Tag Archive: NJ-11

The Unsung Candidates

So, with redistricting behind us, we’re headed toward Election Day with a 6-6 House delegation of incumbents seeking reelection. That means we have 6 chances to increase the democratic majority in our delegation. Sure, some of these chances are better than others. But Presidential years are funny – you might remember we picked up a seat in 2008.

With polls showing both President Obama and Senator Menendez potentially posting gaudy margins of victory here, there should be cause for optimism. And, more importantly, there is good reason to support our democratic congressional challengers in every District. (You remember the 50-State-Strategy, don’t you?)

You’ll hear from others (and I’ll write separately) about the two challengers given the best chance to win this year – NJ-3’s Shelley Adler and NJ-7’s Upendra Chivukula. And, wow, I hope they do!

But, today, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the four other democratic candidates who are doing their part to bring the 50-state-strategy to life. When they campaign against their opponents, they keep them and their money in-district, and by extension, help democratic candidates everywhere. Win or lose, they deserve some appreciation (and some help):

In NJ-2: Cassandra Shober faces the same headwinds other challengers here have faced: an incumbent with an overrated record on labor, and a conventional wisdom that a democrat can’t win. But, the reality is that this is a district democrats can win and Obama may win, and hardly the worst place to be running for Congress in a Presidential year. Add in that Cassandra has a great background and a core of hardworking grassroots supporters, and who knows – surprises can happen.

In NJ-4: Brian Froelich has perhaps the toughest assignment, going against an incumbent whose radical anti-choice stance never seems to dent his personal popularity. But, could this year’s odd national focus on abortion rights finally shine the spotlight on a Congressman whose positions are more in line with Akin and Mourdock than NJ suburban voters? When the incumbent was first elected 32 years ago, he was given little chance to win. Surprises have happened.

In NJ-5: Adam Gussen has gotten beaten up here and elsewhere for raising too little money to compete against Scott Garrett. And, some of that is deserved. But, I know Adam is campaigning hard, he’s got a compelling story to tell about himself, and about the winnability of this race. And, let’s face it, someone like Garrett deserves to be challenged as fiercely as possible. I really want a surprise to happen.

In NJ-11: John Arvanites has waged a surprisingly aggressive campaign in a district that was radically redrawn as a result of redistricting. The Morris County Democrats who’ve suffered mostly alone under the generations of the incumbent and his family holding this seat have welcomed the addition of large swaths of Essex and Passaic County to help flip this one. Still the underdog, the final outcome of this race may be the hardest to predict. Supporters hope a surprise does happen.

And that’s the rub – New Jersey’s Congressional elections have become extraordinarily predictable. We need to create some surprises.

Remembering a Progressive hero: Frank Herbert’s story

promoted by Rosi

Yesterday I had the pleasure of catching up with one of the best public servants New Jersey has ever produced.

He is not well-known even in Democratic circles, let alone the state of New Jersey, and he last served in public office when Leonid Brezhnev was Premier of the USSR.

Frank Herbert, however is definitely not someone to forget, particularly if you’re a New Jersey Democrat or – even more so – a progressive.

You see, Frank Herbert did 2 things that New Jerseyans and progressives should forever be grateful for:

1) He pushed for and got the Legislature to pass the law that created New Jersey Transit, a system that provides business and social lifelines for hundreds of thousands of our residents.

2) He is the only candidate in New Jersey history to win a Federal election as a write-in candidate. In doing so, he saved the Democratic Party from nominating a Holocaust-denying, KKK-loving extremist.

His story is in the extended section below.  

NJ-11: “Get America Working Today”

Doug Herbert, the Army vet and attorney who is challenging 8-term incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen in NJ-11,

Among Herbert’s endorsements are NJ State Building & Construction Trades Council, NJEA, and Sparta Unites for Our Schools, which points out that Herbert would have supported the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, which Frelinghuysen voted against, that is now returning 3,900 teachers to New Jersey’s classrooms – including 4 teachers whose jobs returned to Sparta, a school librarian, and teachers in art, music and gym. This is Herbert’s first ad, now running on local cable. It deals with jobs, too, but from a different angle.

Blue Jersey, what do you think?

Debate Time!

Yesterday, Sunday, October 17th a debate was finally held.  The Debate was held at WMTR Studio in Morristown.  The people debating were Douglas Herbert, eight-term incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen, and Libertarian Jim Gawron.  What were they debating you might ask, they were debating on issues facing America and the people in the 11th district.  One of the opening comments in the debate was said by Doug Herbert, he said: “The people of this district deserve a representative who is going to go down to Washington and fight on their behalf.” Frelinghuysen commented back by attacking Washington incumbents and Nancy Pelosi, in response, Doug said, “I would like to remind the Congressman that he is running against Jim and I. This election is about Rodney Frelinghuysen and his failed record.”  Frelinghuysen just attacked Washington incumbents…he is an EIGHT-TERM incumbent in Washington.  

The ‘Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act’ was brought up next, which Frelinghuysen voted against, but put 3,900 teachers back in their jobs in New Jersey.  Frelinghuysen said “I support Governor Christie’s education reforms, and thought it unwise to pass this bill before they’re complete.” Doug opposed this by responding, “I support that bill, education is a long-term investment in our country, if we do not invest in education we will fall behind countries like China.”

A caller then called in about  ‘Contract with America’, which among other things promised 12 year term limits which Frelinghuysen ran on in 1994.  Frelinghuysen said, “I did not sign term limits.” Doug fought back saying, “I support the 12 year term limits, because we need to stop the political elitism in Washington- Congressmen who go down to Washington just for themselves and their own political interests.”  Which is exactly was Frelinghuysen is and has been doing.

Next, a small-business woman called in from Parsippany asking the Congressman why he voted against the ‘Small Business Lending Fund’. Frelinghuysen said, “In my opinion people aren’t going to make the right type of investments.” Doug said, “Small businesses are struggling, the Small Business Administration has said that 75 percent of new job creation is going to come from small businesses. This is exactly the type of bill we need to get America working again.”

In his closing statements, Doug said: “The way we take America back is by taking Washington back from incumbents like Rodney Frelinghuysen on November 2nd.”

This debate was clearly a winning performance by Douglas Herbert.  If you live in the 11th district please remember to go place a vote for him on November 2nd.

Plan For Small Businesses in Mind

Thanks for the update. – promoted by Rosi

Douglas Herbert, candidate for the 11th Congressional District, currently held by Rodney Frelinghuysen; spoke outside a closed storefront in downtown Morristown on Wednesday.  He confronted the urgent need to help struggling small businesses in the 11th district.  Doug stated: “small businesses are the engine of our economic growth. They account for 75% of new job creation…Nothing should be more non-partisan than helping small businesses grow and putting Americans back to work.”

Recently current congressman, Rodney Frelinghuysen voted against the ‘Small Business Lending Fund Act.’  Doug spoke about this saying, “Rodney talks about how he supports small business and how he wants to help put people back to work.  However, when he has a chance to act, a chance to actually help small business, Rodney Frelinghuysen votes against their interests.”

Doug created three approaches in order to help small businesses gain access to the resources necessary to grow.  These three approaches are as follows:

1. I will fight to provide payroll tax credits for small businesses that hire and rehire Americans currently unemployed.  Many small business owners that I have spoken to have told me that they would put this credit back into their business and into hiring new employees.

2. I will fight to expand government guaranteed loan programs and credit lines to small businesses.  As a small-business owner myself, I know that access to capital is a primary concern for many small business owners now.  We cannot sit back and allow small businesses to suffocate while Congressmen like Frelinghuysen approve billions of dollars in big bank bailouts.  Bills like the one last week [Small Business Lending Fund Act] are crucial to ensuring business can survive this recession.

3. Lastly, it is time we have a Congressman in the 11th district who will support innovation and high-tech job creation.  Through investments in research and a tax credit so that business can innovate, I will work to bring new, high-tech jobs to the 11th district.  I will not accept the status-quo; there are real steps we can take to create new high-paying and secure jobs here.

Doug also said: “Now is not a time to play politics with people’s lives.  I would have voted to allow small businesses to rehire and reinvest.  By putting money in the hands of those who will use it, we can and will create an economic recovery one dollar at a time.”

Here is a candidate that wants to represent the people in the 11th district, not special and political interests.  At the end of his speech, Doug stated: “Small-businesses drive our economy, and I will make sure that their interests and the 11th District’s interests are represented in Congress.”

If you would like to learn more, volunteer, or donate to the campaign please visit douglasherbert.org

IF you live in the 11th district please remember to go place your vote for Douglas Herbert on November 2nd.

“Let’s get America working again!”

NJEA Loser Mentality Strikes Again

Yes, this is true. NJEA failed to endorse NJ-7’s Ed Potosnak. I don’t get it either. A few facts: Ed has a graduate degree in education from Rutgers, where he also taught student teachers & teachers retooling their skills how to use technology to get kids more excited about science lessons. This is something he put in practice himself as a chemistry teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan HS, which is where he won an Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship and used it to work on federal education policy with Rep. Mike Honda of California. Hello?  

– – promoted by Rosi

Cross posted at Jersey Jazzman.

You have got to be f*&!ing kidding me:

(Morristown) – October 1st, 2010 – On Friday, the New Jersey Education Association’s 125-member political action committee voted to endorse Douglas Herbert for Congress in New Jersey’s Eleventh Congressional District. Douglas Herbert is the only New Jersey Congressional challenger that they chose to endorse.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for Herbert’s candidacy, and I think he’d be far, far better than Little Lord Frelinghuysen, who is such a “moderate” that he voted to impeach Bill Clinton.

No, my issue – once again – is how the NJEA can get behind Herbert but can’t muster up support for the clearly superior candidate in NJ-7, Ed Potosnak – a TEACHER in the district!!!

Barbara Keshishian, the NJEA President, said, “Each of our endorsed candidates has distinguished himself or herself by advocating for great public schools, public school employees, and for the 1.4 million New Jersey schoolchildren our members educate.”

Yeah, and the one you DIDN’T endorse actually teaches those kids!

Honestly, Barbara – what the hell? Potosnak’s opponent, Leonard Lance, said teaching jobs saved by the recent federal funds were “negligible.” Are you OK with this?

I met Ed last month, and he is a great person and will be a great congressman. Get your act together, NJEA, and get behind this guy.

Note from Rosi: mquigby and Kelsey17 both wrote about Doug Herbert’s NJEA endorsement.

Congressional Debates NJ-7 & NJ-11

All New Jersey’s congressional delegation – incumbents of both parties – should have at least one debate with their challengers before election time. Some of the incumbents have been resisting, but in the interest of transparency, voters should have the chance to see the candidates face each other and get grilled. Some of those logjams eased in the last couple days:

NJ-7: Ed Potosnak (D) & Leonard Lance (R) – More than a month ago young hard-charger Ed Potosnak challenged first-term incumbent Leonard Lance to 5 debates; one in each county, one for TV. Weeks later, Lance said he’d debate but without saying when, where or how often. This week, Potosnak decided to make it easy. He set up 6 debate events, all-set.

Given how close we are to the end, it’s a small breakthrough that Lance finally talked personally by phone today with Potosnak. Lance’s campaign has generally avoided reaching out; preferring to insist only via media that he’s willing to meet. This is the dance of Fall, the will-they? two-step; the candidate in the cushier position dipping backwards, and twirling away. Lance had that same complaint two years ago against Linda Stender. So he of all people should make himself available for head-to-head matchups. Lance has had a lifetime in public office and has the built-in advantage of incumbency. He’s in the catbird seat, and with a couple years of Congress under his belt, he should be leaping at the chance to meet up with Potosnak. Continuing to say you’re for debates but not confirming any strains credulity, and NJ-7 voters deserve better. No more delaying, no running out the clock. Potosnak’s done all the homework already. Or want another metaphor? It’s shovel-ready.

NJ-11: Douglas Herbert (D) & Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) – Army vet Herbert has been challenging the incumbent to debate for 50 days, even provoking him by holding a press event outside GOP HQ in Morristown. Herbert go a little farther than Potosnak did in getting the incumbent nailed down, but then Frelinghuysen may be feeling a little more secure. The NJ-11 debates will be Oct. 17 at WMTR Studios in Morristown, the second in Hackettstown at WRNJ. (both 11am). h/t Kelsey17

Somebody tell Rodney Frelinghuysen

via Fred Snowflack, and from NJ-11 Democrats,  we find out what went down at Lenape Valley High School in Stanhope last week.

The congressman was having a town hall meeting. And “about five people” – that’s “5” – showed up there with signs encouraging Frelinghuysen to debate his Democratic opponent, Doug Herbert.

They weren’t making noise, weren’t even holding the signs up so everybody could see them. But they were asked to leave. And they said no. So the police were called, and they and their signs were ejected. Mind you, a constituent hand-delivered an invitation to a debate her group – Sparta Unites for our Schools – is having. I can see how that would be unnerving.

What’s Frelinghuysen so afraid of? Doesn’t he know signs don’t win elections?  

Moving Forward

Tom Wyka offers his own campaign post-mortem, with a promise to stay involved, some plugs for others doing good work, and a nice bit of well-earned thanks to the people who powered his unsuccessful bid. Tom is a bright, passionate, eminently decent guy of whom we have not heard the last, thankfully. -JG

Unfortunately the Obama campaign did not have a lot of coat tails for NJ Congressional races overall. It reminds me of an interesting article I read by David Sirota a while ago (click here to read about the idea of “presidentialism”). There’s a lesson here for us: we need to get people thinking about not just the White House, but also about Capitol Hill – all the way down to townhall – and carry a strong consistent message to all levels.