Tag Archive: blue 7th

How Linda Stender Lost

Post-mortems are a sad duty in any world, in no small way because it means “after death.”  The death in this case are the hopes of thousands of volunteers, donors and staff to send Linda Stender to Congress to represent New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District.

This has been a four year effort for many of us, starting before Linda even decided to run in 2006.  It is hard for some of us because we know Linda personally and like her very much, and worked so hard and invested so much in getting her to the finish line.

In 2006 we came within 1.5 percent of the vote against a three term Republican named Mike Ferguson.  It was a stunningly unexpected effort that shocked the national party which gave secondary support to the campaign while dumping millions in others where the margin was seven points or more.

In 2008 Linda lost by a little less than nine percent, a stunning defeat in a race where we saw polls putting Stender even or just behind State Senator Leonard Lance in the days before the election.  It was made all the more stunning in that 2008 was a better year for Democrats than 2006, yet the Stender campaign fell far behinds its previous result.

How could that happen?  Lance didn’t run a great campaign.  Stender had lots more money.  The DCCC dropped over a million dollars into the district, while the NRCC walked away and focused on NJ3.  Registration for Democrats jumped dramatically.  And then there was that guy running for President who brought Democratic turnout to amazing levels.  The environment couldn’t have been better.

But she lost anyway.

Because, as near as we can tell, they forgot all the lessons of 2006 that got them close.  Instead of building on the energy and volunteers from the previous election they brought in an entirely new team from outside the district, ignored the organizations like Democracy for America that supported Stender in 2006, and blew off local expertise in favor of a cookie-cutter campaign.

Mike Ferguson is a Spender, And A Tax Raiser Too!

It’s not as catchy as “Stender is a Spender,” but it turns out Mike Ferguson is a spender – and he’s a tax raiser, too!  Looks like he may have lost his only campaign item against Linda Stender should she decide to run again in 2008.

Mike Ferguson is a tax raising spenderBecause last week Mike voted for the Democrats’ Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act (HR6) which the House Republican Study Conference calls, “$7.7 billion in tax increases over ten years, PLUS $6.3 billion in new royalty payments over the same period. (CBO, JCT)” 

In all her years in the Assembly, on the Union County Freeholder Board, and as a Fanwood Mayor and Councilwoman Linda Stender never voted for an unbalanced budget.  Sometimes that required voting for increases in taxes, but all 20 years of votes combined didn’t add up to this single vote of Mike Ferguson’s.

Assuming Stender runs again in 2008, Ferguson will now be unable to trot out the tax increasing, spender image he tried to tar Stender with because he’ll just be further demonstrating his hypocrisy.  We know he’s increased spending and deficits in his time (see below), and now he is raising taxes.

And after he had signed a pledge for Grover Norquist saying he would never vote to raise taxes.  Norquist gave Ferguson an award he’ll probably be taking back now, and we’ve got the art to prove it!

Mike Ferguson and Hillsborough’s Mercury

As we’ve noted before, Rep. Mike Ferguson claimed a lot of successes in the 2006 campaign that were either very minor or not true at all.  The most egregious of these was the claim that he had moved mercury out of Hillsborough which is still there today and isn’t going anywhere.

Repeatedly newspapers covered this claim, simply transcribing Ferguson’s claim without every fact checking it or bothering to note that the mercury was still there.  It is this kind of reporting that allows a do-nothing Congressman and back bencher to spin the facts and confuse voters. 

Linda Stender only lost the election by 3,200 votes, and it is easily possible that had the Courier News been more critical in its reporting that people would have known of Ferguson’s slight record on helping the district (for instance, noting that the funding for the Green Brook Flood Control Project was less than 2 percent of what is needed) that 1601 people might have changed their votes.  That is why we must be strident in contacting editors and reporters over the next two years when they simply repeat Ferguson’s words instead of reporting the facts.

And it is not as if the Courier News didn’t know about the problems with Ferguson’s mercury claim.  They only decided to talk about it, though, a month after the election in this opinion piece from today:

Hillsborough officials remain confident that the mercury supplies at the GSA Depot will be shipped out of town in the near future. But some obstacles remain, primarily the opposition of the governor of the state where the mercury is headed.

Five Dollar Friday? FANTASTIC!

UPDATE II: We are now at $3,945.27 $3,980.27, less than $55 $20 short of $4,000.  Come on, folks!  All we need are two is one $27.50 $19.73 contributions to Tom Wyka and we have met the $4,000 and 10 contributor goals!  Or 11 4 $5 contributors.  Or 5 2 $11 contributors.  There are really quite a few options.

UPDATE: Thanks, folks!  We’re now only three contributions to Tom Wyka from getting our 10 contributions for all the candidates.  Your work today put Paul Aronsohn and Rich Sexton over the mark.  Keep it up!

Labor Day is just three days away, and that means the campaign season starts in earnest!  Our Blue Jersey Challengers are gearing up with radio, tv and print ads; voter registration projects; polls and surveys; voter contact; and more, more, more!

And that takes money.  Your money.  My money.  Jon Corzine’s money.  All of it pooled together to crate a huge lake of campaign resources to help us all kick ass!

All we’re asking is $5 from Blue Jersey folks so we can get to 10 contributors for each campaign.  Or $50. Or $500.  Seriously, it adds up — Blue Jersey has already raised $3,800.00.

You can give to a specific candidate of your choice, or use this form to have your contribution split amongst them all:


Here’s where we stand today:


Linda Stender 31
Carol Gay 18
Richard Sexton 11
Paul Aronsohn 10
Tom Wyka 9

Mike Ferguson, Joe Lieberman and Ralph Reed? Wow!

Ralph Reed just lost a primary for the Lt. Governor spot in Georgia, and it has been suggested that he lost because he “rode the coattails of his friend Jack Abramoff, noted corrupt superstar lobbyist, into big paydays from gambling interests.”

Joe Lieberman is in a fight for his life in today’s Connecticut Senate Democratic primary, and the prevailing argument against Lieberman is that he has lost touch with the needs of his constituents with regard to the Iraq War, civil rights and backing President Bush unilaterally.

Mike Ferguson is being challenged heavily by Assemblywoman Linda Stender and is facing the same complaints that he is out of touch with his constituents on contraception, embryonic stem cell research, and on the Iraq War.

And what do these three seemingly different politicians from different parts of the country running for totally different offices have to do with each other?  In the 1990s they were all leaders of the religous right, working to tear down the wall separating church and state.  Ralph Reed was the Executive Director of the Christian Coalition, Mike Ferguson was the Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for America, and Joe Lieberman was well known for claiming religion was “under attack.”

NOT Ferguson for Congress

Blue 7th PAC launched a new website today called NOT Ferguson for Congress at http://www.fergusonforcongress.net

The site mirrors the look of the official Ferguson for Congress site but includes different photographs and content.  All photos are undoctored, and the content is linked to source material so readers can check to see that the information is accurate.

NOT Mike Ferguson for CongressThe official Ferguson for Congress website recently underwent a redesign, scrubbed of any pictures and all but three mentions of President George Bush.  Earlier this year pictures of President Bush were on the front page, and Rep. Ferguson proudly brought the President to Westfield to speak to a hand-picked audience as part of the Social Security town meeting tour.

The NOT Ferguson for Congress website is intended to help the voters of New Jersey’s 7th District learn who Re. Ferguson is beholden to, and to clarify his record as a rubber stamp Republican in Washington, D.C.

If you’d like to link to the site, please use the following code:

Roll Call Puts 7th In Play

Roll Call, the newspaper for Capitol Hill (since 1955), has put the 7th District into play.

Outlook: Likely Republican

Ferguson has yet to solidify his hold on the swing 7th district, which extends from just outside the cities of Newark and Elizabeth all the way to the Pennsylvania border. But he defeated a highly touted Democrat fairly handily last cycle. This time, the leading Democratic candidate is state Assemblywoman Linda Stender, who just entered the race in December. If she can raise money quickly, she could be competitive.

Yeah, like in Charlie Cook’s analysis the 7th is “Likely Republican” but both major callers of the horse race say Ferguson has not been able to lock down his district after being given a gift in the 2001 redistricting. 

In short, we have a chance and we need your help.  Please take a membership in Blue 7th PAC at just $25 a year, and consider giving more!  [Form after the jump.]

Friday the 13 Cooks Up Bad News for Mike Ferguson

Charlie Cook runs one of the most reliable and believed in political newsletters, and is particularly famous for handicapping races.  His data is usually highly proprietary and campaigns pay a lot of money to get their hands on it.  When a candidate moves within Cook’s categories, it is a sign that something is changing and usually considered a big deal.

Mike Ferguson has been moved from being safe to being in play.  Since the February 18, 2005 House Summary Ferguson has been off Cook’s radar, but the Friday the 13th, 2006 House Summary he was put back into play.  It’s still in the Likely Republican column, but still not a slam dunk.

With some work from Blue 7th and our candidates, we can move him into to Lean Republican column, then into the Toss Up column, and finally into Retirement in January 2007.

Why? Because New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District is not necessarily as Republican as folks make it out.  NJ7 has a Cook Report Partisan Voting Index of just R+1 which means it voted for Bush one percent more than that country did as a whole.  Since Bush only got 51 percent, that means he got 52 percent in the NJ7.  Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, reported in May 2002 that even in the newly redistricted NJ7 Al Gore won 51 percent of the vote. 

Voters here have demonstrated that they will vote for a Democrat when given an opportunity, and when given a choice.  Here at Dump Mike and the Blue 7th PAC it is our job to present the voters with enough information that they decide it is time to make a choice.