Tag Archive: Chuck Schumer

Who will run DSCC?

We learn in the last few hours that  the Dems’ Senate leadership team is shaking out, and it’s a mixed bag under Chuck Schumer. A big group of 10 senators, that includes Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. My friend Chad Lupkes, a…
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A step toward a new Hudson River railroad tunnel

A new trans-Hudson train tunnel is absolutely essential, but the estimated cost, as high as $20 billion, is huge by any standard. As NJ and NY Governors Christie and Cuomo said in a letter yesterday to President Obama, “The key step is to secure federal funding and design a viable financial plan.”  The governors’ request is that the feds provide grants to pay for half of the cost ($10 billion) with NY, NJ and the Port Authority to fund the other half. While in previous conversations U. S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx had suggested he could help with federal loans, Governor Cuomo has emphatically said in the past he seeks grants from the federal government instead.

This is a positive step forward. President Obama is supportive, but he can not commit to grants of $10 billion. Getting a Republican/dysfunctional congress to agree will be difficult. Our senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez along with Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of NY and both NY and NJ representatives will have to lead the effort. Booker is on the Senate Transportation Committee. On the House Transportation Committee there are five NY members and two NJ members – Frank LoBiondo and Albio Sires. As Amtrak needs the tunnel to enter and leave Manhattan on its Boston to Washington route, legislators throughout the northeast should be concerned.

News Roundup and Open Thread for Thursday, August 13, 2015

It’s looking grim for Christie in New Hampshire: In Boston Herald’s new NH poll, the first since the Fox show, Christie sunk to a tie for 10th place (3%). In the previous average of five polls from Real Clear Politics, he had been 5th (6.5%). His PAC has poured money into one race only, New Hampshire, where he has spent the most time and where a win or near-win is essential.

PolitickerNJ writes about the relationship between Gov. John Kasich and Christie who have been friends, but points out that Kasich “is moving up in NH polls and has the most impressive team of endorsements in the state.” Newcomer Kasich ranked third in the latest NH poll in comparison with Christie at 10th. That’s tough for Christie as both are ideologically similar.

Adding in the first national poll from Rasmussen after the Fox debate: Real Clear Politics in its average of five polls has Christie still in 9th position.

Clinton vs. Sanders: In the Boston Herald poll mentioned above Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary Clinton by 7 points in New Hampshire. Sanders has been a breath of fresh air: forthright, forthcoming, clear, and passionate on important issues.

At yesterday’s Energy Master Plan Public Hearing NJ Spotlight writes: “The state’s energy policies are working just fine, according to the Christie administration. However, numerous critics said the state depends too much on fossil fuels to meet energy demands, falls short in promoting renewable energy, and does too little to curb energy use.” More protest is needed. The next public hearing is today in Room 11 in the Statehouse in Trenton, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

More about the AC rescue package, grandstanding on a new tunnel, and NJ public employee unions below the fold.

Murray succeeds Menendez at DSCC. His re-election’s now on her watch.

For a while there, it was beginning to look like DSCC had bed bugs. Bob Menendez, facing his own 2012 re-election (not to mention a Tea Party who wants his hide) is ready to step down from his 2-year stint as the Dems’ campaign chief for the Senate.

Harry Reid offered the job to Washington State’s Patty Murray (who turned it down). So did Virginia’s Mark Warner, and Colorado’s Michael Bennet.  NY’s Chuck Schumer (who ran DSCC from 2005-09) took himself out of the running. But Murray changed her mind; it was announced today she’ll chair DSCC. Big job. This cycle, 21 Dem incumbents are up, and both independents who caucus with the Dems, Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman (one worth saving, one not). Only 9 Republicans are up for re-election.

One of Murray’s top priorities will be making sure her predecessor Bob Menendez makes it through his “first” re-election to the Senate. Menendez was appointed by Gov. Corzine to fill his own Senate seat when Corzine became governor. He took office in January, 2006, and defeated Tom Kean, Jr. later that same year to keep his seat. But this is the first time Menendez has a longer Senate record to run against. As the man who presided over Dems keeping control of the Senate, he’s got a big, red GOP target on his back. Then there’s the Tea Party people, enraged by a Latino with power, and vowing to take their (ridiculous) constitution-bending case to recall him all the way to the Supreme Court. Unlikely, that they’ll get there. Unknown, the effect of 2 years of their ignorant, racially-motivated bashing.  

Between then and now, a year of redistricting and legislative races. A year of most Democrats focusing more on the state’s troubles and its overblown helium balloon of a governor.  Menendez will ramp up same time Obama will; in the Garden State, their fortunes loosely tied. It’s early yet, but Menendez may have some work to do.

Patty Murray clocks in at 91% on Progressive Punch’s scorecard for Senators, just one slot off the top 25 (Score! Menendez rates higher). She’s been a key party player for a while, as Senate Conference secretary, the #4 position in Democratic leadership.

And, if it isn’t fresh in your mind, Murray just came off her own re-election nail-biter, victorious only after a 3-day vote count. Menendez helped her get re-elected. We’ll see in two years if her efforts for him pay off.  

Menendez to be DSCC chair

The AP is reporting that Chuck Schumer will step down after leading the DSCC to first take a senate majority in 2006 and expand it in 2008.  The Star-Ledger is reporting that — as has been expected for some time — Bob Menendez will be the next DSCC chair:

“I’m doing this because I deeply believe in the change that we are trying to bring, and also because it means a great deal for New Jersey to have a seat at the leadership table,” Menendez said. “Change is not a two-year effort, and it’s my job to help build the majority in the Senate so that we can follow through with our agenda. This is a position that involves a lot of responsibility and a lot of hard work, and I’m humbled to have faith of the majority leader.”

Best of luck to Senator Menendez.  The 2010 playing field looks very favorable to Democrats, but he’s got to get started recruiting candidates right away.  

DSCC to Andrews: Fuhgettaboutit!

PolitickerNJ reports that Frank Lautenberg leads 57-22 over Rob Andrews in the first night of a two-night poll commissioned by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.  The Chuck Schumer-led DSCC, which backs supporting Lautenberg, yesterday released results of a poll conducted last weekend (while Tom Byrne was still mulling a challenge) which pegged Lautenberg’s job approval rating at 77% among likely Democratic primary voters.