Tag Archive: Rep. Frank Pallone

News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Am subbing today for Rosi who is unable to provide your usual dose of roundup.

UPDATE: two items recommended by Rosi:

  • US News: Oil Baron of the Pine Barrens: Chris Christie campaigned for governor as a moderate who backed clean energy. After a meeting with David Koch, that changed.
  • Braun: Parents just don’t get social media, chief NJ testing officer says.

    Today

  • Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot in Arizona, will join a roundtable discussion with Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Bergen) and others about “the need for laws that protect women and families from gun violence.” –  Statehouse at 12 noon

  • Assembly Budget Committee hears public testimony on Gov. Chris Christie’s budget proposal, 9:30 a.m. at Passaic County Community College in Paterson.

  • The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management holds a meeting on the proposal for seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean in search of oil, 3 p.m. at the Sheraton Atlantic City. Environmental groups hold a related rally there at 4 p.m.  
  • It’s All About The Governor

     

    By appointing a friend as placeholder to occupy the vacant U. S. Senate seat until October and decreeing that there would be a senatorial primary in August and an election in October, our governor did a masterful job of undermining potential Republican candidates and giving a boost to Democrats. Although the Senate seat has been in the hands of Democrats since 1979 and never was very winnable for Republicans, Christie was all too happy to sacrifice the seat in order to increase his election results in November. He could have appointed someone to hold the seat until late 2014 which would have given the person he chose time to learn the job and launch a campaign. Such an approach would probably have led to a court battle, but if successful it would also have given other Republican candidates time to raise money, increase name recognition and launch a campaign. He could also have saved the state money by holding the election in November, but ultimately he showed us it was all about the governor and the benefits he sought.

    He proceeded to order a senatorial primary in August and to require candidates to produce 1,000 petitions and file by this coming Monday. Republican candidates who did not anticipate an election until next year have been caught flat-footed. The last two Republican candidates for the U. S. Senate were State Senators running in an off year. Potential Republican candidates like Sen. John Bramnick (who will not run) and others have their own November campaign to manage. Running two campaigns simultaneously is a nightmare. In last year’s senatorial race incumbent U. S.Senator Robert Menendez raised $12 million and State Senator Joe Kyrillos raised $4.6 million. Unless a Republican candidate with millions to self-finance were to pop out of the woodwork (businessman Joe Plumeri?), there is no candidate who has anywhere near that size war chest now nor the likelihood of raising big bucks in just a few months.

    So far the only announced Republican candidate is conservative Steve Lonegan. Until he resigned a few days ago he was State Director of Americans for Prosperity – a supporter of the Tea Party and financed by the Koch brothers. When he ran in the 2009 primary he did not do badly – tallying 140,946 votes versus Chris Christie who got 184,085 votes. In that primary Democrat Jon Corzine received 154,448 votes. Lonegan will be appealing to the far right, but also far from the mainstream New Jersey voter.

    Fortunately there are a number of Democrats are who are strong candidates for the Senate. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who polls the best, but has not yet formally announced his candidacy, has made no secret of his interest in the job and is well financed.  Rep. Frank Pallone (CD 6), also with a large war chest, has long been interested in the position but has not yet announced his candidacy. The highly respected Rep. Rush Holt (CD 12) has formally entered the ring. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, who is weighing her options, would bring a strong, competent woman into the mix.

    So in the end it’s all about Christie. He chose to use his gubernatorial power to help himself against his opponent Sen. Barbara Buono. In the process he sacrificed any chance for a Republican Senatorial win and left potential Republican colleagues out to dry and twist slowly in the wind, with plenty of opportunities for Democrats. The final roster of candidates will be known by Monday so stay tuned.  

    New Jerseyans on President Obama

    Thoughts on President Obama, his inauguration speech, and his second term:

  •  Tyrone Powell, a 65-year-old Paterson accountant: “Obama needs to be true to his convictions.  I feel the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King got from God to help the poor – he enacted part one and passed it down to Barack.”

  •  U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-CD 6): There will be a measure of inspiration in the president’s speech Monday, but the focus for New Jersey and for the country will be on creating jobs and continuing to nourish economic recovery.”

  •  Rutgers History Professor Clement Price: “The speech and the second term should be about overcoming Washington gridlock. He has not shown the kind of political skill that we saw with Bill Clinton and much earlier with Lyndon Johnson. His second term should not be driven by excitement. It should be driven by a work ethic.”

  •  Camden Mayor Dana Redd: “My number one issue is public safety.”

  • U. S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-CD 7): “It is a celebration of our democracy.”

  •  Newark Mayor Cory Booker: “We live in a tough environment right now. Obama has already shown his ability to forge his way forward. This time it’s just about continuing the work.”

  •  Nick Ragone, author: “Our broken politics, for starters, is in desperate need of healing, while long-term entitlement obligations threaten our future like the sword of Damocles. A road map to fixing either would be a great place to start.

  •  Patricia Johnson, a West Orange healthcare worker: “Getting people back to work.”

  •  Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37): “We watch Barack Obama assume his second term, and we remember the horrors that guns in the wrong hands have caused taking the lives of President John F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.”

    Open thread:  Add your thoughts.