning for Governor and coming on the heels of the McGreevey scandals, he wanted the Democratic Party to be united behind a single candidate going into the general election.

    Who will be New Jersey’s Howard Dean in 2013?

    Who remembers hearing Dean’s ‘What I Want to Know’ speech? It was a freshwater slap in the face to the orthodoxy of the Democratic Party and the complacence of too many of its members with the trajectory of the Republican in the executive seat. Sound familiar? Well, as you answer, remember this: Howard lost the nomination to lesser lights. Does that teach us anything? But remember this, too: 2 years later (nearly to the day), Dean became DNC Chair, and changed – for a while – the party’s direction and organizing priorities.

    Is anything like that even possible in New Jersey? – Rosi



    February 21, 2013 will be the 10th Anniversary of the speech (it begins shortly after the two-hour mark) that Howard Dean delivered at the Democratic National Convention’s Winter Meeting that put him on the map as a Presidential candidate and made him the standard-bearer of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party that he still is today.

    It is my hope that by this date, the field of candidates for the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination will be set and at least one of them will provide rank-and-file Democrats, progressive or otherwise, with the same kind of clarity of vision and voice that Howard Dean gave us on the national level nearly ten years ago.  

    State Senator (and former Senate Majority Leader) Barbara Buono, who is the only candidate in the field at the moment, is undoubtedly progressive enough, but it remains to be seen if she can communicate those progressive values as passionately and powerfully as Dean did and continues to do so today.  She has been Governor Chris Christie’s most visible and vocal opponent to date and would have no problem contrasting how differently she would govern our state than the incumbent has to date.

    State Senator (and former Acting Governor and Senate President) Richard Codey has the same progressive bona fides as Senator Buono and to his credit played a critical role in securing the endorsement of then-Governor Jim McGreevey and the bulk of the state’s Democratic establishment for Governor Dean towards the end of 2003.  The successful year-plus that he served as the state’s Acting Governor gives him more than enough good will and name recognition to be able to compete with Christie this fall.

    New Jersey led the country in July job losses

    We’re number one, we’re number one… oh wait:

    The largest over-the-month decrease in employment nationally occurred in New Jersey, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    The Garden State’s 12,000-job loss last month was followed by Missouri and Illinois, which lost 7,700 and 7,100 from June to July, respectively, according to the latest job numbers.

    Well, Christie did say he wanted to make New Jersey a leader, but I don’t think this is what people were hoping for. The 9.8% rate for New Jersey is the highest since 1977, which prompted this comment on Fmr. Governor Codey’s Facebook page:

    New Jersey has the highest unemployment rate since 1977 at 9.8%. Back then it was “Smokey and the Bandit” and bellbottoms, the year Elvis died. Given this news, I’m wondering who’s the better perfomer, Elvis or the Governor?

    Can you feel the comeback? I can’t wait to hear the Governor talk about how great it is going in Tampa.

    For Supporters of Ron Rice Now Is the Time For Action

    In just six weeks the CD 10 Special and Regular primary will determine the November election outcome as no Republican can win in this district. Of the four key Democratic candidates, the most progressive is West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice. He is in a tough battle against Newark Council President and Essex County Freeholder Donald Payne, Jr. who has the Essex County party line, State Senator Nia Gill (Montclair) who has the Hudson County party line, and Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith. In Union County there will be an open primary.

    For supporters of Ron Rice now is the time for action. In recent days he has gained endorsements of Newark Councilmen Ras Baraka and Darrin Sharif, former Newark Councilwoman Bessie Walker, Assemblyman and former West Orange Mayor John McKeon (D-27), and West Orange Councilmen Sal Anderton and Victor Cirilo. A key endorser is former Governor and current Essex County Senator Dick Codey who says, “Ron’s record of progressive ideas, and his willingness and ability to take on the tough issues and be steadfast and resilient in the face of staunch opposition is precisely what we need right now in Washington.”

    You can attend tomorrow night’s reception at The Spring Lake Manor in Spring Lake, hosted by Monmouth County’s Vin Gopal. An open bar will be available for donations including Supporter ($150), Friend ($300), and Co-Host ($500). RSVP to vin.gopal.2008@gmail.com or call 732-299-5625.

    Another event will be held on May 1 at Rio Rodizio, 1034 McCarter Hwy. Newark. Honorary Chairs of the event are Senator Dick Codey and Newark Senator Ronald L. Rice (father of Ron Rice.) The requested minimum donation is $150 at the door or online here. For further information you can send an e-mail to info@ron-rice.com.

    During these critical weeks Ron Rice needs your help. In this race with four veteran Democratic elected officials, and county Democratic machines promoting their own favorites, Ron needs more volunteers and donations. According to the Federal Election Report through March 31, neither Payne nor Smith has filled a financial report, but Senator Gill has raised more money and is outspending Ron Rice. You can visit his campaign office at 845 Sandford Avenue, Newark to volunteer. You can donate to his campaign here. You can visit his website.

    Wrap-Up: “And The NJ Democratic Candidate for Governor Is….”

    Thanks for participating in our gubernatorial poll and for so many informed comments. As of early this morning with 56 votes cast, the results indicate there are three leading candidates that you prefer. Senator Barbara Buono (D-18) received 21 votes (38%), followed by former Governor and current Senator Richard Codey (D-27) with 15 votes (27%) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker with 12 votes (21%). The next highest choice Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D 19) got 3 votes (5%). If one were to select out just the three top candidates, Buono would have 44%, Codey 31% and Booker 25%. Steve Sweeney, in spite of his prominence as Senate President, picked up only one vote (2%) from our progressive readers.

    Your comments reflected intellect, passion, hope, anger, despair and more. Using a “word count” the top three candidates were mentioned by name with about the same frequency: 35 times each. (Governor Christie was mentioned 88 times.) Some comments dealt with strategy: “We need to employ a 21 county strategy and look for a candidate who will put up a fight in a county that Christie won hands down.” A number of individuals spoke about their dislike for Boss politics: “I’m willing to support almost any candidate that isn’t a puppet of the Norcross machine (including Sweeney & Booker).”

    In supporting Cory Booker, readers pointed to his popularity in the polls vs. Christie, his charismatic personality, money raising ability, mayoral experience and support from the African-American community. Others questioned his ability to get teacher and broader union support. A backer of Dick Codey said he is “the only one who has actually been governor. Remains generally popular with state residents. Is tough.” Another person commented, “Codey is a great guy but his chance I feel was in 2005.” One person wrote about Barbara Buono: “It doesn’t seem like she would be able to effectively combat Christie head on. Christie’s style is very direct and bombastic… Buono, who is soft-spoken I think would fail to overcome this stark difference.” Another individual complimented Sen. Buono for her style. Although she led in the poll there was very little commentary as to why people support her. There was also discussion as to whether certain candidates, even Christie, would actually run.

    Several individuals said Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) should have been included in the poll. After an unscientific scanning of about ten articles on potential candidates, I selected all the names mentioned as choices for our poll. Sen. Loretta Weinberg was not mentioned in the articles, and I have never heard her express any interest. As a former LG candidate, current Senate Majority Leader and an overwhelming Blue Jersey favorite, she would have received a lot of votes which might have obscured the intent of the poll which was designed for likely candidates. Readers also had an opportunity to vote for “Someone else” (two individuals did so) and to mention in the comments that their vote was for Senator Weinberg or another person.

    Let us know what topics you would like for future polls, such as Pascrell vs. Rothman; Should a millionaire’s tax be on the November ballot?; In what areas should the legislature make budget increases over (or under) Christie’s proposals?; Should  Bruce Harris  be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice?; boxers vs. briefs; etc.  

    And the NJ Democratic Candidate For Governor Is….

    Update Sunday, 2:45 PM: It’s not too late to vote your preference for the 2013 Democratic gubernatorial candidate and to join the lively discussion.

    Candidates are already starting to position themselves.

    Cast your vote in the poll beneath the fold and see the results so far.

    Whom do you prefer? And, if you wish, tell us why.

    Senate Bill 1 – Celebrating Marriage Equality (video)

    Yesterday’s Senate session was historic – the passage of S1, the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption bill.

    Due to some technical glitches, the audio feed from the Senate was not of high quality, so it’s best to listen to this video using headphones. My apologies for the sub-par audio, but you’ll be watching one of the most significant events in the history of the New Jersey legislature.

    Even if you don’t view the entire 35 minutes, fast forward to 34:07 to see the vote and especially the jubilant reaction of Garden State Equality’s Steven Goldstein.

    Time marks for the  senators’ remarks are:

    Senate President Sweeney – 00:00

    Senate Majority Leader Weinberg – 06:01

    Senator Ray Lesniak – 18:39

    Senator Gerald Cardinale – 20:15

    Senator Richard Codey – 26:01

    Senator Barbara Buono – 29:32

    Senator Jennifer Beck – 32:30