Tag Archive: Dick Zimmer

Drilling Dick Zimmer

If John McCain wants to put New Jersey in play in November, he would be well-advised to abandon his most recent position on energy and environmental policy. On Monday, McCain suggested  that the federal government should lift the ban on drilling off the East Coast, a policy that New Jerseyans in both parties overwhelmingly oppose. Only one New Jersey Congressman, right-winger Scott Garrett, supports drilling off the coast of New Jersey. Every other member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation, including five Republicans, oppose drilling off the Jersey Shore. In the 7th District, both Democrat Linda Stender and Republican Leonard Lance unequivocally oppose offshore oil drilling.

A new destination at the Jersey Shore?

However, Republican US Senate candidate Dick Zimmer’s position on oil drilling is disconcerting. Zimmer told the Star Ledger that he might be willing to support some oil drilling off the Jersey shore, and that he “needed to see more details” of McCain’s plan. Zimmer likes to tout himself as a moderate, but on this issue, he’s to the right of everyone but Scott Garrett.

Corzine Should Not Count His Chickens?

With approval ratings hovering in the 30’s, Jon Corzine is preparing to seek a second term as Governor of New Jersey.  The lopsided defeat of Rob Andrews might give the Chief of State supreme confidence that a primary challenge will not materialize or will fail miserably.  Should a challenge not materialize, Mr. Corzine may feel secure knowing that New Jersey is a blue state that is getting more blue by the day.  However, he might possibly be misreading the tea leaves.

Rasmussen: New Jersey Senate race starts tied

Rasmussen Reports polled New Jersey the day after the primary, and found Frank Lautenberg at 46% and Dick Zimmer at 45%.  

We’ve seen this picture before though.  In this poll, Lautenberg clearly has room to consolidate the base:

Given Lautenberg’s liberal voting record in the Senate, it is no surprise that conservatives overwhelmingly support Zimmer (79%) over the incumbent (13%). By contrast, liberals back the Democrat (70%), but 22% support the Republican. Moderates give the nod to Lautenberg (49%) over Zimmer (39%), with 6% looking for a third party candidate and 6% undecided.

I’m sorry, but no self-described Liberal should be voting Republican for Senate in 2008.

Is Dick Zimmer Telling The Truth?

In a recent politiker.nj story (with the phrase “zimmer-comes-out-swinging-” in the web page address…but not the headline) the following two paragraphs are especially significant….

“Zimmer also categorically denied that he ever used controversial ?angry black man’ robocalls during his 2000 congressional campaign against Rush Holt, a charge outlined in the book How to Rig an Election by former political operative Alan Raymond.

That is an untrue statement made by a convicted felon. It didn’t happen,” he said.”

The “convicted felon” Zimmer refers to is a former Republican National Commitete operative named Allen Raymond who has written a tell all book (about his legal and illegal exploits as a Republican political gun for hire) entitled How to Rig An election (worth borrowing from your local library).

What’s intriguing to me is that Zimmer takes a stance of flat out denial that this incident ever occurred.   He’s not saying that this might have happened behind his back without his direct knowledge; but, point blank, “it never happened”.

I wonder if that’s true?

US Senate newspaper endorsements

So far, at least nine papers have published endorsements in the Democratic US Senate primary, and at least seven have endorsed in the Republican primary.

Paper Democratic Republican
Jersey Journal Andrews
Courier Post (Cherry Hill) Andrews Zimmer
New York Times Lautenberg Zimmer
Star Ledger Andrews Zimmer
Philadelphia Inquirer Andrews Zimmer
Gloucester County Times Andrews
Bergen Record Lautenberg Zimmer
Herald News (Passaic County) Lautenberg Zimmer
Daily Record (Morris County) Andrews Pennacchio

If you know of any endorsements that we’re missing, post them in the comments and we’ll add them to the table.

GOP Senate Primary – Disclosure Doesn’t Pay

The Bergen Record has an op-ed today scripted by George Ajjan – who is described as:

George Ajjan is a Republican activist, writer and pundit who was the GOP nominee for Congress in the 8th District in 2004.

There’s only one thing wrong with that description (that I’ll focus on here) – it’s incomplete to the point of being misleading and dishonest.  George Ajjan is working for Murray Sabrin, as is evidenced by his name on Sabrin’s press releases.

I give the Record credit for being evenhanded – they have an op-ed for each of the candidates for the GOP.  It’s almost as if they looked for the worst possible people to do it, though.  For example – Mike Ferguson writing for Dick Zimmer.  

GOP Senate Primary Cheatsheet

While people may not remember the road traveled come September, the traveling circus known as the GOP U.S. Senate Primary campaign has seen many twists and turns.

In less than one year, the NJ GOP has gone through or proposed 15 candidates, experienced many false starts, had calls for resignation of the State chair and for candidates to drop out all while giving us tons of fun to watch.   Here’s a recap, in case you haven’t been following along…

  • 4/26/07- Assemblyman Mike Doherty became the first candidate to join the show.
  • 5/2/07- A blog aimed at encouraging former baseball player Al Leiter to seek the nomination was started.
  • 7/11/07- Anne Estabrook dipped her toes in the water forming an exploratory committee.
  • 8/9/07- Assemblyman“Jersey Joe” Pennacchio said he was mulling a Senate bid.
  • 8/10/07- Assemblyman Doherty ended his short lived Senate bid leaving only Estabrook and Penachio as candidates expressing interest.
  • 9/10/07- Pennacchio tapped Morris GOP chair to oversee his then exploratory bid.
  • 10/22/07- Anne Estabrook let people know she would run for the Senate seat.
  • 11/13/07- Al Leiter crushed the hopes of conservative bloggers by saying he had his eye on a Senate seat just not Lautenberg’s in ’08.

    This is only the beginning of the ridiculousness.  There is MUCH more below the fold…

  • Quotes of the Day: GOP Welcoming Committee edition

    I know tensions are a little high these days, so lets take a moment and enjoy the circular firing squad that is the NJ GOP Senate primary.

    Today’s quotes stem from the entrance of Former Congressman Dick Zimmer into the GOP primary campaign which lead to the ending of the worst campaign in state history, Unanue for Senate, and a welcoming of sorts from his remaining rivals.  First Murray Sabrin takes a shot at Unanue before turning his attention to Zimmer…

    “Andy Unanue’s ridiculous candidacy had been going downhill ever since he launched it from the ski slopes of Vail, and now that it has officially flopped, Tom Wilson and the failed GOP party bosses have finally reached the letter Z in their rolodex with Dick Zimmer.”

    And then Joe Pennachio gives us the headline of the day with “Pennacchio on the anticipated announcement of the “Candidate du Jour,” followed by this beauty of a release…


    So the next time you are frustrated by the primary, remember it could be sooooo much worse.  

    In it until he’s out

    Last night, Andy Unanue had “no intention of stepping down”.  

    Some Republicans say that Unanue is upset at the national Republicans’ all out effort to push biotech millionaire John Crowley into the race, which went so far as to have John McCain and Rudy Giuliani call him and urge him to run.  What’s unclear is whether that anger will make Unanue more or less likely to forego his run.

    According to Ortiz, however, Unanue isn’t mad.

    “The thing about Andy is that he doesn’t have a big ego,” he said.

    Now, he’s out, Zimmer is in.

    Multiple Republican sources say Andy Unanue is preparing to drop out of the Republican U.S. Senate race and will be replaced by former Congressman Dick Zimmer.

    The arrangement is not final, but Unanue has reportedly agreed to drop his candidacy, while Zimmer has agreed to replace him.

    Good thing Andy doesn’t have a big ego.  

    But what is it with the NJGOP?  First they get a millionaire playboy (ok, he wasn’t first) who wasn’t sure if he lived out of state or with his mom and dad.  Now they have a former Congressman and current lobbyist who isn’t sure where he lives:

    Zimmer, who served three terms in the 12th district from 1991-1997, lives and works as a lawyer/lobbyist in Washington but maintains a farm in Delaware Township.  He decided to forego reelection in 1996 to run a Senate campaign against Robert Toricelli, losing by 10 points.  

    It appears legit – it’s a real farm:

    Next, she complimented Mr. Zimmer’s wife about her starring role in one of his advertisements, in which she appears holding a sheep on the couple’s farm in Delaware Township.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for more commercials of candidate’s wives holding sheep.  Yep.  Got the Tivo going already.

    Good thing sheep aren’t evil or anything.

    The NJ GOP Is Not Racist! They Just Play One On Election Day.

    Have you ever looked at the quality of Republicans in New Jersey and just wonder how in the hell they win at all?  I mean, Mike Fergsuon?  A four term Congressman?  Seriously, we all know there had to be something there.

    Well, now we know there is thanks to Allen Raymond, a former GOP operative who wrote a tell-all book (text below from TPM) about his political dirty tricks and what he calls criminal antics.  See, he’d know because he was sent to jail for 90 days for illegally jamming the NH State Democratic Party’s phones on election Day 2002.

    As an aside, NJ7 GOP candidate Kate Whitman was the NH State Republican Party’s Communications Director that day. 

    Back to the story, though.  Our new friend Mr. Raymond also has a history in NJ with a GOP political firm called Jamestown Associates which has proudly put the mug of one Congressman Mike Ferguson on its home page as proof that they can “win tough campaigns,” including his 2000 race against Maryanne Connelly he just barely won.

    Apparently they win close campaigns, and lose close campaigns, by relying on racism and hate.  Seriously.  Check out what they hired Raymond to do in the 2000 New Jersey election between Congressman Rush Holt (D) and Dick Zimmer (R):

    [Tom Blakely from Jamestown Associates] called me up and asked, “How do you guys find voice talent?”

    “Well, I’ve got a whole catalog of different voices on CDs. I’ve got ‘single Northeastern female,’ I’ve got ‘Southern belle’ — what are you looking for?”

    “We’re targeting Democrats of Eastern European descent using a surname select and geopolitical filter.”

    “Oh,” I said, quickly doing the polarizing-voter math in my head. “How about ‘angry black man’?”

    “Yeah, that sounds good. What’s his voice sound like?”

    So I cued up one particular actor’s CD on my computer and put the phone to the speaker. The track I played was one in which the actor was deliberately playing up a street gang character.

    After listening for a few seconds, Blakely said, “That’s the guy!”

    So we had the actor record a spot over the telephone saying, “I’m calling as a Democrat, asking you to vote for the Democratic nominee. We need your vote for Holt.”

    I’m not saying that all Eastern European whites are racists, but, no matter where or when an election is held, there is a always a cultural divide that you can rely on. The message was “I’m ghetto black calling you, racist Ukrainian guy, and scaring the crap out of you because you probably think that if you don’t vote for the Democrat I’m going to come to your house and take care of some business.”

    He’s not saying that all Eastern Europeans are racist; he’s just saying that enough of them are that he preyed on that fear and hate to change their votes.  But it wasn’t just Eastern Europeans!

    We made calls to Democratic union households supporting Zimmer, taped by actors putting on thick Spanish accents, figuring union workers were the voters who felt most threatened by immigration. The objective was to get them to throw up their hands and stay home on Election Day. We were just forcing those people to make a decision that was true to who they really were. If you want to question someone’s character, look to the people who stayed home because of those calls.

    You wonder why there is a fear of Spanish speaking folks in working class NJ?  Because jackasses like Jamestown Associates and their clients (Mike Ferguson) fan the flames in order to win elections for themselves.  They can call themselves moderates all they want — Jamestown also works for “moderates” Jody Rell and Chris Shays in Connecticut — but they are just as cynical and ready to engage in racist stereotypes as much as any KKK Grand Wizard ever was.

    This is your NJ Republican Party: they’re not racist, but they’re happy to take advantage and foment racism to win.