Tag Archive: nj-3

Through the Runyan Looking Glass

Freshman New Jersey Congressman Jon Runyan has demonstrated that he is a reliable and consistent acolyte of the Koch Brothers. But you wouldn’t know it by reading a four-page slick taxpayer-funded campaign brochure sent to voters in his district.

In an assumedly legal but ethically dubious use of his franking privilege, Runyan touts his “bipartisan” record by cherry-picking some bills he signed on to without mentioning his votes on major issues.

Runyan talks about supporting Gold Star mothers with a monument while omitting the fact that he has consistently voted with the GOP on reduction of benefits. He talks about “supporting” education by informing students and parents about terms and conditions on student loans while failing to work to make higher education more affordable. His brochure never mentions his support of off-shore drilling in the Atlantic so as not to alienate his Ocean County constituents involved in tourism.

Republicans excel at Orwellspeak, and Runyan is no exception (remember Dubya’s evisceration of the Constitution? It was called the Patriot Act).

There are major differences between Runyan and his opponent, Shelley Adler. Let’s hope that as the campaign progresses the mainstream media points out these differences with clarity and accuracy. I’m not holding my breath.

QoTD: Adults in the playground

Correction: This was yesterday, I listed it incorrectly as today. h/t Deciminyan

Shelley AdlerToday’s Quote of the Day belongs to Shelley Adler, widow of the late Rep. John Adler and a candidate with a groundswell of support driving her challenge to a Republican solidly in the he’s-gotta-go category. Adler had an interview yesterday morning with Burlington County Times Editorial Board, and NJ-3 residents were encouraged to send in questions for the board to ask her (this is just a great idea, cheers to Burlington County Times). Adler:

“I’m interested in going to Washington to be an adult in the playground, and I think it’s time to bring some more adults to Washington.”

Not an adult? You don’t have to look far to bring this guy to mind, or the hijinks of the modern-day GOP House of Representatives Jon Runyan cleaves to. I don’t agree with everything Adler’s running on – I’m unclear on her lack of support for the Affordable Care Act, which her husband also did not support – but stacked up against GOP incumbent Jon Runyan, who was and is supremely unprepared for the job the voters gifted to him, there is no question. Shelley Adler is also our best chance at classing up the NJ congressional delegation with a little estrogen. Boom. Burlington County Times put this morning’s whole thing on video (another good idea). Quality’s not great, but if you want a record of this interview, here’s what they talked about. If you emailed topic suggestions, maybe you’ll hear your question asked. Video’s 42 minutes.

NJ-3: Shelley Adler for Congress

Looks like the denizens of NJ-3 may soon be getting the attention they deserve.

Per PolitickerNJ, the widow of former congressman John Adler is set to announce she plans to take from Jon Runyan the NJ-3 congressional seat that Runyan took from John Adler. It would be good to see another Adler sweep to victory in the 3rd District, like John Adler was swept in back in 2008.  It’s good symmetry.

It’s useful to remember that though former Eagle Jon Runyan may have won in 2010, he got the chance to challenge Adler in his first re-election as an incumbent (Shelley Adler gets that chance now with Runyan) when he may never again be as vulnerable. Plus, the district had been Republican before Adler came in on the Obama wave, and perhaps most memorably, the Adler campaign floated a fake Tea Party candidate they tried for a long time to deny. That was apparently too disreputable even for New Jersey politics. (Adler, you’ll remember, died of complications of a staph infection just weeks later). Note: in an earlier version of this post I posted the wrong numbers for Runyan’s victory. Hat tip ken bank for the correction.

This is a good time to take Runyan out, though Adler will haYve to move into the District to do it. Her hometown Cherry Hill was redistricted out of NJ-3 this time around. And it’s useful to remember, whatever the unpleasant history of the late Congressman Adler’s last campaign, as a man and as a candidate, he way outclassed Runyan. Shelley Adler, like her late husband, is an attorney. Whatever his fame on the field, Runyan was spectacularly unqualified for office when he ran (and won). It’s impossible not to wish Adler well (or for that matter, any Democrat that takes Runyan on in a viable campaign). After all, Runyan’s still this guy:

CD5 and CD3

I have lived in Northwestern New Jersey in CD5 for over 30 years, but for the last 9+ years I have had the misfortune of having Scott Garrett as my Representative in Congress. Assemblywoman Connie Wagner would be my choice to unseat him. Having served in the Assembly since 2008, representing the 38th District, she has proven to be a champion of progressive ideals and values. I also think that Connie will be able to raise a significant amount of money in order to compete against Garrett and the Tea Party money.

Dr. Tom Sacks-Wilner lives in Medford, CD3. For several years I have been a donor to Tom’s fundraising/bundling group. He is a person who raises money readily and efficiently. With an expansive donor base that he has fashioned, he can easily raise at least $6 million from now to November 6. His ability to fundraise will provide the mandatory funds needed to define Jon Runyan. He has been politically active behind the scenes, especially in progressive causes.

In light of the Republican-favorable redistricting, Connie and Tom would each have a mountain to climb to defeat their respective opponent; however the challenge is certainly not insurmountable. I believe both would make their races interesting, should they choose to run.  

Is Carl Lewis Still Running?

Conventional wisdom says that one way to defeat Congressman Jon Runyan this year is to fight fire with fire. That is, instead of the Democrats standing up a run-of-the-mill politician against Runyan, they should nominate a celebrity. The thinking is that there’s really no one in the Burlington/Ocean county political establishment that has the name recognition, fundraising ability, and gravitas to compete with the ex-NFL “bad boy” and his bottomless source of campaign funds from the corporatists.

There is a celebrity athlete in Runyan’s congressional district – one who has dabbled in politics before., and can be orders of magnitude better than Runyan. Olympian Carl Lewis ran for state senate last year, only to be denied the opportunity to serve because a judge ruled that the long-time New Jerseyan did not strictly fit the residency requirements.

More below the photo…

Photo of Lewis’ announcement of his senate run – April, 2011

(Left to right: Orange, NJ Mayor Eldrige Hawkins, Carl Lewis, Christopher Walker – Executive Director of the Carl Lewis Foundation, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney)

Jon “Frank” Runyan

Recently, I received some campaign literature in the mail. I thought it was a bit early — after all, the election is still two months away. Usually, when I receive this type of material, I toss it right into the recycle bin, treating material from Democrats and Republicans equally.

But then I looked more closely. I saw the face of Jon Runyan on the material. “Interesting,” I thought. I knew Runyan’s re-election campaign was still a year away. “I wonder who he’s endorsing,” I said to myself. So I looked at the ad again.

Much to my surprise, it was a campaign ad for Runyan himself. But even more amazing was the fact that he used his congressional franking privilege to pay for and mail the campaign ad.

Standing Ovation for John Adler at his Funeral Today

promoted by Rosi

John could stand on the edge of a great divide and look for where a bridge needed to be built.

                  – John Adler’s brother-in-law, from his eulogy

Congressman-elect John AdlerThere was a standing ovation for John Adler today at his funeral. It was called by his brother-in-law who’s in show business on the West Coast. In his business, he said, when people do very well, we give them a standing ovation. In the vast sanctuary of Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill, everyone stood.

Of course, many were already standing. Temple Emanuel was jammed, probably straining the Cherry Hill fire marshal’s restrictions, and the sanctuary was standing-room-only, as were several overflow rooms inside, and the crowd spilled outside into the parking lot.

“First time I saw John, he was dancing with a refrigerator,” began the story told by Adler’s  law school roommate and best man at his wedding. A lot of the stories told reflected both deep affection for him, and warm appreciation for his merry view of life. The service had its moments of both laughter and tears. And it was well attended both by those whose  politics he shared, and by well-respected Republicans with whom he differed. All there to pay tribute to the man that was “just John” to wife Shelley and their four boys.

The rabbi gave the blessing in Hebrew for those ” who serve in public office”, calling him a “mensch”. He gave that term’s definition as nothing more than a man much loved and respected by all. He told a story about John listening to the youngest member of a contingent lobbying for his support of Israel, listening intently. That John took the time to listen so closely made a real difference to that young woman.

In the spirit of Adler’s sense of humor, his brother-in-law apologized for blowing his nose into his yarmulke, as he cried. He told the story of playing John in Trivial Pursuit, that it was like going up against Google itself.

In fact, I found out today, John auditioned for Jeopardy and was accepted. But he was bumped for knowing someone who worked as an attorney at ABC. He didn’t even know the man well, it was somebody he went to law school with, but he could not lie. “John was the greatest Jeopardy champion who never appeared on the show,” said his wife’s brother, laughing.

Today, John Adler was remembered as a man never took himself too seriously, who loved “really stupid” movies. His son talked about how he loved what he called Italian-American sociological study, which is how he referred to Jersey Shore.

The Adler family asks that if individuals wish to make a donation in John Adler’s name, they would appreciate contributions to Cooper University Hospital and University of Pennsylvania Hospital. Both tried to save his life. John Adler was just 51. Rest in Peace.

Open Thread: John Adler, Dead at 51

This is an Open Thread after just terrible news.

We’re just getting word that former NJ-3 congressman, John Adler, has died. Adler was hospitalized a few weeks ago and received emergency heart surgery at University of Pennsylvania Hospital after contracting staph bacterial endocarditis. The hospital has not confirmed the death. Sen. Paul Sarlo is the source for reports of Adler’s passing.

Adler’s father died when Adler was a teenager. It was a defining story of his campaigns. The Adlers lost the family dry cleaning business and had to depend on Social Security survivor benefits to survive. Adler was among just a handful of Democrats who voted against the overhaul of America’s health care system last year, angering progressives and many Democrats. Adler lost his seat to GOP former football player Jon Runyan, despite a public debate the Harvard-educated Adler won easily over an embarrassed and poorly-informed now-congressman Runyan.

More details as we get them.

UPDATE: NJ Senate Budget hearing was interrupted at 3:45pm when the news reached the State House, where Adler served in the NJ Senate for 17 years 1992-2009.

UPDATE: Adler’s death is confirmed by Assemblyman and NJ Democratic State Committee Chair John Wisniewski. I’ve posted his statement in comments.