Tag Archive: Bob Franks

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.

A look at the new NJ-21 (and a brief history)

by Stephen Yellin

First, a friendly welcome to the residents of Kenilworth, Chatham Borough, Bernards Township and Far Hills (all 919 of you in the last case) to the 21st Legislative District of New Jersey. I hope you find your accommodations comfortable, as you’ll be staying here for the next 10 years. 🙂

Second, we in the 21st bid a fond farewell to Chatham Township, Madison and Millburn, which will now have a Democratic delegation to represent them in the form of Dick Codey, John McKeon and Mila Jasey. While this Berkeley Heights resident is more than a little jealous to be less than a mile away from having this awesome trio as my delegation, I take comfort in knowing that my friends at Drew University will get to know another awesome ex-Governor a lot better in the year ahead*.  

Bob Franks Passed Today

I am really sad to hear that Bob Franks, a former Republican Congressman from the 7th, passed this morning.  Bob was a Republican and supported their candidates and elections always, but he also recognized that there were people who were not Republicans that needed his help.

When I was a new Councilman in North Plainfield in the late 1990s Bob was still in office.  When I called him his staff was helpful even though I was a Democrat and supported candidates who ran against Bob.  Twice Bob called me himself to answer questions.  I though that this was how members of Congress acted.

This is one of the main reasons why I went after Mike Ferguson so hard in 2006.  I had the example of Bob Franks as to how a Congressman should act even to people in the other party, and Ferguson was nothing like that.  He was brusk, dismissive, got involved in local races, blew off requests for help from Democratic towns, and generally only helped those who were on his side.

People often said that I was hyper-partisan after we did Blue 7th PAC and Dump Mike, but it was not.  I had the wonderful example of what a partisan elected should act like in Bob Franks, and was insulted that Ferguson was not that kind of man.  

Bob Franks will be missed.  He has done a lot for this district, state and country.  I offer my condolences to his wife and daughters, and hope that we can have many more Bob Franks on both sides of the aisle in the future.

Bob Franks To Lead Fiscal Restructuring Plan Push

Governor Corzine announced today that he chose former Congressman Bob Franks to chair a campaign to push his “Financial Restructuring and Debt Reduction” plan.

“You may ask how a fiscally conservative Republican like myself could find common ground with a liberal Democrat like Jon Corzine,” said Franks.  “The answer is simply that the governor has broken with tradition in Trenton and declared that we have to transform the way we handle the state’s finances.  My grandfather taught me a long time ago that when you find yourself in a deep hole, the first rule is to stop digging.”

“The financial restructuring and debt reduction initiative put forward by Governor Corzine has, at its core, the reforms necessary for New Jersey to get back on the right fiscal track,” said Franks. “These long overdue, common sense reforms should not be held prisoner to partisanship”

Amen.

Watch the Doubletalk

Today’s Star-Ledger has an op-ed from former Republican Senatorial nominee and member of the US House of Representatives, Bob Franks.  It is further evidence of the theory that there is no such thing as a moderate in the Republican Party any longer.  With former Republican maverick John McCain busy proving he can shill for the President, something Junior Kean proved during this last election cycle, the Republican Party has become home of “the far right and the crazy far right”.

Franks got the memo and he’s going to light up the talking points here.  His target is the new Democratic majority’s goal of allowing Medicare D to negotiate lower than market prices with pharmaceutical companies.  But, of course, he can’t talk about the billions of dollars this will save taxpayers or how it will help the elderly actually get the prescriptions their doctors want them to have.  No, he labels the effort “price controls” and casts a blanket condemnation on it.

But if you look not-too-closely at the op-ed, it’s plain to see that he’s simply talking out of both sides of his mouth.