Tag Archive: Tom Kean Jr

By the Company You Keep

Stop me if you’ve heard it…

  A bankrupt banker, an accountant who steals from little girls, and a councilman with no sense of decency walk into a GOP office.  They walk out as candidates.

I’ll wait for you to stop laughing before I tell you it’s true.  While Baby Kean is busy flooding the North Jersey airwaves with allegations of ethics violations by Bob Menendez, South Jersey GOP bosses are trying to put the No-Ethics Dream Team into office.  Gloucester County GOP apparently thinks their fellow citizens have the brains of a water trough.  There’s just no other possible reason to put up such a vile trio of thugs as Greg Wood, Tim O’Hara, and Steve Altamuro.

News Round-up & Open Thread for Thursday, Oct 12

36 years ago today, President Nixon announced another round of troop withdrawals from South Vietnam. Despite already losing the war, Bush bravely insists on keeping others’ sons and daughters in Iraq without a plan until they’re all killed, or until he leaves office – whichever comes first.

And now back to your regularly scheduled news:

  • The latest Quinnipiac University poll has Menendez ahead 49%-45%, a 7 point swing since September when Kean Jr led 48%-45%. A Rasmussen poll will show Menendez ahead 44%-40%.
  • Not surprisingly, members of the Black Ministers Council endorsed Bob Menendez yesterday saying Kean Jr has offered nothing but unsubstantiated negative attacks. They also “voiced concern over Kean’s 2002 vote in Trenton opposing racial profiling legislation.” Kean Jr’s spokeswoman says he actually did vote for it in the Senate after he voted against it in the Assembly.
  • Hamilton mayor Glen Gilmore has donated more than $12,000 he received from John Lynch, who recently pleaded guilty to corruption. “Gilmore had originally declined to give up the money, but changed his mind this week.” Mercer County Republicans are calling the Mercer Democratics to return over $32,000 they’ve received from Lynch. Democrats say Republicans are hypocrites and should return $36,000 from Harry Parkin and others – all of whom pleaded or were found guilty as well.
  • There’s not much love for Sen Karcher’s bill to ban trans fats from restaurant food. Assemblyman Lou Manzo said “I just don’t like the taste of this bill.”
  • Third district legislators, Sen Stephen Sweeney and Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Doug Fisher, visited with students at Woodstown. One eighth grader said: “I never realized what they could actually do…It’s nice to finally be able to see how they can affect us on a daily basis.” Another added: “They made me really want to learn more about politics…They inspired me to maybe one day become a politician.”
  • Assemblyman Joe Roberts has proposed creating 21 “super” county school superintendents as a way to cut property taxes, but Assemblyman Senator Bob Smith wants to go a step further and create 21 “administrative” county school districts, where purchasing, HR, transportation and other work is consolidated, eliminating an estimated 600 local administrators and staffers.
  • News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, October 10

    • Apparently, the Kean JUNIOR camp is “outraged” about the video of him ducking Jo Ann Sohl this past weekend. They say it’s “inappropriate” for Mrs. Sohl to be there ask Tommy to explain himself. (I guess that’s “inappropriate” because she didn’t pitch softball questions and take his empty answers with a smile.)
    • Bush is somewhat to blame for North Korea’s escalating nuclear program, according to Senator Menendez: “Today’s nuclear test by North Korea confirms our worst fears and illustrates just how much the Bush administration’s incompetence has endangered our nation.”
    • Assemblyman Reed Gusciora has requested an investigation of Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck (R-12) and her lobbying firm, which helped the state lottery operator get a new contract, despite the fact that it bid millions more than the closest competitor. Hey, the Republicans wanted a focus on ethics, didn’t they?
    • Former Times of Trenton editor and current columnist Harry Blaze died yesterday at home. He was 70.
    • Natural gas heating bills should dip a little this winter, but won’t do the big slide that gasoline prices are doing. Hey, every little bit helps.
    • Good apples this year! Woo-hoo!

    Open Thread: What’s on your mind, Blue Jersey?

    Marcia Kramer Hit Piece on Bob

    It’s disgusting when opinion is shilled as news. This blatant hit piece on Bob Menendez is despicable — CBS 2 should be ashamed of themselves for allowing a story so clearly slanted to be passed off as news.

    Everyone at BlueJersey has seen the clip where Kean Jr turns his back on the mother of a soldier serving in Iraq. Now, CBS has aired “The Anatomy of a Smear,” an attempt to neutralize the piece by equating it with Kean Jr’s lies, slander, and attacks on Senator Menendez.

    View it for yourself here.

    To break it down:

    The title: “Behind the Scenes: The Anatomy of a Smear.” Kramer opens,

    It began with a campaign dirty trick: Republican Senate Candidate Tom Kean, Jr., forced to run a gauntlet of Bob Menendez supporters when he arrived at CBS 2 Saturday to tape a campaign debate.

    Having people come out to support you is a dirty trick? Free assembly is front and center in the Bill of Rights. It’s not a dirty trick, it’s called popular support.

    Kramer continues,

    Step Two: The attack on Tom Kean’s position on Iraq during the debate.

    [Cut to debate footage]

    Menendez: You won’t even answer the military families in New Jersey who continue to ask the critical questions: ‘What would you do if this continues to be civil war?’

    This is not an attack on his position — it’s a statement on Kean Jr’s cowardliness when it comes to facing the families of New Jersey’s servicemembers in harm’s way. 0 for 2.

    Here’s where it gets obscene.

    Step Three: The Setup. Sneaking Joanne Sohl, the mother of a soldier serving in Iraq, into a post-debate press conference to confront Tom Kean.

    Let it be clear that Marcia Kramer and Tom Kean Jr’s handlers (who fed this piece to her) think that ordinary citizens shouldn’t have access to our Senate candidates. In their book, it is a dirty trick (their words, not mine)  for the mothers of soldiers to get time with their candidate.

    Step Four: The Tracker. Menendez staffer, Patrick McKenneth, tapes the confrontation . . .

    Step Five: The Sting. This press release, headlined, ‘Caught On Tape: Kean Jr. Running From Military Mother, Ducking Questions about War In Iraq.’

    Step Six: Double Gotcha. The video shot by the Menendez staffer is put on YouTube, and released.

    Step Seven: The Payoff. The group, ‘Military Families of New Jersey,’ holds a press conference today to bash Kean and praise Menendez. . . .

    These are all tactics the Kean Jr camp has practiced themselves. Any journalist supposing otherwise is naïve or just plain stupid. Also, the language, “The Payoff,” seems to suggest a crime or something unethical, which fits nicely into Kean Jr’s handlers’ narrative about Senator Menendez. Is Kramer parroting?

    Immediately following ‘The Steps’ segment,

    Kramer: A spokeswoman for Kean attacked Team Menendez calling the Senator, “a political thug who employs Hudson County political boss-style tactics in an election.”

    Kramer ended the two minute segment with one short quote from a Menendez spokesperson.

    Comparing this event with Kean Jr’s attacks is comparing apples with oranges. Kean Jr promotes falsehoods about Senator Menendez’s character and integrity while Menendez highlights how Kean Jr dodges a question on the issues from someone who has the most important thing in her life at stake — her child.


    Senate Candidates Respond to Nuclear North Korea

    Bob Menendez calls for Bush to appoint an independent envoy to deal with the situation (read: let the grownups take care of this):

    “Today’s nuclear test by North Korea confirms our worst fears and illustrates just how much the Bush administration’s incompetence has endangered our nation.  Five years ago, President Bush told the American people about what he termed ‘the axis of evil,’ three countries he alleged were developing weapons of mass destruction.  Since that time, we invaded Iraq, the country that didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, and ignored Iran and North Korea, the two that did. 

    “While George Bush bogged our military down to topple a regime that had no weapons of mass destruction, a brutal dictator in North Korea has strengthened a nuclear arsenal that has the potential to threaten the West Coast of the United States.  A nuclear North Korea is a threat to its neighbors, a threat to the 38,000 American soldiers deployed in South Korea and a threat to every American.

    “We had the opportunity to stop North Korea from increasing its nuclear power, but George Bush went to sleep at the switch while he pursued his narrow agenda in Iraq.  When the world was crying out for leadership, George Bush gave it negligence.  The war in Iraq has tied our hands and our enemies know it.  We now lack the international credibility to assemble a real coalition to deal with North Korea, which we should have done years ago, and our country is less safe because of it.  There can be no clearer evidence that it is time for a change of direction in Washington.

    “We cannot afford to trust George Bush to get this right, since he has gotten it wrong for the past six years.  He needs to appoint immediately an independent envoy such as James Baker or William Perry to oversee an international coalition to deal with this emerging crisis.  There is no time for delay.”

    If Tom Kean Jr had responded, he might have said something like this:

    This isn’t super, and obviously some mistakes were made, but in my book, this gets a B-minus. As an independent reformer, I was the first member of my party to call for Kim Jung Il to step down as dictator of North Korea. He’s clearly not done a good job of making us safe. When I’m elected to the Senate, I will fight alongside John McCain to make sure all world dictators follow proper ethical standards, which do not include using nuclear bombs and other such things.

    Out. Of. Touch.

    The most recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll asked New Jersey voters to rate George W Bush’s job as President. Only 29% said he was doing an Excellent (9%) or Good (20%) job, while an overwhelming 70% said he was doing only fair (25%) or Poor (45%). Similarly, according to a Survey USA poll in September, New Jersey voters disapprove of Bush by a 2-1 margin (64%-32%).

    During this morning’s debate, we found out how our Senate candidates would grade the Bush administration.

    Bob Menendez said Bush deserved a grade between a D and F. Tom Kean Jr revealed how out of touch he is with 70% of the state when he admitted he would give Bush a B-minus. Congressman Andrews responded:

    “Tom Kean just told everybody why Bob Menendez should win the election. Where I’m from, B-minus makes the honor roll. He honestly thinks we’ve had an honor roll performance from the president. I don’t think most New Jerseyans think that’s true.”

    Tom Kean Jr gives Bush a B-

    Maybe at Dartmouth, Junior was used to getting above average grades for royally screwing up everything he touched, but in the real world, we hold people accountable for their mistakes. We expect our elected officials to hold Bush accountable, and Tom Kean Jr just admitted that he’d give him a pass.

    Tom Kean Jr Still Can’t Stand Up to Veteran’s Families

    Amazingly, Tom Kean Junior’s ability to disrespect our military literally knows no bounds.  First, he refused to answer questions from Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) but said he’d give them written answers.  Then he said he wasn’t going to answer because that group was never going to vote for him anyway.  Now, we have this clip of Junior doing what he does best.

    Yes, that’s NJGOP Senatorial hope-ful Thomas Kean, Junior running away like a little girl whose Barbie doll just got eaten by a pit bull.  But it isn’t his opponent that strikes such fear in Baby Kean – it’s a mom who doesn’t like being ignored or lied to.

    Op-Ed: The War In Iraq, The Elections At Home

    Joe Cryan is the Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and serves in the New Jersey State Assembly for the 20th Legislative District.

    As the war in Iraq drags into its fourth year, with casualties mounting, the financial cost growing and with no end in sight, the American people are learning more about the deceit and duplicity of the Bush Administration in selling the war to a nation that had experienced the trauma of the terrorist attacks of 9-11. The truth about the war reveals an administration that has sacrificed honesty along with the lives of close to 3,000 American soldiers. In essence, we have been fighting on a lie.

    President Bush claimed that Iraq posed an imminent threat to national security, that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq was a battleground in the international war on terror. These were faulty claims in a false premise for war. There were no weapons of mass destruction, Iraq posed no direct threat and terrorists were not welcome in Hussein’s Iraq. This was a war of choice, not a war of necessity. And now we are paying the costs. In addition to the lives lost and those left with horrible wounds, the American people have spent more than $300 billion. This is money that could have been used to close the deficit, fund health care or education, protect the environment or to invest in economic progress.

    Instead, we are caught in a conflict that is fragmenting into civil war. The cruel irony is – despite George Bush’s false pretense – the war has actually increased the threat of terrorism by fueling antagonisms among Muslims throughout the world. The recent National Intelligence Estimate by the country’s intelligence services confirms this awful truth. The report – which the Bush Administration wanted to keep secret – is a stark indictment of misplaced priorities and failed policies that could haunt us for generations to come.

    The war has also distracted resources and attention away from the more legitimate battle against terrorists. In Afghanistan, the Taliban is experiencing a resurgence and Al Qaeda is starting to reemerge. Around the globe, America’s prestige has suffered. The belligerent attitude of the Bush Administration in prosecuting the war with complete disregard to international sentiment – not to mention international standards of conduct – belies an arrogance that alienates the United States in the world community.

    The more we learn about the conduct of the Bush Administration, the more reasons we have to work for a change in leadership in Washington and a change in direction for the country. The behind-the-scenes account of decision making contained in Bob Woodward’s book, “State of Denial,” confirms the most cynical suspicions of the Bush Administration’s motives and behavior.

    We have learned that legitimate warnings about terrorist attacks by Osama bin Laden were not taken seriously. We learned that the decision to go to war was made primarily on the gut instinct of a President who believes he has been ordained to make unilateral decisions and not be accountable. We learned of the disregard for dissenting opinions. What is worse, is the deceit and deception that accompanied these bad decisions. The President refuses to be held accountable. He refuses to tell the truth.

    We now have the chance to force the President to face the truth. We now have the ability to make him accountable. We now have an opportunity to impose change. The upcoming election is our next best opportunity to bring change to Washington. George Bush isn’t on the ballot, but his political allies are. In New Jersey, Tom Kean Jr. and Congressman Mike Ferguson – two Republican candidates who support Bush’s war policies – are competing in this year’s election.

    Congressman Ferguson and Kean Jr. are unapologetic supporters of Bush’s war policies. Kean Jr. has made some futile attempts recently to distance himself from the President. But his words are too little and too late, they are completely disingenuous. His half-hearted criticism that “mistakes were made” not only states the obvious, it came in the wake of recent public polls.

    Senator Robert Menendez stood up to George Bush on the war from the start and he hasn’t backed down. He voted against the war when it was unpopular to do so. He now has a responsible plan for bringing our troops home safely. Senator Menendez has been right all along and he had the courage of his beliefs.

    Just as wrong and just as bad as Kean Jr. is Mike Ferguson. He has succumbed to George Bush in every conceivable way. He has marched in lock step with Washington Republicans as they moved further and further away from the mainstream.

    The voters in Ferguson’s congressional district have someone else to take his place. They have a Democratic candidate who will replace Ferguson’s Right wing positions – including his obedient support for Bush’s war policies and his belief that abortion should be criminalized – with sensible, responsible mainstream positions.

    Linda Stender is that candidate. Linda opposes the war and wants to bring our troops home. She has the courage to stand up to George Bush and she has the strength of character to act in the best interests of the people.

    This is an election that can make history. It offers an opportunity to shift the direction and the purpose of America. We should all do all that we can to take advantage of this opportunity and to help make history.