Tag Archive: 2010

You can join the DSCC conference call with Senator Menendez

Update by Hopeful: The call has been moved to 4pm Tuesday, Sept. 8

From an email sent out yesterday by the DSCC:

The 2010 Senate races are really heating up now.

From Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon jumping into the Louisiana race against Sen. David Vitter, to upcoming special elections, the map is constantly changing. Keeping up-to-date on the latest political machinations is crucial as we make plans to defeat the “Party of No” and expand our Senate majority. President Obama’s change agenda depends on it.

That’s why we at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee wanted to let you know about a unique opportunity to hear from DSCC Chairman Robert Menendez. Senator Menendez will be holding a conference call at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, and we want you to take part.

Click here to RSVP for Chairman Menendez’s conference call.

During the call, you’ll get the inside scoop on the state of the races, key DSCC initiatives and our strategy for winning next November. It’s the kind of information we all need to know as we gear up to bring down the forces of obstruction in the U.S. Senate.

I hope you will join Chairman Menendez on Thursday, and thanks for your support of the DSCC. We couldn’t do it without you.


J.B. Poersch

(DSCC Executive Director)

P.S. Remember to click here to RSVP for Chairman Menendez’s conference call at 2 p.m. on Thursday. We will send you information on how to listen in.

With the seats in New York, Illinois and Florida, coupled with the situation in Massachusetts and the Vitter seat in Louisiana, there will be plenty to cover. If you want to know what’s going on from the point of view of the DSCC, this call is probably for you.

Adler among 70 GOP targets

I don’t know that it’s much of a surprise that a first term Congressman in what has been considered a more conservative district is a target of the GOP, but John Adler makes the list:

Republicans hope an improved national political environment will help them contest many of the seats it recently lost. Of the 70 targets, 45 are freshmen and sophomores elected in the 2006 and 2008 wave elections.

House Republicans also appear confident that difficult votes on health care and energy legislation will put battle-tested members from conservative districts in trouble. There are over a dozen Blue Dog Democrats on the list, including those who have coasted to re-election in recent years.

Adler has been flooded with calls against healthcare in his offices. According to a staffer when Jay called, he’s not for a “purely public option citing business concerns.” The House E & C Committee put out this summary of the impact the bill could have on his district. He has been very active on Veterans issues as they make up a large segment of his district and has received good reviews for that work. Separate from the issues, he has been one of the most prolific fundraisers raising more than any Frontline Democrat in the 2nd quarter. He has over 850K Cash on Hand.

When asked recently, potential challenger Diane Allen said it was “kind of early” for her to make a decision yet, but that she was watching and he hadn’t done what she felt he needed to do yet. Their challenger in 2008, Chris Myers has been rumored to be the next Senator from Burlington County when the current Senator Phil Haines is appointed to be a judge in the fall, seemingly taking him out of the running. I’ll put the full list and NRCC memo below the fold.  Adler is the only NJ Democrat targeted by the NRCC.  

It’s kind of early

Now that Chris Christie has chosen his running mate for Lieutenant Governor, people are already looking toward the next elections. Some attention will be paid to who challenges Freshman Congressman John Adler. Diane Allen, who was under consideration apparently to run with Christie, was asked about the prospects of a challenge to Adler in 2010:

“It is kind of early, and truthfully it’s just nothing I’ve given any thought to,” she said.

Allen said that her decision will depend on whether Adler does a good job addressing the district’s issues.

“I’ve had conversations with John Adler about things I think need to be done, and we’ll see if he gets them done,” said Allen.  “He hasn’t yet.”

I’m guessing another consideration will be the warchest that Adler is amassing. He raised the most money of any Frontline Democrat in the Country for the 2nd quarter and has received very favorable coverage for his work reaching out to constituents around the district.

Menendez talks about Dem Supermajority on the Ed Show

Senator Menendez recently appeared on the Ed Show to talk about the importance of the Democrats having 60 votes. This interview was done the night that Al Franken was declared the winner in the Senate race. Menendez points out that while they may not always have all the Democrats on board, having 60 votes puts them in different bargaining position to apply pressure for getting further support. Have a look for yourself:

Cook Political Report: Adler/Lance early favorites for 2nd term

The Cook Political Report took a look at the two Freshman members of Congress from New Jersey (Behind a firewall) and where things stand today as it looks toward their re-election in 2010. First they look at Congressman John Adler and rate his seat as likely Democratic:

It’s difficult to see how Republicans could deny Adler a second term without a dramatically better political environment. Republicans always dream of fielding popular state Sen. Diane Allen for this seat, but Adler’s bank account is a big deterrent. In the first quarter of 2009, Adler raised $461,000, the best total in his freshman class. So far, Tabernacle Committeeman Justin Murphy, who took just 25 percent in the 2008 GOP primary, is the GOP’s only announced candidate.

The 3rd CD’s location in the southern part of the state makes it an unlikely candidate for elimination in 2012 redistricting, but if Adler survives 2010, he could possibly score a safer district if its Ocean County portions are divided between the neighboring districts of GOP Reps. Frank LoBiondo and Chris Smith.

This is a significant shift as the seat had been held for decades by Republican Congressman Jim Saxton. Adler’s office has run an extensive outreach operation and been on top of many issues including Veterans concerns, which make up a significant population of the district. Adler also is benefiting from the three Republican members who supported the energy bill, essentially providing him cover from the GOP attacks:

Among the Republicans, Politico said freshman Lance held his vote until the very end.

His vote for the bill, along with those from LoBiondo and Smith, are indirectly providing a benefit to freshman Democratic Rep. John Adler of Cherry Hill.

Adler’s district borders LoBiondo’s and Smith’s, and it’s no coincidence that the National Republican Congressional Committee decided not to include Adler in the barrage of radio attack ads it put up almost immediately assailing freshman Democrats who voted for the bill.

And then they looked at the 7th district seat held by Leonard Lance, who they identify as likely Republican:

Lance pops up on many Democrats’ 2010 target lists because he stands out as one of a reduced herd of northeastern Republicans sitting in marginal districts. But politically, he is much stronger than he might appear on paper. Lance’s recent vote in favor of the controversial Waxman-Markey “cap and trade” bill is just one example of how far apart he is from the “national Republican” brand. And Democrats continue to have a very weak bench in this district, which takes in country clubs in Somerset and Hunterdon counties and closer-in suburbs in Union and Middlesex counties.

At this point, Lance’s most serious political threat may be 2012 redistricting, which will likely collapse the state’s 13 districts into 12. This district, which touches plenty of others in the middle of the state, could be drastically altered.

It’s going to be an uphill climb for Democrats to turn perception around on this district before redistricting given the recent lack of success. At this point, Lance is hearing more from Conservatives on the right than anyone else, but we’ll have to see whether that continues.

This is just a snapshot of where they think things stand as of the July 4th weekend, over one year out from re-election. What do you think of their view?

Menendez: Republicans “are betting against the nation doing better”

Senator Bob Menendez met with reporters to discuss the Democrats’ 2010 Senate efforts and expressed a lot of confidence:

“It might be tempting to think that 2010 would be a tough year for Democrats, but even, I think, a cursory look at the map shows you that the fear has got to be on the other side of the aisle,” Menendez said.

We already know there are numerous Republican retirements for 2010, making their efforts to retake the Senate very, very difficult.  But Menendez did not restrict himself to analyzing the numbers up for election on each side, but took aim at their main strategy of obstruction and opposition.  

“Republicans haven’t changed their brand…the Bush brand,” Menendez said.

“The saddest thing and the most dangerous thing for them is that they are betting against President Obama and betting against the economic recovery we are trying to create. In essence, they are betting against the nation doing better… I think that is a wrong and dangerous propostion for the Republicans … a recipe for failure,” Menendez said.

One thing that is a bit frustrating with the situation in the Senate is that there is not much we can do here in New Jersey:  Both our Senators reliably vote with the Democrats, and neither is running in 2010.  I believe Menendez is correct that further gains are possible in 2010.

(Update) If you are somehow foolish enough to think that what Menendez is saying is just some Democratic partisanship, look at what conservative (if independent minded) Andrew Sullivan says:

This much is now clear. Their clear and open intent is to do all they can, however they can, to sabotage the new administration (and the economy to boot). They want failure. Even now. Even after the last eight years. Even in a recession as steeply dangerous as this one. There are legitimate debates to be had; and then there is the cynicism and surrealism of total political war. We now should have even less doubt about what kind of people they are. And the mountain of partisan vitriol Obama will have to climb every day of the next four or eight years.

(Update2:) And now Republican Senator David Vitter admits it in a speech to conservative activists:

According to Vitter, the GOP is basically betting the farm that the stimulus package is going to fail, and the party wants Democrats to go down with it. “Our next goal is to make President Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress own it completely,” he said. Instead of coming up with serious measures to save the economy, the party intends to devote its time to an “we told you so” agenda that will include GOP-only hearings on the bill’s impact in the coming months to highlight the bill’s purportedly wasteful elements and shortcomings.

The Work for 2010 Starts in 2009

Promoted by Jason Springer:  Now is the time to start organizing for 2009 races and that will pay dividends in 2010 all around the state.

Cross Posted on Retire Garrett

A victory for a Democrat in NJ-5 starts by mobilizing organizations on the county and municipal levels for 2009 elections. By registering new Democrats and spreading a strong message in 2009, voters in traditionally Republican areas become exposed to different ideas and policies.

The Democratic nominee in NJ-5 will most definitely have an uphill battle, but strong efforts need to be made in Sussex, Warren, and Passaic Counties. A Democrat can’t win simply by flipping Bergen County. Although it is the largest portion of the district, Garrett cannot be defeated without a better performance in the other 3 counties.

The following elections are taking place in 2009:


Freeholder Vernon Walton (D-inc) and Freeholder Julie O’Brien (D-inc) are up for reelection in 2009. Although, barring any unforeseen circumstances, both should win reelection fairly easily. However, this is an advantage to invest time and money in more Republican parts of NJ-5. A concerted effort needs to be made to register new voters and raise money for municipal organizations in traditionally Republican areas of the County.


Freeholder Jim Gallagher (D-inc), Freeholder Tahesha Way (D-inc), Freeholder Sonia Rosado (D-inc), and County Clerk Karen Brown (D-inc). Just as in Bergen, unless one of these officials faces a primary challenge (as Gallagher and Brown very possibly could) their seats are safe. All of these candidates need to make an effort to engage voters in more suburban parts of Passaic County. Rosado (according to Wally Edge of politickernj.com) is retiring. Whoever the Freeholder and Clerk candidates are they need to help by building the party up in the more rural areas.


Freeholder Susan Zellman (R-inc), Freeholder Glen Vetrano (R-inc), and County Surrogate Nancy Fitzgibbons. Freeholder Vetrano is retiring, which means there is an opportunity for Democrats to make a play at an open seat. This county is as red as it gets in New Jersey, but any effort to register more voters will help the cause in 2010.


Freeholder Everett A. Chamberlain (R-inc) is the only countywide official up for reelection in Warren County. Like Sussex, this is a very Republican county. However, the city of Phillipsburg has a Democratic Majority and is a place Democrats can build around in Warren.

This isn’t even mentioning of the Assembly seats (and countless municipal races) up for grabs in NJ-5, which should be another vehicle for organization and preparation for 2010. Winning in 2010 will be on the heels of a local, grassroots movement that begins with these races in 2009.

Take Back the Fifth: Building a Grassroots Movement for 2010

Promoted from the diaries – Thurman

Unseating Scott Garrett in 2010 will take a strong grassroots movement, with organization in every county, municipal, and legislative race from now until November 2010.  

Take Back the Fifth hopes to play a major role in achieving that goal and creating that organization.  

Take Back the Fifth will serve as a medium to organize Democrats, Independents, and Moderate Republicans in the district and expose Scott Garrett for his extremist views.  In 2009 their are scores of local, county, and legislative races inside NJ-5 that can serve as a training ground for volunteers and a strong Democratic message.  In order to compete in 2010 with Garrett we need to compete everywhere.  Simply going negative on Scott Garrett’s record is not enough.  A strong Democratic message that will resonate with voters needs to be developed.

We need to give voters a reason to vote for the Democrat and not a reason to vote against Scott Garrett.    

Scott Garrett cannot get a free ride for his dismal record.    

Our main goal is to bring voices from throughout the district together and promote the local issues that Scott Garrett has been unresponsive to since he entered the House of Representatives.    

We want to foster conversations about potential candidates and make elected officials inside NJ-5 engaged and involved.  Eventually we hope to begin raising money for the 2010 Democratic nominee and building an expansive volunteer list for the nominee to inherit.  

Additionally, we need help from everyone and anyone, especially if you live inside NJ-5.  We want as many writers from as many parts of the district to contribute so that a real grassroots movement can emerge.  

We are still fine tuning the blog and working out the kinks, but for the most part it is up in running.  If you have any suggestions or want to contribute please e-mail me at matthewpjordan@gmail.com.    

This is the first of many steps to unseating Scott Garrett in 2010.  

Mayor Jim Sekelsky: The Candidate NJ-5 Democrats Need

cross posted on Daily Kos

Since election day their has been a lot of debate about what happen in NJ-5, why their was no progress from 2006, and how Democrats should move forward in the run up to 2010.  What I’ve observed throughout the discourse that has taken place is that their is a lot of talk about who’s to blame for the regression instead of what we need to do to turn things around.

We need to learn from the mistakes of the last few election cycles and come up with fresh ideas on how we can remedy them.  NJ-5 can be we won, we just need to find a formula of the right issues, organization, and fund raising to make that happen.  Most Importantly we need a candidate that can relate to voters from Phillipsburg to Upper Saddle River.

That Democrat and candidate is Mayor Jim Sekelsky of Ogdensburg.  


What’s Next in NJ-5?

After a disappointing 14% loss in a year when Democrats made gains all across the country NJ-5 can seem like a lost cause.  At the least, I thought we would build upon Paul Aronsohn’s gains and put Garrett in a vulnerable position going into 2010 and redistricting.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and will make national and statewide support more unlikely in the next election cycle.  That’s fine, as Assemblywoman Stender learned the hard way, you can’t win elections without the interests within the district being organized and motivated.  

There are several steps that can be taken to building an infrastructure, with an emphasis on a town-by-town basis, to keep constituents aware of Garrett’s abysmal record and allow the candidate in 2010 to hit the ground running with a fully functioning field operation.  

To start I think we need a district blog, which can hopefully recruit bloggers from this site that can cover all of the geographic regions of the district.  By recruiting local bloggers from separate parts of the district we can establish what the concerns are on the local level and give the eventual candidate a platform of issues (and hopefully shortcomings on Garrett’s part) that the eventual nominee can exploit.  Moreover, we can recruit local Democratic Mayors and elected officials to author Op-Eds on the site to voice their concerns and raise the issues that Garrett isn’t delivering on.