Tag Archive: Josh Zeitz

Christie’s Summer of Self-Promotion

I probably couldn’t have said it better than the title of the piece by Josh Zeitz at the Atlantic which I used as the title of this diary. Zeitz started by describing the Christie narrative:

The Jersey Comeback story goes something like this: Having inherited a state on the brink of bankruptcy, Christie cut state spending; held the line on taxes; fixed the state’s unfunded pension liability; and took on the vested interests that have so long made Trenton a den of dysfunction. In short, tough-guy Christie took a bat to the bad guys and saved hard-working taxpayers from economic ruin.

Christie tells this story not only at his taxpayer funded rallies he calls town hall meetings, but also at stops around the country building his own profile under the guise of helping other Republicans. Zeitz continued:

It’s a great story, made more powerful by an unpopular foil (Jon Corzine) and a deferential national press corps. It also happens to be completely untrue. Christie certainly brings an unusual disposition to the governor’s office. But in every other way, he has proven just as unwilling (or unable) as his predecessors to confront the structural barriers to meaningful reform. And that is the real tragedy of his governorship.

Follow me below the fold as Zeitz dispels many of the myths of the Christie show by injecting some facts into the discussion.

… And the Rest

Before the Professor and Maryann got their due in the Gilligan’s Island theme song, they were known collectively as “the rest.” And that’s about how some of NJ’s House races, and the Senate race, must have felt this year.

With the Obama campaign sucking up so much of the oxygen (and money, and energy, and ultimately the very PA-bound volunteers themselves), most of what was left over was focused on the “hot” races in NJ-3, NJ-5, and NJ-7. Like so often in the past, if you weren’t running in one of the hot races, then you found yourself with scant attention being paid to your campaign.

In the case of Senator Lautenberg, and our 7 Democratic House incumbents, no news was good news. New Jersey’s voters delivered a solid double-digit win to its senior Senator, and sent the Magnificent 7 back to Washington with an average margin of victory of over 40%. But for Congressional Challengers in NJ-2, NJ-4, and NJ-11, it was a different story altogether.

We look at each of these races in more detail below the fold.  

Afternoon Election News

Some news trickling into the Blue Jersey center you might find interesting:

  • Here’s another sign Steve Rothman’s early endorsement of Barack Obama increased his standing:

    Congressman Steve Rothman has accepted an invitation from Senator Barack Obama to be with him at the election night event in Chicago tomorrow evening.  Rothman was the first Member of Congress in the 8 northeastern states to endorse Obama and has served as Northeast Regional Chair of the campaign since July of 2007.

  • Politickernj tells us Hillary Clinton recorded a robocall for Josh Zeitz
  • Politico says Tom Kean may be considered for Education Secretary by Obama. Don’t faint: That’s Tom Kean Sr., not Jr.  
  • Rasmussen Reports has Barack Obama leading by 15, 57-42.  I suppose the good news for McCain is that 42 matches his best poll result in the last three weeks. Obama has a 63% favorable rating.
  • Update: Rush Holt has asked County Clerks to distribute supplemental poll books:

    I was very troubled to read today, in the Asbury Park Press, that some number of voters ? possibly thousands — whose registrations met the October 14 voter registration deadline were not included in the official election rolls in your county, and that instead of distributing to your poll workers supplemental poll books including the names of those voters you will be requiring those duly-registered voters to cast provisional ballots.  This places those voters, unnecessarily and unjustly, at a greater risk of not having their votes counted in this historic election.

    I am writing to strongly request that you distribute supplemental poll books to your poll workers so that they will have every opportunity and ability to confirm that all voters in this election who registered before the deadline are in fact duly registered, and therefore entitled to cast a regular ballot.  In addition, I strongly request that, to the extent that any voters may still be required to cast a provisional ballot, that you take all necessary steps to ensure that the provisional ballots of all voters who registered by the October 14 deadline are counted, whether you timely entered their names into the rolls or not.

  • Update 2: Barack Obama’s maternal grandmother has died.  
  • NJ-04: 700 Volunteers Are Making NJ-04 a Late Breaker!

    I want to share with you how excited I am about the incredible effort people are putting forth this weekend to bring the change we need to Washington, DC. In NJ-04 we’ve got over 700 volunteers talking to voters, handing out literature, making phone calls, and working as hard as we can to win this election.

    We’re within striking range, so I’m asking you to please contribute through my ActBlue page. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact our Field Director at pete_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. I also encourage you to take a look at our website.

    More after the jump.

    NJ-04: Zeitz: Congratulations Phillies!

    Here’s what Josh Zeitz had to say about the Phillies huge win last night:

    First of all, congratulations to the Phillies and their long-suffering fans. I know they’ve had to wait 28 years to win a championship, and even their last game took three days thanks to the rainout. But that only makes winning all the sweeter. Great job!

    Also, it’s no coincidence that the previous World Championship for the Phillies came in the same year that New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional district last changed their Congressman. 28 years was long enough to wait for the Phillies, and it’s long enough for Chris Smith to be in Congress. It’s time to bring about the change we need right now.

    NJ-04: Zeitz Campaign Challenges Smith Voter Registration

    The Zeitz for Congress campaign today requested that the Mercer County Superintendent of Elections investigate Chris Smith’s voter registration, and revoke it if she discovers fraud.

    The Facts:

    1) Smith filed for, and received, in-state tuition rates for his children attending Virginia public colleges.

    2) In Virginia, dependent students are assigned the residency of their parents for determining tuition rates.

    3) Virginia code requires the parents to have “abandoned any previous domicile,” in New Jersey in order to receive the $80,000 tuition breaks.

    4) Chris Smith claims he was legally entitled to these benefits reserved for Virginians, but won’t produce the documentation to confirm his claim.

    More after the jump.


    Covering New Jersey Politics

    Matt Stoller quoted Josh Zeitz on the Philly Inquirer:

    the Philadelphia Inquirer never covered my race once. Never interviewed me. Never sent a candidate questionnaire. Never responded to any of dozens of press releases. Purports to oppose the Bush tax cuts, the war, the bankrupcy bill, homophobia, and the Christian Right. But endorsed Chris Smith. This is the state of journalism today. They endorsed someone without even interviewing by paper or in person his opponent.”

    Having our news dominated by Philadelphia and New York media organizations that don’t care about us is one of the many structural problems of New Jersey politics.  Reading the quote above reminded me, though, that I’ve been meaning to thank the Press of Atlantic City for actually covering the NJ2 Congressional Race year.  Besides commissioning a poll of the 2nd district race, here’s a selection of articles in which the Press (mainly the reporter Daniel Wash) actually covers the candidates regularly:

    Kurkowski claims LoBiondo broke ‘Contract with America’ (Oct 11)

    LoBiondo votes against revised bailout bill (Oct 4)

    Kurkowski says LoBiondo failed to oversee Coast Guard project (Oct 3)

    LoBiondo’s surprise: He’ll debate (Sept 20)

    Kurkowski challenges LoBiondo’s long record (Sept 20)

    Kurkowski challenges LoBiondo’s effectiveness (Sept 11)

    Now in my local paper, there is usually only a couple of articles covering the incumbent and the challengers. Here we see regular press coverage, which is essential to an informed citizenry.  

    Congressional campaign roundup


    I did a post yesterday about the latest investment from the DCCC in NJ-3 and NJ-7.


    It’s all about state and local issues in the 3rd.  PolitickerNJ called it Burlington vs. Trenton.  The Myers campaign is going after Adler on grants he got for his district from the now much publicized Property Tax Assistance and Community Developments grants program.    Adler’s campaign has responded calling on Myers to take a stand on the corruption in Burlington County from the Bridge Commission.  I understand what the campaigns are doing, but I still think that NJ-3 has seen many businesses close as a result of the economic turmoil and that will be the issue that drives voters decisions at the polls on election day. I would keep reminding people daily that Chris Myers thinks the economy is basically strong.


    Josh Zeitz was endorsed yesterday as the 1st recommended candidate by Democrats 2000:

    In an election where the Democratic Party is expected to make large gains, no young candidate has generated more buzz than Josh Zeitz, the Democratic candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 4th District. Polling data putting his incumbent opponent well below the 50% mark just weeks before election day, Josh’s already record breaking fundraising, and an influx of new registrants making Democratic voters the majority in this district may very well be the perfect recipe for change from years of ineffective Republican rule in this part of the state.


    The Shulman campaign has gone right after Garrett on the current economic situation and his ties to it with their latest television ad:

    Visuals: Opening image of New York Stock Exchange floor, followed dark screen with words “Fire Scott Garrett” followed by Garrett’s face alongside the Capitol building and then Countrywide mortgage office as phrases spoken by narrator appear on screen. Ends with image of Shulman.

    Analysis: Shulman, who has aired only negative ads this fall, continues his head-on attack of Garrett. If voters believe the markets-know-best attitude caused the current crisis, the ad – despite exaggerations – could do some damage because Garrett has generally been a free-market champion.

    Here is the ad.  It’s a great example of linking the Congressman and his actions to the current situation.


    The Stender campaign continues to go after Leonard Lance on his record on birth control:

    Lance admitted he opposed Stender’s bill and believed women should be forced instead to rely on pharmacist referrals for their prescriptions if they were not able to obtain their birth control. Stender denounced this as an undue burden for women, stating, “Women should not have to drive around just to get their basic prescriptions filled. Leonard Lance is truly out of touch if he believes women should be forced to drive from pharmacy to pharmacy looking for someone to give them their medication.”

    I wasn’t aware this is such a huge issue in the 7th.  I might mention that whether a woman is able to get birth control becomes less of a factor if she can’t afford the birth control because she already makes less at the job she hopes she doesn’t lose because she won’t be able to find another one in the bad economy. They mention driving from pharmacy to pharmacy, but don’t make the connection to the burden of the cost of gas.  Lance has tried to focus on the Property Tax grant program as well, not making any mention of the economy.

    Update:  I was running out the door.  Here is some more.


    Dave Kurkowski is getting ready for another chance to debate Frank Lobiondo:

    The Cape May County League of Women Voters and 98.7 FM WCZT, The Coast radio station, are joining forces this year to sponsor the only Candidates Forum in the county where all six candidates running for the 2nd Congressional District will be present.

    All of the candidates went after Lobiondo’s record at the last debate to which he responded if you have any question to call his office, so I wouldn’t expect anything different once again.  Kurkowski also has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow at 2pm to discuss Lobiondo’s broken contract with America.


    Tom Wyka was all over the economic crisis penning an Op-Ed talking about how partisan politics won’t end the fiscal crisis:

    My hope at this point is that any recovery plan focuses first and foremost on the root cause that haunts Main Street. All attempts should be made to see that honest, hardworking people can somehow remain in their homes and avoid foreclosure. This is essential to stop the slide in the market overall. Stimulating the economy comes next. Many options are on the table, including efforts to create jobs through a conversion to a green economy.

    FogerRox has also had some great coverage of Frelinghuysen and his lack of support for veterans and events in the 11th including news of Obama Policy Advisor Mark Alexander coming to town to join Councilman Ron Rice Jr. for a Wyka event.

    NJ-04: Josh Zeitz on Chris Smith’s Two Decades of Debate Dodging

    Dear Rep. Smith:

    It’s been over a month since I first invited you to join me in a series of public debates or forums so that we can provide the voters in New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District an opportunity to weigh their electoral options.  

    Over the past six weeks my campaign has placed phone calls to your office and issued public statements inviting you to debate.  As a show of good will, I also sent a personal letter to your attention, along with a copy of Allen Guelzo’s fine new book on the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.  Disappointingly, we have received no response from you or your staff.

    Among your colleagues, you stand out for your consistent refusal to debate your opponents.  Barack Obama and John McCain are debating each other on Friday.  Sarah Palin and Joe Biden are scheduled to debate next month.  Frank Lautenberg and Dick Zimmer will soon debate (and, along those lines, Rob Andrews and Frank Lautenberg debated last spring).  John Adler and Chris Myers have debated twice, and Linda Stender and Leonard Lance have already debated each other once. But you have not publicly debated an opponent in almost twenty years.  Your refusal to engage in the electoral process suggests a fundamental disrespect for the citizens of Central Jersey, who deserve much more from their candidates.

    As you know, our economy is in a deep crisis. This week in Congress, you are weighing the merits of the $700 billion bailout proposed by the Bush Administration. Once Congress recesses over the next few days, we should honor the voters of the Fourth Congressional District with a vibrant debate on the future of our country.  Now more than ever, it is crucial that the voters know where their candidates stand on the issues facing our nation.  The stakes are simply too high for continued debate-dodging.

    I have reserved space and time at the public libraries in Brick and Hamilton. I originally planned to use these venues to stage town-hall meetings to discuss our troubled economy. But given the seriousness of the issues facing our country, I would like to invite you to hold joint appearances at both locations. Of course, we would agree to turn the program over to an impartial, third-party group.  My campaign has already been contacted by Veterans4Education, a nonpartisan group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans currently studying at New Jersey colleges and universities.  They sponsored a fine debate in the 3rd District and have invited us to participate in a similar forum.  With your agreement, I would invite Veterans4Education to assume responsibility for one of our joint appearances.  If any group deserves to press its candidates on the issues, it is Veterans4Education.  I hope you will join me in showing them the respect they have earned in service of our country.

    We have reserved the following dates and venues:

    Brick Branch Library: October 9th, 6PM

    Hamilton Public Library October 23rd, 7PM

    If these dates do not fit into your schedule, I am happy to accommodate your calendar.

    It should be noted neither of these libraries is sponsoring a debate. Rater, they have offered to provide free meeting space.  


    Joshua Zeitz