Tag Archive: Matt Friedman

So, this happened.

If only Juan Melli & Bethenny Frankel were flying the Jet Blue plane called Blue Jersey … So, this bounced around Twitter and Facebook last night. But in case you missed it, Blue Jersey founder Juan Melli (now off doing other…
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What Christie’s presidential aspirations mean for New Jersey on the national stage

More great diary rescue from the weekend, also by josef. This time, on the impact our bellowing presidential wannabe might have on New Jersey's street cred with the rest of the country. Promoted by Rosi.

A Sunday thought piece appears on NJ.com today titled “What will Christie's 2016 run mean for N.J.?” In it, Matt Friedman wonders aloud how the state will go on after a Tuesday that will see Christie will finally declaring his candidacy for president. He brings up interesting points about how state Republicans have been distancing themselves from an increasingly unpopular governor whose approval rating is currently hovering around 30 percent and how a number of Democrats are lining up to succeed him now that they feel comfortable working against him. But the bigger question of how New Jersey will be represented on the national stage by candidate Christie goes unasked. If the governor keeps to his trademark style, the answer is “not well.”

ICYMI: The Daily Show – Garden Crate

Last night’s two-segment opener on The Daily Show had Jon Stewart explaining Chris Christie’s politically motivated promises to Iowa Republicans that he’ll veto a bill that would ensure more humane treatment of New Jersey pregnant pigs crated into tiny spaces.

First segment’s up here, second below the fold.

Some highlights: sad “awwwww” from the audience at what pig-in-a-crate looks like (1:06), then later as Humane Society says the crates drive the pigs insane because they can never stretch their legs out or move much (no time mark, I can’t listen to it again). Matt Friedman at the Ledger has a nice 5-second cameo (4:41) on the teevee explaining Christie’s Iowa posturing. Nods to  to the Daily Show audience for the big cheer (4:00) for the 93% of NJ voters who have a problem with pig crates.

Below the fold – Daily Show’s argument that pigs should always face one direction.  

Brief ad before clip. Just deal.

#NJ5: Scott Garrett moves to avoid another head-to-head with Roy Cho

Star-Ledger 5th Congressional District Live video chat

When: Monday, 11:45am

Hosts: Statehouse reporters Matt Friedman & Brent Johnson  

To Participate: Tweet questions using hashtag #AskGarrettCho or post here.

Candidates: Roy Cho. Scott Garrett declined the invitation.

Low-energy, appearance-phobic Garrett: With the 5th congressional district race coming down to a few dozen hours now, Roy Cho’s strong grassroots challenge to entrenched Tea Partier Rep. Scott Garrett is still one of the hottest stories this election cycle and the one that is most consistently getting national attention. Garrett is New Jersey’s peerless worst in Congress. A federal government functionary who expects re-election to a Congress he’s committed from the inside will do nothing to move the country forward. The ethically bankrupt far-right he champions is so distasteful inside the 5th CD that even moderate Republicans are rebelling. The sheer force of incumbency may not be enough this time to protect the low-energy Garrett. And stuff that he once got away with, he’s being called on now: Star-Ledger called him a “champion of fiction” for his campaign’s attempt to paper over his real record on Sandy relief – he was an impediment – to look better to voters. Then they endorsed him, so did The Record, and a clean sweep of every newspaper read in the district that’s endorsed – even in conservative Warren County.

Hard-charging Cho: In contrast to Garrett’s misuse of his privileged position is Roy Cho, whose campaign has defied expectations, and without some of the national Dem funding other candidates have had. Is Roy Cho the right candidate to topple the Tea Party? Dunno. What I do know? Energy is high.

Garrett head-scratchers: When Garrett comes out, there can be some icky moments. Take the this WNYC interview where Brian Lehrer talked first to Cho, then Garrett. First Garrett says he believes there is “no role for public education” and later when he has trouble explaining his No vote on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because of “unconstitutional provisions” he then couldn’t name (listen at 17:49).

Does Garrett think he can afford to ignore Bergen? Last week, Garrett ducked a candidate forum in Bergen, where most of his constituents live. And that was only sponsored by a League of Women Voters group, and organizations of rabbis and Jewish women voters, two African American organizations and The Jewish Standard newspaper. So I guess for Garrett the risk of pissing off major district constituent groups is worth the risk of not being able to keep up mano-a-mano with a confident and well-supported Cho.

Monday: The Ledger says they’ll forward Garrett’s questions to him, and post them when (if?) he answers. But Cho will be there.  

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.  

Carl Lewis Crosses the Finish Line (without the baton)

After the flip-flopping courts finally threw Carl Lewis off the ballot, the former Olympian held a press conference today. It is fitting that the conference, originally scheduled for the idyllic lakeside surrounding of King’s Grant Park had to be moved to the sterile environment of the Aloft Hotel due to the rain.

Matt Friedman wrote an excellent summary of the press conference, and Jeff Pickens’ analysis of the state of the Burlington County Democrats is right on point.

Below the fold are Mr. Lewis’ comments in their entirety as well as some comments from Burlington County Democratic Chair Joe Andl.

The Center for a Better New Jersey

According to an article by Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau in the Record and Star Ledger, “Private donors are helping Republicans bankroll their efforts to revise political maps that could determine which party controls the Legislature and the New Jersey delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives over the next decade.”  In the article Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union) identifies the fundraising organization as the Center for A Better New Jersey. This group seems to be a “reincarnation” of Reform Jersey Now, a 501 (c) (4), which raised funds in 2010 to promote Governor Christie’s agenda and then appears to have closed shop.  

more below the fold

Breaking Down the PNJ Power List – on Blue Jersey Radio Tonight

Matt Friedman
Matt Friedman, PolitickerNJ reporter

Matt was awesome. (Do I smell recurring feature?) – A fun show from start to finish. Listen here – JG

Each week, Blue Jersey Radio streams LIVE with New Jersey’s latest political buzz, interviews with newsmakers, and your stimulating calls.

This week: Our guest is PolitickerNJ’s intrepid reporter, Matt Friedman, helping us break down their much anticipated, often imitated, never duplicated, sometimes really hated 2008 Power List.

Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. and find out who’s on, who’s off, who’s up, who’s down, and, why the f*&k do I keep getting left off any other questions you may have. Matt will be sharing his insight on all things political in New Jersey.

We’ll take your calls starting at 8:30 p.m. at:

(646) 652-2773

Talk to you then!

Now, don’t worry if you get here early, because you can always listen to our entire archive of shows, featuring some power listers of yore, and a few others to keep an eye on for the future.

Talk to you tonight!

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