Tag Archive: politicsnj

The Price of Going Over The Edge

It takes a lot for anonymous PoliticsNJ editor Wally Edge to criticize campaign staffers. In fact, he’s had a “long-standing…tradition of not bashing staffers”. But this week he took the gloves off on Republican Mercer County Executive candidate Janice Mitchell Mintz’s campaign manager Bob McHugh, calling him “abrasive, rude, politically incorrect, offensive, and often inappropriate.”

One of the reasons? Sources say that last week, McHugh made an inappropriate and horrific comment about gays to Wally Edge.

Edge’s conversations with operatives, insiders, and activists are famously off the record, notoriously juicy, and always 100% confidential, which is why the actual joke itself is not now a matter of public record. But perhaps this latest incident should make us all wonder why, next time he issues his power rankings, Edge himself is not right up top.

Blue Jersey Founder Named 17th Most Powerful Politico in NJ

Today, PoliticsNJ released its much-anticipated list of New Jersey’s top 100 political power-brokers, and none other than our very own Juan Melli was named the 17th most politically influential personality in the state.

The anti-machine liberal blogger has emerged as the Pied Piper of the progressive wing of the New Jersey Democratic Party, with no hesitation of criticizing fellow Democrats if he thinks they’ve wandered off his reservation.

Of course, Juan is numero uno in our book. But, hey – considering BlueJersey.com has not yet celebrated our 2nd Birthday – 17th is none-too-shabby.

Congratulations to our favorite Politician of the Year, and to our many friends and, er, acquaintances on the list.

Obsessed Much?

I know what I’m about to say probably isn’t a very popular sentiment, but I don’t want that to be mistaken for justifying the unjustifiable.

I don’t have a dog in the 31st district Senate race between Sandra Bolden Cunningham and Lou Manzo, but the so-called “sex offender scandal” has gotten way out of control. Sandra Cunningham has a convicted sex offender volunteering on her campaign and PoliticsNJ.com apparently finds this incredibly newsworthy.

PoliticsNJ first wrote about it on May 18, the same day as a Jersey Journal article. Three days later, a piece by Max Pizarro included a captioned photo of Cunningham with the campaign volunteer in an otherwise unrelated post. That same day, Pizarro wrote a short piece about someone having no comment on the situation. Today, their editorial cartoonist Rob Tornoe made this the topic of this week’s cartoon.

It doesn’t need to be said that these crimes are horrific, but our society has judged – rightly or wrongly – that this man has done his time and paid his due to society. He served four years in jail, is now on parole and “as required by the law, has reported to the office every year.” The prosecutor’s office found that he was not a “compulsive sexual offender” and he’s also gone through Jersey City’s “Second Chance Program.”

Other than the one Jersey Journal article, which itself was not newsworthy, the dead tree media has been surprisingly quiet on this. The overreaction has come largely from PoliticsNJ, which is disappointing. They get deep in the weeds of politics, which is great, but I’ve never seen them be this gratuitous about what I think should be a non-issue. But it paid off – today they got their scalp. The volunteer quit.

I really am not justifying this man’s crimes, but doesn’t this set a bad standard about who can and can’t participate in civics and politics? Do we expect everyone with a crime in their past to become hermits or do we accept them back into society once they have paid for their crimes? This is purely a hypothetical, but based on the blurry line that’s been drawn to separate the acceptable from unacceptable, is it reasonable now to expect that someone will investigate Lou Manzo’s campaign to see if any of his volunteers have ever been convicted of a DUI?

Partisan Hack Christie Whitman Strikes Again

Over at PoliticsNJ, new blogger Christie Whitman has a doozy of a post attacking Speaker Pelosi for her trip to Syria.  Her pointless, oddball sucking up to the Bush GOP is a few weeks late and about a thousand dollars short.

Despite her compromising rhetoric, Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Syria and meeting with President Bashar al-Assad are a clear display of disunity in America¹s foreign policy.  Her mistake-laden representation of Israel¹s position on negotiating with Lebanon did not help, either.

Sorry Madam Governor, but this is total partisan BS.  What about Darrell Issa, David Hobson, Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts, and Robert Aderholt?  These Republican Congressmen have all travelled recently to engage Syria exactly as Speaker Pelosi did, and yet Christie left them out of her smear piece.  Does Christie even realize that Republicans have been visiting Damascus recently?  It probably wasn’t included in the Karl Rove talking points for anti-Pelosi op-eds, so I guess we can’t really blame her for not knowing.

And as for Christie’s claim that the Speaker misrepresented Israel’s position on negotiating with Lebanon, that’s another stupid wing-nut myth.  Israel’s position is that they’ll talk to Syria when they stop supporting terror.  Pelosi indicated that her mission “conveyed to [President Assad] Prime Minister’s Olmert’s overture for peace talks when Syria openly takes steps to stop supporting terrorism.”  The Speaker was the victim of bad journalism, not bad foreign policy judgement.  Just because Matt Drudge and the rest of the Republican talking heads repeat something doesn’t make it true, Christie.

You know, I love PoliticsNJ, but Wally really ought to dump the politician/bloggers Torricelli and Whitman.  They’re both really terrible, phoning in total crap and calling it “commentary”, and it just keeps getting worse.

PoliticsNJ Embraces Diversity

Joining Bob Toricelli and Christie Whitman, PoliticsNJ today announced Steve Lonegan as their newest blogger. While Lonegan himself is a vocal foe of anything that’s not white and straight, PoliticsNJ sees value in embracing diversity, and for that they should be commended. Maybe Lonegan can learn by example.

PoliticsNJ Changes Owners, Relaunches

Now with 400% More Blogginess.

And permalinks. Finally!

There’s some bugs being worked out, but I think the new site looks really nice.

PoliticsNJ.com was sold to the Observer Media Group, owners of the New York Observer. They’re going to have two reporters, plus columns from Christie Whitman and Bob Toricelli. Wally Edge will continue to write the Inside Edge blog and will advise the PoliticsNJ.com team.

Juan Melli: Politician of the Year

Politics NJ 2006Congrats to Blue Jersey founder Juan Melli on being named PoliticsNJ’s Politician of the year.  It is very much deserved.  Check this line out…

It’s not easy to balance an aggressive activist bent with the ability to work with the established politicos, but Melli and the folks at Blue Jersey, the progressive blog he started, have been able to do it. The online presence is often caustic and pointed, and willing to take on powerful Democrats like Sen. Bob Menendez after his fall vote to authorize wiretaps without warrants, or to ridicule Governor Jon Corzine for flip-flopping on property tax reform. But Melli is able to tap fellow Blue Jersey bloggers and his own real world network to get podcast interviews with these same politicos — including Menendez — and get them to give blunt assessments on the record. The reason is that Melli is always fair and unwilling to go after someone unless it is deserved, and politics watchers, from the most radical activist to the most entrenched politicos, know it.

Great job Juan and thanks for all your hard work!  And for the Jill Hazelbaker’s of the world who believe you can’t believe whats on blogs, a blogger just won politician of the year.  How bout dem apples?

Huge: PoliticsNJ says NJ-7 is a Toss-Up

The biggest news here is that Republicans confirm that their internal polls show the race tightening. From Wally Edge:

Democratic and Republican sources say that internal polling from both sides show the race for Congress in New Jersey’s seventh congressional district to be tightening. That confirms a Majority Watch independent poll that has GOP Congressman Michael Ferguson leading Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender by a 46%-43% margin — a statistical dead heat. Stender, who has raised $1.8 million and has won endorsements from the Star-Ledger, the New York Times, the Courier-News and the Hunterdon County Democrat, is also touting a new endorsement from actor Michael J. Fox. According, PoliticsNJ.com has moved this race — for at least the next 48 hours — into the Toss Up column, although the presence of Thomas H. Kean, Jr., who represents part of the district in the State Senate, could (ironically) be to Ferguson’s benefit.

This could be decided by whoever has the best ground game. To volunteer for Linda Stender’s campaign, call them at 908-322-1996.

Has PoliticsNJ Gone AWOL?

I’m feeling inspired by both huntsu’s call to action and a bit of confusion, as evidenced by my title.

When I first became increasingly in tune with state politics, PoliticsNJ.com was always the first site I turned to; for some time, it was the only site I referenced for insights, updates, etc. about the happenings of New Jersey politics.  Suffice it to say that that I was upset when Steve Kornacki departed for greener pastures at Roll Call.  I always felt like I was a step ahead of the masses after reading his columns, and that I had my metaphorical finger on the pulse of all things political occurring between Ramsey and Pennsville. 

Despite my concerns, I continued my readership of PoliticsNJ.com unabated as Bill Albers took the helm.  While I mixed in BlueJersey in equal measure, I never failed to return to what was tried and true for me.  At first, there wasn’t a significant difference between Albers and Kornacki, but at this point, readers are lucky to get one original column a week.  Recently, the site has posted spinning press releases from both the Kean and Menendez campaigns right up on the front page where those columns used to be, and right now, you can find the text of some remarks Bob Menendez made at the 2000 convention in praise of Joe Lieberman.  I almost wish to take over the job, even if it were pro bono – my interest and passion for state politics is that great.

I was hoping that perhaps someone could shed light on the recent inactivity of PoliticsNJ.com? While the weekly posts of David Rebovich and daily (but only occasionaly relevant) entries of Wally Edge are informative, they always leave me wanting for the glory days of the past. I welcome empathetic comments, as well as potential insights.