Tag Archive: nj-5

Passaic County & NJ-5

Dennis Shulman has done everything a Democratic running in NJ-5 thus far needs to do to make the race credible and put himself in a position to upset Scott Garrett on election day.  His fund raising has been superb and seems to be picking up speed, his campaign and biography have created a ton of free media, and he has created a sense of excitement with Democrats in New Jersey that feel this seat could be in play.  

The unfortunate face for the Shulman campaign is that they start in a 11% hole and need to find pockets of voters throughout the district to make up a nearly 23,000 vote deficit from the last campaign cycle.  Is this doable? Absolutely; however, every potential Democratic vote needs to be identified and mobilized come election day.   Although only four municipalities are in NJ-5 (West Milford, Ringwood, Wanaque, and part of Bloomingdale) their are several thousand potential votes that can help Shulman make up that 23,000 vote deficit in Passaic County.  As the Herald News notes: http://myheraldnews.com/view.h…

In Passaic County, Democrats have outpaced Republicans in registering voters since the Feb. 5 primary, scooping up nearly 28,500 new members, a jump of more than 54 percent…

Obviously all of these newly registered voters are not in the four towns inside NJ-5, but it shows two things: a) the positive affect the competitive presidential primary has for New Jersey Democrats in registering new voters in February, and b) their are potential pools of voters in these 4 towns that need to be mobilized.  Passaic County can be a winning ingredient in this district and a key ingredient of a formula that will offset Garrett’s strong advantages in Warren and Sussex Counties.  

In Wanaque the Democratic party has had somewhat of a resurgence, electing its first Democratic member to the town council in the most recent municipal elections and both of their primary candidates for council in 2008 (http://www.wanaquedemocrats.com/candidates.htm) outpaced their Republican counterparts.  Additionally, a recent 55-and over development in Wanaque has swelled its population and is an untapped pool of potential Democratic voters.  In West Milford Freeholder Terry Duffy has a strong political base that could play a major role in registering new voters and coordinating GOTV efforts on election day.  

These are the vote floor vote totals the Shulman campaign are building off of from 2006:

















In viewing these vote totals one thing becomes evident, shifting moderate voters in Bergen County to Shulman’s camp has to be one leg of a winning formula.  Just winning a majority of voters in Bergen County does not equal a victory.  Democratic candidates and elected officials in these four Passaic County towns need to coordinate with the Shulman campaign in order to maximize vote totals and help Shulman cut into that nearly 23,000 vote deficit.  If winning a majority in Bergen County is step one for Shulman, increasing the vote totals in Passaic County needs to be step two.  

Swing State Project upgrades Adler and Zeitz

If you were reading the blog or listening to Blue Jersey radio this past Saturday, this is confirmation of the news Jeff Gardner reported with a little extra surprise.

The Swing State Project has come out with their new competitive house race rankings and NJ has four races to keep an eye on including some news to surely bring a smile to supporters of John Adler and Josh Zeitz. First the Adler upgrade:

NJ-03 (Open): Tossup to Lean Democratic

After a fractious GOP primary, Republican Chris Myers has $155K in the bank and is suddenly not looking like the stellar recruit that the NRCC made him out to be. (Surprise.) Meanwhile, Democrat John Adler has built up a massive fundraising edge with nearly $1.5 million on-hand. It would be difficult for anyone to not acknowledge the Democratic edge here in this D+3 district.

In NJ-4, Josh Zeitz got some welcome news as his race has been added to the list of Races to watch. This will certainly be good for the Zeitz campaign as they try to keep up the momentum they’ve been building.  It’s also good to see the continuing expansion of the playing field.

With Zeitz as a race to watch, Adler as a lean Democrat, Stender as a tossup and Shulman on the radar with a likely R ranking, things are shaping up very well for Democrats in NJ come November.

From The Primary To The New Yorker In a Month!

I never thought that campaigning would be so exciting. My name is E.J. Fagan, Providence College class of ’09 from Ramsey, and I’m a volunteer intern for Dennis Shulman’s campaign. I joined up in the middle of May, the day after my last final. From the moment I arrived, I’ve been locked into a high-stakes roller coaster ride that I could never have imagined would happen.

I’ve always been told that voters in my district were apathetic. Campaigns in the 5th aren’t supposed to be propelled by grassroots energy. They’re supposed to garner no media attention, raise no money, and ultimately fail to the well-financed Republicans. We’re proving that wrong at every step.

During the primary, I watched our army of 100+ canvassers go door-to-door to convince their neighbors to vote for Dennis Shulman. I didn’t sleep much at all during the week leading up to the primary, but I was able to function off of adrenaline and excitement. We knocked on thousands of doors, planted thousands of yard signs, and spent every day engaging in good old-fashion retail politics at train stations, bagel shops, and street corners.

Since we won, things have only picked up pace. Our office now buzzes with the presence of more than a dozen full-time interns, and a constant stream of volunteers. Because we believe that Dennis’s message is best spread by real people speaking with their neighbors in their own words, we’re building the best field operation that this district has ever seen. And people are taking notice! On top of the outpouring of interest from local people and media, our hard work culminated this weekend when we were featured in not one but two full-length articles in TIME magazine and The New Yorker – on the same weekend!

E.J. Fagan

Intern, Shulman for Congress

   “Blind since his childhood, Dennis Shulman graduated from Brandeis with honors, has a Ph.D. from Harvard, is a nationally recognized psychologist, a published author, and was ordained as a Reform rabbi in 2003. Not exactly an underachieve, but Shulman has set himself the challenge of becoming the first Rabbi ever to serve in Congress – and the first blind congressman since 1935.”

   “Nationwide political sentiment is not kind to Republicans, right now, and in Shulman Garrett faces an adversary unlike any he has previously bested. Bolstered by voter dissatisfaction and his compelling life story, Shulman has already raised more money by June 30 than the last Democratic candidate amassed over the entire 2006 campaign – and the national party leaders are paying attention.”


“Shulman makes few concessions to his blindness; he uses a device that instantly translates Web sites and e-mail into Braille and audio. And he recognizes that the novelty of his candidacy helps draw attention. There has never been a rabbi in Congress, and its last blind members left office in 1941. Not long ago, Shulman received an encouraging phone call from David Paterson, the governor of New York, who is also visually impaired. “We agreed that there should be a conspiracy by the blind to take over all levels of government,” Shulman said.”


Shulman raises more in 2nd quarter, has more COH than Myers

Dennis Shulman reported his 2nd quarter fundraising numbers which already have him raising $11,000 more than was raised by Paul Arohnson in the 2006 cycle:

Shulman raised $270,000 last quarter, according to his campaign, bringing his total raised so far to about $585,000, with $258,000 cash on hand after a primary against attorney Camille Abate.

The numbers, while impressive on their face stand out even more when they are compared with the GOP candidate in the 3rd Congressional district, Chris Myers whose fundraising prowess was touted as an important factor in nominating him:

Republican Third Congressional District candidate Chris Myers announced today that while he raised $626,549 since January, including $249,162 in the 2nd Quarter, he has just $155,406 cash-on-hand as of June 30.

Both candidates had primary opponents and while Myers has still raised more than Shulman overall, Myers still has this little problem to deal with:

Russell said Myers’ June 30 report, which the Federal Election Commission publishes next week, will show that the candidate loaned his campaign $50,000 and had $107,000 in debt.

Simple math gives you $5,406 dollars remaining uncommitted if you take away the loan and the debt.   And it was supposed to be the GOP candidate who was able to raise the money?  One may want to take note that traditional thinking had Shulman as a “2nd tier” race in the 5th with Myers running a “1st tier” campaign in the 3rd.  Houston, we have a problem.

Evening Campaign Roundup

There was alot of campaign related news today, so I decided to do an evening roundup.

Responding to the Bush/McCain proposal to repeal a drilling moratorium that has been in place since 1982, Governor Corzine joined Senators Lautenberg and Menedez along with Congressman Pallone to call for a permanent ban on offshore drilling…

Pallone, Lautenberg and Menendez’s legislation would prohibit the U.S. Department of Interior from issuing leases for exploration, development or production of oil, natural gas or any other mineral from Maine to North Carolina.

In NJ-5, Dennis Shulman issued a statement this afternoon opposing the FISA Legislation…

The President, his advisers, and his rubber stamps in Congress, including Scott Garrett, have demonstrated a pattern of disregard for the laws of the United States. This bill not only immunizes telecom companies from lawsuits, but it would also block the American people from ever knowing the full extent of the Bush Administration’s illegal behavior.

I urge my fellow Democrats in the Senate to vote against this unnecessary and deeply troubling law.  I believe that Congress must protect the rights of citizens and the laws of our country from career politicians in Washington too willing to cave to special interests and endanger the fundamental rights that we, as Americans, hold so dear.

The race in NJ-4 sees Josh Zeitz attempting to hit Chris Smith for donating $2000 to Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi after the Congressman’s office was raided by the FBI…

Why did Chris Smith feel it was important to give cash to an obviously corrupt Congressman? No other Member of Congress made such a show of solidarity. We know Smith went out of his way to show his support, because Renzi was the only campaign to receive a contribution from Smith during the reporting period.

The race in NJ-3 has John Adler talking issues with the voters at the first of his town hall meetings tonight in Mount Laurel, while his opponent Chris Myers tries to lob an attack over Adler’s support for School Construction Funding in the budget.

Honoring Our Commitments – A July 4th Message

Dennis Shulman sent out the following message to his supporters yesterday.  You can sign up to receive emails from Dennis at www.shulmanforcongress.com.

Dear Blue Jersey,

Happy Fourth of July!

We have much to be proud of on this important holiday — but we also must reflect on all that’s left for us to accomplish in continuing to form our more perfect union.

Today, we must honor all of the brave men and women who are serving our country around the world, as well as our heroes who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. We must honor their families and their communities. We must honor the returning veterans with proper medical care and the benefits they deserve.   And we must honor our commitment to bring our troops home safely.

This week, I began a listening tour throughout the Fifth District, and I enjoyed meeting many of you today at Independence Day celebrations.  I’m making stops throughout the district to hear your concerns about the war, the economy, energy, health care, and all of the issues that affect us.  I invite you to email me about your concerns at listening@shulmanforcongress.com.

When I am sworn in next January as your Representative in Congress, I will honor my commitment to serve you and your family faithfully.


Dennis Shulman

We invite you to email your concerns to listening@shulmanforcongress.com.

Scott Garrett’s new low – hating on Americans with disabilities

As noted by Howie Klein, the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments (HR 3195) was overwhelmingly passed yesterday by a vote of 402-17.

And once again, Scott Garrett was one of the 17 – the only republican from New Jersey (again) to vote against these Amendments.  Is this because Garrett hates all Americans with disabilities?  Is this because he thinks they don’t need protection against discrimination?  Or is this a stick in the eye of opponent for NJ-5’s House seat Dennis Shulman, who has overcome many obstacles, including his own disability?

Here are some of the things that Garrett voted against yesterday:

  • Specifically rejects the erroneous Supreme Court decisions that have reduced the protections for people with disabilities under the ADA, restoring original Congressional intent.
  • Makes it absolutely clear that the ADA is intended to provide broad coverage to protect anyone who faces discrimination on the basis of disability.
  • Clarifies the definition of disability, including what it means to be “substantially limited in a major life activity.”
  • Prohibits the consideration of mitigating measures such as medication, prosthetics, and assistive technology, in determining whether an individual has a disability.
  • Provides coverage to people who experience discrimination based on a perception of impairment regardless of whether the individual experiences disability.
  • Is supported by a broad coalition of civil rights groups, disability advocates, and employer trade organizations.

When asked by the folks at Blue America for his thoughts on Garrett’s vote, Shulman offered this sober and rational response:

“I’m not outraged as someone with a disability, I am outraged as someone who fights for the fundamental American value of equal opportunity.”

“The Americans with Disabilities Act is a landmark piece of legislation that has provided millions of Americans with equal access in virtually all areas of life, including education, the workforce, and technology. Perhaps without it, I wouldn’t be here to offer a sensible alternative to an out of touch career politician like Scott Garrett.”

As an American, I am outraged at the latest extremist vote by Garrett.  And as a resident of this District, I am ashamed to be represented by someone so out of touch with reality.   Any support for Dennis and his campaign will go a long way towards bringing sanity back to NJ’s fifth district.

The contrast between the candidates couldn’t be clearer.

Offshore drilling – Garrett proves that he just doesn’t get it.

It isn’t exactly news anymore when Scott Garrett is the only NJ republican House member to vote a certain way.  While it shows his stunning ability to be out of step with his own party (and not in a good way, since he is more to the right than most party members at a time when the republican party is more and more at odds with what Americans want), there are certain times when his lone vote shows an even more stunning lack of ability to grasp the big picture.

Offshore drilling is yet another one of those times.