Tag Archive: Viola Thomas-Hughes

Who Do We Want to Run Against LoBiondo?

Promoted by njdem:  I don’t know if I agree about Van Drew or Whelan running (or not), but we should definitely pay attention to this seat.  2008 could be a big year.

In less than one year, voters will decide who will face Bush rubber-stamp Frank LoBiondo, and as of now, not a single Democrat has filed to run against him, to the best of my knowledge. While every other district in N.J. has strong Democratic challengers, there still isn’t a strong challenger, let alone any challenger, for LoBiondo’s seat.

You may not be aware of this, but there’s a newly-elected state senator that goes by the name of Van Drew who may be a viable candidate. Kidding aside, both Van Drew and Jim Whelan, top tier candidates, should not be running for this seat in 2008 and instead should serve a few years in the state senate before gunning for congress. (After the recent death penalty vote, I wonder if I don’t prefer Whelan at this point). Last month, after winning his seat, Van Drew even said:

“I want to enjoy my victory. It’s been less than a week,” Van Drew said. “I want to spend some time with my family and get reacquainted, organize my legislative offices and prepare for the state Legislature.”

What does that leave us for 2008?  (Take the flip to find out!)

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, October 24

There’s a lot to report today, folks.

  • Environmental protection commissioner Lisa Jackson yesterday revealed plans to do a complete overhaul of Our Fair State’s $60 million cleanup program. Changes will include prioritizing the sites for cleanup, starting a licensing program for environmental consultants, and adopting programs with incentives for cleaning up sites quickly. The department is trying to fix the system after the high-profile closing of a daycare in Gloucester County which was located on contaminated soil.
  • Children and Families Commissioner Kevin Ryan reported to the Assembly Human Services Committee yesterday that new child welfare workers are getting their training but re-training existing workers is taking longer. Also, the number of kids in foster care who receive physical and psychological examinations has increased, but an overhaul of the health care system for foster children is needed and will be proposed.
  • As expected, the State Senate unanimously approved Associate Justice James Zazzali as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court yesterday, and Judge Helen Hoens was approved to fill the associate position.
  • State Senator Ellen Karcher’s bill to curb political contributions from redevelopment contractors and professionals has received bipartisan support. Even with such support the bill may not pass, because of other ethics reform legislation being proposed.
  • State Senator Stephen Sweeney has been under fire from labor groups about his proposal to cut the benefits and pay of unionized state workers. Sweeney met with the president of the AFL-CIO earlier this month and has been defending his proposals.
  • The Legislative ethics panel met yesterday, selecting Raymond Bramucci as chairman. The panel put off a decision to investigate Wayne Bryant and his “job” at UMDNJ, citing two ongoing criminal investigations by the US and State Attorneys’ General offices.
  • Rutgers announced yesterday the formation of the Rutgers Energy Institute, which will bring together all energy-focused projects under one banner. The Institute’s long-term goal is to help break American dependence on fossil fuels, particularly those from foreign sources.
  • Speaking of alternative power sources, more residents of Our Fair State favor the use of offshore wind power than oppose them, and even more are in favor if the turbines are further away. Woo-hoo!
  • Viola Thomas-Hughes is feeling little support in her run against Frank LoBiondo. Until last week, she had received no financial support, from Dem organizations in Gloucester and Cumberland counties. In the last week Cape May Democrats and Cumberland County Dem organization have donated, with the Gloucester County Dems promising some as well. Visit her site if you can help, too.
  • New Jersey is a tough place for military recruiters; only Connecticut and Rhode Island have lower recruiting percentages. Officials and researchers blame the lack of interaction between military folks and civilians in Our Fair State, while some recruiters directly blame the Iraq war.

Open Thread: What’s on your mind today, Blue Jersey?

News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, October 18, 2006

  • Rush Holt debated his opponent last night.  See, Scott Garrett, you don’t have to be afraid. 
  • Viola Thomas-Hughes met with South Jersey papers to discuss the issues in NJ-02.  On Iraq:

    We went there under false pretenses,” Thomas-Hughes said. “I would declare the war won and bring our men and women home.”

  • Legislators are considering copying Maryland and having county-wide school districts to be approved by voters in a referendum.
  • New Jersey Democrats have five times more money available for the 2007 state elections than Republicans, according to the AP.
  • The Star-Ledger reports:

    In a bid to prevent a 76-year-old sex offender and his mentally ill wife from being forced out of their home a week from today, the state Public Defender’s Office filed a lawsuit yesterday contending municipalities have no power to establish “pedophile-free zones.”

    In this case, the offender lives 2,113 feet from a lake where children fish and swim.  He pleaded guilty in 2000 to molesting three young children.

  • As a newcomer to the state, I’m always interested in the South Jersey / North Jersey divide, but now the state Supreme Court has found that that Central Jersey is a “Death Belt” where the death penalty is more likely to be sought.  County Prosecutors make the call.  Activists argue this shows the death penalty is unconstitutional.  [To be fair to the so-called Death Belt, it seems no one has actually been executed in 24 years.]
  • XT’s favorite New Jersey figure, Charles T. Epps, got a 4.5% raise after a “satisfactory” job.  He missed all the bonuses in his contract.
  • Jon Corzine sold his stock in Goldman Sachs, and had a total income of nearly 56 million dollars in 2005.  Although not required to, he released his income tax returns in response to a press request.

    This is an open thread, so please share your thoughts on any topic!

  • Five Dollar Friday, anniversary edition!

    Update, 2:15pm: Good news and bad news.  On the bright side, we are up over $7,1oo!  Unfortunately we are up against a deadline.  Tomorrow is the quarterly filing day for federal candidates.  That means today’s “$5 Friday” is especially crucial.

    It’s been a big week here at Blue Jersey, especially as we celebrate our one year anniversary “covering NJ like a rug.”  Traditionally, the proper gift befitting a first anniversary is PAPER.  Now since it’s a special occasion I humbly suggest that (in lieu of gifts) you make a $5 or $10 or $20 contribution to your favorite NJ candidate on Act Blue.

    If you go look at the current fundraising totals on the Act Blue page, you see that the numbers are impressive.  We are just shy of the $7ooo mark and  we still have a few more short weeks to show support for one or more of the fantastic New Jerseyans who are on our Act Blue slate.

    I realize dollars do not grow on trees.  And I admit that there’s a small amount of sheepishness that I feel every Friday asking you to consider parting with your hard-earned money.  But this is important!  And for many of you with hectic lives who are too busy to volunteer, we wanna give you the chance to help out too.  Your time is valuable to the campaigns, but so is your financial help.  So our Five Dollar Friday feature is meant to make helping out easy, since you can contribute or volunteer on the Act Blue Site.

    AP dares not speak their names

    Can somebody explain the rules of journalism to me, so that the important part of the fact that there are two women besides Linda Stender running for congress from NJ this year, is not who they are, but their chances?  AP article in the Washington Post and Forbes:

    Two other women are running for House seats this year in New Jersey but only Stender is thought by her party to have a good chance of defeating an incumbent.

    Beginning and the end of the discussion of Carol Gay and Viola Thomas-Hughes.

    And when Carol got coverage in the Ocean County Observer after a local boy was killed in Iraq shortly after arriving there, they do not describe her as a candidate:

    “It’s another young life that’s lost,” said Carol Gay of Brick. “This war has been far too costly in young lives and there is nothing to show for it.”

    Monday Morning News Roundup, September 25, 2006

    Happy Monday everyone and welcome to a (mostly) election day themed news roundup today, September 25, 2006.  There’s a whole lot going on this week, so let’s get right to it!

  • The lastest poll suggests that the hotly contested NJ Senate race is (still) a dead heat.  This poll makes one thing clear:  the indepentent voter will decide the day.  On the one hand we have Senator Bob Menendez, who’s running on his record and a better future in America than what we’ve seen the past six years.  On the other hand, there is Tom Kean Junior who’s running on his daddy’s name.
  • Speaking of names (and irony) there’s this gem in the Philly Inquirer.  The GOP is pissing and moaning about the Sexton/Saxton election in NJ’s 3rd congressional district.  Can you believe  the party that’s putting Daddy’s Boy Kean Junior at the top of the ticket is shilling the notion that the dems are trying to confuse voters in NJ-3 with the name similarity?  Are you kidding me?  Given the fact that Jim Saxton has voted with the Bush Administration nearly 90% of the time, “I should be the one worrying about who’s confusing who,” Sexton quipped at yesterday’s Moorestown rally.
  • Women running for office in the Garden State have a harder time getting elected to public office than their male counterparts.  The lastest issue of Forbes examines this phenomenon in some detail.

    “You don’t play golf or drink beer with a woman,” said former Gov. Christie Whitman. “You tend to gravitate toward people who look like you.”

    The ex-Gov. has a good point, but there’s more to the story than that.  So consider the job facing candidates like Linda Stender, Carol Gay and Viola Thomas Hughes:  not only do they have to do battle with entrenched incumbents, but they’re also working against history.  In our state’s history, only five women have ever gone to Congress.  Additionally NJ has never elected a female Senator.  Sad but true.

  • Governor Corzine is getting better feedback from NJ residents.  Aparently, the state doesn’t see a whole lot getting done (yet) but seem pleased that the Governor is trying, which is more than we can say about his predecessors (McGreevy, Whitman, et al.) who were long on smoke and mirrors and short on results.  The poll results are a “reaction to a strong leader,” Seton Hall polysci Prof. Joseph  Marbach said. “You can disagree with the policies of a leader, but if someone acts decisively, you respect that.”  I know I sure do.
  • It’s deja vu all over again for Wayne Bryant.  The Turd of Trenton is a wart on the face of Camden County and he should be in jail.  The Trentonian is a bit more succinct:

    Actually, Bryant is more disgusting than a pig….. more of a Jabba the Hut of Star Wars fame–a creepy, slimy corrupt slug. Sen. Wayne Bryant is a slug in the New Jersey political landscape and somebody needs to pour some salt on this guy.

    No argument here.  If we don’t stand up to guys like Wayne Bryant, then we don’t deserve to hold onto our majority in Trenton.  If Senate President Dick Codey won’t take Byrant to task then surely the voters will.  (Note to Sen Codey: NJ voters respond well to “cleaning house” and Gov. Corzine’s actions with Zulima Farber underscore this notion!!)

  • Finally, we look at the needle exchange compromise in Trenton.  Times: 

    That New Jersey, which we here like to think of as enlightened and progressive, trails the rest of the country in this initiative is shocking — and has led to statistics that are as sad as they are predictable. We have the fifth highest number of adult HIV cases in the nation. Forty-five percent of our AIDS virus caseload comes from shared drug syringes, compared with about 20 percent in other states. 

    The nay sayers need to get off their high horse, suspend their judgements surrounding AIDS and addiction and enact needle exchange in this state so that more people don’t have to die.

  • “Technically, LoBiondo shouldn’t even be in the race”

    That’s my favorite line in an article about Rep. Frank LoBiondo,
    Viola Thomas-Hughes, and the independent challengers in
    Today’s Sunbeam.  The article points out that LoBiondo is breaking his personal pledge to follow term limits. 

    My second favorite line is the headline:  “Hopefuls on Rep. LoBiondo’s trail.”  Sadly, it turns out to have nothing to do with me. Most of the article describes the various independent candidates who are running.  You won’t be surprised to learn that they have no interest in dropping out despite Thomas-Hughes’s appeal.

    There’s actually only serious issue addressed in the article:

    Every NJ Congressional District Will Be Challenged

    Update 3 (A big one, so I’m posting it up top): There WILL be two Democratic challengers to Frank LoBiondo in NJ-2. Fairfield Township councilwoman Viola Thomas-Hughes and Henry David Marcus will compete in the primary. This now means that every Republican House member in New Jersey will face a challenger in November.

    According to the Division of Elections, Gary Schiavone has filed to challenge Chris Smith in the 4th Congressional district. With about two hours left until the filing deadline, no Democrat has filed in the 2nd yet to challenge LoBiondo.

    The GOP has failed to file challenges to Rob Andrews (NJ-1) and Donald Payne (NJ-10).

    Update 1: Donald Payne (NJ-10) will have a challenger in the primary, and Michael Cino has just filed to challenge Garrett in the primary. Assemblywoman Oadline Truitt (D) from the 28th legislative district will face a primary challenge.

    Update 2: (via politicsnj)

    Joe Vas filed petitions to run for the full 2-year term in the 13th district, but not for the Special Election.

    John Ginty filed petitions to seek the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate today.  Ginty filed with 1,742 signatures.

    James Kelly, a resident of a group home for the mentally disabled , filed as a U.S. Senate candidate in the primary against Bob Menendez.