Tag Archive: Tom MacArthur

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?

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.

CD 3: The Brave New World of Independent Political Funding

Political strategies are becoming more convoluted and confusing. A liberal-leaning independent funder, Patriot Majority USA, rather than spending funds in the CD 03 House of Representatives race to support Democrat Aimee Belgard has in late May paid about $104,000 in direct mail and TV and on-line advertising to oppose her leading Republican opponent the wealthy Tom MacArthur. In earlier years such funding would have gone directly to Belgard’s campaign and she would have decided how to spend it. Today outside operators (some less independent than others) make key decisions.  

It is an interesting gambit. Conceivably this opposition could so damage MacArthur that the other key candidate, the ubiquitous Steve Lonegan, would win the Republican primary, and because of his more extreme conservative views be easier for Aimee Belgard to beat in the General Election. With county Republican party machine support and a $2,000,000 loan from and to MacArthur his loss is difficult to accomplish. The more likely impact might be to weaken MacArthur in the eyes of voters so that Belgard’s chances of winning the General Election are better. (MacArthur, with his warchest and with outside funders, could also soon up an opposition ante.)

Aimee Belgard has amassed $474,502 in contributions through May 14, whereas her weaker Democratic opponent Howard Kleinhendler has raised $54,991. The need to damage a Republican opponent in this Primary takes precedence (according to the outside funder) as Belgard seems positioned to win her own Primay.

Opposition funding in the long run is no guarantor of election victory. Aimee Belgard will need to continue strengthening her campaign staff, hone her message, increase volunteers and raise more money for her candidacy. Her election could bring us another Democratic voice, one or probably two women representing us, and a majority Democrat delegation in Washington. Her election is achievable but not certain in this district which has swung both Republican and Democrat in recent elections.  

Republican Civil War Gives Belgard A Chance

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After the Third Congressional District was redesigned to favor Republicans it seemed like the seat was out of reach for Democrats. The removal of Cherry Hill, a major Democratic power base in the region, from the district appeared like a lethal blow to any hope of retaking the seat. Throw in this year being a midterm election and a bad situation only gets worse.

But that was before we all got to see the candidates the Republican Party is putting up. With Congressman Jon Runyan retiring Republican opportunists from across the state have thrown their hat into the ring with the two remaining contenders – Tom MacArthur and Steve Lonegan – both being carpetbaggers with no roots in the district. Both are also wildly unqualified for the office.

Drill, Baby, Drill

No one likes going to the dentist. But it’s smart to get periodic dental checkups and taking care of any problems. It’s something we pay for, maybe grudgingly, but most people do it.

No one enjoys paying taxes either. But most Democrats, at least, understand that, like dental checkups, paying taxes is necessary to maintain a decent quality of life.

That’s why I will never vote for candidates whose platform is simply based on reducing taxes, especially if they refuse to provide a definitive list of services that they will cut and the impact of those cuts. Among the many candidates who pursue this nonsensical approach are the two GOP candidates for Congress in New Jersey’s Third District, Steve Lonegan and Tom MacArthur.

Happy Birthday, Aimee Belgard

Today is a milestone for Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard – her 40th birthday. So how is she celebrating? The way she always does – working hard for causes that she believes in. Today, she’s  drumming up support for her congressional run. But on any other day, she might be advocating for cancer research as a volunteer leader in the American Cancer Society or working for clean water here in Burlington County in her job as Freeholder.

The first time I met Belgard was on election night 2010. It was a sad night for the people of New Jersey’s Third Congressional District as our freshman Congressman John Adler, a fiercely smart and compassionate fixture in South Jersey politics, lost to Michigan native and former NFL football player Jon Runyan in what amounted to a popularity contest rather than an election of the most qualified person to fill the seat.

The next year, Belgard, an Edgewater Park Council member, took on a difficult challenge. She decided to run for the county freeholder board – a body that has been dominated by Republicans for decades. Election night that year was bittersweet. Although we re-elected Herb Conaway and gave Troy Singleton his first elective victory for the General Assembly, and although Aimee made the freeholder race the closest one in recent memory for a Democrat, she came up short.