Tag Archive: Steve Lonegan

What’s Happening Today Fri. 12/06/2013


Attitudes on carbon pollution may be changing: During Sen. Barbara Buono’s campaign for the governorship, the NJ chapter of Americans for Prosperity (whose director for many years was the ill-fated Steve Lonegan) said, “Cap and Trade is dead. Yet this is the very kind of scheme that Senator Buono supports.” Well, good for her! Governor Christie had followed the Republican orthodoxy when he ended NJ’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The NY Times now points out that “More than two dozen of the nation’s biggest corporations, including Walmart, G. E., Microsoft and the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming.” AFT is funded by Koch Industries, a major player in oil refineries, which has spent a lot of money over the years campaigning against those who accept the science of climate change or advocate carbon pricing. If Walmart and Exxon accept cap and trade as inevitable and Christie acknowledges “climate change is real and human activity plays a role,” we might yet succeed in putting a price on carbon pollution and reversing the disastrous path we are are currently following.

Off-shore wind turbine energy projects are one approach: Yesterday Environment New Jersey, Sen. President Steve Sweeney and Sen. Jim Whelan joined to urge Governor Christie and the Board of Public Utilities to get off their rear ends and implement the 2010 law which calls for the establishment of off-shore projects. Environment New Jersey estimates that carbon pollution could be reduced by 825,000 metric tons in 2018 – equivalent to carbon pollution produced by 171,000 cars. In spite of the fact that our southern NJ coast has the high winds needed, other states may well leap ahead us if we do not seize the moment. Yes the investment is not inexpensive, but it could be far more beneficial in the long run that many other State commitments, including those to Revel Casino.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

I had an opportunity to talk with him in 1996 at the XI International AIDS Conference in Vancouver, Canada where the meeting theme was “One World One Hope” – appropriate for people working together in the AIDS epidemic, and not inappropriate for a man who united individuals throughout the world. Already in somewhat fragile health, he displayed dignity, conviction, and concern. With his own nation wracked by the AIDS epidemic he took time to ask about HIV in NJ and what we were doing. I remember to this day the African garb he was wearing, his gentleness, the twinkle in his eyes,  and his warmth.


Governor Christie: goes to Northern Idaho for a fund-raising, VIP reception for Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter this evening.

Enroll America: brings its ACA “Get Covered America” campaign to Elizabeth for a health panel hosted by the National Council of Negro Women, Grassman Hall, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, 655 E. Jersey St, 9:00am – 1:00pm.

To Democrats who Plan to Vote for Christie on Tuesday

The person you vote for is your prerogative. People who always vote strictly on party lines are probably not really thinking things through. Heck, I’m a Democratic committeeperson but have occasionally opted for a Republican either because I really felt that candidate was better than his or her opponent or I wanted to strengthen the two-party system by voting for a sane Republican. Unfortunately, they are a dying breed.

My guess is that you’re voting for Christie for one of two reasons.

Let’s get the first reason out of the way first, because it’s insidious but probably not that pervasive unless you are a Democratic officeholder. You’ve either negotiated a quid pro quo with the Christie campaign or you’re allowing yourself to be bullied so that your municipality doesn’t suffer from the Wrath of Christie. You’re the anti-Buono – not because you don’t like the Democratic candidate, but unlike Buono, you are sacrificing your principles for political gain. To that I say, “shame on you.”

The more likely reason that you’re voting for Christie is that you have fallen for his propaganda – the mythical persona created by his campaign and his staffers, and abetted by the media. In his 1968 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, George Romney said that he was “brainwashed” by the generals on the status of the Viet Nam war. It doomed his campaign, but in 20/20 hindsight, we know that Romney was right.

Today, many Democrats and Independents are being brainwashed by a taxpayer-funded propaganda machine that would make the KGB drool. YouTube videos show Christie triumphantly standing on a reconstructed boardwalk, while blocks away Sandy-damaged homes are littering the shore landscape and their owners are still displaced. Christie campaign material touts a balanced budget, even though every governor in recent history has met that constitutional mandate. What’s not mentioned is that Christie’s accomplishment was done on the backs of public workers, the middle class, and the poor. You’re being fooled into believing that Christie is a moderate Republican because he’s not as crazy as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, but you’re ignoring the fact that Christie is in the pocket of the same Koch Brothers who granted Steve Lonegan his 15 minutes of fame. Repeatedly.

So, my fellow Democrats – take the easy path and don’t do your homework. Vote for Christie because you buy into his myths and that’s the easy thing to do. Let New Jersey slip further back into an economic morass while your taxes are used to provide breaks for the wealthy. And a year from now, enjoy your voter’s remorse as you pass my car on the Turnpike with my bumper sticker that reads, “Don’t blame me – I voted for Buono.”

In the Annals of “Not Getting It” We Give You, Again, STEVE LONEGAN

promoted by Rosi

Heh. Steve Lonegan, missing the point as much as McCain blaming his loss on the economic collapse and Romney on Hurricane Sandy.

“There is no doubt in my mind or in the minds of any of my campaign staff that the shutdown cost me the election,” Lonegan said in an interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger on Monday. “If I had known it was going to happen and that it was going to be handled so badly in Washington, I wouldn’t have run for Senate.”

Here’s the thing, boys. You lost because people preferred the other candidate. You lost because they didn’t like you as much as the other candidate.  You lost because … you got fewer votes.

What’s Happening Today Fri. 10/18/2013

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley returns to NJ today to support Barbara Buono’s campaign. The former head of the Democratic Governor’s Association, no friend of Gov. Christie, will attend two events in Trenton. (See schedule below.)

Tying the knot on Monday: On October 10 the Superior Court denied the State’s motion to delay the October 21 start date for same-sex marriages. That ruling indicated that “those who satisfy the requirements to enter a civil marriage” may marry in NJ on that date, ie., get your application filled in now to to wed on October 21. The Supreme Court is now handlling the case, and as of this morning is mum on the matter. Unless it rules differently the start date will remain Monday. Let the wedding bells ring!

Superior Court Judge Faustino Fernandez-Vina sailed through the Judiciary Committee yesterday as Christie’s most recent nomination to the NJ Supreme Court. The rationale of the Democratic legislators for approving him is that he is replacing the departed Republican Justice Helen Hoens, and his appointment leaves the court with two Democrats, two Republicans and one Independent – a balanced court. Democrats are in no rush to review the other two Christie nominees who would put the Court way out of balance.    

Bergen County Politics: This is the county where Steve Lonegan resides and part of which is in Republican Scott Garrett’s Congressional District. It is also where Democratic power brokers have misused the public trust. Yesterday it went 57% for Cory Booker. In the prior Senate race Sen. Menendez won with 58%, and in the last gubernatorial race Gov. Corzine won with 51%. It remains a Democratic county but often with close races, and Rep. Garrett regularly trounces his Democratic opponents. It’s not the land of of the progressive former Representative Steve Rothman. The  Democratic Committee of Bergen County in the past years has often been ineffective. The County Executive is a Republican, and the membership of the Board of Freeholders jumps back and forth but currently has a majority of Democrats. Republicans are pouring money into LD38 to defeat Sen. Bob Gordon, Assemblyman Tim Eustace, and  Joe Lagana. Also, Gov. Christie has devoted significant time and resources to win the county in the upcoming gubernatorial race, and he might succeed.

Democratic residents of Bergen County: rise up before it’s too late. This November we need a win for Barbara Buono, the LD38 candidates, a new  Sheriff, and three freeholder candidates. Next year we need a Democratic County Executive, a continued majority of freeholders, and the annihilation of Scott Garrett. The time is now to start working to achieve these outcomes.


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 8:45am, Jewish Community Gubernatorial Candidates Forum, Jewish Community Center MetroWest, 760 Northfield Ave., West Orange;  Barbara Buono: 1:45pm, Bob Burns Show, Radio interview, WOND 1400 AM;  Barbara Buono and Milly Silva: 2:30pm, with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Campaign Event, 24 S. Warren St., Trenton;  Barbara Buono and Milly Silva: 3:30pm, with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer, and Trenton Education Association President Naomi Johnson-LaFleur, Campaign Event, NJEA HQ, 180 West State St., Trenton;  Milly Silva: 7:10pm, Paterson Democratic Club 7th Annual Black Tie Affair, The Bethwood, 38 Lackawanna Ave, Totowa;  Milly Silva: 8:00pm, Latinos for Lauren for City Council, Noches de Colombia, 25 Lake Ave., Clifton.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 11:00am, New Jersey Career Fire Chiefs Association, The Westin, Jersey City; 2:00pm, announces a campaign endorsement, Sabor Latino Restaurante, Dover;  5:15pm, inducted into the Livingston High School Hall of Fame, The Wilshire Caterers, West Orange.

Buono Campaign Concerned that Irregularities in Yesterday’s Election will Impact the one in Nov.

In a conference call this morning, Buono campaign chair Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman revealed that some absentee ballots for the November election would not be counted. She said her assertion is based on an advisory issued by the Attorney General’s office.

Apparently, some voters included their November absentee ballot in the return envelopes that were specifically for the October election. According to Watson-Coleman, those ballots will not be counted. She mentioned the possibility of a court action to get this decision reversed.

What’s Happening Today Thu. 10/17/2013

We welcome today our new Senator-elect the Honorable Cory Booker: He won last night with almost all precincts reporting by 55% (713,594 votes) to 44% (579,388 votes.) The turnout appears to be an anemic 24% although all votes, including mail-in ballots, have not been counted. Good riddance to the ugly campaign of Steve Lonegan. And we will not miss place holder and Christie-appointee Senator Jeff Chiesa who on September 30, and on October 1, 8, 9, and 12 voted to impede progress on a Continuing Resolution and on plans to end the debt default crisis. He finally gave up last night and bowed to the inevitable. With his departure and Booker’s arrival there will be 55 Senators who caucus with the Democrats.

After using a government shutdown as a hostage to kill the Affordable Care Act and threatening to place America in default, Republicans surrendered yesterday. S&P estimates the shutdown has resulted in a loss of $24 billion and will reduce this quarter’s economic growth from 3% to 2%. Although 144 Representatives voted against the Senate compromise, all New Jersey congressmen, with the exception of Scott Garrett ( R CD 5), voted to reopen government and allow the U. S. to borrow and pay its debts. Unfortunately all they did was to kick the can down the road to January and February when the same issues will be revisited.  

Christie creating his own Supreme Court and … : Today the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to consider the governor’s nomination of Camden County Superior Court Assignment Judge Faustino Fernández-Vina to be an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Both Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Donald Norcoss (D-5) have stated their support for Judge Fernández-Vina. He is seen as replacing Republican Justice Helen Hoens to whom Christie refused tenure.

On the Supreme Court today there are currently two Democrats (Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and Justice Barry T. Albin), one Republican (Justice Anne M. Patterson) and one Independent (Justice Jaynee LaVecchia). In addition there are three vacancies to which the Chief Justice appoints temporary members. Although initially the new nominee was thought to be a Democrat, it appears he is  a Republican. if he is confirmed there would be 2 Dem’s, 2 Rep’s.  and 1 Ind. – a balanced court. However two other Christie nominees are in waiting and if confirmed would lead to an unbalanced court. Gov. Christie will have put in place four of his nominees, including Patterson. Christie has made clear his desire to reconfigure the court in his image, and he is on the way to doing just that.

…Threatening the court’s independence: Christie is also doing something no prior governor has done: he is refusing to grant tenure to certain justices which can make sitting members without tenure think twice about their vote on political matters such as affordable housing, marriage equality, and education. The respect of our Supreme Court is in jeopardy as are so many issues important to progressives.


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 8:20am, interview, SiriusXM satellite radio’s P.O.T.U.S. Channel 124;  Barbara Buono with Campaign Chair Bonnie Watson Coleman and Democratic State Committee Vice Chair Lizette Delgado-Polanco, 10:00am, a conference call to talk about voting irregularities resulting from Governor Christie’s self-serving special election.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: probably joined by Cory Booker, 2:30pm, a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of Springfield Avenue Marketplace, Newark.

NJ Senate: 12:00 noon, Quorum Call, Statehouse, Trenton.

The Senate Judiciary Committee: 1:30pm, to consider the nomination of Faustino Fernández-Vina to be an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and other nominees to the NJ Educational Facilities Authority, Committee Room 4, Statehouse Annex. Listen live here.

The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee: 1:30pm, hearing on the opioid abuse epidemic, Room 1, Statehouse Annex.

The Senate Higher Education Committee: 10:00am, hearing on the reporting requirements of graduation rates by institutions of higher education, Committee Room 10, Statehouse Annex.

I voted.

Cory Booker & Marsha ShapiroI voted just now. I voted for the guy on the left. There’s an exuberance about this picture that really gets to me. Partly because that’s my friend Marsha Shapiro with Cory, but mostly because of him. It’s Marsha’s name, along with her partner Louise Walpin’s, and Garden State Equality’s, on New Jersey’s marriage equality lawsuit. And Marsha’s beautiful engagement ring – Louise proposed – is big news in my little circle of friends. Hard-won.

Cory Booker and I went, separately, to our first GSE meeting – as invited guests. His support was early, a big deal because he came out of Newark.

I didn’t vote for Cory in the Primary. I voted for my old boss, Rush Holt. Some people I respect are looking past 2013 to next year. One is Bob Braun, who calls Booker “so mysterious he qualifies to be the Manchurian Candidate”. I get it. I’m looking past 2013 too. Booker, assuming he’s elected tonight, has a lot of hoops to jump through for me. And maybe you.  I see both good and bad in him. I think he’s capable of being, right out of the box, a standout leader in a stuffy chamber of 50 100. It will depend where he shines his lights.

There’s a lot I disagree with him about; chief is his approach to education, and his wooing of Wall Street. But when he and my friend Loretta Weinberg stepped into the LGBT Caucus together at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last year, the cheer was enormous. There aren’t that many black elected leaders in that movement. But not just that. This morning, my friend Deborah Jacobs – past ED of ACLU-NJ, now VP for Advocacy at Ms. Foundation – posted her reasons for voting Booker. And, in my little circle of friends, Deborah’s opinion looms large. She lives in Newark; I’ve rarely heard her say much good about her mayor.

But what she says is right. Lonegan’s unacceptable to anybody not carrying a death wish against the country. And Booker has also stepped up for women, in a way most men don’t bother to politically. He supports Barbara Buono even as so many men in her party’s infrastructure undermine her. I’d also add that not many politicians talk about poverty, as he does, though we disagree on strategy.

Deborah perfectly describes the mixed feelings a lot of people have about Booker – but also why today is was right to vote for him. I hope she won’t mind that I post her comments here. They’ve already been shared by a lot of people on Facebook.  

Tonight’s Senate Election

UPDATE: AP calls the race for Cory Booker. And Senator-Elect Booker says Thanks. Cory Booker’s Thank You tweet, posted at 8:38pm, is below in Comments. – Rosi

The polls close tonight at 8:00pm on the U. S. Senate Special Election race, and we should start seeing results shortly thereafter.

In the August Primary with four key contenders Cory Booker won 59% of the Democratic votes, and Lonegan with one unknown challenger won 80% of the Republican votes.

Here are the three most recent poll results from Real Clear Politics: Quinnipiac: Booker +14 (54-40), Monmouth: Booker +10 (52-42), and Rutgers-Eagleton: Booker +22 (58-36). In the 19 polls Booker has always been in the lead with a high of +35 in September and a low of +10 in October.

Take a guess and let us know what you think the final point spread will be for Booker tonight.

Precincts reporting: 6,202 out of 6,330

as of 10:38pm

for further more up-to-date results go here.

CANDIDATES               VOTES          VOTE %

Cory Booker                    706,808         55    

Steve Lonegan                574,164         44      

(There are other candidates none of whom are likely to receive more than a few per cent of the vote and will not be tallied.)

State-wide there are 5,494,230 registered voters for this race. By the end of the count we can calculate the turnout. Some pollsters have predicted 30%.

This an open thread, after a short but contentious race.  

What’s Happening Today Wed. 10/16/2013

JOB 1 TODAY: Vote for Democratic candidate Cory Booker to fill the unexpired term of former Senator Frank Lautenberg through January 2015.

Prevent the hateful, bigoted, arch-conservative Republican candidate Steve Lonegan from becoming our Senator and an embarrassment to New Jersey. (As an added bonus Lonegan has said that if he loses this election he will not run again.) Let Steve “Lose-again” Lonegan go back to work for the Koch brothers whose interests he served in his prior job and during his campaign.

Elect today Cory Booker whose goals and priorities are in tune with those of New Jerseyans and who will carry on in the proud tradition of prior moderate-to-progressive NJ senators. Booker’s skill set (speaking abilities, policy interests, and collegiality) are well suited for the Senate. He immediately (tomorrow) will be immersed in debt limit, shutdown, and sequester issues. To these and other matters he will bring a thoughtful and less doctrinaire approach – one more susceptible to bipartisan collaboration which has not been in the playbook of Republican Congressmen, Steve Lonegan nor the departing place holder Senator Jeff Chiesa. On so many issues – social, economic, military, and foreign affairs – he will uphold the progressive credo.

Buono/Christie debate: Sen. Buono in a heated debate last night pulled no punches. She did herself proud in raising and supporting positions that are important to New Jeresyans. She would make an excellent governor with a set of priorities that would help Garden State residents ignored by our governor. She was up against smooth, articulate, self-confident, Teflon-resistant Chris Christie. Taking on a formidable governor who has  attracted a state and national adoring audience and with little help from elected Democrats and funders has been a daunting task. She still has almost three weeks to reduce Christie’s lead.

This morning: Cory Booker votes at Roberto Clemente Shalom Towers in Newark. Steve Lonegan votes at the Bogota Recreation Center.

This evening: between 8:00 and 11:00pm Cory Booker holds his election party at the NJ Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St, Newark. For more information on the public event, go here. There will be a private reception in another location. Tickets are probably no longer available for an inside event, but NJPAC has a spacious outdoor plaza. If pigs fly Steve Lonegan will celebrate his victory starting at 8:00pm at the Bridgewater Manor, 55 Corporate Drive, Bridgewater.

Tonight: As there is only one contest in this election the voting results should start coming in shortly after the polls close at 8:00pm. There will probably be no need to stay up late to learn the outcome.


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 9:00am, votes at Mildred B. Moss School, 16 Simpson Pl., Metuchen;  Milly Silva: 12:30pm, Tenth Annual Latino Education Conference, Robert Treat Hotel, 50 Park Pl., Newark;  Milly Silva: 6:00pm, Meeting with USWU Local 755, One Bergen Plaza, Hackensack;  Barbara Buono and Milly Silva: 8:00pm, Booker for Senate Election Night, NJPAC, Victoria Theater, 1 Center St., Newark.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign:  Chris Christie: 10:00am, votes, he said last night, for Steve Lonegan in Mendham; 10:30am, Bayer HealthCare headquarters grand opening ceremony, Whippany;  3:30pm, Rutgers-Camden campus, ceremonial groundbreaking for its Nursing & Science Building.

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