Tag Archive: jon runyan

What’s Happening Today, Fri., 08/16/2013

I Will Act on Climate” Brigantine Bus Tour Stop & Press Conference: 4:00pm, Sen. Jim Whelan (NJ-2), BPU Commissioner Jeanne Fox, Stockton College Professor of Sustainability Patrick Hossay, Stockton College Professor of Biology Ron Hutchinson, and other participants will highlight the impacts of extreme weather and climate change in Brigantine, Atlantic County and throughout New Jersey, Mad Dog Morgan’s, 3004 West Brigantine Avenue, Brigantine.

NJ Gun Laws: 11:00am, Advocates for stricter gun laws to urge Christie to sign legislation banning .50 caliber rifles, Room 109, Statehouse, Trenton. This should be a no-brainer but don’t count on the governor agreeing.

Christie on Christie: Information has been dribbling out on our governor’s closed-door speech yesterday to the Republican National Committee meeting in Boston. Business Insider says attendees got this take-away: “I know how to win elections, so nominate me if you want to win back the presidency rather than just being concerned about ideology all the time.” Christie can get right to the point sometimes, can’t. he – particularly when it’s about him and what he wants.

FEC reports, just in the past week through this morning, indicate that independent funders have spent $161,087 in support of Cory Booker, $6,000 in opposition to Cory Booker, and $2,950 in support of Steve Lonegan. It appears Lonegan will get some limited support from the RNC, but will his former employer, the Koch brothers, or other big spenders throw him larger treats?

Rep. Jon Runyan (R- CD 3): to be presented  the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise Award “for his support of pro-jobs and pro-growth policies.” Delco Headquarters, Wilingboro. It’s OK to support enterprise, but then there are other things he supports: abolishing Obamacare, obstructing sensible reforms to reduce gun violence, voting for the Ryan budget, helping the Tea Party and much more.

Public Schedules

Governor Christie: 11:00am, Groundbreaking Ceremony, PATH station, Harrison.

Buono/Silva campaign: Lt. gubernatorial candidate Milly Silva: 4:00pm, The Ron Kelly Show, Talk Radio, an LA independent internet radio station.  

If you have an item for this column just email it to me the evening before at Borr5@verizon.net

DCCC Targeting Runyan, LoBiondo During Recess

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So the other day I decried outside national partisan orgs and how useless they are to New Jersey.  Well, I still fully believe that but am happy to be wrong if things change.

So, in that spirit, here’s news that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee is spending some resources (so far an e-mail to a purchased liberal list) to target 17 GOP Congress Critters, and amazingly two are in our state: Frank LoBiondo (NJ2) and Jon Runyan (NJ3).  

On Monday, a DCCC aide sent a message to an email list sponsored by Americans United for Change, a liberal organization, describing the committee’s plans for the month-long break and including the warning, “please do not share this list with press.”

“In the majority of these districts we have field staffers on the ground, coordinated through the respective state parties, to define and hold accountable vulnerable Republican incumbents, through earned media tactics, messaging amplification, and community outreach,” wrote Ryan Daniels, the deputy national press secretary and African-American media adviser.

So far I haven’t heard anything about this through my contacts at the state party, so I don’t know how much is actually going on. However, I live up north and pretty far away from these districts so maybe I’m just not being considered as someone to get involved.

So, folks, am I still right in thinking the national political orgs talk a good game about NJ or are they changing and maybe this will result in something?

Tell us if you’ve heard of anything happening in district or if the state party’s reached out to you yet.  Love to hear from you.

Reading the House Tea Leaves in 2014 … Pallone Out? Runyan, Lance Weak?

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Just a reminder to all you potential challengers – primary and general — out there, if you want to run for Congress in 2014 you had better be laying the groundwork now.  Incumbent Representatives have cash on hand and are ready to raise significantly more.

Below are the numbers reported to the FEC for the first quarter of 2013, and a lot of folks are already well on their way with safe districts and lots of cash.  Frank Lobiondo (R) has an easy district and three quarters of a million dollars.  Rush Holt (D) has expressed an interest in the Senate but will likely stick with the 12th (I base that only on tea leaves in my coffee and the relatively small money raised in 1Q13) has even more on hand.

You know Frank Pallone (D) is jumping into the US Senate race to replace Frank Lautenberg, so that $2.2 million is going to move to a different race.  The question is whether he will keep a toe in the sixth district waters, or if it will become a safe, Democratic open seat. Former Edison Mayor Jun Choi, who flirted with a run in the 7th district in 2012, raised nothing in the quarter but has $110K on hand.  If Pallone declines to hold his seat and instead focuses wholly on a battle royale with Cory Booker for US Senate, expect Choi to step in.  Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula of Franklin (who would have to move) has expressed an interest, but hasn’t filed, and don’t forget that Middlesex has a LOT of potential candidates so this could get interesting.

In District 9 Michael Wildes (D) has $700K on hand but only raised about $6K.  He was briefly a candidate in 2012, but eventually backed Steve Rothman (D) over Bill Pascrell (D).  Likely he’s not mulling a 2014 primary run against Pascrell, but who knows.

As far as who we can take on, look to weak numbers for Jon Runyan (R), Chris Smith (R) and Leonard Lance (R).  Smith has a pretty safe district, but raised little, spent little and has less than $200K on hand.  That’s an ad buy in the New York market!

But over in District 3 is a real pickup opportunity.  Runyan raised $100K and still only has $130K on hand.  He wasn’t challenged too badly in 2012, but 2014 is shaping up to be a very different year.  Look in the next couple quarters to see if he’s able to improve this, but if he’s not at a million dollars in October he’s in trouble.  Someone needs to step up now and start laying the groundwork not only for themselves but softening up the donkey farmer for the future.

In the 7th, a district that has tantalized Democrats for years but sits just out of reach year after year (and which got harder in the redistricting) Lance appears to be sitting on his laurels.  There are a lot of liberal Republicans and undeclared voters who could be put off by his votes with GOP leadership on a lot of issues (guns, gays and women), and Lance only has $150K on hand.  Just like Runyon, his numbers in the fall will tell a big part of the story and if anyone wants to have a shot at this the time to get in is now.  

The numbers are below the fold.  Read some tea leaves and tell what you think in the comments.

Governor Christie Saves Jon Runyan’s Ass

One of the inequities that pervades government today is the fact that wealthy people and large corporations (“corporations are people, too, my friend”) do not pay their fair share in taxes. Those who can most afford it often contribute a smaller percentage of their incomes than those who are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table.

Today, the governor signed a bill that takes a small microstep in addressing that inequity, but is really a meaningless “feel good” action.

Wealthy individuals and corporations take advantage of a tax break that is given to legitimate farmers by “farming” land on their property. An egregious example of someone taking advantage of this law is Congressman Jon Runyan, who raises and sells a few donkeys on his opulent Mount Laurel estate.

People and corporations are allowed to take advantage of this law if their agricultural revenue exceeds $500 annually. The bill that the governor signed today raises that threshold to $1000. As the Sierra Club points out, this is the first time the threshold has been raised since this Farmland Assessment bill was passed in 1964, and just to keep up with inflation, the threshold should really be $10,000 (as it is in New York).

So while both parties can take credit for “closing” this tax loophole, in reality Jon Runyan only needs to peddle a few more asses each year to keep this subsidy that in the end is paid for by you and me.

Sequester: For NJ Republican Congressmen Dogma Trumps Devastation

Our “Do Nothing” Republican congressmen are of no help in resolving the looming federal sequestration. They all merit a phone call, tweet, e-mail or letter to urge them to resume negotiations which include revenue enhancements.

The federal sequestration law was designed to encourage budgetary compromise. It imposed such devastating cuts if compromise was not achieved that most thought it would never be implemented. Well there has been no compromise. President Obama insists that any plan should include revenue enhancements such as higher tax for the wealthiest and a reduction of tax loopholes for corporations. Tea Party and fiscal hawk Republicans refuse to consider revenue enhancements and insist on only steep cuts in spending.

If there is no compromise by the end of February the federal government will have to start trimming $85 billion between March and September. The Office of Management and the Budget projects that sequestration would cut economic growth in 2013 by half. New Jersey Citizen Action said the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected more than 43,000 job losses in the Garden State alone in 2013. This Star Ledger article  documents some of the doomsday effects on our state.

Below are comments gleaned from five Republican congressmen.  

  •  Scott Garrett (CD 5) bluntly on Facebook says: “If [President Obama] won’t drop his tax increase and negotiate in good faith, as he hasn’t during his Presidency, then the sequester is the only way that any spending is going to be cut.”

  • Leonard Lance (CD 7) on his website says, “Contact the President , Vice President and others to avoid the devastating impact of sequestration.”

  • Chris Smith (CD 4) in a news release says, “Obama totally fails to reduce spending” and likewise places the onus on the President.

  • Frank LoBiondo (CD 2) on Twitter expresses concern about “impacts on FAA and Coast Guard” but not about negotiations.

  • Jon Runyan (CD 3) on NJ Today spoke with more concern than other colleagues indicating he fears sequester would severely harm South Jersey, but he does not veer from the Republican position. He said, “There’s still time to avoid the automatic cuts… He takes particular aim at President Obama …  and adds that South Jersey may be especially impacted given that it is so “defense heavy.”

  • 113th Congress by the Numbers

    “This is the people’s House.  This is the people’s gavel.  It represents a sacred trust.  May we all fulfill that trust and make real the ideals of democratic government.”                            – Leader Nancy Pelosi

    Stats culled from CNN and Dem Daily & wiki.

    Leadership of the 113th Congress:

    House of Representatives

    Speaker of the House: John Boehner              

    Democratic Leader: Nancy Pelosi

    Majority Leader: Eric Cantor                            

    Democratic Whip: Steny Hoyer

    Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy                        

    Assistant Democratic Leader: James Clyburn

    Senate

    Majority Leader: Harry Reid                              Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell

    Majority Whip: Dick Durbin                               Minority Whip: John Cornyn

    113th Congress by the numbers:

    13 new Senators

    84 new House members

    20 women in the Senate

    78 women in the House (number of women in NJ delegation = 0)

    12 new members who have served in U.S. military

    1  Massachusetts senator with Rutgers Law degree

    Elizabeth Warren was 9 months pregnant & already had a 2-year-old at graduation

    19% of the House now belong to minority groups

    40 African American Members, 1 in the Senate (*appointed)

    28 Hispanic Members in the House, 3 in the Senate

    7   Openly Gay or Bisexual Members in the House

    33 Members under the age of 40 in the House, 1 in the Senate

    2  Physicists in the House [Rush Holt & Rep. Bill Foster (D-Il), sworn in today]

    5  House members from previous careers in professional sports [incl. Jon Runyan]

    85 Members in the House who have served in the Military, 19 in the Senate

    88 Oldest member of the Senate, Frank Lautenberg

         Lautenberg will be 89 on Jan. 23

    89  Oldest member (ever) of the House, Ralph Hall (R-TX)

    A Congress of Firsts

    First Openly Gay Senator: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

    First Openly Gay minority member of Congress: Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41)

    First Asian-American woman Senator: Mazie Hirono (D-HI) ** thanks theoneo for the correction

    First Bisexual member of Congress: Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

    First Hindu member of Congress: Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)

    Fun Facts

  • For the first time, white men will be a minority in the House Democratic Caucus as a majority of Members are now either non-white or female.

  • 3 states are now represented by two female senators: New Hampshire, Washington, and California.

  • Women comprise 20% of the Senate and 18% of the House Members
  • Political Notes (10/28/2012): WHAZZUP?

    As we rapidly approach elections, SuperPac’s keep spending money in support or opposition of NJ candidates. There has been only one new local House poll this past week, and we have seen only small and not statistically significant changes in the presidential election race, with Obama continuing ahead of Romney in NJ.

    We may lack the most closely contested, hottest local races in the country, but SuperPAC’s are still spending money for and against NJ candidates. Just in the last two months alone, according to Federal Election Commission data, SuperPACs have reported independent expenditures of over $2 million for Garden State office seekers. (These monies are spent directly by the SuperPacs and are separate from what individuals, corporations, party headquarters and others donate directly to candidates.) Below is the rundown as of yesterday’s data:  

  •   $833,000 in support of incumbent Senator Robert Menendez – The largest amount was from Majority PAC which calls itself “aggressive Democratic strategists with one mission: “Protect the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.” The group provides monies in support of Democrats and in opposition to Republican candidates like Mourdock and Akin who share crackpot ideas about rape, abortion and women’s heath. The average of the four most recent polls, according to Real Clear Politics indicates, Menendez is ahead by 18.5% points.

  •   $468,000 In in support of Republican Shmuley Boteach (CD 9) – entirely from Patriot Prosperity funded by Big Spender and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. This amount does not include another $500,000 that Adelson said he would contribute to Boteach’s campaign against Bill Pascrell in this solid Democratic district. Adelson’s money won’t win the race, but every dollar spent in NJ helps our economy, and turnout remains important.  

  •   $410,000 in support of Republican candidate for Senate Joe Kyrillos, also entirely from Patriot Prosperity. Kyrillos as mentioned above is 18.5 points behind Senator Menendez in the polls. Kyrillos this week launched his first negative TV ad, while Menendez remains positive.

  •   $342,000 in opposition to Democrat Shelley Adler challenger in CD 3 entirely paid for by Congressional Leadership Fund, referred to by some as House Speaker John Boehner’s Super PAC.

  •   $73,000 in support of incumbent Republican Jon Runyan (CD 3) from such groups as the NRA, National Right to Life and the Lunchpail Republicans. The only available poll is from Stockton, and statistically significant, with Runyan ahead of Adler by 10 points, but with 12% of voters undecided. Turnout and undecideds are critical.

    The one new recent poll from Stockton, statistically significant, in CD 2 has nine-term incumbent Republican Frank LoBiondo ahead 54% to 34% for underfunded Democrat challenger Cassandra Shober – leaving 12% in the Undecided or Other columns.

    For additional national and local information go beyond the fold.

  • Polls: Much Ado About Margins of Error

    Polls – love them or hate them – are here to stay. Polls may be statistically significant (outside the margin of error) or statistically not significant (within the margin of error).

    Often people calculate statistical significance as twice the reported margin of error of the poll. This is done following the logic that if one candidate is at 55% and the other at 45% and the poll has a ±5% margin of error, then the first candidate could be as low as 55−5 = 50% and the second could be as high as 45+5 = 50%. In this case reporters would say the race was a statistical dead heat because the gap between the candidates (55 − 45 = 10%) is not more than two times the margin of error of the poll (5%).

    There are other factors to consider: how recent was the poll, how large was the sample size, does the pollster have a reputation for bias, and are there other polls with which to compare it. If there are more than two candidates in the race or a substantial number of undecided respondents the results may be confounding. In general, however, where the results of one candidate versus the other are more than twice the margin of error, there is considerable likelihood of statistical significance.

    Polls for the Senate race in New Jersey have consistently shown Senator Bob Menendez in the lead over State Senator Joe Kyrillos. Real Clear Politics provides him with an average 18.5 point lead based on four recent polls which have Menendez up 22, 20, 18, and 14 points. Reviewing the margins of error of these particular polls suggest they are all statistically significant.  

    Polls for the Presidential race in NJ have also consistently shown President Obama in the lead over Mitt Romney. The five most recent polls have Obama up 14, 15, 7, 8, and 11 points. Real Clear Politics provides him with an average 11 point lead. All the polls are statistically significant, except for the one with Obama leading by 7 points.

    In our congressional districts there are two strongly contested races which are leaning Republican. In CD 3 I know of only one poll, the the Stockton poll of October 4, which indicates incumbent Republican Jon Runyan leads Democratic challenger Shelley Adler by a margin of 49 percent to 39 percent among likely voters. The margin of error is +/- 4% suggesting it is statistically significant. Unfortunately I know of no other poll with which to compare it. In CD7 where incumbent Republican Leonard Lance is challenged by Democrat Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, I have seen no poll.

    Regarding the presidential tracking polls nationally, today’s Real Clear Politics (RCP) has  47.1% for President Obama and 46.9% for Mitt Romney. The most significantly outlying poll, the Gallup Poll, as of today had Obama 45% and Romney 52% – a 7 point Romney lead with a +/- 2% margin of error – rendering it statistically significant. The other eight most recent polls in the RCP computation have Romney ahead by 2, 1, and 1 points; Obama ahead by 6, 3, 3 and 1 points; and one tie. Only the Gallup Poll holds statistical significance. The Presidential Electoral College Maps, based on state polls, show considerable variance. RCP has Obama with 201 likely/leaning votes and Romney with 206 likely/leaning votes and 131 toss up votes. POLITICO apportions the toss up states and has Obama with 277 votes (enough to win) and Romney at 261. Anyway you look at it, this race is a cliffhanger filled with statistical uncertainty.

    Another pesky thing about polls is they can change. So with little more than two weeks to elections, stay tuned and check those margins of error.  

    Inqy Endorses Adler Over Runyon

    The Philly Inquirer released its endorsements for districts 1, 2 and 3. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2) got the nod again, and Rob Andrews (NJ-1) got their “reluctant” endorsement (and mine).

    But the real news is the endorsement of Shelly Adler over Jon Runyon (NJ-3), who the Inqy seems to like but not so much.

    New Jersey’s Third Congressional District has been represented by a Republican, a Democrat, and a Republican again in the past six years.

    Now, incumbent Republican Jon Runyan, a former Eagles lineman, faces Democrat Shelley Adler, the widow of John Adler, whom Runyan defeated in 2010. Adler died a few months after that election of a heart infection.

    Conventional wisdom says Runyan will continue representing the traditionally conservative district that includes much of Burlington and Ocean Counties. But he has a formidable opponent.

    Runyan’s advocacy for veterans and vote to contain student loan rates are noteworthy, but the 38-year-old Mount Laurel resident has been on the wrong side when it comes to tax and health-care issues affecting his district’s increasing senior population. The Inquirer endorses SHELLEY ADLER.

    Both Runyan and Adler, 53, have campaigned hard on Medicare. But by voting for the House Republican budget, Runyan has supported a voucher program for future seniors that would strain their budgets. Adler would maintain Medicare, but would force drug companies to lower costs.

    A Cherry Hill attorney, Adler would use the tax code to bring jobs home from overseas and extend payroll-tax cuts to those earning less than $1 million. Runyan would extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone. Adler would cut tax breaks for oil companies, while Runyan says he would cut them for all corporations.

    Runyan voted against the Affordable Care Act. He says he would repeal it because it costs business too much. Adler takes a much more reasonable position, saying she would not repeal the law, but in addition to it would work to lower health-care costs.

    Given a chance to be an independent voice for New Jersey residents, Runyan has instead aligned himself with the tea-party extremists who have made it hard to get bipartisan agreement on anything before Congress. Adler would be more willing to work across the aisle.

    Cory Booker Stumps for Shelley Adler

    If Shelley Adler is to win her congressional race, she needs to ensure that her base goes to the polls on Election Day. To that end, the Adler campaign brought in Newark’s popular mayor, Cory Booker, to appear at a rally at the Willingboro Senior Center.

    About 200 people, mostly seniors, came to hear Adler and Booker.  Adler spoke briefly – she didn’t need to promote herself. After all, the audience knew well that her opponent, Jon Runyan, is no friend to senior citizens. And the crowd was there to hear the rock star mayor of Newark. Booker didn’t disappoint.

    Hizonner spoke extemporaneously for over a half hour – he was part preacher, part stand-up comic, part motivational speaker, and part poet. The audience remained engaged throughout as Booker invoked the late Michael Jackson in describing how the GOP does its forward-appearing but backward moon walk. Booker talked about how “sedentary agitation” helped elect Chris Christie three years ago. He talked about how Newark is the wine capital of America. And lots more.

    Booker’s remarks start at about the 9 minute mark in the video.





    Dave Levinsky’s reporting on the event is here.

    Disclosure: I do canvassing for the Adler campaign.