Tag Archive: Connie Wagner

Rothman Can Still Change His Mind

How to strike the right note in this diary. Now, that’s a challenge. As someone who has been an outspoken fan of primaries, I certainly can’t and won’t join the chorus of Democratic leaders horrified by Steve Rothman’s decision to run against Bill Pascrell in a primary solely because a primary is expensive or can be divisive. Sometimes, primaries are important ideological fights and can be valuable party-building opportunities.

Unfortunately, the situation in NJ-9 is clearly neither: Steve Rothman, unhappy with the outcome of Congressional Redistricting, is moving from his home in Fair Lawn 10 miles east to somewhere in Englewood for the sole purpose of challenging his fellow Democrat, Bill Pascrell, because he calculates that’s the best way to stay in Congress.

Instead of using his sizeable war chest – and up to $2 million additional dollars of funding from the DCCC – to challenge Scott Garrett, we now get to watch him spend that money against his friend, a democratic colleague with whom he has no ideological or political dispute. At a minimum, I considered this a disappointing decision, which I assumed was reached after much soul-searching.

So, I was shocked to learn that Rothman never seriously weighed running against Republican Scott Garrett. While nearly every democrat in New Jersey rejoiced at what appeared to be the potential finally to take out our most conservative tea-party Congressman, Steve Rothman never even seriously considered that opportunity.

That’s a huge loss for the Democratic Party. Rothman is running away from a winnable fight with Scott Garrett, and running against one of the most effective – and most progressive – members of Congress. If the City of Paterson had been moved into Scott Garrett’s district, we all know Bill Pascrell would be all in trying to take Garrett out. And that contrast is something I think Democrats can and should fairly take into consideration when evaluating who they are supporting this June.  

It’s no secret where I stand.  I was on a long list of Bergen, Hudson and Passaic County officials endorsing Bill Pascrell.  I’m standing with Pascrell for a lot of reasons – his strong record fighting for the middle class, his tireless work to obtain national park status for the Great Falls and his commitment to job creation.  But I’m also disappointed.  Disappointed Rothman would rather start this fight than take on a Tea Party Republican we’ve been trying to oust for years.

As the Record’s Al Doblin noted, if Rothman were to run against Garrett, “Even if [he] lost, he would win” – a hero among democrats for taking on the fight. Instead, Rothman’s putting himself in a position where the exact opposite might happen.

I’m still hoping he reconsiders. Or at least gives it serious consideration.

Thank you

promoted by Rosi

This past November, with your support, I was re-elected to the State Assembly to represent Bergen and Passaic Counties.  I am honored to have earned your trust and respect over the past 4 years as your Assemblywoman.  I’ve never considered myself a politician, but always a public servant.  I have been elected to serve the people of New Jersey, something many elected officials forget, which is truly the most important part of our job.

Our state and country face many challenges and it will take the efforts of Democrats, Republicans and everyone in between to improve the quality of life for all Americans.

Public education has been the backbone of America and at every turn there are those seeking to dismantle it.  Higher education is becoming out of reach for many of our high school graduates due to escalating tuition.  Our environment and our health are being put at risk at a time when we should be embracing new technology to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy.  Government inefficiencies and outdated ways of doing things continue to keep the costs of running government too high.  Unemployment and underemployment are rampant, jobs continue to be shipped overseas and the middle class in America is struggling to survive.

These are among the major issues dear to my heart, issues that I have fought, and will continue to fight, to address.  In what capacity I can best tackle these challenges is a question I am now confronted with.

Draft Connie Wagner for Congress

Wagner supporters are using facebook to rally for her. Bertin has the link – so does Nick – if you haven’t seen it. Anybody know if any other potential NJ-5 candidates have a social media campaign presence? – promoted by Rosi

Ever since it was first announced that Congressman Steve Rothman would be running for re-election in CD9 instead of CD5, I have talked up the idea of drafting Assemblywoman Connie Wagner to run in CD5 against Congressman Scott Garrett, based on my belief that she has the potential to be a stronger candidate in this district than Rothman, because of her capacity to attract national attention and dollars.

Just a few minutes ago, while reading a thread started by our very own Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, I discovered that a Draft Connie Facebook group has been started.  Please join me in joining this group and working to build energy and excitement around this extremely important effort.

Protect Collective Bargaining

Citing a strong belief in the principal of collective bargaining and protecting workers’ rights, Bergen County Assembly members Valerie Vainieri Huttle(D- 37), Gordon Johnson(D- 37), Joan Voss(D- 38) and Connie Wagner(D-38) released the following joint statement:

“We were dismayed to learn that this Monday the Assembly Budget Committee will be hearing a bill which will forever alter the way of life of NJ’s low-income and middle class workers.”

“Through our careers as elected officials we have stood up for those that cannot fight for themselves and for the constituents we represent.  This is one of those times where we will stand together to protect our low-income and middle class families from a burden that should not be placed on their backs.”


We’re letting the people vote

promoted by Rosi

No, my campaign is not going away. After all, the election hasn’t happened yet. 🙂

Yesterday evening I submitted petitions to appear in Sunday’s convention as a candidate for the vacant Assembly seat in the 38th district.  I plan to make my case to the elected officials of the county committee that I am the best candidate for the job.  

This process isn’t about party leaders or back room decisions, it is about the people. At the core of my political belief is empowering the people to make sure our nominating process is fair, accountable, and transparent. That’s how democracy works best.

Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, I will work hard to support the entire Democratic ticket in the 38th District because it is so important that we hold these seats in November. And, I intend to take that message directly to the floor at Sunday’s convention, and let the elected county committee members and other elected officials choose their nominee.  

Care to join me? If you haven’t signed up already, please consider volunteering in these last crucial days.

Or just call the campaign at: 973-498-8375.

Thanks again for all of your support!

Jeff Gardner still at work getting ready for Bergen County Democratic Convention – Sunday

I’ve spoken to Tim Eustace already, and Senator Gordon and Assemblywoman Wagner. I’ve also spoken to many municipal chairs and county committee members. And they assure me that they will decide for themselves come Sunday.

                             – LD-38 Assembly candidate Jeff Gardner

Some of the leadership of the Bergen County Democrats – specifically Senator Bob Gordon and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner – have thrown their support behind Maywood mayor Tim Eustace for the open Assembly seat that our Jeff Gardner is also seeking.

Jeff has already reached out to Eustace, a fellow member of Garden State Equality and an acquaintance, and to Gordon and Wagner. Conventional wisdom has it that the leadership’s decision will also be the will of the Bergen County Democratic Committee (which is what the BCDO is calling itself under the new chairmanship of Lou Stellato). And in fact, come Sunday afternoon’s Bergen County Democratic Convention, it may well be.  more….

“Women’s Health Is Being Held Hostage By Ideology and Propaganda”

With the above words Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37) welcomed pink-attired attendees to a rally in front of a Planned Parenthood site in Englewood which no longer has sufficient funds to open on Tuesdays or Saturdays. Family planning and women’s health care are under assault both in the House where Republicans passed a bill to eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood and in New Jersey where Governor Christie also opposed its funding. Senator Lautenberg said, “We’re going to make sure Planned Parenthood can continue serving the health care needs of families in New Jersey and across the country.”

Senator Lautenberg went on to say, “Planned Parenthood is under attack by Tea Party Republicans who have put their extremist ideology above women’s health.” A smaller contingent of opponents held a particularly nasty sign which said Planned Parenthood was aiding and abetting underage sex trafficking. Sen. Lautenberg engaged the protesters and quieted them as he asked if they support mammograms, cervical exams and other routine health services the agency provides.  more below…

Assembly Democrats Rally Mashup

As thousands of New Jersey’s first-responders – firefighters, police, corrections officers emergency medical services members & many of the people they protect every day – rallied outside the State House, many of their signs expressed their disgust with Senate President Steve Sweeney, members of NJ’s other legislative body were out in force at yesterday’s massive rally.

Below, in video shot by the Assembly majority office, Democratic legislators look out at a sea of blue:

Assembly Democrats Voice Their Support for Workers’ Right to Collectively Bargain from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.