Tag Archive: TCNJ

Who won last night’s CD12 debate at TCNJ: Bonnie Watson Coleman or Alieta Eck?

Bonnie Watson ColemanIt was pouring rain last night on The College of New Jersey’s Ewing campus for the debate of CD12 combatants Dr. Alieta Eck and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. Hard to find the Mayo Concert Hall in the dark. Note to college: more lighting. And the parking lot wasn’t anywhere near it. Nevertheless, it was a packed house. And that was great. Made for many lively moments of engagement from the noisy audience of students and local politicos, to the frustration of the moderator.

This district, Rush Holt’s until January, is not competitive. Only late-breaking scandal or, you know, a massive comet will change the outcome. Bonnie Watson Coleman for the win. And that was reflected in the debate. Both women were confident and smooth in their delivery; they are both forces to be dealt with.

But Eck was overmatched. She really had nothing much beyond the old right-wing chestnuts. Obamacare is baaaad. Taxes baaaad. Trickle-down economics yay! That stuff might fly in some other, gerrymandered-for-GOP congressional district (though Roy Cho is testing that idea like a boss in CD5) but this is Rush Holt territory.

That said, it wasn’t the politicos in the room that drove the response, it was the students. From the start, Eck read the room wrong. Her opening statement was about herself, BWC’s was about the university and students, and a little of herself. Eck’s closing was off, too. While BWC closed making her best case of what she had to offer, Eck spent her time talking about her opponent.  

Hotshot Reporting 2012: Best Reporting by Traditional News Media

In 2012, there were a lot of things we might never have known if good journalists, good editors and their news outlets had not devoted resources to uncovering them. Sometimes this was simply a matter of going through mountains of paper or on line communication that is public record as a matter of law. But somebody had to do it, which usually means somebody else would rather it stay hidden.

Here for 2012, are some that really impressed us here at Blue Jersey, with thanks to the news organizations, and their editors & reporters for what we now know because of their work:  

Associated Press on Surveillance of NJ Muslims AP’s 24-part 2-year probe of NYPD’s secret surveillance (by the questionably-named ‘Demographics Unit’) of Muslim students, neighborhoods and places of worship in New Jersey.

UNLOCKED: Sam Dolnick’s New York Times exposé  of the consequences of New Jersey’s privatized halfway house system run by Christie pal Bill Palatucci, which led to hearings in both houses of the NJ legislature, Palatucci’s exit out CEC’s back door, and at least one lawsuit, by the sister of murder victim Viviana Tulli, killed at the hands of a CEC escapee.  (Note: Bill Orr tracked the aftermath of questionable policies by CEC for Blue Jersey).

Dolnick was looking at CEC and how Christie and Essex party boss Joe D were connected to it almost 18 months ago.

Star-Ledger brought to light the video of a mentally disabled man getting a beat down by state police as well (as well as the fact that authorities initially cleared the trooper of wrongdoing before Star-Ledger began to make inquiries.

Sal Rizzo at Star-Ledger was responsible for the Ledger’s in-depth examination  of how closely legislation from Christie & NJ Republicans matched bills written by fake-charity American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Trenton Times recently pored over 500 pages of emails and documents after TCNJ employees fall sick during chemical use in roof reconstruction on the campus. And that includes shedding light on internal emails about how TCNJ school officials, concerned staff members might require inconvenient building transfers to somewhere on campus where they wouldn’t feel ill at work, encouraged “hand holding” by administrators and the school’s environmental health officers to get workers to “live with” the odor that was making them feel sick.

NJ college journalist riles national GOP figure

Mike Huckabee, Southern Baptist preacher, former Arkansas governor and one-time GOP candidate for president, came to the campus of TCNJ a few days ago to give a $25,000 speech. He also agreed to sit for an interview for the student newsmagazine, The Perspective for a piece cross-posted at Blue Jersey by editor Michael Tracey.  And that’s where things started to unravel for Huckabee, who maybe thought he was talking to simpler people than he was. Because now Huckabee’s made some national news, claiming Tracey “grossly distorted” his views. Huckabee’s big problem? Tracey has audio, and transcript.

Huckabee answered questions about scandal-plagued RNC Chair Michael Steele, disparaged his rival Mitt Romney and dropped a number of colorful, outrageous and nonsensical quotes about gay people, marriage equality, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and gay adoptive parents. “Children are not puppies,” he said. “This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?” Huckabee compared same-sex marriage to drug use, and to incest.

Huckabee released a statement claiming Tracey “grossly distorted (his) views”, took exception to Tracey’s claim that he “ripped into” Steele, claims his own views of marriage are “hardly unusual” and accuses Tracey of sensationalizing and hyper-focusing on them.

Well. Tracey answered in The Perspective, calling Huckabee’s words an ad hominem attack and taking issue with Huckabee’s casting doubt on the credibility of his publication. The controversy escalated to Huffington Post, and to the Washington Post’s blog 44. But worse for Huckabee than the national coverage is that The Perspective has now widely published both an audio recording, and a transcript of the interview.

In the statement on his website, Huckabee called attention in a diminishing way to Tracey’s age, and said “the young college student hopefully will find a career other than journalism”. Funny. I’m thinking just the opposite. Here’s the audio; decide for yourself:


Original Video – More videos at TinyPic

Quote of the Day: Whole Herd ‘O Pets Edition

Mike Huckabee at TCNJThe former preacher and GOP presidential candidate and cheerful mouthpiece of Christ’s disapproval visited the TCNJ campus a few days ago, and graciously sat for an interview with writers from The Perspective, the student newsmagazine. In a piece by Editor M.C. Tracey, Huckabee holds forth on the embarrassing RNC Chair Michael Steele, slams rival Mitt Romney, and outright lies about “foot soldiers” and DADT. Pithy stuff and a good read at The Perspective. But I’m going to pull today’s QoTD from APP. Huckabee:

Marriage has historically never meant anything other than a man and a woman. It has never meant two men, two women, a man and his pet, or a man and a whole herd of pets.

Wait … does it mean something if a man wears a pink tie?

QOTD: The next generation of Democrats will not balk at the opportunity to confer civil rights

In the response of the New Jersey College Democrats to the vote on Marriage Equality yesterday, the President of the TCNJ College Democrats put things this way: (h/t to Jay Lassiter for pointing out)

“I can only find solace in the fact that the next generation of Democrats, which overwhelmingly support marriage equality, will not balk at the opportunity to confer civil rights on their fellow citizens.”

It’s inspiring to know that our next generation of leaders understand what our leaders today can’t seem to comprehend.  

Howard Dean at TCNJ

As noted on the front page, Howard Dean was invited by the TCNJ College Democrats (of which I am a member) to give a speech and answer questions this evening at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. Dean's speech was both entertaining and informational, He touched on a wide variety of topics, including his presidential campaign and the importance of grassroots and netroots campaiging, the importance of the younger generation, and the role of the Democratic Party (and the DNC) in spurring positive change in our country.