Tag Archive: Roll Call

2013-2014 Congressional Casualty List – NJ

Roll Call published a Casualty List today for the 113th Congress, those members who for various reasons won’t be returning to Congress in January. They did some math and figure that’s 1,254 years of experience total that won’t be back. That’s a lot of incumbency, and the circumstances of the New Jersey four speak to how hard it is to overcome the campaign advantages of that incumbency, which include the powerful trappings of a federal seat, general goodwill towards local representatives (even where Congress itself is disparaged), and the freebie franking privilege which so many members of Congress use to send self-congratulatory mail that walks and talks like campaign lit but the taxpayers get the bill.

Of the NJ four leaving office, none were beaten by upstart challengers, to the eternal frustrations especially of those who rallied behind NJ-5’s Roy Cho (against the should-be vulnerable pre-Tea Party winger Scott Garrett) and NJ-3’s Aimee Belgard (whose fortunes rose then fell in the open seat Tom MacArthur bought for himself). All four new members – Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Don Norcross and incoming House members Bonnie Watson Coleman and Tom MacArthur – take seats that were vacated by retirement, resignation or death.  

NJ Dems Named on Of USA’s 7 Most Dysfunctional State Parties

Oh lovely. Promoted by Rosi

Roll Call decided to have some fun and find the most messed up, ineffective, poorly structured, beset by infighting political parties in the United States.  

Traditionally, state parties have been the meeting point between the national political organizations and the local ground game. But in recent cycles, many of them have become so dysfunctional that they are now irrelevant – or even worse, detrimental, to the national party’s efforts.

The reasons behind their ineptitude vary: Some parties struggle with finances, others with competing personalities.

Who here at Blue Jersey is surprised that New Jersey is on the list?

This party’s problems can be boiled down to two words: Chris Christie.

New Jersey’s governor is one of the most powerful executives in the country. The Garden State is otherwise a Democratic stronghold, but not having the top office hurts the party immensely.

Strangely, Roll Call didn’t bother to note the party chair fight, the number of high-ranking Democrats endorsing Christie, or the North-South split.  All they focused on was that NJ doesn’t have a Democratic Governor.

But they mis-alphabetized New Jersey ahead of Minnesota and Nevada so take this for what it’s worth.

We can prove them wrong, folks, by keeping our majorities in the Assembly and Senate, even expanding it by electing folks like Marie Corfield.

Roll call: Sweeney’s S2937 passes 24-15: Assembly votes Thursday, Assembly Budget discussing now

S2937, the Christie-Sweeney plan to dramatically alter collective bargaining rights in New Jersey, passed the Senate this afternoon 24-15. The Assembly version – A4133, as introduced by Lou Greenwald (D) and Declan O’Scanlon (R) – is next, first in Assembly Budget (which Greenwald chairs), then to the full Assembly for a vote. Gov. Christie will almost certainly sign it into law if it reaches his desk. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, who has pushed this bill despite a body that may not be warm to it, said “bold, demonstrative large steps” are what’s needed now.

Listen LIVE to the Assembly Budget hearing.

Labor – CWA Political Director Bob Masters told the Assembly minutes ago that “real Democrats” would have killed this bill. Charlie Wowkanech, NJ AFL-CIO President said, “Where labor has no voice, democracy has no future.”

Gov. Christie owes Steve Sweeney – Senate President, Democrat and ‘union man’ – a great deal for introducing and championing this bill. Its motive and agenda is largely Republican, as any student of current events can see. And Sweeney is choosing to use his position in the Senate to ram home legislation that threatens the long tradition of pubic employee labor having the power of collective bargaining negotiation to help determine working conditions, a fundamental of the Party he leads.

As 12mileseastofTrenton notes, Sweeney’s own caucus voted against him 2-1, and the calls for his ouster as Senate President may grow louder.  

The Norcross Provision As we noted earlier, the Senate bill was amended today to remove a much-disputed and cost-ineffective provision to limit public workers’ access to out-of-state medical care. But Assemblyman Greenwald appears interested in restricting public worker medical care to inside-Jersey, a highly debatable concept given for example that of the top 50 cancer hospitals in the U.S., none is in New Jersey. The part of the bill snidely referred to as the “Norcross provision” comes about as New Jerseyans calculate who might have stood to benefit from this legislation, or at least that part of it. Several of the world’s best hospitals in the world are just outside New Jersey’s borders, in NYC and in Philadelphia. Norcross, Sweeney’s benefactor and South Jersey Democratic Party boss, is Chair of Cooper Hospital in Camden, which has recently stepped up advertising to compete with premiere hospitals in Philadelphia. Restricting public workers to NJ facilities would certainly have boosted traffic to Cooper, and the fact that the provision would have furthered Sweeney’s benefactor’s interests added to the sense that this was payback to Sweeney’s benefactor for Sweeney’s monumental effort to ram this home against a rich ethical tradition of his own Party.  

Here’s how they voted in the Senate:

Voting YES:

Addiego (R)

Allen (R)

Bateman (R)

Beach (D)

Beck (R)

Bucco (R)

Cardinale (R)

Ciesla (R)

Connors (R)

Doherty (R)

S. Kean (R)

T. Kean (R)

Kyrillos (R)

Madden (D)

Norcross (D)

O’Toole (R)

Oroho (R)

Pennaccio (R)

Ruiz (D)

Singer (R)

Stack (D)

Sweeney (D)

Van Drew (D)

Whelan (D)

Voting NO:


Buono (D)

Codey (D)

Cunningham (D)

Gill (D)

Girgenti (D)



Gordon (D)

Greenstein (D)

Lesniak (D)

Sacco (D)

Sarlo (D)



Scutari (D)

Smith (D)

Turner (D)

Vitale (D)

Weinberg (D)


Corzine talks with Roll Call about the Mission Ahead

The Governor spoke with Roll Call about what needs to be done to jump start the economy.  The video, called the mission ahead is below:

Corzine talked about the burden of the war and mentioned energy independence before they asked him what he would do if he was Treasury Secretary:

First thing I’d probably be doing is ask the President to make sure that we changed our bankruptcy laws so that there could be renegotiation of mortgages between the lender and borrower in an organized and straight forward way.

Second thing is I’d be pushing to make sure that we were finding the way to put money into keeping people in their homes – either direct loans to the individual so they continue to make payments or a restructuring of the loans themselves. The fact is we won’t stabilize the whole sale financing markets, the toxic products that have been created on leverage, CDO’s, the kinds of things people have talked about in the mortgage bank security market that are causing banks so much problems unless we actually stabilize the underlying housing market and mortgage market that is a part of that.

Not that I think his ideas are bad, but for a guy who’s happy with the job he has, he sure is talking alot about the position many say he has been under consideration for and what he would do if he held it.