Tag Archive: Tom Kean Jr

Voting is Overrated

Who needs a voter verified paper ballot?  We all know our vote counts and the results are always fair and there is seldom any doubt after the fact, right?

Ok, I will suspend my sarcasm — and the angel dust — for a minute and say this much about Senate bill #1383:  if the state Senate leaders (Sweeney and Kean, Jr.) have their way, we will endure another general election in New Jersey without the added security of a paper trail to verify the results.  I oppose this bill because voting is too important to dick around with with yet another extension, our state legislators are basically telling us to say lots of Hail Marys and bring your rabbit foot to the polls.

And while S1383 is the big item up for bids in today’s 10:30a Senate State Government committee in Trenton, it’s not the only game in town.  That panel’s also hearing arguments for blowing up the ethics panel and starting from scratch.

(Note: Of course there will be fireworks in today’s matinee session on Assembly, with Family Medical Leave Insurance getting its latest vetting!  Feel free to share your predictions below.)

Kean Jr. Gives Fired Staffer big Payday

UPDATE by huntsu: PoliticsNJ is reporting that they got it wrong, but we suspect that there was some outrage generated by this post and comments on PNJ.

In a correction to an earlier report, Senate Republican Executive Director John Samerjan will leave his post after the conclusion of the current legislative session.  Samerjan was not rehired by the new Senate Minority Leader, Thomas Kean, Jr., and according to sources, was not offered, nor did he request, a different assignment in the Senate.

They talk a good game about ending pension padding, double dipping and the like, but give them the levers of power and the Republicans pull the same old garbage. 

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. had his first chance to make big changes and while he did make a change appointing James Harkness as the new Executive Director of the Senate Republiacn Office, he played the same pension padding games that republicans have railed on for years…

Harkness replaces John Samerjan, who had held the post under John Bennett and Leonard Lance.  Kean chose not to retain Samerjan, who is expected to remain as a senior advisor until he becomes fully vested in the state public employee pension system.

That's very nice of Kean to let Samerjan get vested in the system at taxpayer expense, by holding a made up job at taxpayer expense until he's eligible to collect.  Especially since Samerjan is being fired for failing at his job.  Instead of giving him a pink slip, Kean is giving a little political payback which has the potential to give guy a huge payout.

Put it this way, if Samerjan gets a $25,000 per year pesion at 60 and he lives until he's 90, that would potentially be an extra $750,000 for staying on an extra month or so.  That's one hell of a golden parachute on the taxpayer dime.

It appears Kean and the Republican minority are following the poor example of corporations who fire their CEO's, but give them a huge payoff at the shareholder's expense on the way out the door.  The only problem is that this time those shareholder's are the taxpayers.

I think a commenter on pnj put it best…

Heaven forbid anyone attempt to pull the tick off the dog until it has completely engorged itself.

Well said.

Quote of the Day

Giuliani’s campaign responded by noting that Kean’s son, Tom Jr., has endorsed Giuliani.

— From the Newsday article on former Gov. and 9/11 Commission Chair Tom Kean’s endorsement of John McCain.

Mike Ferguson Announces Retirement

Let’s clear the field of the first tier Republicans — show how much support Linda Stender has by throwing her a few bucks on the Blue Jersey ActBlue page!

After barely defeating Linda Stender last year, Congressman Ferguson says he won’t seek reelection in 2008. His announcement is surprising considering he’s only 37. His statement:

“I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election to Congress in 2008.  I deeply appreciate the privilege the people of the 7th District have given me during the past seven years, and it has been my honor to represent them and our country.

“My wife, Maureen, and I have four children, the oldest of whom is 9 years old.  Since first being elected in 2000, I have strived to balance my responsibilities to my family and to my constituents.  I am indebted to Maureen, whose love, selflessness and patience allow me to meet my obligations to my constituents – from votes in Congress that extend past midnight to multiple trips each week between Washington and New Jersey and back again.  Being a representative in Congress is more meaningful than I had imagined, and I know that now is the right time to step away from public life to focus more on family life while our children are still young. […]

“After winning re-election in an extraordinarily challenging year for Republicans in 2006 and then witnessing the impressive gains Republicans made in the 7th District just this month, I am confident that Republicans will nominate a candidate who will continue to reflect the mainstream values of voters in the district and be elected as our next representative in 2008.

(full statement below) The district has a partisan voting index of R+0.6, meaning it’s a serious pickup opportunity for Democrats. PolitickerNJ speculates on next year’s race:

Senate Minority Leader-designate Thomas Kean, Jr. becomes one of the most likely GOP candidates for the seat.  ….

Other possible GOP candidates include: Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance, State Sen.-elect Christopher Bateman, Bridgewater Mayor Patricia Flannery, and Franks, now the President of the Health Care Institute of New Jersey.

This is a huge pickup opportunity for Democrats. Help New Jersey send a woman to Congress. Support Linda Stender with a contribution today!

A message from the Gina Genovese for Senate campaign

  On behalf of Gina, we want to thank everyone who helped us and provided support in our race against Tom Kean Junior in the 21st District.  In what ended up being a very Republican year in the 21st District (only 4 Dems running for local office won in the 21st), we were proud of the campaign that we ran.  We stayed positive while being buried by hundreds of thousands of dollars of negative attacks, and kept the soon to be minority leader occupied in his own district.
  We were proud to run a campaign focused on stem cell research, property tax reform, environmental action and equality for all New Jerseyans.  We hope that those inspired to work for Gina in the 21st work in 2008 to help out Linda Stender, Tom Wyka, Senator Frank Lautenberg and others who share our progressive values.
Chip Robinson
Campaign Manager, Gina Genovese for NJ Senate

Taking Out Tom Kean Jr

(Cross-posted at DailyKos.com)

Starting his 2006 campaign for U.S. Senate as the young, well-coifed namesake of our popular former Governor, many across the state had high hopes in Tom Kean jr. They saw in him the promise of a truly clean, moderate, barely-partisan Republican who could fill his father’s impressive shoes. It wasn’t long before he showed his true colors. The apple, sadly, had fallen far from the tree. Hurling relentlessly muddy attack upon attack, voters began to see Tom Kean jr not as the second coming of his father, but rather a practitioner of the same old tired politics of smear and sleaze.

You’re all familiar with the way he conducted himself last year.  It was a campaign of lies and innuendo that relied on criminals and sketchy staffers for its research.  Tom Moran laid it out perfectly in the Star-Ledger.

At 38, [Kean jr] still looks like a choir boy. But he knows he can’t win this race on the issues. So he’s hired a team of consultants and turned his campaign into a snarling machine that would make Karl Rove proud.

To troll for dirt on Menendez, Kean’s campaign has enlisted Chris Lyon, a political hit-man who was last seen fleeing New Hampshire after the attorney general there deemed his tricks too sleazy for the Granite State.

It seems Lyon was spreading rumors that the wife of a gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire was a member of a cult that worshipped orgasms. That is not a joke.

Lyon has become pen pals with Robert Janiszewski, the former Hudson County executive who is now in prison on corruption charges.

Yes, Janiszewski is a liar with a grudge against Menendez. But Kean needs dirt, and he’s not real fussy about the source.

LiveBlog: Gina Genovese HQ Grand Opening

510PM: I am at Gina Genovese’s (http://www.ginagenov…) headquarters in Bekrley Heights, New Jersey (588 Springfield Avenue, for those not in the know), where the campaign team is about to formally open for business at 6PM. In reality, we have been open for several weeks now, in a comfy brick building along a busy intersection. From 11 in the morning ’till 8 at night, Gina’s headquarters has been teeming with activity. And today we’re inviting Democrats from all over the 21st Legislative District (and elsewhere) to see what we’re up to.

We’re going to take out Tom Kean, Jr. in November 2007. Today is the first day we show why.

(More below, w/pictures tomorrow)

Joining The Gina Genovese Campaign

I am excited to announce that I will be Gina Genovese’s campaign manager in her race for the 21st District State Senate against Tom Kean Junior.  While some may consider Gina an underdog, there are a variety of reasons why she has a serious chance of winning the seat.

First, Gina is an extemely hard worker.  At age 24 she started her own business, Gina’s Tennis World in Berkeley Heights.  It’s gutsy doing that sort of thing at 24, but Gina knew if she worked long and hard she could make it successful.

She decided several years ago to run for local office in Long Hill, traditionally a very Republican and conservative town.  Through hard work and perserverence, she won the election by 10 votes.  She was subsequently chosen by her colleagues both Republicans and Democrats to serve as the first Democrat to become Mayor of Long Hill Township.  She also made history as the first openly gay mayor in the history of New Jersey.

Now, she is seeking the State Senate seat currently held by Tom Kean Junior.  She is everything that Tom Kean Junior is not.  He inherited the seat, she’ll earn it.  He was appointed, she’ll be elected.  She started her own business and made it successful, while he has been around politics for decades.  Furthermore, Gina comes across as the type of natural leader that people are looking for to solve their everyday problems like high property taxes and traffic congestion.

Tom Kean Junior’s status was seriously diminished by his negative campaign against Bob Menendez last fall.  Not only did the state realize that Kean Junior was just another vote for Bush, they came to realize how seriously unqualified Tom Kean Junior was to hold elected office.

The 21st District is changing, and while still Republican, Democrats have taken over many of the local offices in the district in places like Summit, Millburn, Madison, Long Hill, Chatham Township, and others.  Gina Genovese winning her State Senate seat is the logical next step.  Please join her campaign at www.GinaGenovese.com and be a part of electing a fantastic Senator to represent the 21st District.

Chip Robinson
Campaign Manager, Gina Genovese for State Senate

Empowerment Over Entitlement In The 21st

Now that the Primary Season is over, it’s time for us all to start focusing on what’s really important — turning some more legislative seats blue this November.  And I just wanted to let you all know that I’m focused like a laser-beam on beating Tom Kean Jr. to become the 21st District’s next State Senator.

But to do this, simply put, I need your help.  Over the next five months, I hope I can count on the Blue Jersey community’s support and counsel.  So I invite you all to check out my new website to learn more about my campaign and how you can get involved.

I know some here have asked why Democrats like myself think we can take on entrenched, well-funded Republican challengers in red areas and win.  It’s a fair question, and one I’d like to answer.

Someone’s Not Getting Tenure

Professor Tom Kean Jr objects to Corzine rating himself an “incomplete” for his first year:

I believe that the Governor was being more than generous when he graded his first year in office as an incomplete. Governor Corzine presided over a more than billion dollar tax increase on already over-taxed citizens and was responsible for the first shutdown of state government in history. I think history will show that his freshman year earned failing marks.

During the campaign, Tom Kean Jr was asked to grade the Bush administration whose accomplishments included trillions in deficit spending, a catastrophic war, and a botched response to Katrina. He gave Bush a B-minus.

At least he’s got the infinite monkey theorem on his side. He can’t be wrong forever.