Tag Archive: Rodney Frelinghuysen

Christie pays a visit to New Jersey

Governor Christie this week spent time in Missouri, Washington DC, and New York. This morning he visited Cedar Grove before leaving this afternoon to Boston. Nonetheless, that did not stop him from saying at the “Town Hall,” “I prioritize my day job.”

Christie today was visiting a Republican town which is not representative of the county as  a whole. Cory Booker won re-election to his U. S. Senate seat in Essex County by 106,472 to 29,527 votes, but lost in Cedar Grove to Republican Jeff Bell 1,339 to 1,671. Likewise in the congressional race Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen won 1,883 to Mark Dunec at 996. The event was held at the Essex County Police Academy, a place which might be intimidating to some. (Given Christie’s NJ polling data he might be planning a future forum at the Trenton State Police headquarters.)

Upon entering the academy campus attendees were greeted by members of NJ Working Families holding posters protesting fare hikes and route eliminations. Carl from East Orange explained the bus hikes “affect the littlest people who can least afford them and can’t do much to prevent them.” Craig from Princeton was concerned that there was a proposal to end the 655 bus which takes staff and low income patients to the hospital.

Inside the facility set up for 200 people, I sat next to a woman on the left side who explained to me that “Democrats don’t follow the ten commandments,” and “Republicans are denying Jesus’ teachings to feed and care for the poor.” She is a retired teacher who voted for Christie the first time but decided not to vote for either candidate in the last election. The person on my right overheard the conversation and said I was a “proselytizing leftie.” The person in front was a friend of Blue Jersey who raised a small poster in protest  – against Christie’s pen/ben plan.

Shortly before the event began local dignitaries went behind the rear curtain to greet the governor. After a couple of minutes they came back to their seats except for Democrat County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. He spent more time with Christie and then came out to introduce the governor calling him “my good friend.”

 

Another “hold your nose” vote to avert a government shutdown

Update Sun. 8:30 am: The Omnibus 2015 federal spending bill passed the Senate Saturday night 56 to 40 averting a government shutdown. Both Senators Menendez and Booker joined progressives and others and voted against the bill. Sen. Booker said the bill would roll back regulations in the Dodd-Frank Act, compromise truck safety, and interfere with the rights of Washington, D.C. residents to change their marijuana laws. Sen. Menendez said, “The rollback of critical Wall Street reform provisions puts taxpayers on the hook to bail Wall Street out again. Moreover, this last-minute add-on – a poison pill written by large financial institutions – sets the table for more attacks on the protections I fought to put in place following the financial collapse.”

Not so long ago the NJ legislature used to have an annual Christmas tree bill which was sprung upon the membership and laden with all sorts of holiday goodies inserted by individual legislators. This week in the House of Representatives with little more than two days to review the bill, leadership sprung their $1.1 trillion Christmas tree bill to fund the government next year and avert a federal shutdown.

The bill narrowly passed 219 votes to 206. Many Republicans did not like the bill for the generic reason that it calls for “too much government spending,” and because the act does not explicitly block President Barack Obama from implementing his Executive Order on immigration. Republicans voted 162 in favor and 67 against.  Many Democrats did not like the bill because it weakens Dodd-Frank consumer legislation and because it increases substantially the amount donors can contribute to political parties. Democrats voted 57 in favor and 139 against.

The House Speaker Republican John Boehner never had enough Republican votes to pass the bill, so he relied on support from Democrats. The White House vigorously lobbied Democrats for passage as did Steny Hoyer, Democratic Whip. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke out and voted against it. Five of our NJ Democrats refused to “hold their nose” and vote for it and instead voted against it.  

November 4, 2014: Looking Back & Recapping

In the U. S. elections last week Republicans took control of the U. S. Senate with 7 new seats and as of now have a lead of 52 to 46 with two undecided. In the House of Representatives Republicans, already in the majority, have gained 12 seats to lead 244 to 184 with 7 undecided. In gubernatorial races, where Christie spent so much time, Republicans gained net 3 seats with 2 still undecided.  

In New Jersey we note in congressional races low Democratic turn out, an exciting victory in CD 12, heartbreak in CD 3 and 5, the winners all being those who raised the most money, independent funders spending big in CD 3 but not so much elsewhere, the departure of a highly respected congressman in CD 12, mixed quality of public polls, all incumbents winning, and the congressional delegation balance remaining unchanged at six R’s and six D’s. Both Public Questions passed. Voting by mail has increased from 10,000 in 2003 to 139,000 in the most recent report for 2013.

Also worth noting is the resurgence of county Democrats in Bergen, which has the state’s largest number of registered voters and whose Dem. Party Chair Lou Stellato is being wooed by potential gubernatorial candidates. Jim Tedesco (D) defeated long-time politician Kathe Donovan (R) to become the B. C. Executive. Current Freeholder Board Chair David Ganz (D) was re-elected as was Joan Voss (D), allowing the Board to remain in control of Democrats.    

U. S. Senate

With a bulging bankroll and a win in the 2012 Special Election, no Dem (big or small) wanted to take on Cory Booker (D) in the Senate primary. A Republican called Jeff Bell, who loves the Gold Standard (ended in 1933) and had not resided in NJ the past 30 years, defeated someone called Richard Pezzullo by 5,000 votes to become the challenger. Bell has since returned to obscurity while Booker continues on as a celebrity. (997,000 to 763,000)

For brief comments on the 12 congressional races go below the fold.

Election November 4, 2014

FYI – We are also monitoring results on Twitter @BlueJersey.

Revised through early Wednesday morning:

WINNERS:

U. S. Senate  

Booker (D)

House of Representatives

Norcross (D-01), LoBiondo (R-02), MacArthur (R-03), Smith (R-04), Garrett (R-05), Pallone (D-06), Lance (R-07), Sires (D-08), Pascrell (D-09), Payne (D-10), Frelinghuysen (R-11), Coleman (D-12)

Republicans gain control of the U. S. Senate.  Republicans 52, Democrats 44, Independent 1 and still undecided 3.

WE WILL HAVE SIX DEMOCRATS AND SIX REPUBLICANS IN OUR DELEGATION (no change in the balance). We are proud of having the first NJ African-American woman congressperson Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12). The other new members of our delegation are Donald Norcross (D-01) and Tom MacArthur(R-03).

Below the fold: Updated Election results

plus:

  • Each NJ Congressional District: Who won in the prior 2012 election and by how many points over the challenger, and the most recent poll where available, plus individual winner projections.

  •  The one U. S. Senate race: 2013 results, the most recent poll, and projected winner. (No surprise here.)

  •  National U.S. Senate: Current Senate party membership split, number necessary for Republicans to take control, with an overall projection.

  • National House of Representatives: Current House party membership split, and an overall winner projection.

  •  National Governors: Current party membership split, and overall projection.    

  • 2014 Elections: “Known Knowns, Known Unknowns, and Unknown Unknowns”

    Vietnam War Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is occasionally quoted as saying, “There are things we know that we know… there are things that we now know we don’t know,… and there are things we do not know we don’t know.” Of course Rumsfeld ran a foul of his own logic process when he said six months later during an interview in December 2002, “I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.”

    This oft-repeated but all-too-clever conflation of words, nonetheless, might be helpful in determining how to conduct our current involvement in the middle-east wars or in dealing with Ebola. It could even be useful to keep in mind when projecting election results, particularly those which appear close.

    Below the fold we use Rumsfeld’s scheme to attempt to decode Tuesday’s elections.

    Who is Tom MacArthur’s Biggest Contributor?

    Tom MacArthur has “loaned” his campaign $5,000,000 (so far). That makes his race the largest self-funded one in the nation.

    But as in any campaign, other individual contributors have also given money to MacArthur. As of the latest FEC filing, individuals have given the North Jersey resident a total of $285,000 – not a great sum as congressional races go.

    It’s really foolish of these people to give this money to the NJ-3 GOP carpetbagger since they are essentially repaying the loan MacArthur gave himself. Of course, people give to political campaigns for various reasons – ideology, influence, and sometimes quid pro quo. But the reason for individual contributions is not reported in the FEC database, so one can only speculate.

    So other than MacArthur himself, who is his biggest individual contributor?