Tag Archive: Bonnie Watson Coleman

What criteria should be used to choose the Lt. Gov?

I’d like to start off the week with a question. There has been talk about names and possible running mates for Governor Corzine.  If you take away the names, I wonder what people think are the most important qualities in the potential candidate?

Should the Governor make his decision by adding diversity to the ticket choosing a woman or minority running mate? Should he forget any of those factors and make a decision based on who will get him the most votes given his current position in the polls and the makings of a difficult campaign? Should he look for someone with policy expertise to sure up any perceived weaknesses in his campaign? Should he consider geography in making the decision? Do you think there is a candidate that encompasses any or all of these qualities?

From reports, the Corzine campaign believed that Cory Booker filled the bill, but he has rebuffed repeated overtures. I would argue that choosing someone based on policy expertise doesn’t matter if they don’t get enough votes to implement the policies.  Now if you can tell me there is someone that brings votes with that expertise, I’m open to hearing it, but I don’t really see it.  

Senator Weinberg endorsed the idea of Buono, Sweeney and Watson Coleman.  Sweeney wouldn’t qualify as a woman or minority, but definitely falls under regional considerations.  I don’t think Sweeney would want it and don’t think the Governor is going in that direction, but the name is out there. Ron Rice wants a minority candidate to be the choice, but given that Cory Booker said now, you wonder whether he can say I offered and it was turned down. Former Party Chair wants Bonnie Watson Coleman to be the choice, saying she has the issues, leadership, and would help with the urban base.

Ultimately, I think the choice will either be Barbara Buono or Bonnie Watson Coleman.  I think the calculation is that the race will be about the Governor and his policies, regardless of who the running mate is. I wonder not only who you think it will be, but why you think they should be chosen.

AARP Tele-Town Hall with Legislative Leaders

Speaker Roberts and Majority Leader Watson Coleman held a Tele-town hall meeting with members of NJ AARP:  

During the hour-long question and answer session, the legislative leaders discussed, among other things, Assembly efforts to combat the global economic crisis, including increasing income limits for the Senior Freeze property tax relief program, boosting funding to help households pay utility bills and combating home foreclosures.

The video release they put out is below. The use of technology to encourage more participation from the membership around the state is good to see.

Cell Phones for Soliders stolen in Legislative office burglary

What is wrong with some people:

The Trenton legislative offices of state Assembly members Bonnie Watson Coleman and Reed Gusciora were ransacked over the weekend and the burglars took more than 40 donated cell phones destined for U.S. soldiers serving overseas to call home, police and office workers said.

When Gusciora’s staff arrived for work yesterday morning, they found that the 226 W. State St. office for the 15th District representatives had been ransacked with file abinets ripped open and turned inside out.

Police are currently investigating because the alarm didn’t go off.  Assemblywoman Watson Coleman offered this take:

“It’s all a mystery right now,” she said. “I don’t know what they expected to get out of a state office. They haven’t heard that we’re broke?”

I guess the burglars didn’t get the message. It’s a shame because the office can be cleaned up, but the soldiers are the ones who won’t be able to make phone calls home because of someone’s greed. This would have been the office’s 2nd shipment of cell phones. If you have extra cell phones, you cold probably contact their Legislative office or go directly to www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com

Clinton Building NJ Firewall?

The Clinton campaign just sent out a statement from Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman commenting on Clinton’s performance in tonight’s New Hampshire debate. Something is different because I’ve never received a statement like this after a debate before. They have an efficient, targeted communications team, but it’s strange that they would send New Jersey media a statement about a New Hampshire debate. Maybe they’re worried about New Jersey? I don’t know.

The statement itself is pretty awkward:

“During tonight’s debate, Hillary proved once again that she is an agent of change, and has the experience and leadership to make change happen. From day one in the White House, Hillary will begin rebuilding the middle class, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and rebuilding our economy. In serious times, Hillary’s experience and tested leadership is what we need to move our country forward.”

It seems like the Clinton campaign strategy is to shoehorn “experience and leadership” into the message that’s resonated so far: “change.” Maybe now that we’re a month out from the election here the Clinton campaign is ramping up their media outreach, but something about this seems off to me.

Be There Thursday at 9 am

Tomorrow morning, the Assembly Judiciary Committee will begin hearings on a mistake-riddled civil unions bill. The usual civil union is  inferior to a marriage, but this bill goes even farther to insult same-sex couples.

But wait!  It gets way worse from there:  When the bill doesn’t refer to “civil union partner,” it uses the hyper-romantic term “a party to a civil union.”

Who in the real world is going to understand and respect, “Hello, I’d like you to meet my party to a civil union?  We’ve been partying together 10 years.”

They could bypass the creation of a separate institution by simply letting all couples marry.

At 9 am tomorrow, we will meet in front of Garden State Equality’s Trenton headquarters at 110 W State Street to show our legislators we want equality. We will show those who stand up for what is right that we have their backs. And we will show others — others who we’ve worked hard to support — that their political posturing while families are jeopardized makes us question supporting them in the future.

I’m in. (Also, continental breakfast? Coffee? I’m definitely in) Let us know in the comments if you can or can’t make it.

Bonnie Watson Coleman favors marriage-equality legislation

It’s official: Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman – previously reported as supporting civil unions – is telling her constituents that she favors marriage-equality legislation.

This is big. It doesn’t change everything – but it’s big. Not only is Bonnie Watson Coleman among the highest ranking members of the Assembly, she is also very well-liked in Trenton following her four years of service as Chair of the Democratic State Committee, a period notable for her undefeated record in statewide and legislative elections. She knows what matters, she knows what wins, and she knows there’s nothing to fear when doing what’s right.

Plus – it shows that reports of legislators stuck on civil unions can’t always be taken as the last word. 

The question remains – if enough legislators stand up for marriage – will the leadership let a vote happen?

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, September 26

  • Right after stepping down as chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee amid a scandal about a sham part-time job, State Senator Wayne Bryant was praised in Camden yesterday as ground was broken for a new Law School building for Rutgers. Bryant helped the school receive $11 million in state funding; he also had a part-time job there as an adjunct professor.
  • Republicans in the legislature demanded a special session on ethics reform, while the one on property taxes is still in session. Assembly Republicans issued an 11-point ethics reform package of bills, while Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman observed that “it is the height of absurdity for Assembly Republicans to point fingers on ethics reform.”
  • The Real Estate bubble is bursting, with new data released yesterday. Both home prices and home sales fell in the last year, for the first time in eleven years.
  • The Senate unanimously confirmed Stuart Rabner as the new Attorney General.
  • Newton has backed down from their proposed bill to punish landlords and businesses for involvement with illegal immigrants. A similar plan in Riverside has drawn sharp criticism and a big ol’ lawsuit filed by The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders.
  • Franklin Twp. (Gloucester County) has become a Democrat-controlled town, as deputy mayor Peter Scapellato has changed parties.
  • The earth is getting warmer! How about that? Who woulda thunk it?
  • Thousands of soldiers in the U.S. Army will have their combat tours extended.
  • Lt. Ashley Henderson Huff was killed in a suicide bomber attack in Iraq. She graduated from Montgomery High School. Lt. Huff had been married for just over a year, and was due to come home in six weeks. She becomes the first woman from New Jersey to be killed in this war.

Open Thread: What’s on your mind today, Blue Jersey?

5/7/06 News Roundup

  • Governor Corzine is going to be facing some tough opposition while he tries to create the post of state controller. Both Senate President Richard Codey and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman don’t see any need for this new statewide elected office.
  • EZ-Pass users this month, while opening their statements also received offers for Geico car insurance and Citibank credit cards. This touched a nerve with chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee, Assemblyman Neil Cohen, saying that he doesn’t like the impression it gives that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority supports these companies over others.
  • John Ginty, uber-conservative opposition to Tom Kean jr , recognizes that it’s an uphill battle to win the republican nomination for U.S. Senate. This is forcing state Republican Party officials to run damage control on the belief that Junior isn’t “Republican” enough.
  • As the deadline for passing a budget nears, Governor Corzine’s honeymoon is over. Legislators on both sides  promised to cooperate, but several missteps including supporting the idea to switch to self-serve gas and cap speed limits at 55 mph have left Corzine in the dust.
  • House Replacements

    Soft Warning: This is only sortof another story related to Jon Corzine’s decision on who will take his place in the US Senate.

    When the good Governor-Elect does make his decision (and he will soon), and if he chooses a congressman (which remains the most likely scenario), NJ will very suddenly have an open house seat – in a decidedly democratic congressional district.

    So, why isn’t anyone talking about Congresswoman Barbara Buono or Congresswoman Watson-Coleman or Congressman Steve Fulop or ….?