Thank God redistricting comes only once a decade because it wasn’t exactly pretty to watch. But when the votes were cast, the Democratic map prevailed. Other than 10 year’s worth of hospitable terrain, what’s it all mean?
Tag Archive: DSC
Of all the things today’s map revealed, I personally was most curious about how the reshuffling would effect our friend, Jeff Gardner. Press play if you share my curiosity.
No one was more critical of this process (or of Dem Chairman John Wizniewski’s role in the process) than many readers of this blog, self-included. So imagine my delight when the map was revealed. The biggest victims of the day were Governor Christie and Assemblyman Jay Webber who invested heaps of political capital only to emerge vanquished at the hands of Chairman Wisniewski.
Those are Cadbury eggs in the picture. It’s a metaphor for the egg on my face. Wiz accepted it with grace and humor because he knows he needs his base (ie: us) excited and united in November. I know I will be.
That said, I like to think all the agitating here at BlueJersey in some way contributed to the calculus that resulted in today’s (mostly) good outcome.
As I’m writing this, Gov. Chris Christie is at the front of a full crowd at conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute, giving what is being called a major speech certain to raise expectations about Christie as a 2012 presidential candidate. He wasn’t at last weekend’s CPAC conference but he did just come in 3rd in their presidential straw poll (at a whopping 6% behind zero-chance Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. Christie’s not running for President in 2012, but he sure-enough likes to be begged to come to the dance, so he can demur in that manly way he has.
I’ll run video of the speech as soon as I get it. Embed code for live streaming wasn’t available. But we do know – hat/tip to alert Blue Jerseyan DSWright that when Christie claimed a few minutes ago that he never worked in Trenton before he was governor, he was full of it. As DSWright points out, Christie was a registered statehouse lobbyist before he was governor and his claims that he was anything else than a Trenton insider are bullshit.
So, what else is Christie avoiding? Boil down his speech today and what you get is yet another Christie victory lap before an adoring audience of wet-dream Republicans who want all the juicy details of how he won his war with New Jersey teachers and their union. This is Christie, egoist, talking about his scores for an audience eager for a how-to. But while Christie gets his chance to strut (yet again, and increasingly out-of-Jersey) for the anti-union crowd, what he’s not talking about is what most of his constituents are worried about – jobs, the work that New Jersey’s economy and its family security depends on. New Jersey lost 16,300 jobs in December; nationwide, the labor force gained 103,000 jobs. You can trace the slight drop in NJ unemployment rate to the fact that 3,700 workers just dropped right out of the labor force. Christie’s much-vaunted reform agenda doesn’t include job creation, and the governor is still silent on the package of bills passed by the legislature meant to stimulate economy and create jobs for New Jerseyans.
While Christie was going on about his glory days, the NJ Dems put out a video, to that point:
Chris Christie will find this, from the communications shop at NJDSC, an inconvenient video. Particularly if you post it to your own facebook, Twitter and other places where you can help remind people that words have consequences beyond getting a media-savvy governor on teevee, and on stages in Republican strongholds across the country in front of adoring audiences.
Easy to bluster. Easy to strut. Easy to talk tough. Much harder when those words cycle back at you. Just like your mama told you in 4th grade – actions speak louder than words. From the NJ Democrats:
The State parties have filed their reports and the Democrats are in far better shape than the Republicans:
The RSC raised $50,753, spent $53,898 and ended March with $18,052 in the bank. Factoring in its debts, the party actually began April in a $118,297 hole. (For comparison purposes, the Democratic State Committee raised $720,757, spent $306,331, had $436,902 on hand and a net worth of $314,965.)
Of the $50,753 raised, $14,415 came in small donations of $300 or less that don?t have to be itemized in the campaign reports filed with the state. Another $36,300 was in larger donations ? and all but $3,300 of that was actually just redirected money contributed up the chain by Republican state lawmakers from their own campaign accounts. And $1,300 of that $3,300 came from either a former GOP lawmaker or a former GOP county chairman.
The Republican state committee is almost $120 grand in the hole. Money will be at a premium with the Governor’s race at the top of the ballot, the whole Assembly up and county/local races seeking funding as well. The Republicans already aren’t paying their staff and that hole will be difficult for them to dig out of. This is nothing more than a snapshot in time at where things stand now and doesn’t guarantee anything come election day, but it’s not a pretty picture for the NJ elephants.
Blue Jersey’s inside sources at the convention in Denver are reporting that a motion was just made and unanimously carried by voice vote to pledge New Jersey’s delegates to Senator Barack Obama by acclamation, without the need for a roll call vote. Among those speaking in favor of the motion were Rep. Frank Pallone and labor leader Donald Norcross.
Upon passage, the enthusiastic Jersey crowd gave the motion a standing ovation. The mood of the room was summed up by Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts, who remarked that Garden Staters are going to make it clear that “no matter where we were in the primary, we are coming together for victory.”
I think that makes the score Unity – 127, PUMAs – 0.
Updated. Acclimation / Acclamation… Whatever. I was in a rush to beat Friedman. LOL!
In a week and a day it’ll all be over and we can get on with it. But until then, there’s still primary to be won here in New Jersey.
Since we do not have a winner-take-all system here in the Garden State, there will be spoils for the second (and possibly third) place finish in next Tuesday’s election.
In other words, it’s anyone’s ballgame.
In a letter issued this afternoon to county clerks, Democratic State Committee attorney William Northgrave reversed the previous undemocratic and possibly illegal request that certain candidates receive preferential ballot placement and asked county clerks that the process for listing presidential candidates on the Democratic primary ballot be by “open draw.” The letter reads:
The New Jersey Democratic Committee (“State Committee”) has been contacted by the major presidential campaigns to request that, instead of the process for ballot draws outlined in my letter on December 17, 2007, that the State Committee request that an open draw be conducted among all Democratic Presidential Primary candidates. Accordingly, the State Committee is hereby respectfully requesting that each County Clerk conduct an open draw among all candidates for placement on the ballot. The choice among the presidential primary candidates and their respective delegate slates should still be made through a use of a single “button”.
Update [Juan]: Mercer County Democratic Chair Rich McClellan tells Blue Jersey: “Just for clarification purposes, as Mercer County Chair, I will be making no request for preferential treatment of any single candidate on the Mercer County Democratic ballot even though I have personally declared my support for the Clinton candidacy.” It’s expected that a random drawing will determine placement on the ballot.
Update 2 [Juan]: I’m not a lawyer, but this seems to be pretty clearly illegal. On May 5, 2005 a mid-level state court ruled in Schundler v Donovan that for primary ballots, all candidates should be given an equal shot to win a lottery for the best ballot position and that the state should use a method that “requires all the candidates to begin from the same position.”
Update 3 [Juan]: Thurman Hart at NJ Voices:
In direct conflict of DNC rules, the State Committee is trying to ensure that Hillary Clinton gets to head up the majority of ballots in New Jersey for the Democratic primary. In an effort to cut off protests from the Obama camp, someone stayed up late at night dreaming up a rule that would give Obama a few ballot-top positions as well.
Update 4 [Juan]: A statement from Mark Alexander of the Obama campaign:
“The Obama campaign urges all County Clerks to conduct a fair and even-handed draw to determine ballot placement for the presidential candidates in New Jersey’s February 5 primary. Our campaign is dedicated to empowering people in our country-the power belongs to the people, and not to the elite few. Every aspect of our democratic process should respect the people and must flow from principles of equality. We hope that County Clerks will follow an impartial process for ballot construction that respects these principles of equality.”
Update 5 (last one) [Juan]: The DSC is now requesting that ballot placement be by “open draw”.
Last year, the Democratic National Committee put together a little something called “Delegate Selection Rules” for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, to ensure a fair and equitable process nationwide. Among the more obvious requirements is Rule 17-B:
Any individual or group of Democrats may sponsor or endorse a slate of candidates for convention delegates. But no slate may, by virtue of such endorsement, receive a preferential place on a delegate selection ballot or be publicly identified on the ballot as the official Democratic Party organization slate….
Obvious? Not in New Jersey.
Here in the Garden State, our Democratic State Committee’s attorney has submitted a letter (right) to the AG’s office requesting that ballots statewide not only place the county Chairs’ choice first, but in those counties where no endorsement has been made, to hold a two-step process to determine ballot position:
1- a drawing between only Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to see which of their delegates will receive the first position, and which will be second, and
2- a second drawing among all the rest to see whose delegates will be placed in the remaining positions, third and below.
Some county Chairs are even interpreting the DSC proposal to mean that the Clinton and Obama delegates will automatically be entitled to the first two ballot positions in every county.
Absurd? Yes. Legal? Almost certainly not. Fair? Absolutely not.
Putting aside the question of whether county Chairs should ever have the power to unilaterally decide ballot position (they shouldn’t) or to have their official endorsement appear on the ballot (most states have outlawed this practice), the really undemocratic part of the DSC’s proposed plan is the elevation of Clinton and Obama to preferred ballot status statewide.
That plan clearly violates both the letter and spirit of the DNC’s delegate selection plan, and puts our state’s delegation at risk of disqualification.
And that wouldn’t be democratic at all.