The Kean-Christie rift doesn’t manifest itself in a “hot” war, Save Jerseyans, but it’s clear enough to legislative Republicans that the 2013 election signaled the beginning of a new era in state GOP politics.
Governor Christie is in damage control mode, fighting lame duck status and a weary national GOP electorate. Legislative Republican leaders, on the other hand, are increasingly looking forward and making independent decisions.
MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki is having a “hard time” believing that Chris Christie was unaware of the Bridgegate goings-on earlier than he’s said, Save Jerseyans, and the disappointment among the panelists (save for Asm. Holly Schepisi) on his Sunday 3/9 morning program was palpable.
Yet another independent, nonpartisan research study has proven what Trenton Democrats continue to stubbornly deny, Save Jerseyans: their policies drive taxpayers out of the state.
Regent Atlantic’s findings should provide a shock to the system of every policymaker with half a heart and some semblance of a functioning brain:
An analysis of income tax returns filed in New Jersey shows that taxpayers are changing their domiciles to lower-tax states. In 2010, there were 87,630 federal tax returns filed in states other than New Jersey by people who filed their 2009 tax returns in New Jersey. These 87,630 tax returns accounted for a loss of $5.5 billion in taxable income for New Jersey.
One of the first rules of politics is that one should never waste a good crisis. With that no doubt in mind, and Russia’s planned annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea seemingly all but inevitable, Republicans are pouncing on this latest opportunity to criticize President Obama for his ineffectual leadership, demanding, as they are, results without really proposing any viable solutions.
This, incidentally, has become a Republican trademark.
Forgetting for a minute that it used to be conservatives who would caution against playing global police officer, it is fair, regrettably, to observe that not more than a month ago, in the days leading up to the Sochi Olympics, the Obama Administration seemed much more concerned with Russia’s treatment of gays than in the fomenting civil discord in the Ukraine. Even when the Administration voiced its support for the protesters, it was hard not to see the irony (or double standard) in an administration lauding anti-government protests overseas, when it has so vocally and with great antipathy denounced Americans attending rallies calling for smaller and more responsive government as unpatriotic and un-American.
The CPAC 2014 straw poll results are in, Save Jerseyans, and Rand Paul was the big winner with 31% of votes cast by conference attendees. Ted Cruz was a distant second at 11%. Dr. Ben Carson rounded out the top 3 with 9%.
Chris Christie finished 4th at 8%, only 1-point better for having given a well-received speech this year than back in March 2013 when he wasn’t invited. “Other” grabbed 9% of the vote. Scott Walker was right on Governor Christie’s heels at 7%.
What do the results tell us?
Not much (it’s an unscientific straw poll, after all), other than the fact that young conservatives are increasingly leaning-libertarian.
Ann Coulter offered up a few good points in her CPAC interview with Sean Hannity, Save Jerseyans, including a critique of the mob mentality of those conservatives going after Mitch McConnell in this year’s Kentucky Primary.
(2) Asking tough questions and championing real reforms.
Trenton Democrats have made it clear which path they prefer (hint hint #1). The Republican members of the Legislative Select Committee on Investigation (SCI) favor door #2 and they proved it on Friday…
He rolled out the backing of Lacey Township’s GOP committee on Thursday and, this morning, announced the support of Point Pleasant.
“As we continue to try and recover from Sandy and improve the economy, we are confident that Tom will be an asset in Congress on both fronts,” read a joint statement issued by Club President Tom Szymanski, GOP Municipal Chairman William Hoey, Council President Bob Sabosik, Councilwoman Toni DePaola, Councilman John Wisniewski, Councilman Bill Borowsky and Councilman Joe Furmato. “Tom will have our votes at the March 19th Ocean County Republican Convention and our full support in both the June Primary Election and November General Election. We look forward to working with Tom as the next Representative from the 3rd Congressional District.”
New Jersey Republicans aren’t accustomed to competitive primaries. The closest we’ve seen in recent history was back in 2005 (the first statewide race in which your Blogger-in-Chief was eligible to vote) when Doug Forrester edged by Bret Schundler by less than 5-points in a very crowded field.
Not because Christie came into that hotel in Maryland and blew everyone away with a heavy dose of juicy conservative one-liners (as so many try to do at the yearly conference), but because he largely did no harm to himself with a group that, at least on the national level, has been a bit hesitant to get behind him.
Pretty soon we should be able to see how this “do no harm” strategy worked out, because the poll numbers that created the backdrop for this speech are not looking pretty…