Tag Archive: Rob Andrews

What will happen if Steve Sweeney does not win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2013?

Contested statewide Democratic primary elections do not happen very often here in New Jersey.  Since I started paying close attention to New Jersey politics in 1997, there have only been four seriously contested statewide Democratic primary elections.  In 1997, then-Woodbridge Mayor Jim McGreevey defeated Congressman Rob Andrews and Morris County Prosecutor Michael Murphy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.  In 2000, Jon Corzine bought more votes than his senatorial opponent, former Governor Jim Florio, was able to earn.  In February 2008, Hillary Clinton defeated Barack Obama in the Presidential primary election.  In June of that year, Andrews lost his second statewide primary election when he challenged the incumbent U.S. Senator, Frank Lautenberg.

It appears as if we will have a hotly contested Democratic gubernatorial primary election in 2013.  The most likely candidates at the moment are State Senators Barbara Buono, Dick Codey, and Steve Sweeney.  It is possible that other candidates could come out of the woodwork over the next year or so, but for the sake of this discussion, the names are less important than the questions that the current political dynamic in the state, which has Democratic Party bosses, including but not limited to Steve Adubato and George Norcross, closely aligned with Republican Governor Chris Christie, raises about how serious these bosses are about defeating Christie.

These bosses and their acolytes in the State legislature have enabled Christie to get more of his agenda passed than our last Democratic Governor, Corzine, and have never even come close to a government shutdown like the one which occurred as a result of the conflict between Corzine and then-Assembly Speaker, Joe Roberts, a Norcross minion, over whether the state sales tax should be increased, and if so, how the additional revenue should be spent.  So it stands to reason that Adubato, Norcross et al would probably prefer to have one of their own (Steve Sweeney being the most likely candidate, but Assemblyman Louis Greenwald is another possibility) as Governor than Christie, but in lieu of that, it would not be safe to assume that they would prefer someone else, like Buono or Codey, over Christie.

2013 Ain’t that far Away (thank God)

The Courier-Post‘s opinion editor Mike Daniels ran a recent Sunday feature citing folks, “who closely follow state politics to give us their take — who they think might vie for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and what advice they would give the candidates.”

I am excited to hear how’d you’d answer. Meantime, here was my take:

“My short list includes Sweeney, Buono and Booker at this point. If the election were tomorrow I think a Sweeney/Buono ticket seems most plausable, given the state’s machine-driven dynamics which don’t favor Booker at the moment. A Rob Andrews/Loretta Weinberg ticket is my fantasy pick.”

My recommendations for the Democrats who throw their hat in against Christie: (below)

Fending Off Sharks

I arrived at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden in plenty of time to cover the annual meeting of the Greater Camden Partnership. The event staff showed me to the large ballroom with auditorium seating for the over 400 movers and shakers who would be attending. I set up my video camera on the left side of the room, against what I thought was a wall, near the podium.

Shortly after that, one of the aquarium staff walked by and pressed a button. The “wall” behind me turned out to be a heavy curtain, and it started to rise. Behind the curtain, I was face-to-face with a 500 pound shark along with dozens of other sea creatures in a 550,000 gallon aquarium. All that was separating me from the sharks and a watery deluge was a pane of glass.

There’s more…

Andrews spearheads campaign to expose House GOP budget Nincompoopery

“It’s hard to take them seriously until they look at the other two-thirds of the budget.”

–Congressman Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) on the Republican ruse to tinker with the deficit.

I’ll spare you the boring background since it’s so well-established that when the new GOP House majority starts prattling about fiscal (anything) they are totally full of shit.

That said, this article from today’s BurlCo Times shows that at least one NJ Congressman is perfectly comfortable busting their balls for it.

NJ Congressional Delegation: Committee Assignments

Committee Assignments for the New Jersey Congressional Delegation (source, Associated Press):


Bob Menendez:  Banking (chairs the Housing, Transportation, and Community Development subcommittee); Energy and Natural Resources; Finance; Foreign Relations (chairs the International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection subcommittee)

Frank Lautenberg: Appropriations (chairs the Homeland Security subcommittee); Commerce, Science and Transportation (chairs the Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security subcommittee); and Environment and Public Works (chairs the Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health, Chair subcommittee)

House committee assignments below

Why are Reps. Rothman & Andrews giving cover to Christie’s attempt to weasel out of $271 million?

Soft statements by two members of the NJ Democratic congressional delegation – Rep. Rob Andrews & Rep. Steve Rothman – have been picked up for use in a press release from Gov. Christie’s front office trumpeting Bipartisan Support For Governor Chris Christie’s Challenge To Federal Transit Administration. And in fact, the congressmen’s presence in the release (2 among a dozen people quoted) is the only reason Christie can claim that bi-partisanship in his release. Yes, their statements were lifted (and attributed) from quotes they gave to newspapers. My question is: Why, if you’re Andrews or Rothman, utter such neutralizing statements at all? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the rectitude? The proper response to Christie’s attempt to weasel out of New Jersey paying back the $271 million we owe the federal government now is disgust at NJ trying to cheat the nation’s taxpayers, is resentment and conflict of interest questions that he’ll do it at $485/hour with politically connected out-of-state firm Patton Boggs that’s also repping the Republicans in the coming redistricting, is at least some anger that this governor is making pound-foolish decisions that are costing more money while his team builds him a legacy crafted to make it look like he’s saving us money.

Responsibility is an easy thing to recommend to others, but taking responsibility sometimes requires sacrifice and resolve. Personal responsibility is an easy thing to preach; taking personal responsibility for your actions and those you make for the people you govern is harder, and it’s something Gov. Christie has not shown an inclination to do. Responsibility is more than smackdowns, legacy-building and dominating a room. It’s the harder stuff of grownups.

Gov. Christie pulled the plug on a massive infrastructural project, ARC Tunnel, more than a decade in development, billions invested, an agreement meant to span over the arc of whoever was governor, between New Jersey, New York, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and the workers and people of the region.

Fine. It’s done.
Governor had his reasons, which I don’t agree with at all. But he’s governor. He’s the decider. But what goes along with a decision of this magnitude is consequences. The governor knew going into this decision what those consequences were, and chief among them was the responsibility to pay back the federal government for resources it laid out on our say-so, on our promise we were committed. We might get out of this – via skillful lawyering, and settlement of a bad debt – but the fact is, if we do it will be good but it won’t be right. We owe the nation’s taxpayers their outlay back. We owe. Congressmen Andrews and Rothman could have done better talking to the press, they unwittingly allowed the Governor’s front office to pull quotes that legitimately give the press the impression key Democrats stand behind Christie, his tunnel bungle, and his efforts to slide away from the consequences.

Entire press release – with Rothman and Andrews quotes prominent placed near the top, of course by Christie’s front office – after the jump.

NJ Congressmen offer opposing views on Speaker Pelosi’s Fate

At the exact instant I sat reading about Congressman Albio Sires calling for Nancy Pelosi’s ouster as Dem leader in the next Congress, my Blackberry lit up with a press release from Congressman Rob Andrews who’s still got Speaker Pelosi’s back. Andrews:

I am strongly supporting Nancy Pelosi for Democratic Leader. As Speaker, she has proven to be a strong leader in tumultuous times. She is a consensus builder who listens to and respects all sides. While she has the skills necessary to find common ground for the American people, I am confident that under her leadership we will never abandon our principles. We will build on our record of landmark healthcare reform, a reduction in taxes for 95 percent of the American people and a strong financial reform bill.

In the 112th Congress, we need strong leadership to continue these efforts to improve our country and revitalize our economy. I believe Speaker Pelosi is the right person to continue to lead our party and, therefore, support her run for Minority Leader.”

I am torn about Pelosi and in the end I’m not change-averse on this one. It’s an open thread, BlueJersey. What’s your take?

South Jersey Poll: Adler-Runyan toss-up, Andrews and LoBiondo easy wins

Let’s take another break from advocacy to check the races. I just noticed in the Courier-Post that I missed Monday’s polls from the William J. Hughes Center at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. They’ve again asked Zogby to poll South Jersey and given us data for the First, Second and Third Congressional Districts. The NJ1 (PDF) and NJ2 (PDF) polls have 400 likely voters each while the closer NJ3 (PDF) poll has 600.  

Let’s look at the easy districts first:

Rob Andrews (D) leads Dale Glading (R) 63.4% to 21.9%.

Frank LoBiondo (R) leads Gary Stein (D) 57.3% to 20.0%

Note that there are demographic numbers (party, age, race, education) included in the PDFs and you can see the district-level favoriability of the Representatives, President Obama and Governor Christie.  Obama is over 50% (if barely) in all three districts.  “Christie’s decision to promote Atlantic City” does well in all districts but best in NJ2, which (gasp) includes Atlantic City.  In other results, I trust no one is surprised that voters think “jobs and economy” is the top issue.

Now for the big race: Adler (37.1%) trails Runyan (40.3%), the first time I have seen that result. These seem like low percentages so late in the election, but note the 4.1% margin of error is larger than the difference. Runyan is at 48% favorable so any Adler attack ads have not been effective enough.  Zogby says more Republicans than Democrats will vote in this race.  

DeStefano (Tea Party) still draws in 4.9%.  Almost half (37%) of those voters would switch to Runyan if “they learned the New Jersey Tea Party endorsed Jon Runyan and not Peter DeStefano.” Half (48%) would switch if told (“they learned that the Democrats recruited DeStefano in order to hurt Runyan’s chances for election.” I’d like to hear more from the 4 DeStafano voters who would then switch to Adler! Small number statistics to be sure but you can see why those Democratic operatives wanted DeStafeno on the ballot and Republicans want to play up the story as much as possible.  The poll was taken 10/18 to 10/22 so there’s a real possibility the DeStefano voters have learned the story since the poll was taken.