Tag Archive: Stephen Sweeney

Senator, Do the Governor Another Favor

Democratic Senator Stephen Sweeney did Republican Governor Chris Christie a big favor by maintaining a low profile (other than declaring a much-needed snow emergency) when both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor inexplicabally neglected their constituents by skipping town before the onset of the snowstorm. As acting governor, Sweeney promised not to do any “mischief” during his brief reign.

Yet, Sweeney can do himself, the governor, and the state a favor by taking two actions – signing the anti-bullying bill and signing the women’s health bill. As Senator Weinberg pointed out, the women’s health law will not impact the state’s budget. The signing of the anti-bullying law is the right thing to do, but for some reason is not supported by oddly misnamed pro-family groups, a key element of Christie’s constituency.

If we go out on a limb and grant that Chris Christie is a decent person, then signing these bills is something that he would do if political considerations were taken out of the equation. So if Acting Governor Sweeney signs the bills, he takes the heat from his political enemies and earns points from his skeptical allies. A win-win for the politicians and the people – how often do we have that opportunity?

Go Ahead, Senator Sweeney, Make My Day

Talk about "below the fold".

On Christmas Day, 1:00pm, when most people were not reading the Star  Ledger or NJ.com, came the news that Governor Chris Christie and Lt  Governor Kim Guadagno are both taking vacation out of state, leaving Senate President Stephen Sweeney as acting governor while both are away.  Maybe I missed something, but wasn't the position of Lt. Governor  created to provide for continuity in the NJ Executive branch while the  Governor was unavailable to discharge his duties? How do they get away  with leaving the state at the same time?

While we know that the Governor will be in Disney World in Florida with  his family, it has not been released (not to this writer, at least)  where Lt Gov. Guadagno will be, other than that she will be out of  state. Perhaps she will be in Disney World with the governor, standing  behind him, gazing longingly, Nancy-Reagan-like, while Christie hob-nobs  with Mickey and watches his kids enjoy the rides.

According to the Star Ledger:

"Theoretically, Sweeney could sign legislation Christie hasn’t acted on   or even file nominations Christie would never dream of filing. Sweeney   could even re-nominate former state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace   Jr. to the bench, whose pass-over by Christie in favor of attorney Anne   Patterson angered Sweeney. But he won’t.

Sweeney’s reply below the fold

Legislators set the tone for bullying

Barocas, Legal Director of NJ’s ACLU, suggests our Governor look in the mirror, and our Senate President’s words ring hollow. – promoted by Rosi

It didn’t take long for my feelings of horror and sadness at the suicide of Tyler Clementi to turn into anger – anger not just at the unfeeling young students who so cruelly invaded Tyler’s privacy, but at our state’s leaders who, through their refusal to provide gay and lesbian citizens with full equality, have stigmatized gay and lesbian relationships and set the tone for tragedies like this to occur.

A line from my testimony to the New Jersey legislature during the 2009 marriage equality debate echoed hauntingly in my mind:

“When the state itself segregates people, it grants the rest of society permission to do the same. Through its example, the legislature excuses bigotry and emboldens bullies.”

keep reading below the fold

Domestic terrorism hits Sweeney’s office

A shocking, over the top title?  Not really, unless sending packages containing white powder to State Senate Presidents is either mainstream or as funny as saying that someone should put rat poison in a Supreme Court Justice’s creme brulee (as Ann Coulter once said).

A downtown Salem office building was evacuated this afternoon when a package addressed to State Senate President Stephen Sweeney was opened and found to contain what was first deemed a suspicious white powder.

In a climate where more legislators are being threatened with violence (mostly Democrats, by the way), and on the heels of “suspicious white powder letters” being sent over the past few years to the likes of former US Senator Tom Daschle, current Senator Pat Leahy, Keith Olbermann and the gas line at Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother’s house – quite simply, this right wing domestic terrorism shit has to stop.

Someone is going to get killed.  Someone is going to cite what they were told by Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck/Sean Hannity/Rush Limbaugh/Michelle Bachmann or another right wing extremist kook, and everyone will throw up their hands and say “who could have known?”

Bullshit.

What makes this even more ironically aggravating is the simple fact that to shut down government offices, send people to hospitals for examination, summoning police, firefighters, rescue workers and hazardous material crews, investigate and prosecute the right wing domestic terrorists who are responsible for this costs We the People money.  Aren’t the teabaggers against excessive government spending?  Isn’t this something that perpetuates exactly what they claim to be against?

And where is “law and order” Governor Chris Christie on this disgusting and cowardly display of terroristic activity?  Why is he not condemning this act and talking about how much New Jersey taxpayers will now have to pay in order to deal with this?

I won’t hold my breath.

A New Era in Trenton

Promoted by Jason Springer: Thanks to Senator Buono for stopping by with her take on the changes going on in Trenton these days and what to expect going forward.

On Tuesday, I was honored to be sworn in as the first woman to serve as Senate Majority Leader in New Jersey and I didn’t want the week to end without posting here on Blue Jersey.

This is a time to look to the future, as New Jersey is clearly poised for a transformation. Along with our new Senate President Stephen Sweeney, President Pro Tempore, Nia Gill, our new Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan, the Democratic leadership certainly has a lot of new faces in both houses of the legislature. And with a new governor ready to be inaugurated next week, I will be relying on the progressive netroots community now more than ever – for your passion, guidance and ideas.

Like many of you, I am a progressive.  I am proud of my vote for Marriage Equality – yet disappointed by the outcome. I also believe that being a progressive means being fiscally responsible, it means demanding more transparency and accountability from government and it means acknowledging the need for change in Trenton.  Governor-elect Christie is obviously going to offer a sharp contrast in his policy agenda from Governor Corzine’s four years in office. But this does not mean we cannot work together to find common ground to move New Jersey forward.

One of my top priorities as Senate Majority Leader will be to make significant strides toward establishing a more open, honest and responsive state government. That is the kind of change and reform that enhances the quality of life for all New Jerseyans, not just for someone’s narrow parochial self-interest. I look forward to ushering in a new era of unquestioned government integrity. And I am extremely confident this is a direction that Governor-elect Christie can support.

While there are many important issues where New Jersey’s Republicans and Democrats disagree, there can also be many areas of practical agreement. In order to succeed, we must look to one another and be willing to rise above our own partisan interests. This is how we can best begin restoring a vision for New Jersey’s future. And this is how we can make sure our children can afford to remain here and raise families of their own one day.

June 2011

Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis)

Shirley Turner (D-Trenton)

Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen)

Ronald Rice (D-Newark)

John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne)

Fred Madden (D-Washinton Twp)

James Beach (D-Cherry Hill)

Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford)

Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-ridge)

Senator Van Drew is honestly the only person on this list who deserves a pass, his district is just overwhelmingly Republican.  

I’ve never been more disgusted and embarrassed than I was today to be a Democrat.  

Can we make this the official primary candidate suggestion list?  

Fixing a Broken Process in the 1st District

In politics, votes and support should be treated as a privilege to have, not a right, no matter how partisan a district or part of the country might be. As a resident of the 1st district and a Camden County Democrat, I’m concerned that we are treading a fine line that borders on taking the voters we serve for granted and subverting a democratic process for nominating Rob Andrews’ replacement.  On Blue Jersey, there have been multiple discussions about how this process needs to be completed, including one from last week; but as someone who lives in the district, volunteers for the Camden County Democrats, and is the incoming Haddonfield Democratic Club Vice President, I feel particularly invested in this congressional race and the tarnished image that the decision-making process leaves behind on our party. From my vantage, there is only one way to fix this broken process, though even this course of action would be imperfect.

Sweeney flip-flops on double-dipping

November 8, 2007:

Sen. Stephen Sweeney will serve as majority leader in the state Senate, and as a result of the new post will not seek re-election as Gloucester County freeholder, he announced Thursday.

“I will be transitioning out of that at the end of next year,” he said of his freeholder seat, after a closed door meeting with Senate President Richard Codey.

March 31, 2008:

Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen Sweeney, who announced last year that he would not seek another term on the freeholder board, has said that he changed his mind and will move forward in his bid for re-election.

“There is going to come a time for me to leave,” Sweeney said Monday. “I just don’t think it’s right now.”

Salem County News Roundup (Primaries edition)

The election results are available at the Salem County website.  The recent redesign makes them hard to find — you need to move your mouse over “County Government”, click on the choice “Departments”, then click on “Election Board.”  Today’s Sunbeam has an article summarizing all the primary results

Overall, 2,292 people voted yesterday and 157 cast absentee ballot, for a total turnout of 6.09%. 

  • In the only contested primary, Clifford Poindexter (379 votes) and Tami Baytops (358) beat challengers Deborah Scott (223) and Mary James (213) for Borough Council for Penns Grove.  Mayor John Washington (398) also beat Abner Mendoza (202). You’ll recall the fiasco with fraudlent absentee ballots there. Today’s Sunbeam covers the results, and notes:

    But because of the heated nature of the election, two observers from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Voting Rights Section, from Washington, D.C. were on hand as voting took place at the Washington Club on North Virginia Avenue on Tuesday.

  • Democrats in Woodstown  are certainly pleased that Democrat John Hall and incumbent Republican mayor Richard Pfeffer got the same number of votes in their respective primaries, though obviously 47 votes apiece in unopposed races is not exactly overwhelming.
  • State Senator Stephen Sweeney (LD3) got 1,424 votes in Salem County and 4,353 votes according to Today’s Sunbeam.  That’s more than one thousand votes more than the (also unopposed) Republican challenger got in his primary.  Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Doug Fisher obviously also won overwhelmingly against no opposition.
  • Still, for those who look at any undervote as a sign of Republican fraud, here are the numbers for the county-wide Democratic candidates (all but Voros are incumbents):

    Sweeney:  1424
    Burzichelli: 1389
    Fisher: 1382
    Lee Ware: 1412
    Peter Voros: 1305

    The incumbents show a spread of 3% even among the hardcore Democrats who bother to come out, and who would be cheating in an opposed race?  It’s not a matter that having to vote for two people confuses people, since Ware does well.  I should note that over 40% of the countywide votes probably came from Penns Grove.

  • My endorsements in LD3 & Salem County

    For the June 5, 2007 primary:

  • State Senate: Stephen Sweeney (incumbent)
  • Assembly: John Burzichelli (incumbent)
  • Assembly: Doug Fisher (incumbent)
  • Freeholder: Lee Ware (incumbent)
  • Freeholder: Peter Voros (challenger)

    I have selected each candidate after evaluating his record, charisma, and electability relative to his opponent “WRITE-IN.”