Tag Archive: Dick Zimmer

The Senate Race that Wasn’t

FDU PublicMind has a new poll out.  If your name rhymes with “Rick Dimmer”; then it might just be bad enough news to make you cry.

With under a month to go before the election, 35% of respondants had never heard of the Generic Republican Opponent (GRO).  That included 23% of Republicans.  Only 17% of voters had a favorable opinion of the GRO. 36% had heard of him, but had no opinion.

That makes two-thirds of the respondants who had either not heard of the GRO or didn’t know what to think of him.  The only thing things could get worse would be, as they say in Louisiana, he were caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy.

If the election were held today, Lautenberg would get 50% of the vote (including leaners) to 34% for the GRO. While this is sure to be news that makes our senior Senator relax on weekends, the problem is that… well, it makes him relax on weekends.  I haven’t even seen a yardsign.  The net effect of that is to stunt any sort of coattails Barack Obama might get started at the top of the ballot.

I’ve not been overly impressed with the campaign Linda Stender has run this year – especially considering how strong she ran in ’06.  But John Adler is working hard, as is Dennis Shulman.  Josh Zeitz and Dave Kurkowski and Tom Wyka are all working their butts off, and they could use support from the top of the ticket.  But they aren’t getting it – and it looks like they may as well give up on any hope that they will.

Lautenberg, Zimmer and Earmarks

I still don’t think that the voting public fully understands the issue of earmarking in Congress in terms of all the intricacies in the process. That hasn’t stopped candidates from trying to demagogue the issue as a standard talking point of campaigns this election cycle. Dick Zimmer has repeatedly made this statement on earmarks:

“I don’t want to play the game better; I would shut it down,” Zimmer said.

In the past, I have had Dick Zimmer respond to himself on this issue. This is what I wrote on Sept 7:

Very strong response on how terrible earmarks are, until he starts talking out of the other side of his mouth to defend the earmarks of one Rodney Frelinghuysen:

He said the pledge he signed “does not say I will not sponsor earmarks. It says earmarks should be transparent, they should be justified.”

Zimmer said that from what he sees, Frelinghuysen’s earmarks comply with that criteria. You can call that the GOP bond.

So we’ve already pointed out the hypocrisy of Zimmer’s position, but today we get Frank Lautenberg responding to the statement that Zimmer wants to shut down the process:

“I hope he will tell the truth and say he will work very hard to make sure there is no extra money brought back to New Jersey.”

The ironic thing is that while Zimmer goes around with his dollar bill demonstration talking about how little New Jersey gets back from the Federal government, he proudly touts (sometimes) that he will not do anything to help change that. Rather than fix what has become a broken process by providing more transparency and other protective measures, Zimmer wants to score political points which completely contradict with another standard talking point in his stump speech. And he wonders why he isn’t getting any traction.

Zimmer was against earmarks before he was for them

Barack Obama called shenanigans on Sarah Palin’s laughable, hypocritical statement on earmarks:

But, you know, when you’ve been taking all these earmarks when it’s convenient, and then suddenly you’re the champion anti-earmark person, that’s not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can’t just make stuff up.”

Maybe Dick Zimmer and Sarah Palin have been talking, because the same statement applies.

Zimmer has run his campaign on the evils of earmarks attacking Frank Lautenberg for just about everything, except for the things Lautenberg hasn’t gotten for NJ, which Zimmer attacks for as well. There’s a story in the Daily Record today about how Dick Zimmer and Tom Wyka agree on getting rid of earmarks, only they don’t.  Wyka is consitent, while you can judge Zimmer’s position for yourself.  First, he says this:

Zimmer doesn’t think the earmark game looks good, either, saying, “I don’t want to play the pork-barrel game better; I want to shut it down.”

Very strong response on how terrible earmarks are, until he starts talking out of the other side of his mouth to defend the earmarks of one Rodney Frelinghuysen:

He said the pledge he signed “does not say I will not sponsor earmarks. It says earmarks should be transparent, they should be justified.”

Zimmer said that from what he sees, Frelinghuysen’s earmarks comply with that criteria. You can call that the GOP bond.

So Dick Zimmer hates earmarks and wants to end them altogether, unless he decides they are ok later in the same article? Maybe Dick Zimmer was against earmarks before he was for them.   I guess he’s not opposed to all earmarks, just those he designates as not important (i.e. ones by Democrats).

Booker fires up the Jersey delegation

Monday morning at the Inverness meant the first New Jersey Delegation Breakfast. Governor Corzine, Senator Lautenberg, and Congressman Rothman all roused the audience with their speeches. Lautenberg offered a particularly scathing criticism of his Republican Senate opponent, Dick Zimmer, who he suggested would roll back gun laws and threaten New Jerseyans’ health care. Rothman emphasized unity in his speech, acknowledging Clinton’s ten-point victory in New Jersey February and empathizing with her supporters.

But it was the final speaker of the morning, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who brought the crowd to its feet with a fiery defense of the Garden State. Booker recounted the state’s key role in the American Revolution, and he highlighted several New Jersey firsts, among them the first light bulb, the first football game, and the first electric guitar. Booker closed by addressing the delegation’s lousy seating at the convention center:

“Let them seat us in the back, because New jersey is loud, we are proud, we can be heard above the crowd.”



Newark Mayor/Obama delegate Cory Booker. More pictures below the fold.

Zimmer Doesn’t Know … Symbols

Dick Zimmer tried to jack up Frank Lautenberg over a 1992 law that changed the rules for public-private hybrid mortgage holder Fannie Mae that Zimmer opposed and Lautenberg backed.  

Zimmer stood in front of a foreclosed home in Linden railing against Lautenberg for it, but made one small mistake:

Zimmer selected the house where he held today’s press conference from Fannie Mae’s web site, and did not know the story of how it came to be in possession of Frannie Mae.  

If you’re gonna blame your opponent for something, you have to know what that something is.  Not knowing why the house was foreclosed on kind of blunts the whole story.

Rasmussen: Lautenberg increases lead; Corzine unpopular

Good news from Rasmussen Reports on the New Jersey Senate Race.  Frank Lautenberg leads Dick Zimmer 49-36, or 50-37 when “leaners” are included.  Women provide Lautenberg with his huge lead, breaking for him 55-29.  The margin of error is 4.5%.

The outlook for 2009 is somewhat different…

Ratings for New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine (D) continue to slip. Just 27% of voters give him good or excellent ratings, while 40% say he is doing a poor job. Last month, his numbers were 29% good or excellent, and 37% poor.

Not the headline they were looking for

Obviously there is plenty of time for Dick Zimmer to raise his name ID in his campaign against Frank Lautenberg, but you can file today’s Star Ledger headline under not the press they were looking for…

Zimmer’s absence from office leaves voters asking, ‘Who?’

I guess the Zimmer campaign would spin this and say the upside is that it could be worse.  I agree, it could be October, they could know him and have decided they hate him.  

Near-Quote of the Day

Back when Dick Zimmer was in Congress, I guess he didn’t have to worry about the formatting of his press release calling him a liar.  From the cut-and-paste attack on Senator Lautenberg for voting against telecom immunity:

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Well, that about sums up the rest of the press release.  Normal – false, false, false.

Poll: Lautenberg Cruising, Well Below 50%

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll has Frank Lautenberg (D) leading Dick Zimmer (R) by a 40-26 margin — and another 34 percent wandering in the wilderness.

Even with a 14 point lead it’s not all tea roses here, with Lautenberg still under 50 percent in a two candidate poll.  

Zimmer is unknown to more than a third of Republicans even after a contested primary.  That could be good news — he’s got a lot of folks who could move to him — or bad news since as a former Congressman and current statewide candidate he’s still unknown.

Of course, it’s also just June and these polls don’t mean much.  In September things start to heat up and polls start to more accurately reflect an engaged electorate.

Another NJ Republican runs from McCain

Republican US Senate candidate Dick Zimmer backpedaled today on his support for McCain’s offshore drilling plan. Earlier this week, Zimmer had briefly flirted with certain aspects of McCain’s plan, even suggesting to a Star Ledger reporter that he might support “deep water” drilling off the Jersey Shore (emphasis added):

Lautenberg’s Republican challenger, former congressman Dick Zimmer, said, “Regardless of where the drilling takes place, I’ll oppose it if it poses a risk to the Jersey Shore.” He said there might be some deep-water drilling that would not pose that risk and he needed to see more details of McCain’s plan.

What a difference a day makes:

“I am strongly against any drilling or exploration off the New Jersey coast or in any area that poses a risk to our beaches.”

Zimmer realized his support for McCain’s offshore oil drilling plan put him far outside of the mainstream, not just for New Jersey, but even for New Jersey Republicans. New Jersey simply won’t buy the McCain-Bush offshore drilling policy, whether it’s John McCain, George W. Bush, or Dick Zimmer selling it.