Tag Archive: Ellen Karcher

Karcher Banks On Massive GOTV Operation

Recent polling suggests Senator Karcher may be trailing Assemblywoman Beck by a few points in the 12th district, but in low turnout off-year elections like this, a strong ground game can swing an election.

That’s where Karcher seems to have a huge advantage. NJN reported tonight that Beck’s campaign expects about 100 campaign workers on election day, but the Karcher campaign says they’re expecting over 1,000 people on the ground. And to get voters to the polls, they’ll have 3 buses, 20 vans, countless cars, 7 staging locations and a phone bank with 45 phone lines at their disposal.

If you’re one of those 1,000 or so people in the field, drop us a line and let us know what you’re seeing.

Brokeback Majority

Yesterday New Jersey’s GLBT community flexed its political muscle with a gala fund raiser to support pro-equality Senate candidates in next month’s elections. (Too much is at stake to let the GOP take the reigns, for a whole host of reasons too numerous to name but that’s not for here…)  Hosted by Garden State Equality, the annual Blue Jean Ball served three primary functions:  to raise money, to have fun and to recognize some amazing New Jerseyans whose courage makes us all less unequal. 

Andre Jackson gets a Standing OAndre Jackson takes the Hester Prize at the GSE gala. Click to enlarge

The day’s top prize, the Laurel Hester Award went to Andre Jackson, he of the infamous yearbook flap earlier this year.  While it’s a shame that Andre was forced to endure such an ugly and public battle,  the experience has clearly molded him into a poised and articulate civil rights champion.  (Me and my blogmates here at Blue Jersey won last year’s Hester Prize, and it feels really good to pass the torch to someone like Andre.)

Congressman Rush Holt and NJ Senator Ellen Karcher followed Andre on stage to an enthusiastic response, but it was still young Mr.  Jackson who scored the day’s only standing ovation.

Rush Holt, Ellen KarcherCongressman Holt, NJ Sen Karcher

Probably the best thing about the BBQ was the atmosphere.  the setting was (mostly red) Hunterdon County: lovely, bucolic, a pitch-perfect fall day.  The theme: country western, and for good reason.  The party was at a horse farmstead.  Jersey Fresh, indeed.

Early in the day I was sharing a moment with a friend about my age (35) when the entire arc of my liberal activist life seemed to flash before my eyes.  You see, there we were yesterday, the GLBT community (and allies) coming together to fight for marriage equality. When suddenly I had a flashback to what got me into politics to begin with:  the AIDS crisis.  Sitting there on that lovely farm with so many hundreds of nice people — many with their pets and kids in tow — listening to an amazing band and it felt so far removed from my early ACT UP days.  I confess: I prefer issues like full marriage equality and transgender solidarity over watching my friends dropping dead of AIDS any day.

I suggest such a radical evolution would have been impossible without the Steven Goldsteins of this world who remain unflinchingly relentless in the face of inequality.

(Some cool pix, beneath the flip)

A press release masquerading as an ethics complaint

Jennifer Beck, upset that she was caught using taxpayer money to finance her campaign, retaliated against State Senator Ellen Karcher with an ethics complaint of her own.  Beck is alleging that the Karcher campaign sent out a campaign mailer that referred recipients to the Senator’s district office.  In her official complaint, she claims that the “New Jersey Democrat State Committee” paid for the release.  Beck and her campaign know the use of “Democrat” in this sense is a political epithet and Republican press-release language.  Why, then, in an official letter of complaint to the Ethics Committee, does she not refer to the New Jersey Democratic State Committee by its real name?

Because Beck’s complaint isn’t a serious effort right what she views as an ethical wrong, it’s a desperate attempt to save her own troubled campaign.

The “ethics” of a hypocrite

Lawmakers who aspire to a merely average ethical standard must maintain a strict firewall between legislative and campaign activities.  Jennifer Beck has shown no regard for this necessary separation, which is based on “the basic principle that government funds should not be spent to help incumbents gain reelection“.

All of the evidence so far indicates that the “No Civilians At Earle” campaign was the coordinated effort of Jennifer Beck’s legislative and campaign offices.  The letter from the legislative office directs constituents to a campaign website.  The Beck, O’Scanlon and Casagrande campaign registered the domain on July 13, 2007; the letter from the legislative office was likewise dated July.  Furthermore, the text of the letter is essentially identical to the text on the website.  Beck asks constituents either to sign an online petition at the campaign website, or to sign a paper petition and send it to the legislative office.

There is already enough evidence against Beck to sustain a serious ethics complaint.  At this point, she can’t get away with dismissing Karcher’s complaint as “frivolous”.  She needs to address the evidence and the substance of Karcher’s complaint.  She owes the voters of the 12th district answers to a long list questions, some of which Karcher raised in her press releases.

But the most important question this incident raises is this: Does Assemblywoman Beck understand why it is unethical to use official resources for campaign purposes?  Either Jennifer Beck doesn’t understand why political and legislative activities must remain separate, or she is a hypocrite who will campaign on ethics while campaigning unethically.

Either way, she’s certainly not fit to legislate.