Tag Archive: Jeff Van Drew

Bye-bye Tea Party Frank

UPDATE: Late reports indicate that the South Jersey Democratic machine will encourage and support the most conservative Democrat in the State Senate, Jeff Van Drew, to run for the seat. WIll The Resistance be able to overcome The Machine? In…
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Garden State Equality, sick of Van Drew, endorses the Republican LD1 challenger

Are you surprised that Garden State Equality is endorsing a Republican vying to unseat an incumbent Democratic state senator? Don’t be. Democrats have been in the forefront of the fight for gay rights in New Jersey (as in other states), and many are the heroes of our recent win to recognize marriage equality.

But in the heavily contested LD1 District, GSE this morning endorsed Susan Adelizzi, the GOP challenger to Sen. Jeff Van Drew. Why? Because Van Drew failed to disavow a mailer sent not by his campaign but by a group backing his re-election. The group, called N.J. Family First (as though the rest of us put family last) drips with sanctimonious language, speaking of “values” as though the rest of us don’t have any. If this sounds familiar, you’ll be glad to know the group is a spinoff of New Jersey Family Policy Council, so you’ve probably heard its leader Len Deo talk this way.

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The piece, in baby pink, says Van Drew “supports traditional marriage and letting the people vote on the definition of marriage,” while Adelizzi-Schmidt “thinks she can take your vote for granted while cozying up to same-sex marriage proponents who denied your right to vote on marriage.” (Man, is that an awkward sentence).  

What’s Happening Today Tue. 09/03/2013

Post Labor Day, election efforts now pick up for our State legislators: All 120 seats will be on the ballot in November. It’s time to get involved in donating and helping our candidates. Incumbents (generally) rule, but some seats are more tenuous than others and call out for help.

Below is a list of incumbents in the primaries who received less votes than their challengers – preceded by their legislative district and an asterisk to denote the incumbent. The fact that an incumbent got less votes than a challenger is not an indication that the person will lose (primaries are peculiar animals), but it can raise a flag and suggests that the Democrats in the race merit more assistance. Likewise, the fact that Democratic Assembly challengers like Marie Corfield (16th) and Ed Zipprich (11th ) received less votes than the incumbents serves as an incentive for Democrats to provide additional help.  

  •  Senate: 1st, Jeff Van Drew* (D), Susan Schmidt (R); 2nd, Jim Whelan* (D), Frank Balles (R); 7th, Diane Allen* (R), Gary Catrambone (D); 27th, Richard Codey* (D), Lee Holtzman (R); 38th, Bob Gordon* (D), Fernando Alonzo (R). 8th, no incumbent: Peter Barnes (D), David Stahl (R). 14th very close race with incumbent ahead by 61 votes: Linda Greenstein* (D), Peter Inverso (R).
  • Assembly: 1st, Nelson Albano* (D) & Bob Andrzejczak* (D), Sam Fiocchi (R) & Kristine Gabor (R); 27th, John McKeon* (D) & Mila Jasey* (D), Angelo Tedesco (R) & Laura Ali (R); 38th, Timothy Eustace* (D) & Connie Wagner* (D) who dropped out from the race and was replaced by Joseph Lagana, Joan Fragala (R) & Joseph Scarpa (R). 14th, close race: Wayne DeAngelo* (D) & Daniel Benson* (D), Steve Cook (R) & Ronald Haas (R).

    Senator Robert Menendez: 2:30pm, presides over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Syria Hearing with testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey, Washington, D. C. Live webcast here or probably CSPAN.

    Buono, Silva to Unveil Plan to Improve Higher Education in New Jersey: With thousands of students opting to leave the Garden State every year, the Buono/Silva campaign today presents a plan to lower tuition costs at public colleges and universities, reinvest in county colleges and improve vocational skills. (See Public Schedule below.)

    Public Schedules (your opportunity to cheer or jeer):

    Buono/Silva Campaign: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono and Lt. gubernatorial candidate Milly Silva: 11:30am, Higher Education Press Conference, Rutgers University, Brower Commons, New Brunswick; Barbara Buono: 6:00pm, Hawthorne Democrats Cocktail Party, Brownstone House, 351 W. Broadway, Paterson.

    Governor and gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie: 11:00am, makes an announcement about New Jersey Institute of Technolog, Summit St., outside NJIT’s Central King Building, Newark; 2:00pm, Gotham Burger Co., 1383 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck.



    Email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com.

  • Wanting a Tax Cut Doesn’t Make You an A-Hole

    So, earlier this week Democratic state Senator Jeff Van Drew supported Governor Chris Christie’s proposal for an income tax break based on property taxes paid.

    Hetty Rosenstein, a CWA Union bigwig, wrote this response on Facebook:

    Like if you think Jeff Van Drew is one of the biggest assholes in the Democratic Party

    In response, Van Drew told PolitickerNJ.com:

    “I don’t think there’s anything all that wrong, terrible or horrible in believing that middle-class New Jerseyans deserve a property tax cut,” Van Drew said, adding, “If that makes me an a-hole, then I’m proud to be an a-hole.”

    It’s not wanting a middle class tax cut that makes one an a-hole.  Middle class tax cuts can often be a good thing.  

    But Christie proposed a tax cut that is not limited by income — necessary to be call a “middle class” tax cut — but would go to anyone paying up to $10,000 in property taxes.  That makes it a tax cut for all homeowners (and some renters), not a middle class tax cut.  Homeowners like Chris Christie, who is decidedly not middle class.

    And the tax cut Van Drew is supporting was proposed at a time when state revenues are lagging state budgets by more than $300 million a year, not the best time to cut revenues.  Unless you are a supply sider, which most of us in the Democratic Party are not.

    And the tax cut Van Drew is supporting is in conflict with tax cuts that have been suggested by leaders of the state Democratic Party, and was proposed by the leader of the state GOP.  So he’s undermining our own leadership.

    And the tax cut Van Drew is supporting was proposed by someone running against fellow Democratic Senator Barbara Buono who Van Drew would generally be expected to support unless he were actually a GOP Senator who believed in supply side tax cut economics in disguise.

    So, no, wanting a middle class tax cut doesn’t make you a proud a-hole.  But other things might.

    Thanks to the NRA, Trenton is Open for Business

    With deepest respect to the victims in Newtown, may we pull the curtain back a bit on Trenton’s relationship with the NRA?

    The Inquirer focused on on New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s (D-Gloucester) Angler and Hunter Conservation Caucus for legislators and Camden Senator Donald Norcross’s sudden devotion to blood sports.  The shooting caucuses are nationwide, and they are commercial.

    At industry’s behest, Mr. Sweeney and other South Jersey,  Norcross Machine Democrats have rammed a series of de-regulatory and “hunter access” bills through the Legislature, often at the expense of suburban and rural homeowners. Industry writes the model bills and cooperating legislators enact them.

    The National Sportsmen’s Caucus “delivers returns on investments” to the National Rifle Association., the Archery Trade Association, Titanium, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (“the firearms industry trade association”), Safari Club International, Browning, ATK Federal Premium ammunition and others.  It is now calling the shots in Trenton and other state capitals.

    A Time To Call for an M. E. Ballot Vote Or A Time To Override a Veto?

    A Star-Ledger editorial today says, “It is time to call Gov. Chris Christie’s bluff on gay rights. He vetoed a bill on marriage equality earlier this year, denying a basic human right to thousands of New Jersey couples and their children with a stroke of his pen. it’s time for the Legislature to make its move and put the question on the ballot in 2013.”

    I don’t think that a civil rights matter like marriage equality should be a ballot issue. However if there were an ideal time to put the matter to popular vote it would have been during the just concluded elections when in NJ President Obama beat Mitt Romney by 16.9 points, U. S. Sen. Robert Menendez beat State Sen. Joe Kyrillos by 18.5 points, and when  M. E. opponent Christie spent so much time out of state. For the matter to be on the ballot next year without a presidential or senatorial election would be less than ideal. Presumably Christie will then be in high-gear campaign mode, speak out against M. E., and not want the embarrassment of having M. E. approved under his watch.

    The need now is to get sufficient votes in the Senate and Assembly to overturn Christie’s veto. The Senate passed the measure 24-16 with two Republican votes, Sen. Jennifer Beck (Monmouth) and Sen. Diane Allen (Burlington) in support and with two Democrats, Sen. Ronald Rice (Essex) and Sen. Jeff Van Drew (Cape May) in opposition. The Senate needs 27 votes to override the Governor. The Assembly passed the measure 42-33 with no Republican votes and with two Democrats, Nelson Albano and Matthew Milam, both from Cape May, who voted against the measure. The Assembly needs 54 votes to override the veto.

    It is up to legislative leadership and advocates to convince a few Republican Senators and Assemblypersons, as well as recalcitrant Democrat nay-sayers, to join the effort. The Senate may already have the needed votes, but there is less certainty in the Assembly. The legislature has until early January 2014 to gain needed support and to schedule a veto override vote. It is also  possible that by then or shortly thereafter the New Jersey Supreme Court may rule favorably on the matter. Efforts now at both a legislative override and a favorable NJ Supreme Court ruling are being pursued. It’s not the time now to call for a public ballot vote.

    Senator Bob Smith, Trenton’s Trigger-Happy Democrat

    “Whenever the Democrats compromise, it seems to involve appeasing hunters, in this case at the expense of homeowners.”

    -Sue Russell, Wildlife Policy Expert

    The Animal Protection League is an organization dedicated to the well-being of companion animals, wildlife and farmed animals in New Jersey. We’re also committed to preserving New Jersey’s landscape to accommodate an abundance of species here in our state. Above all, we’re non-partisan and have a history of working with Democrats, Republicans and third party candidates. But you guys at BlueJersey are partisan and you do a great jobs keeping politicians on their toes, particularly when they wander off the ideological reservation and abandon party principle.

    NRA’s TOKEN TRENTON HANDMAIDEN

    Democratic Senator Bob Smith (Middlesex Co.) has a voting record on issues such as gay rights and reproductive choice that largely squares with public opinion and his party’s platform. It seems to work for him and his district, where voters have returned him to Trenton by comfortable margins. A cursory glance at Smith’s voting record on environmental and wildlife management doesn’t suggest anything sinister. As per Sen. Smith’s Wikidepia Page:

    “Smith sponsored and passed laws dealing with such critical matters as increasing penalties for violations of environmental laws, repairing outmoded combined sewer systems, and reforming the state’s oil spill prevention efforts. Senator Smith’s legislative accomplishments include authoring the Ocean Pollution Bounty Act, Sludge Management Act, Oil Spill Prevention Act, the Worker and Community Right to Know Act and the Clean Water Enforcement Act.”

    Just the sort of thing you’d want to see the chairman of the NJ Senate Environmental Committee to boast about, right?

    But a closer look at Senator Smith — particularly with regards to wildlife management — reveals a curious relationship with the Hunting and Gun Lobby as well as the recently infamous American Legislative Affairs Council (ALEC), a right-wing organization “composed of conservative legislators, businesses and foundations which produces model legislation for state legislatures and promotes free-market and conservative ideas.”

    Let’s go beneath the fold for the gory details.

    For Shooting Trade, Trenton is Open for Business

    With deepest respect to the victims in Aurora, Colorado, may we pull the curtain back a bit on Trenton’s relationship with the NRA?

    The Inquirer focused on on New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s (D-Gloucester) Angler and Hunter Conservation Caucus for legislators and Camden Senator Donald Norcross’s sudden devotion to blood sports.  The shooting caucuses are nationwide, and they are commercial.

    At industry’s behest, Mr. Sweeney and other South Jersey,  Norcross Machine Democrats have rammed a series of de-regulatory and “hunter access” bills through the Legislature, often at the expense of suburban and rural homeowners. Industry writes the model bills and cooperating legislators enact them.

    The National Sportsmen’s Caucus “delivers returns on investments” to the National Rifle Association., the Archery Trade Association, Titanium, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (“the firearms industry trade association”), Safari Club International, Browning, ATK Federal Premium ammunition and others.  It is now calling the shots in Trenton and other state capitals.