Tag Archive: 2010

Menendez appears on Meet the Press to talk 2010 and immigration

Rand Paul was supposed to be a guest on Meet the Press today with Joe Sestak, John Cornyn and Bob Menendez. Paul bailed after the really really bad week he had, but Menendez appeared and here’s the show where they talked about the races in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Connecticut among other topics. Toward the end of the segment, they also got into the immigration debate and the Arizona law:

Advice from Menendez: Run hard and don’t assume

The AP ran a story about how the anti-establishment mood of the electorate threatens elected officials in both parties this cycle. In his role as head of the DSCC, we got this advice to members of Senate on the ballot from the man in charge of making sure they return for another term:

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey oversees Democrats’ efforts to win Senate races this fall. He said he is warning veteran colleagues to run hard and not assume voters will be impressed by lengthy experience or powerful committee posts.

In this political climate, Menendez said, “they can’t assume a senior position is going to ride them into victory.”

I wrote the other day about the warning municipal elections should have provided for incumbents on the ballot. The Senator’s advice applies for those seeking support from the voters at all levels of government. It’s going to be a tough year.

Non-Partisan Election Results

As if it’s not enough to have major elections every November, we also have the non-partisan municipal elections tonight.  

NJ.com has Essex County results. At this time (10:14pm) votes are still being counted in Newark but Booker has a large lead that looks safe to me. Booker tweets that “8 of our 9 council people look to be also headed 2 victory.” I see that with 30 of 40 districts reporting in the South Ward Ras Baraka has 3370 and incumbent Oscar S. James II* has 2291 votes. In the East Ward race challenger Peter Pantoliano is trailing incumbent Augusto Amador, 1479-2682. (12:08. I don’t know why there are only 160 of 163 districts but I’m going to bed and I bet the election website people did too. Booker wins with 21242 to Minor’s 12670. The other two add up to 2018.  John Sharpe James fell short as the incumbent at-large council members were re-elected. Amador won the East, Baraka the South, Ronald C. Rice the West, Ramos the North, and Bell the Central Ward.) (Final update: Oops, Bell didn’t get 50% so there’s a runoff.)

PolitickerNJ also has a useful summary. Long Branch Mayor Schneider won despite Solomon Dwek’s late intervention. State Senator Brian Stack was re-elected mayor of Union City. A victory for dual-office holders everywhere, I suppose.

Any results you are interested in?

In a big upset, Patterson Mayor Torres lost to challenger Jeffery Jones. Northjersey.com notes that the 598 vote victory was despite the mayor’s nearly one million dollar warchest.

In Bridgeton, challenger Albert Kelly beat the incumbent mayor. He’ll be the first African-American mayor of Bridgeton.

Your Trenton Results are here. Mack has 2,302 (21.37%), Segura 1,838 (17.06%), and Jackson 1,841 (17.09%).  PolitickerNJ predicts a recount to see if that three vote margin holds up. Eric Jackson or Manuel Segura will face Tony Mack in a June runoff. There were 10,771 votes for mayor total, 114 under votes, and 0 over votes. Also, at 10:37PM when I write this, there does seem to be one district not reporting.  (10:41) Nevermind, it updated to all 51 districts with no vote changes, so that was just a typo.

Why I’m running for Council in Berkeley Heights

By Stephen Yellin

It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the Blue Jersey community since its inception. I remember the conversations that took place when this site was in development, and how excited its founders – people like Juan Melli, Jeff Gardner and Rosi Efthim – were to be leading the vanguard for progressive change online in New Jersey. Those hopes have come to fruition, as you can see by the fact that one of our front-page writers is Loretta Weinberg, and leaders like Frank Pallone post their diaries here. I hope to remain part of this community for many years to come!

Many of you know me for my work as an Internet blogger, or as a Democratic activist in New Jersey. Another facet of my life is less well-known in these parts- my work as an outspoken resident in Berkeley Heights, the town I’ve lived in all my life. My town has been very good to me, giving me an excellent education in a friendly and (largely) affluent community. Now that I’m graduating from college, I feel that it’s time for me to give back to Berkeley Heights. That’s the main reason – although far from the only one – that I’m running for Township Council.

Obama starts the 2010 elections

The President, in campaign mode, released this video for his supporters today:

This is a looking to be a difficult election year for us here in New Jersey. There are no open seats and independent groups think there is little chance of defeating any of the incumbent Republicans, though I certainly liked Ed Potosnak in his Blue Jersey interview. A number of great Democratic Representatives are facing challenges by rich right-wing extremists, and Democrats will need to turn out to protect them. Then of course there is a high profile, very competitive race in the Third District. Polls show the main problem nationwide is that many Obama voters still support him and Democrats but don’t intend to vote.  

How do you think Democrats can energize and turn out these voters here in New Jersey?

News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Menendez to appeal recall decision

A spokesperson for U.S. Senator Bob Menendez announced yesterday that the Hudson Democrat will appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court to halt a Tea Party fueled recall effort.  A three-judge appeals panel ruled last month that the recall was constitutional.

Did he really say that?!

James Simpson, Governor Christie’s new Commissioner of Transportation, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that “New Jersey is defined by its Turnpike.”  A Brooklyn native who still lives in Delaware, Simpson told a reporter he refuses to let his children use the motorway’s public bathrooms.  He explained, “I wait till we get to another state.”

Whelan calls out N.F.L. hypocrisy

As some state lawmakers push for a November referendum on whether sports betting should be legalized in Atlantic City’s 11 casinos, an N.F.L. spokesperson reiterated the league’s opposition to such a move.  Testifying before the Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, State Senator Jim Whelan called the N.F.L. hypocrital for allowing television networks and sportscasters to openly discuss point spreads.

Don’t hold your breath

The Star-Ledger thinks pending layoffs, program cuts, and property tax increases will focus attention on the April 20 vote that includes elections for board of education and non-binding referenda on school budgets.  Turnout is traditionally abysmally low.

AAA: Teen driving fatalities drop

A study commissioned by the AAA Foundation finds that the number of fatal accidents involving New Jersey teen drivers have dropped precipitously since the state implemented driving restrictions in 2002.

Dismembered bodies discovered in Linden

Linden police officers made a chilling discovery Monday: the dismembered bodies of two individuals were found in two trash bags in a residential neighborhood.  Authorities have yet to release the identities of the victims but they have stepped up patrols and are encouraging residents to exercise caution.

News Roundup & Open Thread for Monday, April 5, 2010

Pallone leads the fight against offshore drilling

Congressman Frank Pallone and New Jersey environmentalists are laying plans for a grassroots campaign to convince President Obama to hold to his campaign promise and reverse his recent decision to allow drilling off the Atlantic coast.

Booker kicks off re-election campaign

Newark Mayor Cory Booker kicked off his re-election campaign Saturday, making the classic case that it’s never good to switch horses midstream.  He’s not only asking voters to support him in the non-partisan May ballot, but would like all current councilmembers returned to office as well.  

Sharpe James readies for his return

Just as the current mayor readies for re-election, another is readying for his return.  Former Mayor Sharpe James, at one time one of the state’s most powerful Democrats, is set to be released from federal prison Tuesday.  Despite his corruption conviction, he swears he’s innocent.  And he’s not mincing words when it comes to criticism of his successor.

Speaker Oliver’s balancing act

Matt Friedman has an excellent piece on a day in the life of Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.   The “wildcard” in the governing partnership that also includes Christie and Senate President Sweeney, the Speaker anticipates the coming budget showdown, and insists – you’re not going to believe it! – that she’s ready to fight for Democratic spending priorities.

Conservatives pressure Christie to remake top court

Conservatives are pressuring Governor Christie to break with decades of precedent and deny Justice John E. Wallace reappointment to the state’s top court.  This would be the first time a justice was denied reappointment since the state constitution was adopted in 1947.  The Blue Jersey community has to be thinking, “We told you so?”

Mulshine: Christie grilled by high school students

The Governor’s BFF at the Star-Ledger writes about an exchange between Christie and a Montclair high school student over the state’s “thorough and efficient” education funding obligation.

State gives up $15b annually in tax credits

A new state report says the state forgoes at least $15 billion in revenue annually as a result of “various credits, deductions, exemptions and other special provisions in the state’s tax code.”

The Battle for Fort Monmouth

Local officials want more say in the future of Fort Monmouth.  Under a bill introduced by State Senators Ray Lesniak and Jen Beck, the future of the Army post (set to be shuttered in 2011 as a consequence of BRAC) will be decided by a nine-member state commission.  Following several amendments, the locals have signed on to the bill, but still caution the need for local input.  

News Roundup & Open Thread for Friday, April 2, 2010

State investigates possible pension violations

The Division of Pension and Benefits has launched an investigation into whether public union officials on leave from government jobs are in violation of federal tax regulations for continuing to accrue pension time.  Notably, Barbara Keshishian, NJEA president, is one of the individuals effected.

Civil liberties group says Menendez recall constitutional

The American Civil Rights Union filed a brief earlier this year defending efforts to recall U.S. Senator Bob Menendez as constitutional.  The ACRU is viewed by many as the conservative counterpart to the ACLU.

Opponent criticizes Frelinghuysen for health care vote

Democrat Doug Herbert, running against Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen in the Eleventh Congressional District, said the veteran lawmaker was wrong to vote no in last week’s vote on health care reform.

New charter school applications up

Perhaps in response to Governor Christie’s public school cuts, New Jersey’s Department of Education received 36 applications to establish new charter schools for fall 2011.

The perils of Facebook

Despite nationwide efforts to warn students about leaving digital trails on social networking sites, some New Jersey teachers are in hot water for making caustic and derogatory online comments about Governor Christie’s proposed education cuts.  Many of the complaints, posted to Facebook, were done on school time.

Newark protest over proposed NJ Transit hikes

Community activists protested at Penn Station yesterday in opposition to proposed NJ Transit fare hikes, the largest in 30 years.

Police sweep nets 27 in Trenton

Police arrested 27 individuals on outstanding warrants at the same Trenton housing complex where a 7-year old was sexually assaulted earlier this week.  Mayor Douglas Palmer said the dragnet was already in the works and he hopes that the arrests will result in leads in the case.

Thieves discover a new AC jackpot

Atlantic City police report that a Frito-Lay snack truck was stolen yesterday.  The vehicle was recovered, but not before being fleeced of its contents.  The investigation is ongoing.

RNC directs donors to sex line

The hits just keep on coming for the Republican National Committee.  Fresh off the controversy over the party’s Los Angeles sex club event, news broke yesterday that a fundraising invitation mistakenly listed a phone sex line as the RSVP number.

2010 House Rankings

Besides county and local elections, our main elections this year in New Jersey are just the thirteen Congressional races. Swing State Project has released their new rankings, and the Jersey news is:

John Adler’s NJ3 district is ranked “lean Democratic.”

Rush Holt’s NJ12 district is ranked “likely Democratic.”

Our old friends NJ5 (Garrett) and NJ7 (Lance) have dropped off the rankings, meaning they do not foresee the chance of an upset. Note that far more Democratic seats are in play, reflecting the poor national environment and the many close victories in the last two cycles.

These involve judgments, but they also developed a formula called the “House Vulnerability Index.” In this index, John Adler is the 37th most vulnerable Democrat.

The latest edition of the Cook Political Report House Race Chart has Adler as “lean Democratic” and no other New Jersey races ranked. His definition is “Lean: These are considered competitive races but one party has an advantage.”

So what do you think? Do they overestimate Lance? I have the impression many Blue Jersey think Adler’s race is a toss-up or even “lean Republican.”  

News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, April 1, 2010

New Jersey Democrats question Obama’s drill plan

Our Senators and several Congressmen oppose the offshore oil drilling plan announced yesterday by President Obama.  All things being equal, so does Governor Christie

Christie tries new tactic: politeness

As part of Governor Christie’s push for wage freezes, he’s reaching out to the NJEA.  Rather than anger, he’s giving civility a go.  Union leaders are skeptical.

DOE plays let’s make a deal

The Department of Education has informed school districts that teachers who agree to new contracts likely to include wage freezes will not be subject to the Governor’s 1.5% benefits contribution plan.  They have until May 22.

Ocean County faces record unemployment

The official jobless numbers are out for Ocean County.  Unemployment is up to 12%, a 30-year high.  Predictably, a GOP Freeholder blames the out of work.

Good news: Newark was homicide free in the month of March

The state’s largest city recorded its first calendar month without a homicide since 1966.  It’s been 32 days since police responded to a murder.  

Mulshine: AG sides against Christians

Columnist Paul Mulshine continues his assault on Chris Christie’s conservative credentials, this time singling out New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow for filing a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of California’s efforts to bar a Christian group of lawyers from organizing on a public law school campus.

Police arrest teen who sold sister for sex

A 15-year old Trenton girl was arrested yesterday on charges that she prostituted herself and her 7-year old sister.  One wishes this was an April Fools joke, but sadly, it’s not.

Did somebody say bitch slap?

A South Brunswick McDonalds customer slapped a drive-thru attendant across the face because he was tired of waiting for his Filet-O-Fish.