Tag Archive: Mitt Romney

What’s Happening Today Sun. 11/03/2013

Three more days of GOTV and the election is over: Real Clear Politics in the last three polls indicates that in October Sen. Barbara Buono made substantial gains in reducing Christie’s point spread advantage: +33 (Quinnipiac 10/27) +24 (Stockton College 10/28) and +19  (Farleigh Dickinson 10/30). But time is quickly running out. Shame on the bosses, Christiecrats and Democratic leaders who have been indifferent to antagonistic toward her. Personally I think they deserve a flogging or worse. A lot of people have spent a huge amount of effort trying to convince others that Barbara Buono would be a far superior governor than Christie. It has been frustrating that others just don’t get it. There is always a chance she might succeed on Tuesday and that a strong last-minute GOTV will make a difference.

Sen. Buono and Milly Silva have a busy schedule today in five counties.

Barbara Buono: 10:00am, Nutley Democrats Annual Pre-Election Breakfast, The Chandelier, 340 S. Franklin Ave., Belleville;  10;20am, Belleville Democrats Annual Pre-Election Breakfast, The Chandelier, 340 S. Franklin Ave., Belleville;  Paramus Democrats Breakfast, 11:15am, The Venetian, 546 River Dr., Garfield;  Barbara Buono: 12:15pm, Teaneck Phone Bank, 549 Cedar Ln., Teaneck;  1:15pm, Passaic County Phone Bank, Passaic County Democratic HQ, 668 McBride Ave., Woodland Park;  3:00pm, with NJ State Democratic Committee Chairman John Currie and Senator Nellie Pou, Unity Rally, Hamilton and Ward, 101 Ward St., Paterson.

Milly Silva: 9:30am, Fairview Democrats Breakfast, La Grande Buffet, 127 Bergen Blvd., Fairview;  10:45am, Union Township Democratic Breakfast, Suburban Gold Club, 1730 Morris Ave., Union;  12:10pm, Plainfield Phone Bank, 211 W. Front St., Plainfield;  2:15pm, with  Senator Cory Booker, Malandra Hall, New Jersey Road, Camden.  

U. S. Sen. Cory Booker will be in Burlington County for two events today on Sunday to help get out out the vote for county and legislaitve candidates. Bring your friends and family members to meet our newly sworn-in Senator. 11:30am, Mount Laurel Rally, Tricia Meadows Clubhouse, 27 Patricia Lane, Mount Laurel;  4:00pm, Burlington City Rally, American Legion Slade-Valentine Post 336, Clarkson & Linden Avenue, Burlington City. We have a chance to turn Burlington County Democratic for the first time in over 35 years.     

Even Mitt Romney was suspicious of Chris Christie: Authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their book Double Down: Game Change 2012 to be published on Monday write, According to a memo on Mr. Christie who left numerous questions unanswered on his vetting form, there were concerns on a defamation lawsuit against the governor from earlier in his political career, on a Securities and Exchange Commission settlement involving Mr. Christie’s brother, on names and documentation of his household help, on information from his time as a securities industry lobbyist, and on his medical history.

Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

Helping to Pay for Chris Christie’s Ego Boost

I live in Burlington County. So I was both pleased and angry when I learned this week that the State of New Jersey will be sending $1.2 million to the County Board of Elections to pay for the special U.S. Senate election to fill the remainder of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term.

I was pleased because the money for this special election would not strain the county’s fragile budget and impact much-needed infrastructure projects and other county-run services. The county government has been dominated by Republican leaders who emulate Governor Christie’s one-shot fiscal gimmicks in order to keep the budget balanced. (For example, last year, they sold a well-run county hospital to a for-profit company in order to show a balanced budget.) At least, now they don’t have to pull this same rabbit out of their hat to pay for a special election.

I was angry, because half of the $1.2 million expenditure is unnecessary.  

Chris Christie uses the working poor as bargaining chips

Bill Holland is executive director of the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, based in Newark. Promoted by Rosi.

Cross-posted with the Press of Atlantic City.

Last week – on Tax Day – Gov. Chris Christie took the opportunity to veto a bill that would have ended his 3-year-old tax increase on 500,000 of New Jersey’s working families – including 23,000 in Atlantic County. Instead, the governor has chosen to yet again hold their livelihoods hostage to secure a reckless tax cut for residents making as much as $400,000 a year.

Half a million hardworking New Jersey families rely on the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. The refundable tax credit helps offset the high cost of living for low-income families and gives adults an incentive to work instead of relying on welfare or other public programs. And it’s been championed by conservatives – including Ronald Reagan, who called it “the best anti-poverty, best pro-family policy, best job-creating measure to come out of Congress.”

But in early 2010, Christie slashed the EITC, essentially raising taxes on 500,000. He cut the state credit by 20 percent, costing some families up to a week’s pay. And while he claimed raising taxes on the working poor was necessary, he allowed tax rates on the richest 1 percent to drop that same year.

Chris Christie’s Crossroads Conundrum

Chris Christie is at a crossroad in his career.

The candidate that he so vociferously supported for President was overwhelmingly defeated. Christie, who has angered the Democrats and a few moderate Republicans with his words and deeds, has been the target of similar vitriol from the mainstream GOP for embracing President Obama and big government in the hurricane relief effort.

His brusque style, while endearing to some, diverts attention from his agenda.

He embraces right-wing extremism by drinking from the teat of the Koch Brothers and supporting wacko candidates like Steve King in Iowa. Yet he pisses off those same extremists by appointing a Muslim judge, walking hand-in-hand with a black president, and extoling the big-government virtues of FEMA. He preaches bipartisanship while holding a lock on most of his GOP legislators.

Unlike those who only espouse family values, he actually practices them. I don’t think you’ll see Chris Christie join the litany of many GOP powerful politicians who hold back false tears while confessing to an extra-marital affair. Yet his ethical behavior leaves many questions unanswered, such as his friend’s dealing with the lucrative halfway house privatization business or his questionable “charity” to help hurricane victims.

He claims he’s a friend of the environment while simultaneously and unilaterally waiving environmental regulations. He vows to rebuild the Jersey Shore while ignoring the root cause of the magnitude of the destruction – man-made global climate change.

Unlike Mitt Romney, who had multiple and changing positions on just about everything, Christie invariably stands firm on the issues. Once he makes up his mind, he rarely changes it. And that, in a nutshell, is Christie’s problem.

There’s a difference between flip-flopping and evolving on one’s position. President Obama and New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney evolved on their position on gay rights and marriage equality. They weren’t for it one day and against it the next. They moved slowly along the continuum toward the side of tolerance and then equality.

Chris Christie can leverage his popularity to fill the post-election void in Republican party leadership. If he does, how will he use that power? Will he continue to allow the party to slide down the abyss created by the extreme right wing? Or will he lead the charge to form a neo-moderate power base within the party? Will he embrace the thoughts of Michelle Bachman and Steve King, or will he move the party toward the more moderate positions of former Governor Christine Todd Whitman and State Senator Diane Allen?

His actions over the next few weeks and months should provide us with a hint. Now that Obamacare has been affirmed by the Supreme Court and the popular electorate, will Christie finally sign the health exchange bill? Now that the influence peddling of the Koch Brothers has been neutered, will Christie evolve into a friend of the environment? Now that both polls and referenda have shown that marriage equality has the overwhelming support of the population, will Christie release the lock he has on GOP legislators and allow them to vote their conscience? All of this will play out over the next twelve months as New Jersey elects its Governor and legislature in what we hope is the post-Tea Party era.

Make no mistake about it – Christie is governed not by ideology, but by his supersized ego. He craves power and attention. The question is, will he achieve his goal by creating a winnable scenario as a neo-moderate, or will he continue down the destructive path of allying himself with Tea Party and corporate extremism?

Cross-posted from deciminyan.org

Has Sandy Changed Christie’s Future?

Based on the initial post-Sandy reaction to the Christie-Obama bromance imagery, I do not see how Chris Christie has a chance to win the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016 (assuming that President Obama wins tomorrow – otherwise, this whole topic becomes moot).  His nonpartisan approach to governance during this crisis will be an even bigger albatross around his neck than Romneycare was for Romney and Christie will not have the luxury of taking on several sgtbatguanocrazy teabagging wingnut opponents, dividing what represented between 60-70% of the Republican primary election voter universe.

He will most likely be in a one-on-one with Paul Ryan who has undoubtedly been a very effective running mate for a terribly flawed Romney candidacy.  Winning a primary election in a one-on-one with a significantly more conservative candidate would have been hard enough pre-Sandy, but post-Sandy, there is just not enough SuperPAC dollars to change the mathematics of the Republican Party in the 21st Century, which probably has more in common with the Democratic Party of the 19th Century.

That said, there are other ways that Christie could become a Presidential candidate in 2016 whether he runs for re-election next year or not, although the path is clearer for him if he doesn’t.  If he and the people closest to him recognize the fact that he cannot win a Republican primary election in 2016, he could take advantage of the goodwill that he built up during and since the storm came and went by aligning himself with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the No Labels crowd, who tried and failed to build energy around the idea of a bipartisan ticket through their Americans Elect effort this year.

Chris Christie’s Legacy

All politicians have egos. Few are as big as Chris Christie’s. With a big ego comes the drive to establish one’s legacy. So what can Chris Christie do to build a legacy that would put him in a positive light in the annals of history?

One way is to be elected President of the United States. Christie opted not to actively enter the race in 2012, and his actions in the Hurricane Sandy relief effort were right and admirable, but made a future presidential run less likely. He alienated the Republican base by standing side-by-side with President Obama and promoting the big government rescue and relief efforts that the GOP hates. If President Obama wins on Tuesday, I doubt that the GOP will have an epiphany and realize that they have become a party of extreme zealots. So while the New Jersey governor’s brusque style resonates well with the GOP, his cooperation with a black Democratic president makes a future nomination from his party highly unlikely.

There’s been talk about Christie accepting a cabinet post in a second Obama administration, or God forbid a Romney administration. But while serving on the President’s cabinet is a tough and important job, it’s a dead end for a politician with grander ambitions.

Christie can, and probably will, run for a second term as New Jersey governor. If the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts go well, the resulting economic stimulus will create jobs and be an excellent boost to the state’s economy. Christie could be hard to beat in 2013.

Given the fact that a Romney victory would cut Christie out from presidential politics for eight years and an Obama victory would move the GOP even further to the right, what could Christie do to establish his legacy?

Sweeney Blasts Coulter: “You should be ashamed of yourself”

When you can’t win on the merits, use ridiculous language to distract and that’s what Ann Coulter did last night, taking to twitter and calling the President “the retard.” Senate President Sweeney has a daughter with special needs and was not pleased at all with her choice of attack:

“It really does not get any more despicable than this.  I honestly don’t know if there is another person on this planet as shameless as Ann Coulter.  She has no morals, no boundaries, and no sense of common decency.

“Her thoughtless remarks are meant to provoke and draw attention to whatever latest nonsensical ultra conservative rant she is peddling.  I really have no words to describe her other than just a horrible person.  I guess going after 9-11 widows was not enough for her.  She now has to attack people with disabilities too.

“This is not only insulting to millions of people across the country, but to me, it is personal.  I have worked hard to scrub that word from our vocabulary forever, and with good reason: words matter.  If Ann Coulter wants to get out from behind Twitter and have a face to face discussion with me on why she wishes to insult my daughter and the millions of people with developmental disabilities in this country, I will have it anytime, anywhere, any place.”

Sweeney noted that the “R” word was removed from state laws and regulations in 2010. But it wasn’t just Sweeney critical of Coulter, Michelle Malkin condemned her remarks as well:

“What a stupid, shallow thing to say, Ann,”

Didn’t think the day would come where I’d agree with Michelle Malkin. Next, Sarah Palin will be condeming her comments too, because you know how consistent she is.

Romnesia

While this isn’t only New Jersey, there are plenty of voters throughout our state who may be suffering from Romnesia. Check out the President diagnosing the illness and then identifying the cure:

If you know any New Jersey voters suffering from Romnesia, share this message with them before Election Day on November 6.

Sheldon Adelson: Kyrillos, Boteach & Romney

Yesterday, Bill Orr walked you through Sheldon Adelson’s superPAC Patriot Prosperity and why so few voters know anything about how reliant Joe Kyrillos and Shmuley Boteach are on its money.

Today, we find out via AP that Adelson is also the top money man bankrolling both Mitt Romney and also organizations shoveling money into the Romney coffers. That makes Adelson Romney’s main man. His homie. His BFF. Adelson is into Romney to the tune of $34.2 million:

Adelson is the largest declared donor to the Romney campaign and supporting political committees, providing more than $34.2 million this election season. He and his wife, Miriam, a physician who heads the Nevada-based Adelson Drug Clinic, have given $10 million to the Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Romney. Adelson also joined relatives to give $24 million to committees backing former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. And he has made public pledges vowing to give $10 million to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC and as much as $100 million this election more broadly to the GOP. Worth an estimated $25 billion, Adelson oversees the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which runs casino and resort interests in Las Vegas, Singapore and Bethlehem, Pa., and Sands China Ltd., a cluster of casinos in the Chinese territory of Macau. He would benefit from loosened trade restrictions and a rise in the Chinese currency rate against the dollar. His company devoted $60,000 this year to lobby on tax issues, foreign tourist visas, travel and Internet gambling issues – and has spent $1.86 million lobbying on legislation dealing with China trade, gambling and travel since 2002. A staunch supporter of Israel, he also is a contributor to the Republican Jewish Coalition, which spent $920,000 since 2002 backing bills aimed at pressuring Iran and enhancing U.S. security cooperation with Israel. Adelson’s casino company has advised shareholders that it was under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investigators were said to be focusing on the Macau casinos and reports of missing money and possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

With one exception, Robert T. Rowling who is 58, Romney’s money men are all white guys and business tycoons in their 70’s and 80’s, including William Koch, brother to Americans for Prosperity’s David and Charles Koch.

Adelson is worth about $25 Billion, so he’s got the cheddar to push his choice of candidates over yours unless you – we – counter with our own boots on the ground, voter contact on the phone, word-of-mouth and advocacy. But you knew that already.

One thing you might not realize, if you gamble out of state, that if you drive over to Bethlehem, PA, and lay your money down at the Sands – which is what Bethlehem has now instead of steel mills employing a generation of workers arching into the American Dream – you’re handing your money to Sheldon Adelson, and now we knew who he hands his money to.