Tag Archive: 2007

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.  

Was Christie the Leak?

There’s been a lot of supposition over the years that the US Attorney’s office under Chris Christie leaked like a sieve, slipping information damaging to Democrats to the press while holding tight to information that could hurt Republicans.

The evidence was largely circumstantial.  How did the press find out about the subpoena to Bob Menendez just weeks before the Senatorial election?  Why was Brian Thompson standing around as subpoenas were served on Democrats in the Christmas Tree investigation?

Back on March 1, 2007 we wrote:

There is surely no fire here, and maybe only a scent of smoke from far away.  But the actions and subpoenas of the past seven months are exactly what a US Attorney who was told to put pressure on the Democrats would start doing.  Every time a Democrat starts gaining points, hit them with a subpoena.  Every time a Republican needs to score points, make an announcement.

Well, now there’s fire to go with the smoke.  The Corzine FOIA requests for Christie’s communications have unearthed actual phone slips of calls from the media to Christie late on the afternoon of February 27th, 2007 — the day before subpoenas were dropped on three Democratic legislators.

Here’s Brian Thompson of television’s NBC News, talking with Christie the afternoon before the subpoenas dropped: thompson-227afternoon

And here’s Michael Gartland of The Record talking the same afternoon:  gartland-227afternoon

Both Thompson was hanging out at the statehouse just in time for the subpoenas on February 28th, 2007 ensuring quick coverage on television and the Internet.

It’s no stretch to think that Christie was the leak, telling reporters about secret Grand Jury actions — which is, by the way, a crime.  Christie has to answer for this, and either reveal what he talked about with Thompson and Gartland that day or tacitly admit that he personally was the leak.

Before today it was easy to believe Christie used leaks from his office to aid in his political goals.  After today it is hard to refute.

Assessing the Election

While this year’s elections represent a setback when compared to 2005, due to the off-year trough, the results are a significant improvement relative to the more apt standard of 2003.  Even though the changes in the legislature were relatively minor this year, the trend towards Democrats is evident, especially in South Jersey.  Graphs/analysis of the General Assembly results on the flip.

The NJ-39 Series: Bergen Record calls out Cardinale, GOP cohorts

By Stephen Yellin

“Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, hates poor people. Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan hates immigrants. And state Sen. Gerry Cardinale, R-Demarest, loves bankers.”

Alfred Doblin began his Friday political column in the Bergen Record with those words. Doblin is an equal-opportunity critic of politics, who calls out politicians on both sides of the New Jersey aisle for corruption. As you may know, Garrett was one of just three Congressional Republicans in New Jersey to vote against the S-CHIP override. Lonegan is an anti-immigrant crusader who was recently caught employing illegal immigrants. So it’s good to see that Doblin is “playing fair” and telling the truth about Gerry Cardinale and his Republican cohorts – that they are hypocritical ideologues.

NJ-39: Note to Gerry Cardinale: Senators in Glass Houses…

By Stephen Yellin

From the way Republican State Senator Gerald “Gerry” Cardinale (the leading obstructionist in New Jersey’s legislature) talks about ethics, you’d think he was a spotless, blameless white knight of New Jersey politics. After all, he chaired the Ethics Committee in Trenton when the Republicans ruled the roost, and is on record as saying “I can’t be bought with a trip”. Furthermore, Cardinale has ceaselessly railed against New Jersey’s Democratic Party, blaming Governor Corzine, State Senate President Codey, Speaker Roberts and numerous government officials for New Jersey’s problems. The real “problem”, though is with hypocrites like Gerry Cardinale, who will say and do anything for a vote – or a free vacation. As the old saying goes, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”, and this axiom is true for Cardinale.

The NJ-39 Series: When it comes to ethics, Cardinale is “Gerry”-atric

In my last article on New Jersey’s 39th Legislative District, I discussed how Republican State Senator Gerald “Gerry” Cardinale has become entangled in the “culture of corruption” (to borrow a national term) that plagues New Jersey. To recap, in 2000 Cardinale introduced four pieces of legislation to improve profits for the banking industry; over the next two months, he received nearly $6,000 in vacation money from the same industries he was proposing to streamline. Coincidence? I don’t think so, Gerry. Luckily, Democrat Joe Ariyan, his opponent has been taking it to Gerry on the stump and in their debates. You can learn more about him at Voice for the 39th – Ariyan, Fletcher and Manna

The NJ-39 Series: Cardinale Caught Red-Handed on Ethics

I suppose one could call this a “breaking” news story, but in a way it’s not: the story goes back several years, and revolves around a Republican State Senator in New Jersey who’s been around for 28 years – Gerald Cardinale. “Gerry” (as he’s more commonly known) is an out-of-touch conservative obstructionist in a progressive state, and he’s in the fight of his life this November against Democratic challenger Joe Ariyan (Here’s his website) . But Cardinale’s fight just got a bit tougher, as he’s now being accused of violating the state’s legislative ethics laws. Which, in fact he has repeatedly done over the years, to his advantage and to the disadvantage of his constituents.

Read on to see what I mean…

The NJ-39 Series: Cardinale = Silence for Public Meeting information

On his new campaign website, Republican State Senator Gerald “Gerry” Cardinale explains in a video clip why he’s established the site: “So that you can know the truth about my record.” I’ll be happy to take Mr. Cardinale up on his offer, as I have been doing for the last month, and bit by bit reveal to you, the reader his extraordinarily extreme record in 28 years as a New Jersey legislator. For example, Cardinale talks a good game when it comes to government transparency, but did you know that he prefers cutting off newspaper advertisements of public meetings? I didn’t either at first. But if you get to know the real Gerry Cardinale as I have, you’ll understand as well as I do why he needs to be defeated on November 6th.

Read on if you want to know the dirty details?

The NJ-39 Series: Cardinale the Stem-Cell Obstructionist

By Stephen Yellin

Just yesterday I wrote about New Jersey’s upcoming referendum on Stem-Cell research, and why the proposal is an excellent one for New Jersey both economically and as a step in a progressive direction for the state. But while the voters of New Jersey will have their say on November 6th on the issue, they’ll also have their say on 40 legislative districts across the Garden State. One of the most competitive ones that will be decided is one I have covered extensively before – New Jersey’s 39th Legislative district, located in Bergen County. And one of the biggest opposition leaders in Trenton to the Stem-Cell referendum is Gerald “Gerry” Cardinale, the GOP’s State Senator in NJ-39. Think Mitch McConnell as a purely New Jersey-style legislator, and you’ve got Cardinale. And like Mitch McConnell, Gerry Cardinale must be defeated.

Click here to learn more about his opponent

Stem Cell referendum in New Jersey offers hope for many

By Stephen Yellin

In my last diary (on New Jersey’s 39th legislative district), I briefly discussed how New Jersey has the potential to be what Wisconsin was under “Fighting Bob” LaFollette 100 years ago – a progressive laboratory for the United States. To do this will require in part the election of more Democratic and progressive leaders to serve in both the state legislature in Trenton and on the county and municipal levels. However, there is another factor apart from elections that can make a state truly progressive: the support of the public for a progressive vision for their state and country. LaFollette introduced the concept of the initiative, the referendum and the recall to Wisconsin, and some states still follow that legacy. Now, New Jersey’s Democratic leaders are trying to make New Jersey a progressive bastion as well – through a ballot referendum this November on Stem Cell Research.