Sen. Cory Booker and former Senators Jeff Chiesa and Frank Lautenberg. Yesterday at the brief swearing-in ceremony administered by Vice President Joe Biden Cory Booker was accompanied by New Jersey’s senior Senator Bob Menendez. Joe Biden, famous for his bloopers, first referred to Senator Menendez as Frank, then as Fred, and finally as Bob. Democratic Senators were on hand to welcome Booker, whereas the Repubican side of the chamber appeared empty.
Booker’s immediate predecessor Republican Jeff Chiesa has said he might be interested in running for the Senate sometime in the future. For the present he probably will soon be holding a high-paying job in a law firm. Next year he might be tapped by Christie to serve as Chief Justice of the NJ Supreme Court if Christie denies tenure to Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Chiesa supported the Republican position on the shutdown until the last minute when he voted to end the lunacy and joined the majority. On the immigration bill he supported the Republican amendments which were defeated, but he did vote in favor of the final bill. He also supported the Farm Bill, which House Republicans do not like. He was active in one of his key concerns to reduce human trafficking. His short tenure from June through October makes it difficult to assess his performance. Somewhat in the mold of Chris Christie (without the swagger and big mouth of his mentor) he espoused conservative Republican beliefs but was also often pragmatic and bi-partisan.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg left Booker a prodigious record of progressive accomplishments. Although Booker as Senator is still a blank page, he fervently espouses most of the same causes. As a passionate orator and hyperkinetic individual, he certainly will be more engaging, entertaining, and interesting than the staid Jeff Chiesa. In addition to his Senatorial duties, Booker also faces re-election next year for a full six-year term.
ELEC report on spending through October 25: Gov. Christie raised $13.2 million, spent $9.2 million and has cash on hand of $4 million. Barbara Buono raised $2.8 million, spent $2.4 million and has cash on hand of $276,000. Her inability to raise more funds has been a big impediment: she has been able to conduct retail politics but not wholesale politics. Overall Campaign Spending: $107.8 million: Gubernatorial: $21.4 million, Legislative: $48.7 million, Independent Special Intetest Groups: $37.8 milion. The top two Legislative District expenditures: LD 3: $3.7 million and LD 38: $3 million. For more interesting stuff in this report released yesterday, go here.
Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 7:25am, The Curtis Slliwa Show, Radio interview, 970 AM; Buono: 10:00am, Opportunity Tour: Jobs and the Economy, Nutley Diner, 372 Centre St, Nutley; Barbara Buono: 12:00pm, press conference, Imagination Station Playground, Horseshoe Lake, 72 Eyland Ave., Succasunna.
Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:45am, Empire Diner, Parsippany; 11:55am, Tick Tock Diner, Clifton; 1:00pm, Glen Ridge Community Center, Glen Ridge; 2:10pm, Hispanic Statewide Chamber of Commerce Expo, NJ City University, Jersey City; 3:20pm, Lanni’s Appliances, Rutherford; 4:45pm, River Edge Pizza Kitchen, River Edge; 5:45pm, Bergen County GOP headquarters, Hackensack; 7:20, rally, Elks Lodge, Harrison.
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