Tag Archive: LD-8

QoTD: Judge Noel Hillman Edition

Quote of the Day is from U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman, who has put off for now the decision whether Carl Lewis will be put on the ballot for Senate in LD-8, but late Friday denied an attempt by Carl Lewis’ lawyer to question LG Kim Guadagno about how she arrived at her decision to throw Lewis off the ballot. The Lewis team has long suspected Guadagno, in her dual role as LG and Secretary of State was unfairly swayed.

Here’s what Hillman said, to the suggestion that Guadagno, whose boss is perhaps the most political governor in the nation, might be acting as a Republican:

Any allegation that the governor, as powerful as he may be under our state constitution, would improperly control, influence or dictate the result of the process is to me blatantly false.

I’m not an expert on New Jersey residency requirements, or on the strength of Mr. Lewis’ candidacy. But I do know a sadly ridiculous statement when I see one.  

LD-8 Carl Lewis: Running – with Running Shoes

This week, LG/Secretary of State Kim Guadagno kicked Carl Lewis off the ballot again (getting serious criticism for her partisan overreaching). Lewis’ lawyer wants to depose Guadagno for a look at how she made her decision to remove him from the ballot. His position is that Guadagno ignored key pieces of evidence of his NJ residency. Perhaps as importantly, her decision also came after Christie tried to talk Lewis out of running at all, though Christie denies that conversation ever took place. It’s pretty clear this isn’t over.

Carl Lewis running
Carl Lewis is running. Next to him, Bill Brown of Veterans for Education

And Carl Lewis is running.

The 9-time Olympic gold medalist is a track legend, who topped the world in the long jump and in sprint. But if campaigns are marathons, he’s right now out there running. Really running.

And if you want to run with him, you can. He’ll be doing weekly runs with voters. Tomorrow, you can find him across from the Westhampton Rescue Squad, setting off from 195 Woodlane Road. Kids are invited; the candidate will be walking in addition to running, but bring comfortable shoes. Look for updates on his website.

LD-8: Carl Lewis runs out of ballot options?

via Twitter account of Courier Post political reporter Jane Roh, we learn that the NJ Supreme Court has upheld the decision by LG Kim Guadagno (acting in her dual capacity of Secretary of State, as appointed by Gov. Christie) that 9-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis is ineligible to run for the NJ Senate. This may mean his name will appear on primary ballots but be off of general election ballots.

Developing story.  

LD-8: Judge rules against Carl Lewis, who plans an appeal

Carl Lewis has lost his bid to have a judge reinstate his name on New Jersey primary election ballots this afternoon, as the judge upholds the state’s 4-year residency rule. Via politickernj, U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman in his ruling:

Whatever a candidate’s personal qualities may be, they have to have four years of boots on the ground.

[ snip ]

These powers and this state constitution has been part of the standing law of this state for 167 years. While difficult, the voters of the State of New Jersey have long had the power to change this provision and at least twice passed… The power to change it and the failure to change it… stands for the proposition that the majority of people want a four-year (residency requirement).

The decision, this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Camden, comes in just under the wire in the schedule for ballots to be sent by mail today. Yesterday, the judge granted a preliminary injunction to stop election officials from issuing those primary ballots before he rendered his decision.  

Judge orders Guadagno to show why Carl Lewis should be excluded from LD-8 ballots

One wonders how this news will go down in the front office of the most political governor in New Jersey’s history, the Unitary Executive Chris Christie, whose number 2 on his ticket is also – Katherine Harris style –  the top election official in New Jersey, by his order.

In the latest development in Olympic gold medalist and Democrat Carl Lewis’ efforts to get on the LD-8 ballot for Senate, a federal judge has just ordered LG Kim Guadagno (who also serves Gov. Christie in a dual capacity as Secretary of State), NJ Attorney General Paula Dow and the three county clerks inside the 8th District to show why Lewis should not be included in the vote-by-mail primary election ballots due to be sent out Thursday.

Yesterday, in a highly questionable and certainly controversial decision, Guadagno knocked Lewis off the LD-8 ballot. In doing so she granted the position taken by Republicans that Lewis does not meet residency requirements. Administrative law judge John Schuster 3rd had earlier dismissed the GOP residency challenge, saying the Republicans failed to meet the burden of proof.

Guadagno’s decision yesterday produced a howl among Democrats. And for his part, Lewis – who says Christie tried to talk him out of running – says it looks to him like Christie pushed Guadagno to rule against him.

Lewis has already filed suit against Guadagno in federal court, claiming the residency requirement violates the US constitution, and his civil rights, and requesting a restraining order on printing and mailing primary ballots without his name. US District Court Judge Noel Hillman said if Lewis is eventually found eligible to run “the mailing of inaccurate or incomplete primary election ballots could constitute irreparable harm and confuse voters on a matter of fundamental public interest.” Hillman’s order essentially keeps Lewis on the ballot, at least for now. And it requires state and county clerks to make their case against an injunction sending those ballots out. The parties meet at the U.S. District Court in the District of New Jersey in Camden at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Shuffling the M&Ms

As you drive up Route 38 in Burlington County, you will go through a spate of “M” towns: Maple Shade, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, and Mount Holly. Two of these  “M” towns, Moorestown and Mount Laurel, were recently moved from District 8 to District 7 as a result of the decennial legislative redistricting. So we went from a totally Christie Republican set of legislators to a mixed group. The seventh district is currently represented by a Republican senator (Diane Allen) and two Democratic assemblymen (Herb Conaway and Jack Connors.)

As part of their introduction to the M&M towns, the candidates for Assembly met with the Mount Laurel Democratic Club this evening. Since Assemblyman Connors is retiring, Troy Singleton is joining Assemblyman Conaway on the ticket and both men appeared at the Democratic Club meeting tonight. The Democratic senate candidate, Mayor Gail Cook of the City of Beverly, was unable to participate due to a conflicting city council meeting.

(there’s more…)

Herb Conaway and Troy Singleton

LG Kim Guadagno says Carl Lewis does not meet residency requirements to run in LD-8

UPDATE: Carl Lewis will sue LG Kim Guadagno. (via politickernj)

Kim Guadagno = Katherine Harris. Why is the #2 on Christie’s ticket, the most political governor in New Jersey history, the top election official in the state of New Jersey?

From the tweets of political and statehouse reporters @Jane_Roh and @lisafleisher we get the news that LG Kim Guadagno, serving in her dual capacity as Gov. Christie’s Secretary of State, has found that Carl Lewis does not meet residency requirements to run for the LD-8 state senate seat, which he was seeking as a Democrat. This decision overturns the finding of administrative law Judge John Schuster 3rd last Wednesday who dismissed the Republican’s residency challenge against Lewis, saying they had not met the burden of proof.

There is a fundamental conflict of interest when a partisan – and the number 2 on the Christie ticket – such as Guadagno is allowed to be in a position to decide a matter like this. Guadagno should not be in the same power position Katherine Harris was; the conflict of interest issues are plain, simple and obvious.

Just this morning, we asked the question: Why is the GOP scared of Carl Lewis? And, yes, it is impossible for any but the deepest Republican partisans not to question whether GOP partisanship was a factor in Guadagno’s decision. And if – and how hard – Chris Christie leaned on her to decide this way. We already know, via Cynthia Burton at Philadelphia Inquirer, that Christie personally tried to talk Lewis out of running mere hours before he announced his candidacy.

LG Guadagno’s decision can be appealed. Count on it to be appealed. This is a developing story. When we have Lewis’ statement, and Guadagno’s and further details, we’ll add them.  

GOP FAIL: Judge dismisses LD-8 residency challenge to Carl Lewis

Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis has cleared a major hurdle (pun intentional, sorry) in his bid for the LD-8 state Senate seat. Late this afternoon, Administrative Law Judge John Schuster III ruled that the GOP challenge to Lewis’ residency requirement be dismissed.

After the ruling, Lewis had this to say:

I am very gratified with today’s decision by the administrative law judge. I’m confident that the Lt. Governor will uphold the ruling so that we can devote our full attention to the real issues facing the residents of the Eighth District. The voters want to know where the candidates stand on the serious issues facing New Jersey and their visions for the future. They’re not interested in partisan sideshows that distract from that important discussion.

The Republicans contend Lewis fails to meet the state’s 4-year residency requirement. They say Lewis voted in California in 2009, paid taxes there (Lewis owns several homes), and maintained a website claiming Los Angeles as home. Lewis grew up in Willingboro and bought a house in Mt. Laurel he says is his residence.  

LD-8: Lunch with Lewis

UPDATE: Ms. Addiego declines …

Olympic gold-medalist Carl Lewis’ decision to run for state Senate in New Jersey’s Eighth District made all kinds of national news. You’d expect that. Politics can be a dull business, which is one reason why extreme characters get the big spotlight. But people famous for something else also tend to get the big rush from the press, and Carl Lewis is no different; an extraordinarily talented guy jumping into politics as a Democrat? Yeah, I’m interested – very.

But here, Lewis’ entry into the race sparked a 43-comment thread (so far) tacked onto Deciminyan’s coverage of his announcement. And that makes some sense, too. At issue is what Carl Lewis, who grew up in New Jersey and bought a house here again in 2005, plans to run on. Who is he politically?  He just registered to vote here this week, so there’s not that much to go on.

We just got a hint of what Lewis’ political style might be, though not his substance. Carl Lewis’ opening salvo in the LD-8 race is to invite his competitor, the GOP’s incumbent Senator Dawn Addiego, to lunch. I’d like to be surprised and see her do that, because that would be a fund convo to eavesdrop on. But what he seems to have in mind is a pleasant tone.

“I look forward to meeting Sen. Addiego in an informal setting so we can get to know one another as our campaigns begin. [snip] I am determined to run a campaign that engages the voters and makes them proud of our political system, not cynical and turned off by it,” Lewis said. “One of the greatest legacies we can leave our children is the kind of civil, honest and, yes, spirited election process that our founding fathers envisioned when they created this great democracy.

And so it goes.  

Burlington County Chairman situation changing by the day

As the days go by, the situation continues to change in Burlington County. Yesterday, I got a notice reminding me of a Special Meeting to elect a new Chairman of the Democratic Committee on February 4. It said in part:

As there is some confusion as to the status of the forthcoming special meeting

The letter covered what they said were allegations made in reference to the special meeting that required them to “respond in an honest effort to clear the record.” To be honest, I’m not fully clear on the acting designations, but the letter covered who is authorized to send notice of meetings and alleged procedural irregularities with the resolution. Herb Conaway had introduced a resolution at the last committee meeting calling for an election on that date, rather than in June as had been anticipated.

Today I opened my mailbox and had another letter, this from Acting Chairwoman Alice Furia:

By now you have heard about a special meeting scheduled for February 4, 2010 at Kove II, which purportedly has as its purpose the election of an “interim chairman” for the Burlington County Democratic Committee. Such an election will not take place or be recognized on that date. Pursuant to the advice and opinion of legal counsel, the special meeting February 4, 2010, to the extent it seeks to elect an interim chairman for the BCDC, is absolutely contrary to and violates the BCDC’s by-laws. Therefore, any action taken at that meeting purporting to elect an interim chairman shall not be recognized, and will be declared null and void. The election iwll take place in June – as scheduled – pursuant to and as required by the BCDC’s by-laws, and will take place on the first Tuesday immediately folllowing the primary election.

Along with the letter came a legal opinion from the firm of Zucker Steinberg with respect to whether an election can be held February 4:

Since the BCDC by-laws do not permit the selection of a Chair on an interim basis, any attempt to do so through a special meeting is ultra vires and therefore, void.

In fact, if a Chairperson were to be elected on an interim basis, that election would breach the by-laws and unjustly infringe upon the duties specifically assigned to the Vice Chair.

What a mess, I can only imagine what I’m going to find in my mailbox tomorrow.