Tag Archive: tom kean jr.

Fellow Italian-Americans!

I just got a robocall from Mario Andretti telling me that as an Italian-American I should vote for TK Jr. because he supported Samuel Alito, and that evil Menendez didn’t.  The call was not by the Kean, Jr. campaign, but by some interest group.

Ignoring the fact that my support or non-support of Alito has nothing to do with his ethnic heritage (and besides, Italian-Americans are already adequately represented on the US Supreme Court), and for all the single issues I could think of, support of Italian-American issues is pretty low on my list, as a full, second-generation, Italian-American, this call begs a question:

Did everyone in NJ get this call, or are they only targeting people with obvious Italian-American last names?  If the latter, did they have some sort of computer program scan through voter lists for ethnic-sounding names, or was that a job some crazy interns got?

Inquiring minds need to know.

P.S.  last time I knew, Mario Andretti lived in Pennsylvania.

Rally Today in Summit

I just got an email about this late last night…

Friday, Nov. 3, 5PM
Summit Train Station
Come show your support and meet Governor Jon Corzine, Senator Robert Menendez, Assemblywoman Linda Stender and our terrific Summit Common Council candidates
Melody Irvin (Ward 1), Terri Tauber and Jill LaZare (Ward 2)

Summit is currently controlled by an all Republican town council who are being challenged this year by three very strong Democratic candidates.

The City of Summit is right in the middle of Kean Jr and Ferguson territory.  Kean Jr. lives one town over in Westfield and he keeps an office directly across the street from the train station. Ferguson lives one town over in New Providence. 

The Truth About Junior

Tom Kean Jr. wants you to think Bob Menendez is corrupt.  Junior wants it so badly that he is willing to lie, spin, exaggerate, cajole, selectively edit and whisper innuendo to get you to believe it.

But the truth is Tom Kean Jr. is full of shit.

This is a guy I actually used to like.  Personally.  We weren’t friends who spent the holidays together or anything, but we definitely were glad to see each other at various political and social events.  All in all, he was someone who I might have considered voting for if the Democrat was a complete putz.

At the time I did not realize Tom Kean Jr. was the complete putz.  If I see him at an event now I will probably be polite but look for a quick escape.  Anyone else to talk to other than Junior.

Here Comes the Kean Cavalry

Hear that rumbling in the distance? That’s the sound of legions of knuckles dragging across the ground as national wingnut conservative groups come to render last-minute assistance to the Thomas “Kid Kean” Jr. Senate campaign.

Hear that nervous tapping in the foreground? That’s the sound of Kean’s campaign operatives trying to dance around the fact that their candidate, who is trying to convince voters in this very blue state that he’s a moderate Republican who won’t kowtow to the GOP’s whacko wing, is now getting support from notable Neanderthals like National Right to Life, the Christian Coalition and the National Rifle Association.

Call-to-Action: Kean Jr. Newspaper Endorsements

The good news this morning is that Menendez has a 6% lead in the senate race over Kean Jr., according to a Research 2000 Poll.  The bad news this morning is that three New Jersey newspapers, The Courier Post, The Press of Atlantic City, and Asbury Park Press, have all endorsed the unqualified Republican over Menendez.

We need to work the media, both traditional (e.g., print) and nontraditional (e.g., internets, blogs), to ensure that Menendez defeats Kean Jr. in 9 days.  If you live in any of the areas served by these three newspapers, please take a moment to write a letter to the editor and let them know your displeasure with their endorsements, emphasizing the positives of the Menendez campaign. I’ve already written the Courier Post, who, despite serving a heavily-Democratic readership, have once again supported a Republican for state or nation-wide office.

1). Asbury Park Press:

Letters to the Editor: yourviews@app.com

2). Courier Post:

Letters to the Editor: (scroll down on same page; fill in form)

3). Press of Atlantic City:

Letters to the Editor:
“We will not accept letters without your name, full address, daytime and evening phone numbers. Please remember: letters are subject to editing. The shorter the letter, the more likely it will be published. For full details of The Press letters policy, call (609) 272-7279. You can send your letter to:
The Press Editorial Page
11 Devins Lane
Pleasantville, NJ 08232
For more information, call (609) 272-7266 or 272-7267

Kean Jr.’s Problem with Civil Rights

It seems that Tom Kean Jr. has no problem with being surrounded by those with questionable backgrounds when it comes to racial slurs, and he has a spotty record in the state legislature when it comes to civil rights to boot. 

In this morning’s ‘Courier Post,’ Gregory Volpe states that “U.S. Senate candidate Thomas H. Kean Jr. employed on the state’s dime a former state Department of Labor employee who had used the racial slur “wetback” during a meeting in front of several state employees.” The Kean Jr. employee, Harry Pappas, states that Kean Jr. knew that he was being sued for using a racial slur but that Kean Jr. kept him on the campaign anyway.

This is part of a larger problem, arguably, with Tom Kean Jr.: He has a record of going against basic human civil rights and legislation that would protect the disenfranchised. When Bob Menendez gained the endorsement of an influential group of black ministers in the state, an unsavory moment in Kean Jr’s voting record came to light as part of the black ministers’ oppostion to Kean Jr.’s candidacy.  According to Tom Hester, writing in ‘Newsday,’ “As an assemblyman in 2002, Kean voted against an early version of a state bill to ban racial profiling.”  Racial profiling is a major problem in this state and our country, but Kean Jr. obviously doesn’t share such concerns for African Americans targeted for no other reason than their skin color.

Combine these two revelations with recent remarks and legislation concerning equality for gay and lesbians — Kean Jr. wants to write discrimination into the state constitution, and he voted against a bare minimum domestic parternship law in the state senate –, and we have a senate candidate with a problem: Judging from his record and hiring practices, Tom Kean Jr. doesn’t support civil rights.

Why the recent NYT poll (dead heat) is wrong-Menendez v. Kean.

The NYT tries to ask what your party affiliation is:

Generally speaking, do you usually consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?
R- D- Ind
22 35 35

NJ’s registered voters are:
R- D- Indie

So based on Voter registration, the sample is skewed. If Indie voters were breaking to Menendez by 4%, this skewed sample would have difficulty indicating that trend.

NYT asks what you family income is

Family Income:
Under–  $15,000- $30,000- $50,000- $75,000- Over
$15,000 $29,999 $49,999 $74,999 $100,000 $100,000 Refused
5———-14——— 14——- 23——— 16——- 20—— 8


IIRC NJ median Family income is around 50k. 23 respondents said between 50k & 75, while 20 said over 100k. There is no way that nearly as many NJer’s make over 100k as between 50k & 75. IIRC 80% of Americans make 88k or under. So the NYT seems to have included more respondents of high income. So based on income, the sample is skewed.

Additionally 59 respondents said they have family income over 50k, while 33 said their income was under 50k. If I am right about NJ’s median income (50k), these numbers should be equal. This represents a nearly 50% error.


Tom Kean Jr. Flinches in a Crisis

To be sure, Tom Kean Jr. has faced very few crises in his life, unless one counts considering what corporate account to put hundreds of thousands of oil company stock holdings into or whether to do keg stands or beer pong with his frat buddies at Dartmouth “moments of truth.” In one of his early races – one of the few where he wasn’t appointed to office in an obvious moment of political nepotism at its worst – a Republican opponent distributed fliers saying that the only difficult thing Kean Jr. had done in his life was take a canoeing expedition down the Danube River; there might be some truth to such a claim. Compare that life experience to Bob Menendez, who lived in abject poverty as a child and worked his way through college.

In the state legislature, Kean Jr. has not faced many crises and has not had to make difficult decisions for the most part, though a recent New York Times article cites that his voted often changed with the wind, and Kean Jr. made evasion and obfuscation his central political maneuvers as a state legislator. One could claim that the recent smoking ban battle, which occurred early in 2006, was a moment of crisis since it affected many a restauranteur and patron; we all know what happened with this one, though: Kean Jr. supported the smoking ban, but, after taking thousands of dollars in contributions from casinos, voted to exempt casinos from such a ban.  Talk about quid-pro-Kean at its finest.

The only major crisis that Kean Jr. has faced in his five years in the state assembly and then state senate was this summer, when New Jersey’s government shut down because of Corzine’s budget not passing.  This was Kean Jr.’s moment of truth, and what did he do?  He blinked, and New Jerseyans would have further suffered with pay loss if his no-decision had come to fruition. According to the Record (10-2-06) “Sen. Joseph Palaia, R-Monmouth, said Kean vehemently argued in a closed-room caucus in July that Republicans should not provide votes for a sales tax increase that Democrats said was needed to balance the budget and end a government shutdown.”But if somebody didn’t swing over and give a vote or two, we’d still have people out of work,” Palaia said of the tax bill, which eventually passed with two Republican votes.”

This is the same state senate where Kean Jr., when New Jersey needed him most, begged his way off the state budget committee rather than contribute anything to the crippling budget debate. 

Central to the office of U.S. senator is the ability to stand strong during difficult moments.  In the 110th Congress, this will possibly include a nuclear standoff with North Korea, a world-defying Iranian leader, a minimum wage vote for hurting Americans, an investigation of the Bush-Cheney justifications for war, and so on.  At the one time Kean Jr. has been asked to respond to a crisis, though, he blinked, and I think he would perform terribly given the same chance in the U.S. senate.

Oedipus Kean: A Play in Two Acts

Oedipus Kean: A Two-Act Play
(based on true events)

Starring: Haley Joel Osment as Tom Kean Jr.
  Al Pacino as Tom Kean Sr.

(Opening Scene: Kean Jr., in front of a mirror, before a press conference):
Act I, scene I:

Kean Jr. (practicing his oral delivery, smiling slickly into the mirror): “Bob Menendez, ahem, is a corrupt politician who…took money from corrupt politicians, has close ties to a presidential administration that has a “for sale” sign in front of the White House…” Wait a second; that’s me.

Kean Sr.: Now, now, son.  You’ve been handpicked for this position by the Republican National Committee and Karl Rove himself.  You need to have more confidence and clearly espouse your position.

Kean Jr.: But what should I do if I have no position and instead, as the New York Times suggests, only make myself affable to whatever party I’m trying to appeal to?

Kean Sr.: (looks away, mutters to himself) The seed has certainly fallen far from the tree, hasn’t it?

(The two men head out to the press conference. A disinterested press corps begins asking questions).

Reporter #1: Mr. Kean Jr., in the past televised debate, you refused to answer questions concerning your changing positions on the Iraq War.  Yes or no – would you vote for the resolution to authorize the invasion of Iraq if it was held no.

Kean Jr. bolts from the room with his father running after him.

(In the men’s bathroom):

Kean Sr.: Son, you can’t keep running and hiding whenever you are asked questions by the press.  It looks really bad, and you’ve been caught doing it multiple times on YouTube.

Kean Jr. (huddled in a bathroom stall): Those, those people, they try to get me to state clearly where I stand on the issues.  I just won’t do it! (shaking head back and forth)  Who the heck do they think they are?

Kean Sr.: Those people are the press and your constituents, son.  You have to not only answer questions for them but also stand up for their interests.

Kean Jr.: Rove told me to duck and run when the going gets tough, and that’s what I’m going to do. Say, this bathroom stall reminds me of my college days passed out on the toilet after a night drinking with my frat buddies!

Act II, scene II

(The scene: November 8th, the Kean family estate, Junior walking with his father).

Kean Jr.: Dad, I am entitled to winning this race, just as I was entitled to being appointed via nepotism to the state assembly and the state senate.  I’ve… (trying to think of an original idea) been protected and privileged my entire life, never really working except for BP.  I’ve even led a canoeing expedition on the Danube River!

Kean Sr.: Son (sighing to himself), you’re really not from the same mettle as I. You are far too conservative and think that the Iraq War is going well.  I’ve given you a sheltered life in order to protect you from working, and you used the family name to your advantage.  But it is now a family name that has been tarnished from your dirty campaign.  What were you thinking in hiring a Republican hack who was kicked out of N.H. for accusing a rival candidate’s wife of participating in an orgasm cult?  Why on earth did you lie about Menendez’s participation in the Musto criminal probe?  If you were a bit more authentic and had  a grasp of the issues, perhaps you would now be elected to the U.S. senate instead of feeling sorry for yourself and picking flowers on our family estate.

Kean Jr.: I’m not going to give up, Dad.  I stand against – I mean for – stem cell funding.  I am in favor of – I mean opposed – to Bush’s privatization plan.  Gosh, Dad, why can’t I get anything right? 

A phone rings. Before Kean Sr. can answer

Kean Jr.: Sorry, Dad, that’s Rove on the line, and I’ve always been there for the Bush administration… (pauses a moment). Can’t you appoint me to another position?  Please, dad?


Where Is The Outrage, Junior?

Tom Kean Jr. has repeatedly and viciously attacked Bob Menendez for “enriching himself” with his position in the House of Representatives.  How did Menendez do it?

A real estate agent rented Menendez’s childhood home to a non-profit community group from Hudson County at slightly below average market rate.  Menendez later assisted the non-profit in obtaining federal funds to open up a health center for poor and uninsured Hudson County residents.  The community group continued to rent the property from Menendez, and stayed in the property even after Menendez sold it.

Really.  That’s the whole story.  There’s really nothing else to it.

Yet Junior is running ads on TV and radio claiming that this is proof Menendez is corrupt, and Junior is outraged!  Outraged, I say!

Yet he is strangely silent about this deal where President Bush’s brother and parents are profiting off of No Child Left Behind.

“A company headed by President Bush’s brother and partly owned by his parents is benefiting from Republican connections and federal dollars targeted for economically disadvantaged students under the No Child Left Behind Act.

“With investments from his parents, George H.W. and Barbara Bush, and other backers, Neil Bush’s company, Ignite! Learning, has placed its products in 40 U.S. school districts and now plans to market internationally.

“At least 13 U.S. school districts have used federal funds available through the president’s signature education reform, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, to buy Ignite’s portable learning centers.” (LA Times)

Start being outraged by this, Junior, and we’ll maybe buy your outrage that Bob Menendez is helping the poor get health care.