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It’s Obama vs Clinton in New Jersey’s 9th CD

May 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I never really bought into the notion that there’s a friendly peace between the Obamas and the Clintons. Sure, Bill Clinton is campaigning for Obama, Hillary is the Secretary of State, and all appears to be tranquil in Democrat land. But I still don’t buy it.

I’m old enough to remember the political cage-match that was the 2008 Democratic primary, with its ugly charges of racism, the ‘pimping’ of Chelsea, the whole bit. Despite her bitter loss, Hillary still wants to be president, and I have no doubt that she will make another go of it. (I’ll leave the speculation as to whether she replaces Biden on the ticket this year or makes a solid run in 2016, for another time).

All that being said, there’s a literal endorsement battle between the two for Democrat candidates down ticket, one specifically in a congressional race here in New Jersey:

A top Obama campaign adviser is taking sides in a member-versus-member primary in New Jersey, with senior adviser David Axelrod set to campaign for Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), according to a national Democratic aide.

Rothman faces Rep. Bill Pascrell in a North Jersey district that was merged by redistricting.

[...]

Bill Clinton endorsed Pascrell this month, making this race the seventh in which he has supported a Hillary-endorsing candidate against an Obama backer.

The Pascrell campaign thinks so highly of Clinton, he made it to their latest campaign ad:

For what it’s worth, Pascrell’s district is a predominantly middle class, blue collar constituency, whereas Rothman’s former district included a sizable portion of the more affluent Bergen County which is closer to Manhattan, consisting of upper-middle class NYC commuters, and a growing immigrant population. Demographically, there’s a noticeable difference between the two, but both districts are solid blue Democrat.

And then there’s this–a source I know with knowledge of the Pascrell campaign implied that there was a financial strain on both camps because of the redistricting fight, but acknowledged the Pascrell got “a boost from the Clinton endorsement,” adding “…[Clinton's] favorables are much better than Obama, even in the cities.

The primary’s on June 5th, and I’m thinking Pascrell wins the district, based on the demographics I mentioned and it could very well be that the Clinton endorsement puts him over the top. I’d be interested to see how the other Obama vs Clinton endorsements in other CDs go, and I’m sure the Obama campaign will be keeping an eye on that as well.

The great Nor’easter of 2011

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Okay, 2011 has seen many “great” storms, including the blizzards earlier in the year.  But yesterday’s storm dumped about 3-4 inches of global warming onto central Jersey, and today was just warm enough to melt most of it away, creating miles of heavy, wet slush throughout the area.  My friends and family in Northern Jersey were the hardest hit however, with over 6 inches in most areas (and over a foot in Sussex County). 

With one of the earliest snowstorms on record (early being late October), piling snow onto trees which are still laden with leaves, which have only just recently begun to turn, the biggest danger we’ve had has been snapping trees and tree branches.   Thanks to that, power is out all over the state. 

During the warmer months, and into the fall, and before after daylight savings time, I usually forgo the gym for walking and hiking.  I really enjoy the seclusion and austerity of an hour-or-so walk.   Roosevelt Park is somewhat close to my home and one of its great features is a 3+ mile hiking trail, which includes a paved walkway for about a quarter of the trail, and forest trails for the remainder.

This morning I bundled up to take a walk in the brisk post-storm air (sunny and upper 40s most of the day today) to find that the Nor’easter did a job on the trail that would make any landscaper proud.   The trail already took a hit with Hurricane Irene this past August, and now even more damage was done.   I took some photos with my iPhone. 

Upon entering the trail:

Amazing how this happened:

In the following shot, you can see a stream.  Up until August, you couldn’t see it from the the trail path.   After Irene, it was partially visible.  This morning, it’s in plain sight:

More ruined trees:

Finally, you can’t make it out to well, but here is significant damage to the trail which all but blocked the path:

Governor Christie propses pulling Jersey out of onerous cap and trade program

May 26, 2011 Leave a comment

The governor is proposing pulling out of the voluntary RGGI program, which is a voluntary state cap-and-trade program.

Good riddance.  The program is quickly becoming a cess pool of political corruption (surprise!), meanwhile our state has seen New Jersey companies pick up and leave because of higher energy costs due to the program, among other concerns.

Wasn’t cap-and-trade supposed to be good for businesses?

NJ teachers union breaks the bank on ads, close to $7 million spent in 2010

March 9, 2011 Leave a comment

The NJEA outspent every other special interest group in the state last year, and it wasn’t even close:

The state’s largest teachers union last year spent $6.6 million on an ad campaign targeting Gov. Chris Christie’s cuts to education, according to a report issued by the Election Law Enforcement Commission this morning.

The New Jersey Education Association blanketed the airwaves last year as it warred with Christie, and spent a total of almost $6.9 million on lobbying across the board, making it far and away the special interest group that spent the most to win over the public and elected officials. [...]

The report also showed that Reform Jersey Now — an issue advocacy group tied to Christie’s closest advisers — spent $403,000 on communications in 2010. The group, which disbanded in December, raised a total of $624,000 from private donors, including ones with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts with the state.

The pro-charter school group Excellent Education For Everyone was the second highest spender on communications behind the NJEA, shelling out $458,928.

The NJEA is a union with considerable financial muscle to be sure.  That’s what happens when you have a license to steal from fellow taxpayers.

 

Christmas with Governor Christie

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Governor Christie, with help from the Boston Pops, reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

WP doesn’t allow embedding of this video format, so click-through the link and enjoy.

New Jersey has true leadership

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Governor Christie has announced that 1,200 public jobs will be trimmed from the state payroll before the end of the year.

More importantly, the Christie administration is making the case for businesses and private sector growth in the state, something that has been trailing off over the last decade or so:

Christie cited a new report out by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, which predicted New Jersey’s economy will grow by more than 4 percent in the next six months, a projection based on increased building permits and a drop in new unemployment claims.

Christie said reduced government expenses have prompted businesses to begin thinking about expanding again in New Jersey, and that will grow the state’s economy.

The governor also noted that many municipalities are struggling to put together budgets for the next year, and he said reducing public employee costs were a key to controlling property taxes and helping the private sector.

Restraining the cost of salaries, restraining the cost of benefits, is one way of doing that; layoffs are another way,” Christie said. “Government is too big in New Jersey. You’ve seen that in the time we’ve been in office, a 4.6 percent reduction in government jobs, and there may have to be more.”

Part of the reason that liberals and Democrats across the country loathe Governor Christie is because he’s not waiting around, genuflecting before President Obama, begging the Federal government for some lame stimulus package.  He’s being proactive about the problems that are facing us here in New Jersey, and makes no apologies for that.

Suffice it to say that the actions he’s taking would never have happened under the Corzine regime.

Election Day Eve in NJ-6

November 1, 2010 1 comment

It’s still an uphill battle for Anna Little, going up against 11 term congressman Frank Pallone, but the race has received some increased media attention over the past few weeks, and polls are showing a tightening race.

Republicans are headed for a huge victory tomorrow with gains all over the map. That makes seemingly impossible races like NJ-6 within reach.  At a rally a few weeks ago, Governor Christie said that it would be a shame if we wake up on November 3rd to see candidates like Anna Little miss out by a few points, just because voters felt as if they had no choice or no chance.

This past Saturday, I was at a Halloween/birthday party and I was talking with a fellow district resident.  We started talking politics and she asked what I knew about Anna Little, and she had only heard about her over the past few weeks.   When our conversation was over, I asked her to relay my words of wisdom to others who had decided to sit the election out.   Who knows what will come of that, but the point is every little bit will help.

Anna Little will be appearing with Governor Christie tonight for a last GOTV rally in Middletown NJ at Bachstadt’s Tavern, 8 Bray Avenue, from 7-9 PM.  Make it out there if you can, bring people who might be interested or see what you can do to help in the last few hours before election day.

If you think we’ve done enough, think again.  There’s always more to be done.

Anna Little For Congress

NJ-6: Monmouth University poll shows Pallone losing ground to Little

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Several weeks ago, RCP moved this race from Safe Dem to Lean Dem. 

Earlier today, Jim Geraghty wrote that Charlie Cook has now moved New Jersey’s 6th CD to Likely Dem as well.

Today, the Asbury Park Press and the Star Ledger are both reporting that the latest Monmouth University poll shows Anna Little gaining ground, narrowing Frank Pallone’s lead from twelve to seven points.  The APP writes:

In the Monmouth County portion of the district, Little leads Pallone 52 to 45 percent. Three weeks ago, Pallone led Little by 49 to 47 percent. Pallone continues to hold a sizable 58 to 37 percent lead in the other parts of the district, including urban strongholds in Middlesex and Union counties.

 Pallone’s job performance approval rating among likely voters is 45 percent, virtually the same as three weeks ago, when it was 46 percent. His job performance disapproval rating has gone up from 36 to 46 percent, however.

 More voters are now aware of Little: only 31 percent said they have no opinion of her, down from 45 percent three weeks ago.

Last week I wrote:

[...] worth noting is that 45% of respondents said they had “no opinion” of Anna Little.  In other words, voters in the district really don’t know much about her.  Voters here feel they don’t really have much of a choice, that it’s just automatic for Pallone to win.  That’s not good for democracy.  [...]

Turnout will be key to turn this district red, plain and simple.  With a 12 point deficit and two weeks left, the campaign will certainly have its work cut out for it.  It will be difficult, but not impossible. 

This is what happens when voters begin to realize that they have a choice, and they have the power to break the vise grip of lethargic incumbency.  This is what GOTV efforts are all about.  In a matter of weeks, support at the grassroots level in the Little campaign has taken a virtually unknown candidate to within striking distance of a 22-year incumbent Democrat, comfortable in his blue district.

Speaking as a Mets fan, all I can say is: you gotta believe!

UPDATE.  It appears that the sample used in the Monmouth University poll might be skewing what’s really going on in NJ-6:

The poll [...] could underestimate Little’s performance. The Monmouth University poll’s sample was 40 percent Democrats, 22 percent Republicans and 38 percent Independents. [...]

In 2006 the Republican sample was 28 percent (a depressed year for Republicans nation wide, but especially dower in the North East) and the independent Sample was 31 percent. In 2008 the Republican sample was 33 percent and the independent sample was 38 percent.

It is fairly dubious assertion that this year will yield fewer Republicans at the polls than even 2006. It is even more suspicious that 38 percent of the Monmouth University poll’s sample is 38 percent; this independent sample outperforms their best year by 7 points. For a particularly good Republican year, when both the GOP and Democratic bases were engaged, 2004 is a decent place to start.
 
If you adjust the sample of 647 likely voters (257 Democrats, 141 Republican and 249 Independents) to reflect the exit polls from 2004, (253 Democrats, 201 Republicans and 194 Independents) then the race becomes 51 to 49 percent for Pallone. This is a minor adjustment from Monmouth University’s findings for Pallone but a major boost for Little. It also puts this race within the margin of error for most pollsters.
 
Stay tuned…

 

Governor Christie, social and fiscal conservative

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

New Jersey politics has been the focus of my last few posts, so why stop now?

The Newark Star-Ledger reports:

Two weeks ago, the federal government awarded Gov. Chris Christie’s administration nearly $4.7 million in federal funding for teenage pregnancy prevention programs. But one-fifth of the money comes with one unbreakable string attached.

Nearly $1 million must be spent teaching kids to say no to premarital sex.

New Jersey had not sought abstinence funding since shortly after Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine took office in 2006, and he stopped competing for it the following year, said Michele Jaker, executive director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey. “We were among the first states to stop,” she said.

The decision to pursue abstinence funding didn’t get much attention as Christie carved himself a national reputation as a fiscal conservative. But it is the latest sign the governor is also beginning to pursue a socially conservative agenda, according to some advocacy groups from both the left and right, lawmakers and political scientists.

[...]

“Governor Christie is our first pro-life governor,” said Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life. “He is trying very hard to fix our state and restore our culture from the bad decisions and failed policies of previous administrations so that it will be a better place to raise our children and future generations.”

Social conservatives had eyed Christie warily as a gubernatorial candidate, questioning the sincerity of his conversion from being pro-abortion-rights to anti-abortion in the mid-1990s after becoming a father.

All of this, of course, doesn’t stop the extremism:

Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said the change in state health policy “is not pretty.”

“Between the cuts in funding access to birth control and applying for abstinence education, somehow we have people caught somewhere in the last century mentally,” she said.

Yeah.  Who would’ve thought that teaching personal responsibility to teenagers and kids was a “last-century” concept?  That,  instead of the incessant funding of abortions and unlimited condoms on the back of taxpayers and at the expense of being able to teach their own children.  What a novel idea.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard some concern-trolling on behalf of conservative commentators and others, that Christie is not really a conservative for any number of reasons– he supported Mike Castle in the Delaware Senate race, or his position on immigration reform, etc.

To that I say, wake up!   Dare I say that Chris Christie is as conservative a governor as New Jersey will get in probably my lifetime.  That he’s willing to bring his fiscal conservative ideals to fruition in the Garden State is more than what most voters imagined.   For conservatives, that he wasn’t trumpeting his social conservative beliefs shouldn’t be so much of an issue, at least not in New Jersey, where fiscal matters were primarily on the minds of most voters.  It doesn’t really matter anyway, as he’s speaking with actions and not words.

That’s what’s key.

NJ-6: Governor Christie stumps for Anna Little

October 17, 2010 6 comments

The Governor made an appearance at Anna Little’s campaign rally in Piscataway earlier today, before her debate with entrenched liberal incumbent, the 22-year congressman, Frank “I helped write Obamacare” Pallone. 

Christie came out to introduce Little to the crowd and gave a classic Christie speech in support of the candidate.  I caught some of his speech on my iPhone:

Say what you want about Christie, and as I’ve noted on this blog before, I wasn’t a fan before the 2009 election.  But seeing what he’s done in less than a year, makes you proud to be conservative from New Jersey.  It’s a relief to hear a Republican not apologize for being conservative.

Once Christie entered the hall, the place went nuts.  I took some photos:

 Tea Party-approved:

Look at that glare:

Here is the Governor telling us all to just STFU and vote on November 2nd:

Another shot:

The place was SRO, but I got there early and got a good spot before the place filled up.  Notice the racist “Don’t Tread On Me” flag.  This is New Jersey for pete’s sake, it’s happening all over:

More “afraid and confused” racists voters at the rally:

This sign got the Governor’s attention and pointed it out to the crowd:

Here’s my take on this race.   New Jersey’s 6th District is historically a deep blue Democrat distrcit running northwest from Asbury Park in Monmouth County on the coast, into parts of Middlesex County, and President Obama won the district easily by a margin of 61-39.  Pallone has been representing the district since George H. W. Bush was first elected President, a full eleven terms. 

The latest polling has Pallone winning by 12 points and RCP recently moved the district from Safe Dem to Likely Dem.   The problem for Pallone is that 12 points is less than half of the 30+ point advantage he usually gets at reelection:

“A 12 point lead may look comfortable, but not when you consider the fact that Pallone regularly wins reelection by more than 30 points,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said. “District demographics are the key to this race. Little does well in the independent-minded parts of the district. The question is whether it will be enough to overcome the built-in Democratic advantage here.”

Look at the last three election cycles for Pallone:

2008: Pallone (D) 67%, McLeod  (R) 32%

2006: Pallone (D) 69%, Bellew (R) 30%

2004: Pallone (D) 67%, Fernandez (R) 31%

If you look at the most recent Monmouth University poll (PDF), you’ll find that Republicans are definitely not very popular in the district.  But also worth noting is that 45% of respondents said they had “no opinion” of Anna Little.  In other words, voters in the district really don’t know much about her.  Voters here feel they don’t really have much of a choice, that it’s just automatic for Pallone to win.  That’s not good for democracy.

The Little campaign is really energized about what they’re doing.  Over the past few months, and few weeks especially, I’ve seen supporters all over the district, lawn signs are all over, even in the bluest of neighborhoods, they’ve been at  local fall festivals, etc.  I overheard one of Little’s campaign workers talk to some attendees at the rally who were obviously undecided, and he mentioned that at recent event where both candidates were present, about 106 Little supporters showed up versus 10 for Pallone.  Take that for what it’s worth.

Turnout will be key to turn this district red, plain and simple.  With a 12 point deficit and two weeks left, the campaign will certainly have its work cut out for it.  It will be difficult, but not impossible. 

Time is of the essence, so if you’re so inclined, throw the campaign a few shekels. 

Anna Little for Congress

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