Tag Archive: house of representatives

Van Hollen’s Effect on New Jersey House Races

Via Political Wire:

Pelosi Taps Van Hollen for DCCC

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will tap Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) to “chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2008 campaign cycle,” reports Roll Call.

“While Van Hollen was seen as a favorite in the race to replace outgoing Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), who said he would not serve another term, the Maryland lawmaker is not viewed as a Pelosi loyalist.”

So, what effect will this have on NJ races? Will Mid-Atlantic Van Hollen show more interest in New Jersey races than Emmanuel did?

’08 Will Be Tougher For NJ House Republicans

In two years, Blue State Republicans will be talking about the cakewalk environment that was 2006.

First, Tom Schaller writes in this month’s The American Prospect:

[President Bush’s] cowboy foreign policy, coupled with “big-government conservative” spending and governmental intrusions from the start of life (stem cells) to the end (Terry Schiavo), may have appealed to his southern base. The rest of the country, however, wasn’t buying it. This November, since they could only vent their anger about the war in Iraq and the direction of the country on the nearest Republican, the non-Southerners voted out their own. The great irony of … 2006 is that those largely Southern conservatives who were leading the Republican Party’s downfall will survive to legislate another day, while many reluctant Rust Belt Republicans became unwitting victims….

And this piece of an editorial from Friday’s NY Times:

G.O.P. leaders are preparing to walk away from their most basic constitutional responsibility – passing a budget. Instead of finishing work on government spending bills needed for the next year, they’re reported to be planning nothing more than a cut-and-paste, short-term continuing resolution. That will allow them to run out early from their lame-duck session, leaving the mess to the incoming Democrats in January.

Stopgap resolutions create a budget autopilot that does not allow for shifting conditions and costs in education, housing and other major agencies. Administrators warn that it will cause cuts in school breakfasts and shelter for the poor. There is no need for this angst except that Republican strategists plotting a comeback clearly want to pour sand into the Democrats’ agenda even before they take the gavel.

The entire New Jersey delegation of House Republicans should think about what Schaller is saying and what their colleagues are doing.

At times, Republicans like Rep. LoBiondo can be appreciated. He stood up to President Bush and the House Republicans when they repealed prevailing wages and worker protections after Hurricane Katrina. But his efforts took effect almost two months too late. Nevermind the fact that a Democratic Congress would have never let the repeal happen in the first place.

You and others were lousy at bringing your party back from the brink while you were in the majority. Think about what will happen if you are just as ineffective in the minority — if you stand by while your leaders engage in petty antics to make governing the country even harder after the mess you made? People won’t find your ‘moderate’ brand of Republicanism refreshing — they will find it enabling.

If we can only expect more news like this, then call your friends on K Street, because you’re soon to be out of a job.

House Leadership Races & NJ

On Thursday, the House Democrats will caucus to select leadership. While Pelosi is a shoo-in for Speaker, the battle for Leader is heating up. It’s between current minority whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania. Today, Pelosi came out in support of Murtha. How will New Jersey’s members vote? Help us keep tab in the comments.

UPDATE:

For Hoyer: Frank Pallone (NJ-6), Albio Sires (NJ-13)
For Murtha: Bill Pascrell (NJ-8)

90 Percent (!)

This is a statistic that no one should miss.

If you’ve been volunteering your time to contact voters this cycle, you’ve definitely heard people complain about the negative tone of political advertisements.

I know what I’m saying from now on.

“Sir, the Republicans’ campaign committee has devoted 90 percent of their money to bombarding you with negative ads. An astonishing 90 percent — it’s a documented fact coming straight from their mouths. Sir, if you would like to see a change in our government, and if you would like to see candidates run on issues and not smears, then you should be supporting our Democratic candidates. I sure am.”

City Belt’s Meet the Candidates: Carol Gay

Today at City Belt we roll out a new feature for this election season: Meet the Candidates. The reasoning is this — we’re never quite satisfied by the “On the Issues” section of a candidate’s Web site, we find the language elusive, and, more often, we find that certain issues we care about are not addressed.

So we’ve sent our own questionnaire to all of the candidates in the races that are at least semi-competitive. Carol Gay was the first to step to the plate and provide us with her views on health care, Hurricane Katrina, immigration, Homeland Security, and of course, the Iraq War.

But we also need your help, Blue Jersey. It’s a simple two-page questionnaire, and a candidate for office should be able to answer all of the questions fairly easily. But it seems that certain campaigns aren’t interested in giving City Belt the time of day.

If you really want independent media and diverse voices in NJ, you’ve got to support it. Contacting the campaigns listed at the bottom of the story is Step Number One — please take a few minutes and help everyone gain a better understanding of this fall’s candidates.