Tag Archive: kate whitman

I Guess It’s Not Her Party Either

I was able to see a Republican absentee ballot the other day.  Aside from Tom Roughneen’s promise to be an Army vet who will “Rock the Congress,” I noticed Kate Whitman’s slogan.

Kate’s column carries the slogan “Somerset County Conservative Republicans.”  Kate’s web site even carries the tag “A Fiscal Conservative” across its banner.   Maybe Kate thinks that dubbing herself a Conversative Republican can win her a primary in the 7th. But if it does work, she’s going to have to tone it down a lot in the general.  The 7th tends very moderate.  As Kate’s mother would tell her, it’s their party too.

Hello, Kettle? May I Introduce You to Pot?

Mike Ferguson, no stranger to hypocrisy or campaign trickery, came up with a beauty in the Courier News today.  Apparently Kate Whitman, who wants to succeed Fergie in the House, put out an ad that accused state Senator and former state Senate minority leader Leonard Lance of being responsible for the problems in Trenton.  

It is eerily similar to Ferguson’s “Stender is a Spender” campaign from 2006 where he blamed Assemblywoman Linda Stender for everything that happened in Trenton even if Stender voted against it.

But apparently it’s OK to blast Democratic state legislators for being part of the mess in Trenton, but not the Republicans.  At least in Fergie world.

“I was very disappointed to see Kate’s ad, because it’s false, it’s misleading, it’s a complete distortion of Senator Lance’s record,” said Ferguson, calling Lance a “taxpayer’s champion in Trenton for years.”

Yeah, the most powerful Republican in the state government for years and he’s a champion.  And how about the incredible debt run up under Lance’s watch while they controlled state government and Whitman was governor?  Was that debt championing the taxpayers?

And blaming Linda Stender for actions in Trenton she voted against wasn’t distorting the record?  Wasn’t that “false, it’s misleading, it’s a complete distortion of [the] record?’

The Kate Chronicles, Part II: Whitman Wallows in the Mud

In a press release yesterday, NJ-07 Republican candidate Kate Whitman slimed one of her primary opponents, State Senator Leonard Lance. Whitman accused Lance of being “unethical” for taking “thousands of dollars” in “pay to play money” from federal and state lobbyists.

Isn’t this the same person whose mother recently complained about dirty campaigning in the Republican presidential primary?

In any event, Kate Whitman is in no position to go after the way other candidates are funding their campaigns. Her April filing report revealed that Whitman took another $8,000 from two wealthy Republican families who appear to be funneling campaign contributions through their children in order to evade contribution limits.

The Kate Chronicles, Part I: Republican Aristocracy Wheels for Whitman

A week ago, Kate Whitman’s Congressional campaign sent out a prattling press release to announce that her “grassroots” fundraising effort had raised $230,000 in the first quarter of 2008. We won’t know exactly what she means by “grassroots” until she actually files her Q1-08 report with the FEC, but her last filing report was dominated by a handful of aristocratic families, some of them willing to dance on the edges of campaign finance law.

So far, Kate Whitman’s campaign has pulled in a combined $22,355 from the Hanson and Imperatore families alone. James Hanson is the President and CEO of Hampshire Real Estate Companies, a developer headquartered in Morristown. Five of the ten principals of the company come from one of these two families. They are also major donors to the Blair Academy, where the football field is named “Hampshire Field” after the company.

From these two families, 17 individuals contributed an average of $1,315 each to Kate Whitman’s primary campaign. Whitman’s filing report indicates that eight of them are employed non-students; of the rest, two are listed as homemakers (read: stay-at-home moms), and seven are students. The eight breadwinners could legally donate no more than $18,400 by themselves, but by spreading their contributions out among family members, including children, the two families were able to contribute an additional $3,955. While this isn’t necessarily illegal, it does seem somewhat sleazy.  It’s effectively the aristocrat’s version of wheeling, a practice where contractors exploit a loophole in campaign finance law by funneling money through one or two county party committees to the candidates they support.

The Hanson and Imperatore kids weren’t the only ones who ponied up their summer incomes and allowances for Kate Whitman. One Christopher Merton of Pottersville donated $3,000 to the campaign-$2300 for the primary and $700 for the general. His 12/19 donation coincided with a similar $3,000 contribution from Juliana Merton, at the same mailing address in Pottersville. Another $4,600 came from Katrina Courter, daughter of former Congressman James Courter and his wife Carmen. Katrina is married to Taylor Whitman, who is Kate Whitman’s brother, and is pursuing a masters in educational psychology at Fordham. In total, Kate Whitman raised $16,805 from just nine students in 2007.

Kate Whitman’s campaign isn’t grassroots. It’s more like silver spoon.

The table below the fold shows donations from members of the Hanson, Imperatore, Merton, and Courter families to Kate Whitman’s campaign.

NJ-7 GOP Contenders: Politics Versus Reality

As we all know by now, the state faces tens of billions of dollars in debt and other unfunded obligations. Governor Corzine has been up-front about this harsh reality and proposed a plan – albeit an unfair one – to try to solve the fiscal crisis. So, given the magnitude of the problem, it’s unfortunate that Republicans are choosing to score political points instead of offering solutions.

Recently, three of the Republicans vying for the chance to challenge Assemblywoman Linda Stender in the NJ-7 congressional race tried to score points on the issue. But they’re apparently not up on their facts.

Kate Whitman kicked off her campaign with an email asking Linda Stender: “Why Haven’t You Denounced the Governor’s Toll Increase Plan?”

On February 8th, State Senator Leonard Lance demanded that Stender denounce Corzine’s plan:

“I am calling on Linda Stender to oppose Gov. Corzine’s massive tax and spend plan…”

And in a press release issued the same day, another candidate, Dr. P. Kelly Hatfield, “questioned why Assemblywoman Linda Stender, has been mum on the Governor’s plan to raise tolls on NJ roadways.”:

“Other high ranking Democrats have either spoken out for or against the plan or have admitted to reviewing it but Stender has yet to even acknowledge the plan’s existence.”

Linda Stender constituent letter on asset monetization planIn fact, Assemblywoman Stender has been clear on her position for weeks –  before any of her potential challengers decided to make political hay of the issue.

We obtained a letter that Stender sent to a constituent concerned about the toll plan on January 18, 2008.  In the letter, Stender clearly states that “I am opposed to Governor Corzine’s plan.”

(Click the image to the right for a larger version of the letter.)

The letter reads in part:

Thank you for contacting my office to express your opposition to Governor Jon S. Corzine’s financial restructuring and debt reduction plan, which includes significant increases in tolls along a few of New Jersey’s most heavily traveled roads.

Please be assured that I am opposed to Governor Corzine’s plan. While I agree that efforts to reduce our state debt and ending the practice of spending beyond our means must be made, I do not believe Governor Corzine’s plan is a realistic or just approach to solving New Jersey’s financial challenges. It is unreasonable to penalize residents and businesses that rely on thoroughfares such as the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway for commuting to and from work or for facilitation of business needs in order to correct decades of overspending. A solution to our budgetary problems must instead focus on cuts in spending while preserving assets that have a history of benefiting the residents of this state.

So while these three Republican contenders were trying to land political punches, Assemblywoman Stender was doing something far more important — serving her constituents. She, too, could have scored points by touting her opposition to the plan in the media. It’s likely as unpopular with the voters of the seventh as it with voters in the rest of the state. But she decided not to go that route, sharing her views with those she represents.

Politics and policy making are getting scrambled together on this issue, from dueling press releases from campaigns at all levels, to radio stations trying to up their listenership with Statehouse stunts. But our state’s finances are a matter of serious concern. Even if the NJ-7 Republicans were simply mistaken, rather than lying, they clearly now owe it to the Assemblywoman to correct the record and share the truth with their supporters. I won’t be holding my breath.

Will GOP Congressional Challengers campaign with Mr. 20%?

bushOh, I can’t wait for the President to come to town…

Despite his low approval ratings, President Bush will still be welcome on the campaign trail for Republican congressmen in 2008, said Rep. Tom Cole, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

So here’s the question, will he be welcome and invited to campaign for the challengers in NJ-3 and NJ-7?  Let’s see how NJ voters currently feel about their fearless leader…

Only a fifth (20%) say they approve of the job President Bush is doing, a seven point drop from October.  And stark partisan differences are evident, with just 4 percent of Democrats approving of President Bush but about half of Republicans approving of him (48%).

Do you think Chris Myers, John Kelly, Kate Whitman and Leonard Lance want the President to come join them on the trail and “give them a boost”?  Maybe someone should ask them.

Kate Whitman Telegraphs Her Integrity

Well, we already know how honest one candidate for the House seat in NJ7 is going to be:

Kate Whitman, daughter of former Governor Christine Todd Whitman, announced her candidacy today for a congressional seat in the 7th district.

“I’m running for Congress because I believe I can provide the type of first class representation and constituent service that the people of the 7th Congressional District want and deserve,” Whitman said in a statement. “People are tired of politics as usual in Washington, and as a small businesswoman and mother of two, I will bring a unique perspective that will achieve results.”

Small businesswoman?  She is the paid executive director of a political action committee her mother founded and co-chairs and “runs her own consultancy business” though no one knows what she consults on. That last one is the same line Mike Ferguson foisted on us in 2000 — she takes advantage of her mother’s contacts to get paid for doing little.

Before this she was the communications director for the New Hampshire Republican Party when the party illegally jammed the Democrats’ phone lines on election day.

If you want to bring a small businesswoman mother of two to Congress, Linda Stender is your candidate.  She’s not only brought up her kids, but also ran the family florist and has spent 20 years as a Councilwoman, Mayor, Freeholder and Assemblywoman.  Stender has the experience, the know-how and the intelligence to make a difference in DC.

Whitman has her mother.