Tag Archive: primary

Where are the primary challengers in the state Assembly election?

Promoted by Rosi. What do you think, Blue Jersey?

Everyone who’s had an eye on the state’s economic performance the past few years knows that New Jersey hasn’t been doing well recently. As the United States climbs out of the recession, the Garden State is still stuck in neutral. The state’s economy still has only about 60% of the jobs today than it did before the recession, the unemployment rate is still a full percentage point higher than the national average, and the foreclosure crisis is still in full effect in the state.

With such a bleak outlook for the state, many people agree that something has to be done to get the state’s economy back on track. Legislators on the left and right have tried coming up with ways to address budget issues and the state’s anemic job growth. But after several years of plan making and position taking, nothing’s actually worked for state residents. All of the state’s numbers are sliding in the wrong direction.

Bonnie Watson Coleman, One of the ’30 in 30′ Women Candidates to Watch

I really had to laugh at Bergen Republican chair Bob Yudin the other day when he called BWC a “political communist.” For one thing, what the hell is that? I get it – he was unnerved by the Bridgegate anniversary, which taking place in his county is a scandal embarrassing his party, and the Democrats’ big guns standing at the GWB, talking GOP scandals. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, NJDSC chair John Currie and BWC on that bridge is unsettling for somebody in Yudin’s position. Though, in my opinion it was a pretty routine moment of political opportunism the Dems had every right to engage in, which probably didn’t move anybody’s opinion.

Yudin also said “nobody pays attention to what she says.”. Oh, really. In just weeks, Watson Coleman will be a congresswoman-elect. And the reliably Democratic district she’ll rep will bouy her bedrock progressive instincts and willingness to stick her neck out.

She’s already shown integrity standing behind Barbara Buono last year as campaign chair, when lesser Democrats undermined and backstabbed the candidate, smiling for the camera and jockeying for their own positions. (Your pal Christie doesn’t look so shiny now, does he, boys)?

Now this: MSNBC profiles BWC as one of the most dynamic women candidates running this year. Don’t tell Yudin, but people are listening.  

Brat, A Self-Made Phony Yet An Honest Representative of the Right

Hypocrisy, exaggeration and deception are part and parcel of democratic politics, but all lies, I have learned, are not equal, nor should they be received that way. Some lies are much more deceptive, cunning and misleading than others, as are the liars that tell them. A good example is currently winding its way through the web and blogosphere, and it concerns the current darling of the Tea Party, David Brat.

Brat’s unexpected primary victory against Republican Party Bigwig/Congressman Eric Cantor is huge news, and rightfully so. As a Tea Party favorite, Brat’s victory serves as a warning to more moderate Republicans that so-called free market, laissez-faire Tea Party values still hold credence with Republican voters.

The Tea Party and its Republican supporters live in a sort of “way we never were” cloud where America is (or should be) rightfully a white, Christian country comprised of English-speaking hard workers who, in their noble, honest self-sufficiency are not in need, nor desire, any welfare-state handouts like Medicare, Social Security or almost anything else state-sponsored or supported. They see themselves as the once marginalized but now awakened  “Silent Majority” whose time to stand up – unapologetically so – for American values and identity has arrived. According to Tea Partiers and many Republicans, people who get a “boost” from government programs are cheating an otherwise fair and square system which rewards hard work and honesty with The Good Life.

So wasn’t I surprised when I read that in his official campaign biography, Brat makes an astounding claim:

“[Brat] tested his rural values against the intellectual elite while at Princeton and against the powerful elite at American University.”

Okay, so from a reasonable reader’s perspective, the assertion here is immediately understood. Brat attended college as a sort of noble underdog undergraduate at Princeton University. The image is quite clear of a young conservative man standing up for good American Christian values in the profane, ivy covered halls of Princeton University…perhaps passionately defending the rights of the unborn against the Abortionist professors of that esteemed institution. Perhaps he made an entire U.S. government class gasp when he publicly proclaimed his stance against affirmative action or immigration or on some other hot button issue. So here’s the kicker:

It never happened.

Brat never gained admission to or graduated from Princeton University. He lied. He misrepresented himself and tried to convince his readers, supporters and others that he earned something that he did not.  

In reality, Brat apparently – though I still think this needs to be confirmed – attended Princeton Theological Seminary. Is the seminary geographically located in the town of Princeton? Why yes, it is. Is it known by anyone, past or present, as being part of Princeton University? No, not by a long shot. In fact, its students and graduates either call it by name or refer to it as “PTS.”

This is no small omission, and he shouldn’t get a break on it. America is indeed the land of fudged resumes, and of people reinventing themselves – sometimes twice over. But what we have here is a candidate who represents a movement that, like I mentioned earlier, is obsessed with merit and straightforwardness, and Brat, in his claims, honors neither. He’s a fraud and wannabe. His claims are an insult not just to Princeton alumni, but rather, to any and all of us who ever worked and earned a four-year college degree anywhere. Its especially stinging for those of us burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in college loans that the Tea Party demands we repay regardless of the cost to our families and the national economy. He’s a fake, a phony. He’s pathetic.

But curiously enough, I will concede that Brat is a fine representative of the entire Tea Party movement, and that of the Republican Party as well. Because if you do really believe that you’ve earned everything in your life, and that you owe nothing to your society or nation or community, then you’re about as much as a hypocrite as he is. The truth is that most if not all Americans have received immense benefits, both directly and indirectly, from the various levels of government over the course of their lifetimes. Whether it was attending public school, driving on an interstate highway, breathing in relatively clean air, gaining a benefit from an unadulterated medication, cashing a Social Security/Medicare check or sending an email – we have all proven to be welfare kings and queens. We have all advanced at some point in our lives from the imperfect largesse of the Federal and State governments.

And you don’t need a Princeton degree to figure that one out.  

CD12 & CD10: Sen. Shirley Turner: What Bonnie Watson Coleman’s win really means

NJ12 Bonnie Watson Coleman victory party - 1

New York State sent Shirley Chisholm to Congress in 1968, forty-six years ago. BWC is set to become the first African American woman New Jersey has ever sent to either house in Congress. I wondered what her thoughts were about that. Turner called the win a “marvelous day” for Mercer County, and its women, especially the African American women. And then she framed her colleague’s win in the context of Rep. Donald Payne’s place in the NJ congressional delegation:

We have one African American male – out of Essex County. But nobody thought that Mercer could produce a congressional woman who was of African American descent. (CD12) is not truly a district like what they have in Essex. (Bonnie) won all over. It wasn’t just in the urban areas.

What kind of win is it? Turner:

CD12: Linda Greenstein Lashes Out at Mercer (Video)

“I hate everybody in here. Everybody in here is my enemy–except for the people from Hamilton. The rest of you are my enemies.”

                   – from the video, apparently Linda Greenstein

UPDATE: Since this was posted, Greenstein on what she calls “intimidation from unnamed party bosses” and Mercer Chair Liz Muoio replies (in comment under post) that the senator’s playing “the sexism card’. Read both here.

I have to say, I am so sorry to see this.

A video has surfaced with a fuzzy, blurred and blocked visual but crystal clear audio in a voice identifiable as Sen. Linda Greenstein’s, telling a room full of Mercer Democratic insiders that they’re her enemy. The video was originally posted at Down With Tyranny, which is associated with Blue America PAC, which endorsed Greenstein opponent Bonnie Watson Coleman.

Max Pizarro, covering a pre-convention meeting that day in March, reported on an ugly discussion over Mercer Democrats’ process for the treasured line, and Greenstein’s fear that Mercer Chair Liz Muoio had stacked those seats with handpicked delegates, against the county’s own by-laws, which Mercer reps deny.

I’ve been on the inside of some ugly pre-convention meetings and even some conventions where candidates embarrassed themselves lashing out in public at process or individuals determining process. To a degree, I understand that kind of candidate frustration. But it’s never, ever a winning play to indulge it, not for a candidate’s own well-being, and certainly not in the age of trackers.

Post updated, with Sen. Greenstein’s reply, and Liz Muoio’s, link above.

Linda Greenstein’s Enemies List: from Progress First on Vimeo.

CD7 Dem Janice Kovach is back on the June ballot

Janice Kovach, who saw a chunk of her petition signatures invalidated by the Division of Elections, is back on the June ballot. Kovach prevailed before an administrative law judge whose ruling came down today.

Kovach announced she was running to unseat Rep; Leonard Lance back in January. Kovach is the NJ state Democrats’ longtime party Secretary, the Hunterdon County Democrats’ Vice-Chair and the mayor of Clinton since 2012. She also ran the Division on Women under Corzine.

A chunk of Kovach’s signatures were disqualified because the person gathering them (the circulator in elections parlance) did not live in the 7th congressional district. Administrative Law Judge Susan Scarola overruled that decision today. Kovach submitted affadavits from some of her signers which Scarola said should have been accepted. Kovach was represented by attorneys at Genova Burns, a firm specializing in election law. Her attorney, Rajiv D. Parikh, said Judge Mary Jacobson ruled recently that it is unconstitutional to require petition circulators to live in the same district as the candidate.