Tag Archive: Deciminyan

KeystoneXL defeated in the Senate

Update: Yes votes at 59. KeystoneXL is defeated in the Senate.

Update: Voting is now underway. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker have both just voted No.


We promised you earlier when we posted a comment from Sen. Booker that we would post Sen. Bob Menendez’ statement on the Keystone Pipeline. He did write one, and asked reporters to hold it until the vote. Here’s what Menendez said today:

“The rewards of moving forward with Keystone XL simply do not outweigh the risks.  It is a bad idea that could be devastating to the environment and simply does not deliver long-term jobs or benefits for the American consumer.

“Further, the oil pumped through the Keystone pipeline is for export. If all we’re going to do is be a pipeline for Canada to sell its energy globally, I don’t know why in fact that makes sense.  This is just another empty handout to Big Oil with no significant benefit to the American people.

“I firmly believe creating good-paying jobs is a top priority, but the Keystone pipeline is not the answer.  We need to invest in repairing and upgrading America’s aging and crumbling infrastructure and incentive clean energy-policies that will create millions of good jobs for decades to come.”


Tonight: Menendez, Booker – KeystoneXL Pipeline vote in the Senate – plus live-streaming video

Update: Vote is underway.

Keystone Pipeline Backbone CampaignToday is about arm-twisting for Sen. Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, as she works to turn the 59 votes she appears to have into the magic number of 60, to send her bill authorizing construction of the Keystone oil pipeline to President Obama’s desk. Won’t be Sen. Angus King of Maine, considered a hot possible for a Yes vote. He’s out of it, as of today. She won’t find a vote a Senate vote in New Jersey, either – despite the fact NJ Republicans and two Democrats voted for it in the House. Both your senators will vote no:

“I’m a staunch advocate for investing in infrastructure that creates good paying American jobs – from roads and bridges to air and sea ports – but not at the cost of the long-term health of our environment. I have serious concerns on the environmental impact of the tar sands and the lack of long-term job creation. My position has been consistent since I became a senator in 2013. I will be voting no.”

                                                  – Sen. Cory Booker

WATCH: KeystoneXL – C-SPAN’s live video streaming of the Senate floor

Sen. Menendez, via his staff, was a little less-forthcoming with a comment last night. But they were clear that he intends to vote against it, and will likely issue a statement later today to coincide with the vote tonight (which we’ll post). But in Deciminyan’s interview for Blue Jersey last year, which was picked up by The Hill, Menendez told Blue Jersey he has two objections:

(1) the environmental consequences (2) there is no guarantee the tar sand oil that’s created from it will stay in the United States. It’ll go through Louisiana through the Gulf of Mexico and go into an international market so what will that do for us in terms of energy? And the jobs that are created in comparison to the risks as small.

                                – Sen. Bob Menendez to Blue Jersey, 2013

Below – Sires, Norcross and the House vote.

Deciminyan forgot one ‘Face of Equality” – Juan Melli

Juan MelliThis afternoon, deciminyan posted a photo montage of some of the people who particularly savor the victory of New Jersey’s first day of marriage equality. It was nice to be included among the legislative champions, and the legal warriors. And Steven Goldstein who poured in years of his life. And my friends Marsha and Louise, plaintiffs and newlyweds as of midnight (I’ll post wedding pictures later, I’m still recovering from the party).

But there’s somebody deciminyan left out, somebody he’s never met, Blue Jersey founder Juan Melli, who started this blog 8 years, and 24050 diaries, ago.

Something amazing: The first post Juan, or any of us, wrote about marriage equality was 8 years ago today – Oct. 21, 2005. Diary #119. Here it is:

Same-sex marriage suit filed with NJ Supreme Court
. It was Juan whose Blue Jersey coverage helped the press take notice of Laurel Hester, the police officer dying of cancer whose fight to see her partner receive her benefits helped give birth to this movement. And it was Juan, with our friend Jack Bohrer, who got Blue Jersey’s Think Equal ads made.

Much of what I understand about marriage came from Juan; one of many lessons in life I learned from somebody much younger than I am. Juan “got it” as a newlywed himself in his mid-20s (he and Stephanie have two boys now).

But it was Laurel Hester, who I never met, whose struggle was the gut punch that gave rise to so much that came after and so many of those ‘faces of equality’. Just a snapshot isn’t enough; below the fold, the trailer for the award-winning documentary about Laurel and Stacee: Freeheld.

The Governor’s Race, Contrasts and the Universe – a Zen Moment

Before we know it, the gubernatorial election will be upon us. It’s an exciting and welcome focal point for any political junkie who might still be feeling the post-general election blues. And in the time between now and November, candidates and their supporters will spend most of their time talking about differences and drawing contrasts between their side and the other.

In a Buono-Christie match-up, there are, of course, many contrasts to be drawn. For example, one friend recently noted that Buono represents the interests of women, the middle class, people in or near poverty, gay people, Jewish people, seniors, people with health issues and those who breathe air and drink water in New Jersey. Christie, on the other hand, represents the interests of the wealthiest New Jerseyans, who just happen to mostly be old white men. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Between now and November we will have ample opportunity to explore these differences, and it’s sure to get spicy. Indeed, New Jersey needs and deserves a vigorous and illuminating governor’s race. Still, we must remember that 1) despite our differences and passions, we are all in this together, and 2) our differences are eclipsed by what we all have in common. Ideological rivals or even “enemies” are, at the end of the day, more the same than different. That’s not to be pollyana-ish nor to suggest that anyone should let wane the vigor of their pursuits – just that, at the end of the day, it’s important to step back – often – and get a little perspective that extends beyond the current electoral cycle or district boundaries. Such a reminder can serve to promote civility, constructivism and inclusiveness.

In that spirit, I invite you to take a deep, cleansing breath and watch this 5-minute video narrated by Carl Sagan. I dare you not to get choked up. Onward.

Another Blue Jersey Thank You

ICYMI, Here's the story of how the national Democrats recognized Marie Corfield's LD-16 special election as the top grassroots-powered race in the country, in their yearly Essential Races List. Below, her thanks for the small role Blue Jersey played. Promoted by Rosi

As someone who is rarely at a loss for words, I’m struggling to find some that can express how I feel about all that has transpired this week. For those of you who missed it, Corfield for Assembly was voted the number one grass roots campaign on the DLCC’s list of Emerging Races for 2012. And it happened because you made it happen.

So here are some words that speak to how I’m feeling…

Gratitude. Apologies in advance if I fail to mention your name. There are so many people to thank—people I know, and people I don’t know. But you are no less important, and I am no less thankful for all your help.

• First and foremost, my team and my kitchen cabinet. I wouldn’t be here without you all. Your energy and enthusiasm—and my gratitude—are boundless.

• Everyone here at Blue Jersey, especially Jersey Jazzman, Kendall James, Senator “Jersey Girl” Weinberg, Deciminyan, and editor, mentor, friend, member of the kitchen cabinet, and fellow Hunterdon County Democrat, Rosi Efthim, who steered this cybership all week. (JJ & D, you were awesome on Twitter, too!)

• Every person I know on Facebook, including family, friends, co-workers, and the group I call ‘The Fight’— people from all over the country who saw my ‘You Tube moment’, felt a visceral connection, and sent me a friend request before I ever thought about running for office. And DFA.

• All my Tweeps, especially @DianeRavitch, @Darciecima, @stopthefreezeNJ, @leoniehaimson, @teacherken, @AnthonyCody, @johnleesandiego, and @NJParents1. The power of your connections cannot be underscored enough.

Humility. I never set out on this course, but life sometimes has better ideas. A door opens and we either choose to walk through, or let it close. I walked through. I am humbled and honored that so many people support me. I’m working very hard to do you proud.

Fired Up! This is no time to sit and watch the grass grow. Let’s get to work! We have 24 days to make this happen. We are the grass roots race to watch in the entire country. We must not rest on our laurels. We must now work harder than ever, and engage others to do the same.

My opponent, the Tea Party’s Donna Simon, is out of touch with the wants and needs of the middle class and working families of this district, and this state, and she has the voting record to prove it. On day one in Trenton I will be a voice for all the people who’ve been shut out of the so-called ‘Jersey Comeback’. I will be a voice for hardworking men and women, children, the poor, minorities, seniors, taxpayers and the LGBT community. I will fight to make sure that the real ‘Jersey Comeback’ is good for all of us, not just a chosen few.

To volunteer and donate (because I need you to do both), please go to my website. Then share it with everyone.

Thank you.

Now let's win this thing.

Woulda Coulda Shoulda Been at Netroots Nation

netroots-nation-logoAs Netroots Nation 2012 was coming to a close a couple of weeks ago and Deciminyan & I were getting ready to leave Providence, Rhode Island, this Tweet dropped, in response to our Twitter coverage of the 4-day event:

.@BlueJersey Sounds like you had a blast at ‪#NN12‬. Maybe I can join you next year.

                                            – @SenatorBuono

I didn’t answer the Senator on Twitter, because I’ve been mulling that over. And I decided to answer here, to Senator Buono, and a few other people – mostly women – I know. Yeah, you should go. It’s an idea factory, a lively place of discussion, strategy and tactics – only one you will avail yourself of.  Maybe you’ll be there next time around. See who I’m inviting to Netroots Nation next year – below the fold. And who do you think should go, Blue Jersey?

Justin Braz to run New Leaders Council-NJ

Justin Braz has been named as director of the New Jersey chapter of New Leaders Council. He succeeds Jackie Cornell-Bechelli, the new NJ State Director for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Until recently, Justin Braz was chief of staff for Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (LD-20). Congratulations to Justin.

What is New Leaders Council? NLC’s tagline is Training the Next Generation of Progressive Political Entrepreneurs. NLC fellows are young professionals most of whom have already shown leadership. They make a 5-month commitment to their training, one weekend per month, and take training in a curriculum of personal leadership development, entrepreneurship, communications and marketing, fund raising and finance, political strategy and management, traditional and new media, and Internet and technology. Emphasis is on teamwork, and there is an opportunity to meet with local and national leaders, and be paired with a career mentor.

A few weeks ago, Blue Jersey alums Scott Shields and Jason Springer and Blue Jerseyan Deciminyan taught netroots, and online organizing skills at the NLC-NJ Institute weekend training in New Brunswick.