Tag Archive: Jun Choi

Senate Judiciary Votes Down Christie Supreme Court nominee Phillip Kwon

“… side show



freak show

..  Korean witch hunt …”

Attendees at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Supreme Court nominee Phillip Kwon – and those who watched NJTV’s coverage live – got an earful today as Republican members of the committee ratcheted up the rhetoric into the stratosphere unable to sit still as Democrats put questions to Christie’s nominee. Kwon would have been the first Asian American to serve on New Jersey’s high court.

In the end, after a full day of questioning and testimony, the panel voted 7-6 against Kwon, with Senator Brian Stack voting alongside the Republicans.

Blue Jersey maintained a nearly 8-hour Live-Tweet account of the proceedings @bluejersey. We will have video coverage and interviews posted tomorrow, with a first interview with Blue Jersey’s own Senator Loretta Weinberg later tonight.  

O’Toole, whose mother is Korean-born, has been vocal in his support of Kwon in the run-up to this hearing, speaking publicly alongside the something called the Korean American Voters Council, and former Edison Mayor Jun Choi. But today, O’Toole plunged deep into angry vitriol:

“We didn’t have a hearing. We had a lynching. I don’t think this nominee was given a fair chance.”

                        –  Sen. Kevin O’Toole, Republican Whip

Sen. Weinberg, Senate Majority Leader and a member of the Committee, suggested Christie tried to pass Kwon off as an independent, blaming the Governor’s drive to remake the Court in his own image.

She was also apparently unsatisfied with the committee’s findings of his family’s finances, including his wife’s income, which was investigated by federal authorities for suspicious deposits. “I don’t think we got all the real answers, and for that reason I am voting no.”

More, plus the vote count, below the fold.

Choi Endorses Pallone, Potosnak Alone Facing Lance in 7th

Blue Jersey has learned that Jun Choi is calling Frank Pallone to give his endorsement to Pallone’s candidacy, and dropping out of contention for a seat in the 2012 election.  Choi had outraised Leonard Lance during the cycle, but because of redistricting no longer lives in the 7th district.  He now lives in Pallone’s district.

That leaves Blue Jerseyan Ed Potasnak as the  presumptive candidate against Lance next year.  Ed’s website is at http://edpotosnak.com/ and you can volunteer or donate there.

Will the Congressional Redistricting Commission give Joe Cryan a golden parachute to Washington?

Unless a miracle takes place this Tuesday and Republicans in LD1, LD3, and LD4 pull off major upsets, South Jersey party boss, George Norcross, will have more than enough votes to replace his primary adversary in the Assembly, Majority Leader Joe Cryan, with his top ally in the legislative body, Louis Greenwald, sending Cryan to the back bench.

What remains to be seen, however, is what Cryan will do once he is sent there.  Will he unite with his fellow back bencher in the Senate, Dick Codey, to build an opposition movement that will contend not only for the Governor’s office in 2013, but also all 120 legislative seats?  As much as I would love to see this, I do not expect that this will happen.  It is very possible that Dick Codey will run for Governor in 2013, but it is also possible that Cory Booker, Barbara Buono, and Steve Sweeney will run as well and it is unlikely that any of them will run opposition slates against the party lines that they do not win, which means that regardless of who wins the gubernatorial primary, there will not be much change in the legislative roster or its leadership.

If I am right about this, then Cryan will most likely remain on the back bench for most of the next decade.  That is, unless he finds a new office for which to run or that office finds him.  There have been times in the past decade when Cryan expressed an interest in running for Congress in the 7th district, but admitted that the current configuration of the district made it extremely difficult for a Democrat to win.

This is very true.  Our best chance to win this district came in 2006 when a very popular Assemblywoman, Linda Stender, challenged a very unpopular Congressman Mike Ferguson in a year that Democrats were trending up and Republicans were trending down.  However, despite these trends, Stender came a few thousand votes short of victory.  Two years later, Stender did not run as strong of a campaign as she did in 2006 and faced a very popular State Senator, Leonard Lance.  Despite huge turnout increases inspired by Barack Obama’s candidacy, it was not enough for a Democrat to win the 7th and Lance defeated Stender by a much wider margin than Ferguson did two years earlier.

Tea Party and MoveOn.Org: Perfect Together?

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Leonard Lance at Tea Party event Aug. 10, 2011

Last night, I attended a town meeting hosted by the Morris County Tea Party, featuring Congressman Leonard Lance. Yup, I was in the room with Tea Party People–and I survived.  You should try it yourself –it was a lot of fun.

Not only was I there, but nearly half the room was filled with MoveOn.org folks.  Strangely enough, but for widely different reasons, these folks agreed on one thing: they were both upset with Congressman Lance’s yes vote on the debt ceiling deal. One side thought it went way too far; the other side thought it went not far enough.

After a moment of silence for the 31 Navy SEALs who lost their lives last weekend, Lance began his presentation with a PowerPoint display explaining the debt ceiling deal:  How the agreement was to appoint a super committee of 12 members of Congress, six Democrats, six Republicans, six senators and six congressmen. This super committee would be charged with making suggestions of over $1 trillion in cuts by January of 2012.    If, however, this super committee cannot come to an agreement on cuts, then there would be a series of draconian cuts to everything including military spending.  This seems to be the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of the conservative Republicans to at least try to be reasonable, and come to a good decision about cuts.

After Lance’s presentation, questions came from the standing room only crowd of almost 250. I must say that I was very impressed that the congressman took an equal number of questions from both tea party members and MoveOn.org members–I did not expect that to happen –considering that this was a Morris County Tea Party sponsored event.


Thanks for Covering the NJ7 Race

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I wanted to spend my first blog post at BlueJersey thanking you for the coverage of NJ7, not just this year but since you started this site.    You’ve been a vital voice in trying to turn this district over to the good side, and have been instrumental in my decision to run for the seat.

Things are going very wrong lately in America, as we can see with the “negotiations” over the debt ceiling limit.  And it’s representatives like Leonard Lance who are the problem, unable to stand up to the GOP bosses who refuse to compromise to solve America’s big challenges or to let Republicans think for themselves.  

Once upon a time, he was known as an independent thinker who was willing to buck his party in Trenton and challenged Governor Whitman who made the single worst fiscally irresponsible act in modern New Jersey history.  But the move down the Amtrak route to DC has done nothing but turn the Congressman into a paper tiger who is willing to risk the good faith and credit of America, and by extension your family’s economic security, because he is unwilling to stand up to the extreme right leadership of the House Republicans. I’m excited to be part of the effort to change the representation we have in DC, and have been working hard to be the nominee.  

I announced that I was going to run on May 5th, and in less than two months had raised significantly more funds for the campaign than Lance did for  the entire second quarter.  But that’s just the numbers from a single quarter.

What’s most amazing is that after just two months, we are already almost equal with a sitting Congressman in cash on hand.  He’s got $215,000 on hand (after subtracting debt), while we have $160,000.  Given that he’s been in office and has raised half of that from PACs while we’ve raised almost nothing from PACs, that puts our campaign in a great position.

But it’s about more than money, and more than getting distracted by the horse race of the campaign.  It’s about the people of New Jersey who need quality jobs, who need access to a world class education and affordable healthcare, who need a safe and healthy environment, and the opportunity to live out the American Dream. I want to work with the Blue Jersey community to make this a reality.  

2011? Forget About It. 2012 Has Already Begun

Update: Looks like Choi has a big win on his hands.  PolitickerNJ is reporting that Lance raised $134K in the 2Q, significantly less than Choi announced.  And Choi had only two months, while Lance had three plus incumbency.

As we watch the Sweeney-Christie bro-fest fallout and get ready for the legislative election in the fall, the first shot of the 2012 general election for the 7th District House seat.

Former Edison Mayor Jun Choi sent out an announcement that his campaign for the House seat raised more then $180,000 since he announced two months ago, a number he says is twice “what Lance raised in his entire first quarter ($77,415).”

Though a little confusing, Choi is actually comparing his second quarter totals to Lance’s first quarter totals, numbers that are apples and oranges.  Lance didn’t have any competition back then, and he has over a quarter million cash on hand at the end of Q1, so he’s not doing badly.

There are two interesting things about this release.  First is that Choi is going out early with this announcement, betting that his numbers will be good enough to stand up after others have announced theirs.  It’s a calculated risk, but could pick up some good press ahead of 1Q2011 numbers are released by the FEC.

The second is that Choi chose to completely ignore Ed Potosnak, the Democratic candidate against Lance in 2010.  The comparison is actually even more beneficial to Choi, since his $180K in eight weeks is more than half of what Potonak raised in the entire last campaign: $349,104.

It’s possible that this comparison is why Choi decided to ignore Potsnak and the nomination they are competing for and to start in after Lance.  

It’s likely a good strategy, because if he can keep up this pace he can push Potosnak out of the race by the end of the year.  However, Potosnak started early on the 2012 race himself, and had a fundraiser with Representative Barney Frank last month.  He ran a great campaign last time against long odds, and built a lot of good will in New Jersey for the way he ran the race last time.

Either way, it’s good to see that the Democrats are going to compete in this district this hard, this early.  Choi’s biig numbers, Potosnak’s big gun fundraiser all look good.

Of course, given redistricting this could all be moot come next spring.  But for now, smoke ’em if you got ’em!

Choi’s full e-mail is below the fold

Killing two progressives with one regressive stone

Ever since it was announced that progressive State Senators, Barbara Buono and Joe Vitale, could find themselves in the same legislative district, progressives have been apoplectic with rage over the possibility that an already regressive Democratic State Senate could be short yet another progressive State Senator when the next legislature is sworn in next year.

However, what nobody seems to realize is the possibility that both Buono and Vitale could find themselves on the outside looking in next year unless they agree to work cooperatively rather than competitively.  How?  Read below the fold to find out.

Would Rob Andrews be a better gubernatorial primary challenger…

…than the poor senatorial primary challenger of Frank Lautenberg that he has been to date?

As we have seen from this lame primary campaign, there really is not much to talk about except Andrews’ role in the lead-up to the war in Iraq and Lautenberg being unwilling to debate.  The fact of the matter is that there is very little, if anything, for anybody, much less a conservative Democrat like Andrews, to nitpick about in Lautenberg’s voting record.

That said, even a conservative Democrat like Rob Andrews could come up with an alternative issues platform with which to emloy in a primary run against Jon Corzine.