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Author: Brian McGovern

Christie Goes National during Birthday Speech with Mitt Romney

Tonight, Save Jersey was on hand at Governor Christie’s 52nd birthday party/NJGOP fundraiser. There were about 1,000 people in attendance for an event that had a very election night-esque feel to it. The giant American flag, an entertaining and charismatic  Governor Christie, and of course, former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney were all there.

Romney singRomney seemed more comfortable on this stage in front of this crowd than he seemed throughout much of the 2012 campaign; especially when he led the crowd in a “happy birthday” sing-a-long for Governor Christie. Many in the crowd left the event chatting about how much better a situation we would be in today if November 2012 had gone a bit differently.

The event was described by introductory speakers as a “huge success” for the NJGOP, who as of late have not been generating the best of headlines when it comes to fundraising.

The talk of the floor was obviously focused on 2016. People were heard wondering aloud whether we were watching a power-presidential pairing, or one of the last times two friends would share the stage before becoming frenemies in the early primaries. To be fair, the speech was very jersey-centric and focused on many of the Governor’s successes over the last 5 years while also reiterating that the job of governor is the only one he wants…for now. The Governor insisted that this was not a dry run Presidential rally, but by now we all know better don’t we?


Can CPAC Save Christie’s Sagging Republican Poll Numbers?

By Brian McGovern | The Save Jersey Blog

chris christie cpacYesterday, Chris Christie gave a speech at CPAC 2014 that many in the media are considering a resounding success.

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…


11 Key Republican Senators Support Tom Kean Jr. to Continue as Minority Leader

Guadagno, Kean and Christie

By Brian McGovern | The Save Jersey Blog

Today a group of 11 Republican state senators released a letter stating their intention to support Tom Kean Jr.’s continued role in leadership for the minority caucus. Allen, Bateman, Beck, Bucco, Cardinale, Oroho, Pennachio, Singer, Thompson, Holzapfel, and Connors all signed the letter that reads:

It is with great pleasure that we, members of the Senate Republican Caucus, announce our collective support for the re-election of Senator Thomas H. Kean as the Senate Republican Leader in the 2014-2015 legislative session.

Senator Kean has served the Republican Caucus admirably for four years, and enjoys our continued confidence and commitment.  We look forward to serving with Senator Kean in the legislative term ahead and working together with Governor Christie and all members of the Legislature on an agenda that ensures that New Jersey remains an affordable place in which to live, work and raise a family.

Notably absent on this one? Kyrillos, O’Toole, Doherty, and Addiego. Obviously 11 is all that is needed to hold the position, so it seems strange that there wouldn’t be a showing of solidarity.

Stay tuned on this one . . .

LIVE: #NJSen Results Thread

By Brian McGovern | The Save Jersey Blog

Booker vs. Lonegan

*** Updated 10:52 p.m.

Welcome to #NJSen Election Night, Save Jerseyans!

Political prognosticators are analyzing turnout information and preparing for ballot counting when the polls across New Jersey officially close at 8:00 p.m.

Lonegan Booker Precincts Reporting
44% 55% 99%
579,182 votes 713,129 votes



For more #njsen analysis and coverage, check out our Blogger-in-Chief Matt Rooney on My9 in North Jersey on tonight’s installment of Chasing New Jersey at 10:00 p.m.

Click here to see county-by-county vote totals as they become available.

Last but not least, click here for other Save Jersey election resources (debate video, polling site information, archived #bookerfail blog posts, etc).

@NJ2AS Response to Governor Christie’s Recent Gun Control Vetoes

gunAfter signing some new gun laws into the books a few weeks back, pro-gun rights New Jerseyans had a right to be somewhat unhappy with Governor Christie, who has previous said that New Jersey has enough gun laws in effect already. However, late last week Christie struck his veto pen across some of the worst gun bills to come out of Trenton in a long time, and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, the state’s largets gun rights advocacy group, seems cautiously pleased.

Governor Christie vetoed the three most offensive gun ownership restrictions passed by the New Jersey Senate and Assembly this year. These bills were deemed the “centerpiece” of what Senate President Steve Sweeney referred to as his “National Model”. The Governor’s veto of these bills is a monumental victory for law-abiding firearms owners in the State of New Jersey. Thankfully, Governor Christie realized this type of legislation is not appropriate for New Jersey or as a model for the rest of the country.

The Governor was correct in ignoring the pleas of gun-grabbing organizations based out of state, like “Ceasefire New Jersey” and “Heeding God’s Call”. These organizations lobbied to further oppress the law-abiding New Jersey firearms owner, but have no standing whatsoever in our state. The project director of Ceasefire New Jersey lives in New York and the organization has no status as a New Jersey Corporation. Heeding God’s Call is a Pennsylvania-based 501(c)3 that has no business lobbying anywhere, let alone in New Jersey. These gun-grabbing groups are not interest in the welfare of New Jersey’s citizens. Like the prohibitionists of old, they want to come here and destroy something they don’t personally like.

The Constitution doesn’t work like that, and it is time they learned that lesson.

The members and supporters of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society worked long and hard to send a message to the Governor about these bills. We are grateful that he took the time to review our concerns and to agree with our position. We would also like to recognize the other organizations that played a part in this victory to defeat this “national model” legislation. The California-based Firearms Policy Coalition hosted a contest that encouraged citizens throughout the country to take part in the campaign to convince Governor Christie to veto these bills. We would also like to recognize our friends at Pro-Gun New Hampshire who voiced their opposition to these onerous provisions proclaimed a “national model” by NJ Senate President Sweeney.

To everyone that participated in this campaign to prevent the further progress of these bills, we thank you and we give you our promise that we will continue to fight for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in New Jersey and throughout the Nation. You can be certain the New Jersey Second Amendment Society will be there when it counts.

Thank you,

Frank Jack Fiamingo
Presedent, NJ2AS

Anti-Lonegan Video May Rally Conservatives as Senate Race Heats Up

The Lonegan-Booker race is on rails and moving fast. Both candidates have been out and about, hitting events and raising cash for what will be one of the quickest turnarounds from primary to general election in New Jersey history.

Some liberal group called “American Bridge 21st Century” has put up a YouTube video that has gotten the attention of clear Lonegan supporter and usual foil around here, Paul Mulshine. In this instance however, Mulshine makes a great point.

The video, titled “Steve Lonegan: The Face of the New GOP” is a compilation of clips that show Steve Lonegan to be a “right wing extremist,” who essentially makes blunt statements that taken out of context sound a bit harsh on their own, but drive home ideas of personal and fiscal responsibility for the Federal government.

In a national campaign for President, this video would be particularly damaging. But in a statewide race where the turnout may be low enough to rival the average primary, this may be just what Lonegan needs to make sure conservatives get out there and vote on October 16th.

To get some of the more moderate voters out, Lonegan has the support of Governor Christie, who is said to be making a public endorsement of this former adversary this week. If the Christie GOP and the Lonegan GOP can come together, we may just be able to elect a Senator who doesn’t want to spend money that we simply do not have.

Will New Jersey Get Same-Sex Marriage by way of SCOTUS?

The same-sex marriage issue has always been an interesting one in New Jersey. Since New Jersey is largely seen as a blue and liberal state (seen any Presidential maps lately?) many around the nation are often surprised to find that same-sex marriage has not yet been passed or mandated by the courts in our state. However, that could soon change.

Mercer-County-CourthouseBack in 2007, when the Democrats controlled every single piece of the state government and could have easily passed a full marriage equality law, the New Jersey legislature passed a civil union law in response to a New Jersey Supreme Court case called Lewis v. Harris. The ruling essentially states that while the state is not required to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, it is required to extend all of the rights that come along with marriage to those couples. To put it another way, the court agreed that the concept and definition of marriage was a social tenet that cannot simply be changed on a whim, but that the rights and privileges handed out by the state to couples who have a civilly recognized relationship cannot be denied to anyone. It is a very nuanced argument, and not without its holes, but it was the way that the liberal Supreme Court could impose a step forward for the movement without causing too much of a fuss when the idea os same-sex marriage was not polling nearly as well.

Fast-fordward to earlier this summer when the United States Supreme Court made landmark rulings striking down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and we suddenly find this issue back in our state courts.

Garden-State-Equality1Garden State Equality, the state’s largest gay advocacy group, is a star plaintiff in the latest round of legal battles over same-sex marriage in New Jersey. Its argument is that with DOMA gone, and federal benefits being handed out to same-sex couples everywhere who are married, those with civil unions in New Jersey are being discriminated against. This is because the Obama Administration is refusing to extend benefits to any union that is not specifically “marriage.” In yesterday’s summary judgment hearing, the attorney for the plaintiffs drove home the argument that the democratic (with a small “d”) process got it wrong here in New Jersey and that it is the court’s responsibility to protect rights for same-sex couples.

The assistant attorney general arguing for the state suggested that the Federal government was abdicating its own duty based on the way it was executing the law in a post-DOMA nation. That the State is in fact giving all of the rights of marriage actually offered by the State to its same-sex couples, but it should not be the State’s responsibility to offer benefits that very clearly come from the Federal government. According to, the judge was skeptical of this position.

South Jersey liberal activist Jay Lassiter, who attended the hearing, spoke with me after the hearing. After listening to the argument and observing the process, he said

“If I had to guess, I’d say she’ll rule our way . . . it was awkward listening to our governor’s [assistant] AG defend this law . . . the state’s legal argument sounded brittle and retrograde.”

Based on the reports, my guess is that the judge agreed.

No matter which way this decision comes down some time in September, expect that it will continue up the state court chain and once again arrive at the New Jersey Supreme Court’s door.


GOP Senatorial Committee Releases “App” Mocking Booker

The NRSC has not wasted any time with its attacks on Cory Booker, which is a good thing considering there are less than 9 weeks until Special Election Day!

Yesterday the committee published a website that looks an awful lot like the Apple iOS App Store, but instead of selling apps, this store sells what the NRSC calls DAPPs. The D of course standing for Democrat. You certainly cannot fault the NRSC for its creativity on this one.

The website describes the DAPP, and Cory Booker, pretty well in its description. It refers to Booker as being a master of “having a presence without being present,” a jab at his rise to fame and political victory through tweeting. It also takes shots at Booker’s popularity in California, with a “user review” calling him “California’s third senator!”

booker appCheck out the Cory Booker DAPP and many more DAPPs at the Dem App Store webpage.


Game of Jersey: What to Expect from Lonegan, Booker, and the Media

Lonegan victory speech august 13Round 1 is over and the two frontrunners have come out on top. Former Mayor Steve Lonegan finally walked out of a statewide GOP primary the winner, and by quite a large margin. Likewise, Mayor Cory Booker strolled through his four way race with little to no serious opposition anywhere near his numbers. So what happens now?

The candidates each gave their victory speeches in a way that you would expect. Booker attempted to channel 2008 President Obama and run above the board, pledging to unite and champion a positive message. On the other side of the aisle, Steve Lonegan quoted Patrick Henry and talked about loving America. The two are almost parody’s of themselves.

Cory BookerI believe Booker when he says that he will be running a positive campaign. Much like he did during the primary, he will ignore Lonegan unless the Lonegan camp makes another mistake like its allegedly racist tweet from last week. Barring another politically incorrect disaster, Booker will tend to focus on himself while repeating the same tired themes the Democrats have been running on since “Hope” and “Forward” became viable political platforms.

The fact is, Booker will not need to go negative simply because the media will do that for him. The media loves Cory Booker, almost as much as Wall Street and Silicon Valley donors do. One person the media does not love is Steve Lonegan, and they will ensure that we all know it by mid-October. The media’s angle will not be to destroy Lonegan so much as to delegitimize him, to pull a Palin on him and make him seem as dumb as rocks. Thankfully Steve Lonegan is no Sarah Palin and should not make things quite so easy.

The Lonegan campaign will come out of the gate swinging, and they need to. Booker, like a Christie on the left, polls well across the board and is generally considered likable. Those running the Lonegan campaign are some of the most vocal critics of the Republican Party in recent years for its alleged lack of spine and willingness to call Democrats out on the issues and personal dirt. Expect Booker to be forced to answer for some of his more liberal positions that are outside the mainstream, and don’t be surprised to hear him backpedal his obvious leap to the left that occurred during the primary when candidates like Rush Holt were taking him to task.


We are 9 weeks out from this Special Election and picking a new Senator for the our State, and no doubt a lot will happen. The Game of Jersey will be anything but dull.


Special Primary Election Results: Booker and Lonegan Win (Updating Live)


Round 1 of Game of Jersey officially ended at 8:00PM. An August 13th election day along with seriously bad weather this morning lead to very low turnout throughout the state. Keep checking this post for continuously updating results.

Last Update – 11:26PM (98% reporting)


Booker – 207,891
Holt – 59,922
Oliver – 14,996
Pallone – 69,311


Eck – 25,009
Lonegan – 99,265

The Associated Press has called the GOP Primary for Steve Lonegan and the Democrat Primary for Cory Booker. No one at Save Jersey really considers this outcome surprising (have you seen our Game of Jersey banners?). These calls were made with less than 20 percent of precincts reporting in on both sides of the aisle.

Lonegan victory speech august 13

Democrats: Think Before You Vote For Booker

GameofJersey1This season of Game of Jersey is officially upon us, Save Jerseyans, and the presumptive front runner is and pretty much always has been Cory Booker. It is hard to deny that the Mayor of the Twitterverse is popular and has the ability to garner mass appeal. However, it has amazed me from the beginning just how easily Democrats were willing to make it for Booker to simply walk into the party nomination. Sure, there are three other candidates all trying to out-liberal each other in this race, but we all can see that this was more about getting their own names out there than actually beating Cory Booker.

Cory Booker, Chris ChristieThe fact is, Cory Booker has been a buddy to partisan Democrat nemesis Chris Christie, and he has made numerous decision in Newark that many liberals would find troubling. So this is my message to our Democrat readers: Think before you vote for Cory Booker.

Booker has been against unions, in favor of school choice and charter schools, and supported most of Governor Christie’s attempts to reign in taxes at the state level, as well as the Tool Kit bills that were being pushed over the last few years.

Booker has done so many anti-left wing things that I have previously written not one, but two posts calling for Booker to switch parties and become a Republican.

Is that really representative of the New Jersey Democrat Party? Be careful, Democrats, you may not like what you get.

Special Election Day: Find Your Polling Place!

vote-buttonToday is Special Election Day in New Jersey. Unless you have been in hiding over the last few months, you know that today is our second primary day this year, and once again each party will be picking a nominee to carry its banner into the battle of the United State Senate.

Do you want to get out there and support your favorite candidate, but don’t know how or where to go? Well do not fret, Save Jerseyan, we have you covered. Just click here to go to the State’s official website for locating your polling place.

Now get out there and vote!


POLL: Is a Diverse Supreme Court Important to You?

Christie US SenateEarlier today Governor Christie made yet another appointment to the New Jersey Supreme Court, something he seems to have to do quite often since the Democrats have made a habit of delaying and even denying his previous, qualified nominees. This time, the reason for the impending vacancy is that Senator Lesniak, in partisan, “war on women” fashion, made it clear that Justice Helen Hoens would not be reaffirmed by the Democrats in the State Senate.

Christie’s latest choice for the court that is always changing laws up on us here in New Jersey is Camden Assignment Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina. Fernandez-Vina was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor McGreevey in 2004, and has been praised by both Democrats and Republicans in the past.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. put out a statement earlier today that highlighted how diverse this nomination was,

Assignment Judge Fernandez-Vina has an impressive track-record that has earned him a pair of overwhelming New Jersey Senate confirmations, appointment to the state Superior Court by a Democratic governor and resounding praise from Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Fernandez-Vina brings diversity as a Hispanic man who stands to be the only Supreme Court Justice from South Jersey

Fernandez-Vina is also registered as a Democrat, but says he is Republican. Camden County Superintendent of Elections Phyllis Pearl confirmed today that the D next to the Judge’s name was merely a technical glitch that occurred during a software switch at the Board of Elections, and that since Fernandez-Vina never votes in primaries, it was never corrected. Apparently the registration is being switched to Republican now that it has met scrutiny.

So here is my question to you, Save Jerseyans. Is a politically, racially, or geographically diverse Supreme Court important to you? Do you believe that these demographic differences make for better justice in our state? Or is the focus on what we can see when we look at Judge Fernandez-Vina, and really every nominee that gets put up for the job, damaging to the process?

Is a Diverse NJ Supreme Court Important to You? free polls 

Desperate Housewife to Campaign for Booker, Because…Why Not?


By: Brian McGovern | The Save Jersey Blog

The Booker campaign, which has essentially had a lock on the Democrat nomination for U.S. Senate in New Jersey long before Senator Lautenberg passed away earlier this year, is pulling out all the strange stops that they can in the final hours of round 1 of this very special election.

Later today, Eva Longoria, who has apparently not done anything since “Desperate Housewives” was canceled, will be hitting the stump in Plainfield, NJ because…well…why not? She may have nothing to do with government, politics, or improving the lives of New Jersey taxpayers, but then again, neither does Cory Booker’s campaign.

Booker is well ahead in the polls for both the intra and inter-party races coming up this fall,  so it is pretty safe to assume that this campaign stop will have zero impact on the race.