Tag Archive: GOP

Lost Opportunity

promoted by Rosi

There are 565 different municipalities in New Jersey, with an even larger number of school districts. Each one of these has its own administrative overhead, so smart consolidation and sharing of services is a reasonable path to cutting costs. Princeton Township and Princeton Boro are now reaping a $3 million annual savings after they combined their formerly separate municipal governments.

But with the “home rule” mentality in the Garden State that makes no logical sense from a fiscal viewpoint, the Princetons are the exception. A more likely path to success would be the consolidation of government services to reduce overlaps in cost and to take advantage of economies of scale. Done right, this can save money while providing better service. With poor planning, however, problems will only escalate.

There’s an old aphorism, “Nothing is ever a total loss. It can always be used as a bad example.” And the Republican-controlled Burlington County Board of Freeholders proves that point once again.

Remember When Politics Ended At the Water’s Edge?

Chris Christie, and for that matter most of the GOP, doesn’t.

Here’s how Christie talks while overseas on a trade mission, here in our greatest ally England.

“I think the President has shown over and over again that he’s not the most effective negotiator, whether you’re talking about the Iranian nuclear talks or whether you’re talking about his recent foray into Cuba,” Christie said. “The president has not proven himself to be the most adept negotiator, in my opinion, on behalf of American interests.”

Notice something missing in the GOP’s map?

Big white space where some local Republicans want to turn a NJ U.S. Senate seat red.

Found this on Facebook being promoted by RNC Chair Reince Priebus. Clearly, the Republicans’ priorities don’t include electing Jeff Bell. Clearly, the Republicans don’t have a 50-State Strategy. Not that the Democrats haven’t largely abandoned theirs. But it makes posts like this one at Politicker resonate all the more. Matt Arco tells us on top of a couple fundraisers Christie’s “committed at least one campaign stop for Bell” before election day. Awkward.

How Horrible Are Republicans? Really Horrible.

promoted by Rosi

Apparently a number of state legislators are using their offices and staff to promote Obamacare and get more people signed up before the March 31 deadline.  See if you notice anything interesting about this list of legislators who care enough to help people get health care:

The participating lawmakers are Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, (D-Bergen), Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), Sens. Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex) Nia Gill (D-Essex), Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), Bob Gordon (D-Bergen), and Assemblymen Daniel Benson (D-Mercer), Upendra Chivukula, (D-Somerset), Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Angel Fuentes, (D-Camden), and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer).

Not one of them has an R after their name.   Not one Republican cares enough about the health of New Jerseyans to step out of line even a little bit with the Tea Party and help constituents get help signing up and even get federal aid in buying health care for their children!

For every kid who falls and breaks their arm and Mom and Dad have to pay out of pocket, taking food off the table and making rent hard to afford, you can blame the New Jersey Republican party.  These horrible people care about politics more than preventing the physical and financial ruin of New Jersey’s children.

So what if your party doesn’t like the Affordable Care Act, it’s still the law of the land and will benefit your neighbors.  It’s not going away, and simply ignoring it and not helping make it better hurts people.

What about Nancy Munoz (R-21), a nurse?  No one in her district in Union County would benefit from getting low-cost health insurance?  There are no poor children in Long Hill in Middlesex County, or Kenilworth in Union County, or Watchung in Somerset County who currently have no insurance and are at risk of great harm should an injury or illness befall them?  

How about Amy Handlin (R-13), who was the chair of the Monmouth Communities Against Tobacco and has been honored by the American Cancer Society?  There are no 55 year olds in Monmouth County starting to have age-related health issues but not eligible for Medicare yet?

Both of these Republican legislators serve on the Health and Senior Services committee and have a history of caring about health care for the young and poor.  How sad that they can put their education and life-long work to the side all to avoid angering the Fox News crowd.

Not NJ: Also, Not Al Qaeda in Benghazi

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OK, Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State when the attacks on Benghazi killed three Americans on September 11, 2012.  And she is the Democrat Chris Christie is most often polled against for President.  So there’s a teeny-tiny NJ in this one:

A months-long investigation by The New York Times “turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role” in the assaults last year on a U.S. diplomatic mission and a C.I.A. compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The attack on Sept. 11, 2012 resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

The Times’ investigation relied on “extensive” interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack. The report concludes that the attack was led by local fighters who “had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.” And — contrary to claims made by Republicans — the Times also reports that the incident “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

h/t TPM.  Read the rest at the whole NY Times article.

Welcome to Hunterdon: This is the level we’re dealing with here.

Item #1: This week, somebody banged on Marie Corfield’s door, threw this (below) on the porch, and ran away. Apparently some GOP asshat is scandalized that Corfield dared to run for the Assembly (LD-16) as a Democrat. I’ll let you judge for yourself the crude cock-and-balls scrawled on the bottom, and the fact that “Republican” is misspelled. By the way – The police are onto you, dude.

Item #2 at Bed, Bath & Beyond: Corfield, who was with her 13-year-old daughter, spots winner GOP Asw Donna Simon, and takes the opportunity to congratulate her in person. Instead, Simon says, “I don’t want to say in front of your daughter …” but then launches into a diatribe that Corfield should be “ashamed of yourself” for her “despicable campaign” because “you’re a mother”. Apparently, Simon didn’t like our reminding voters of her votes against women’s health care funding. Mind you, Simon has accused Corfield of being unpatriotic. Yelling at somebody in front of their kid. Stay classy, Assemblywoman Simon.  

Item #3: Election Night, Flemington, our two (excellent) candidates lost to two GOP incumbents of advanced years. Congratulations to them both. But as votes came in, the Democratic municipal chair crossed the room to shake their hand, and one of them slapped his hand away. Literally. Three things to know about this: I live with that chair, which is how I know it happened (2) that Chair happens also to be  Flemington Council member (3) The GOP tried to make him the issue in the campaign, inventing a story that he threatened to sue the borough and cost taxpayers money when (4) actually the person who actually did sue and cost taxpayers money was one of the winners (we didn’t use that info against him, because we didn’t think his suit was wrong). I guess we’re classy like that.

Item #4: Even when they win, some Republicans are sore winners. Here, the wife of one of Flemington’s re-elected councilmen goes off in a long letter to the Editor, apparently disagreeing with the kind of feminist our two (women) candidates are. Or something.

Here’s what some asshat threw on Corfield’s porch:

Some GOP asshat left this at Marie Corfield's door, then ran away

QoTD: Gov. Kean on his political son vs. his actual son

A couple of pullout quotes from a couple of illuminating interviews with former Gov. Tom Kean by Charles Stile of The Record and Matt Friedman at the Ledger – a rare one-two punch from competing newspapers.

First from Friedman’s:

“You assume that if the governor wins by 20 points or more you’d have coattails,” Kean said. “No governor I know in any state has won by 20 points and not had coattails.”

Uh, yeah, I’m thinking Christie doesn’t much care about the no-coattails thing, Governor. Christie’s political rise has always been about Christie, and less about bringing along fellow Republicans who might share his worldview of how things should be run. GOP donors considering 2016, take note.

Kean Sr. seems pretty pissed in chats with both reporters, though he’s too much of a gentleman (or so I suppose) to suggest his disaffection is permanent against his political protege who first came to him as a fresh-scrubbed 14-year-old. I should add, he’d probably not choose my word, “pissed”. Though I imagine even gentlemen get that way when they realize NJ politics has devolved to the point where your political son actually tries to take out your actual son. Had Christie’s failed move against Kean Jr. succeeded, Stile suggests, it might have ended Junior’s political career.

Christie’s skulduggery against his own party’s legislative leader was almost certainly political payback on behalf of his political ally, Steve Sweeney. It was Junior who financed the GOP effort to take Sweeney out November 5th, recruiting attorney Niki Trunk to run against him. I’ve had my issues with Sweeney’s leadership – he’s made some good moves and some awful ones – but I’m glad he beat Trunk, and by a healthy margin.

But just the same way it’s doubtful Christie cares about his lack of coattails, I doubt he’s losing sleep over the disappointment Gov. Kean now feels for him. But this quote, from Stile’s piece shows Christie’s self-serving schtick is getting old for even the most loyal in Christie’s circle:

“He’ll have a microscope on him and we’ll find out … if he’s qualified,” he told The Record.


Ouch. But yeah. Bring on the microscope.  

QOTD: “A Scared Child” – Unless It’s In His Best Interest

Tom Kean Jr. is taking a beating publicly following Tuesday’s election results. Even though he seems to have survived as Senate Minority Leader for the Republicans, Senate Majority Leader and Blue Jersey friend Loretta Weinberg questioned where the fight he showed to keep his GOP title was when more important issues were on the table. Weinberg:

“Tom Kean was willing to stand up to the governor when it was in his personal best interest, but when it came to women’s health, abused children, background checks for guns and tax relief for seniors he hid like a scared child,” Weinberg said. “This only proves why New Jersey voters returned all 24 Democratic Senators to ensure Democratic control of the upper house.”

It’s a good point the Senator makes. Kean should be pushed to show the same spine and stand up to the Governor on many issues this coming cycle to see whether he’s really concerned about the people of New Jersey or his own legacy.

Cook Political Report Says Three GOP Congresscritters At Risk

The Cook Report, a highly respected subscription only political report, did some studying after the recent government shutdown and has determined that there are a good number of Republican House members who are at risk, and that the Democrats may actually have a shot.

And three of those Congresscritters are from New Jersey.

Cook put together five categories that put an incumbent at risk.  (Sorry, no link since it’s paywalled.)They are:

  1. Sits in a district with a Cook PVI score of R+5 or more Democratic.
  2. Sits in a districts with a Cook PVI score of R+2 or more Democratic.
  3. Received 55 percent of the vote or less in the 2012 election.
  4. Held less than $500,000 in cash on hand at the end of September 2013.
  5. Had a Democratic opponent with more than $100,000 in cash on hand at the end of September 2013.

Turns out Rep. Jon Runyan hits four of these, with a PVI of R+1 (that’s categories 1 and 2), less than 55 percent of the vote in 2012, and just $300K or so cash on hand.  If we had a declared Democrat with $100K on hand we’d have the quinfecta.

Reps. Frank LoBiondo and Scott Garrett are a little less appealing.  LoBiondo gets two risk factors (1 and 2) solely because he’s in a D+1 district, but none of the categories match up.  Garrett gets two risk factors because he’s in an R+3 district and “only” got 55 percent of the vote in 2012.  I don’t find LoBiondo persuasive, and Garrett doesn’t really belong on the list since he got 55.03 percent of the vote in 2012.

Runyan is the top target, I think, for Democrats next year and with a really good candidate (read: always out in public or dialing for dollars) and campaign team (read: media and fundraising) that seat is a definite pickup.

At the same time, we need to go after LoBiondo and Garrett as well if for no other reason than to ensure GOP money has to go there to defend them and doesn’t get spent elsewhere.  With a great candidate and team we could win one of those (and in NJ-7 with Lance if he’s portrayed as betraying his “moderate” roots) in a wave election, but NJ’s Democrats have proved particularly weak at doing so.

Any thoughts from the peanut out there?