Tag Archive: CD3

A Response to the Inquirer Endorsement of TMac

As Rosi reported on Friday, I penned a short response to what has got to be the poorest-written editorial endorsement in decades. My friend, who uses the nom de blog bssjersey (but is not, AFAIK, the person behind the Twitter feed of the same name), wrote a much more detailed and well-thought out response. I'm reprinting it here with his permission – edited only for minor formatting changes.


Guest Post. Written by bssjersey:

 On what evidence does the Inquirer Editorial Board conclude that Tom MacArthur “is more conversant on policy and politics” than Aimee Belgard? Experience in politics? Both of them served 3 years as municipal council members. Tom MacArthur was mayor for one year (elected by his colleagues, not directly by the people). Aimee Belgard has served as a Burlington County Freeholder for almost two years. So she’s had almost five years of “seasoning” to his three, and two of hers are at a higher level (county).

It must be the business career that impressed you. It’s an undeniable achievement that Tom MacArthur was able to take a small insurance services company, grow it into a big one, and sell it for a lot of money. But success in business is no guarantee of success in politics. A 2012 article in The Hill newspaper entitled “History shows businessmen make bad presidents” noted that historians rank presidents whose earlier careers featured success in business as among our worst: the list includes Andrew Johnson, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush.

And if The Inquirer had bothered to look closely at the claims MacArthur makes for why his business career suggests he’d be good at setting federal policy, you might have seen the holes in his arguments.

Oh, so THAT’s why Nancy Pelosi’s House Majority PAC dissed Aimee Belgard to plump up Don Norcross

crying-donkeyNow I get it: Why House Majority PAC pulled a quarter-mil or so out from under Aimee Belgard’s competitive race, and forked it over to Don Norcross’ sure thing.

I’m watching 3 races closely; Bonnie Watson Coleman, whose gutsy detailed position statements signal progressive intent, and Roy Cho and Aimee Belgard, who work mighty hard for every vote. At the other end of the merit scale is Norcross, whose candidacy is less about his own work than the good fortune of being somebody’s brother. His campaign has been arranged, and the way smoothed. Nothing against him. I wish him well in Congress. But, come on.

Then, I opened the mass email sent this morning by Nancy Pelosi:

THREE separate polls show Aimee Belgard TIED with her Republican opponent it screams at me in boldface. Aimee’s race is a TOP priority for Democrats.

Let’s review: Pelosi essentially controls HMP, on which her chance of ever being Speaker again rides.  She just pulled about $250k from hardscrabbling Aimee Belgard, whose opponent is a non-local who writes campaign checks to himself in the millions. Then, she writes all of us, begging for money to lift Belgard.

Tear your hair out all you want, but The National Journal has the poop on the quid pro quo. Six donations came in last month from unions and businesses tied to the House of Norcross. They total $270k; IBEW $100k, the law firm repping George Norcross $50k, Carpenters $50k, 3 IBEW locals together $70k.

Carpenters did not even endorse Aimee Belgard in CD3. They endorsed self-financed GOP insurance exec from North Jersey Tom MacArthur.

So. Norcross gets his minions to write big checks to HMP. And they swung about a quarter mil – nearly dollar-for-dollar – away from a competitive race that actually would add to their “Majority.”. And the fact Pelosi’s PAC paid for the ad signals to the Dem universe inside the Beltway that Don Norcross is a Democratic priority, so act accordingly – or else.

Welcome to our world, District of Columbia.

Belgard on Higher Education

Clearly, there are differences between the two candidates running for Congress in the Third District. If you’re a regular reader of Blue Jersey, you know about those differences in the areas of health care, support for the middle class, and paycheck fairness. Today, Aimee Belgard held a press conference outlining specific positions on higher education – an area that Tom MacArthur seems to have ignored. Here are her remarks.

CD3: Aimee Belgard on NJTV last night

CD3 Dem Aimee Belgard interviewed last night on NJTV. Mary Alice Williams struggles to find different ways to describe the 3rd District contest as an ugly race. But, despite the new struggles Belgard is facing in winning this open seat against self-financed Tom MacArthur, Belgard brings it back around to the issues she’s running on:

5-minute interview:

Who is Tom MacArthur’s Biggest Contributor?

Tom MacArthur has “loaned” his campaign $5,000,000 (so far). That makes his race the largest self-funded one in the nation.

But as in any campaign, other individual contributors have also given money to MacArthur. As of the latest FEC filing, individuals have given the North Jersey resident a total of $285,000 – not a great sum as congressional races go.

It’s really foolish of these people to give this money to the NJ-3 GOP carpetbagger since they are essentially repaying the loan MacArthur gave himself. Of course, people give to political campaigns for various reasons – ideology, influence, and sometimes quid pro quo. But the reason for individual contributions is not reported in the FEC database, so one can only speculate.

So other than MacArthur himself, who is his biggest individual contributor?

“World” – CD3 Aimee Belgard’s 2nd ad. Thoughts?

In CD3, Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard is running against Tom MacArthur, who until recently was a North Jersey resident, and the mayor of the Morris County town of Randolph. He moved south when he heard Rep. Runyan wouldn’t seek re-election. His people go into defensive mode when the carpetbagger issue is raised, claiming he has some long running relationship with Ocean and Burlington counties through charities he’s involved with. I don’t know whether that’s going to be enough of a touchstone in CD3 voters’ real lives; they’ll tell us in November.

Here’s an ad from Aimee Belgard – her 2nd – that draws attention to the differences she sees between the voters she knows best in her own county and Ocean, and MacArthur’s positions. It’s not only that MacArthur is a carpetbagger (that word’s not spoken here). The “otherness” highlighted is far greater, suggesting a “CEO” who can afford to be insulated – and vote wrong on – some of the issues of critical importance to voters, especially to women. Equal pay for equal work. Reproductive choice.

This is Belgard’s second ad. Called “World.” What do you think, Blue Jersey?

CD3: Aimee Belgard’s first TV ad

CD3 Democrat Aimee Belgard is up with her first TV spot. It’s a biographical piece called South Jersey Families. Belgard’s been a BurlCo freeholder only since last year, and despite the fact that the Democratic organizations in both District Three counties have endorsed her, voters in her home county and in Ocean may not know her yet.

Here’s the ad, which hits an anti-Tea Party note. Belgard faces a primary Tuesday against a lesser-known Democrat. But on the Republican side both of the candidates seeking their party’s nomination – Steve Lonegan and Tom MacArthur – are carpetbaggers. Lonegan, perennial candidate and former Bogota mayor is the best-known right wingnut in New Jersey, and the Jersey boy Sarah Palin picked to endorse, and I’d be delighted to run against him if I were Belgard. What do you think, Blue Jersey?

NJ12 & NJ3: A couple of endorsements worth talking about

The absolute duel between CD3 Republicans Steve Lonegan and Tom MacArthur and the less-juvenile primary contest between the CD12 Democrats feed eporters a steady stream of endorsement announcements. Some appeal to one or more ethnic or interest group. Most of them won’t matter even to 4×4 primary voters.

But there are a couple that stand out over the last few hours:

CD3 GOP Primary: Steve Lonegan & Tom MacArthur face off on NJTV (video)

CD3 Republicans Steve Lonegan and Tom MacArthur, carpetbaggers smelling opportunity both, faced off this weekend on NJTV with the sober grownup Michael Aron refereeing. The long knives come out early, with fireworks starting at around minute 12.

They call each other liars. “Callous.” Lonegan accuses his opponent of insurance fraud, and calls him a “liberal.” MacArthur accuses Lonegan of being a terrible landlord, and a loser. A couple of things from Lonegan are especially revolting; his apparent feeling about diversity, and his let-’em-stay-homeless position on Sandy aid that probably don’t go down well down in CD3. As a friend described it, it’s all them but with an extra dose of the crazy.

On the other side, Aimee Belgard looks to breeze through a primary against Howard Kleinhendler. I’ll let you find the GOP websites on your own if you want.

Click to access video.