The Lance for Congress campaign announced its 2014 GOP Primary debate schedule on Monday; incumbent U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ07) will face off with his 3-time primary opponent David Larsen on two separate occasions:
TUESDAY, MAY 27: Radio debate hosted by WRNJ radio (1510 AM, FM 92.7, and FM 104.7). 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information visit wrnjradio.com.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 28: Debate hosted by the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce. 8 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn, 36 Valley Road in Clark. For more information visit http://business.gatewaychamber.com.
Many commentators, both inside and out of New Jersey, have questioned why so few Republicans have piped up in support of Governor Chris Christie throughout the ongoing “Bridgegate” and “Sandygate” scandals.
Here’s one major but often overlooked reason: New Jersey’s Republicans went into the 2013 election with high hopes that an expected Christie landslide over hapless Democrat Barbara Buono would sweep in downballot Republicans up and down the state as happened when Tom Kean beat Peter Shapiro by a 70-29 margin in 1985.
We tested our Hispanic engagement strategy in the New Jersey gubernatorial election with positive results–winning one county (Passaic) that had never gone Republican because of our Latino staff and offices making inroads in the community.
PolitickerNJ reports that the U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s office sent subpoenas duces tecum (a documentation-seeking demand) to both the Christie for Governor 2013 reelection campaign as well as the New Jersey State Republican Committee (NJ GOP), presumably in connection with the ongoing Bridgegate probe initiated earlier this month:
“’Patton Boggs has been retained to represent the Christie for Governor re-election campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee in connection with investigations being conducted by the US Attorney’s Office and the legislative committee,’ said Patton Boggs attorney, Mark Sheridan.”
Twenty other subpoenas were sent to Christie governmental staffers – former and present – prior to Tuesday’s inauguration.
We’ll get to the losers a little bit later, Save Jerseyan, but for now (as well as for the sake of wrapping up a long, busy year on a “positive” note), here are the thirteen people/groups of people who undoubtedly walked away from 2013 with the most to be happy about in the New Jersey political world:
(1) Chris Christie
Duh, I know, but it bears repeating that Chris Christie is now indisputably the most powerful Republican in the United States and, if the latest polls are any indication, well-positioned to upset Hillary Clinton. At the moment. A lot might happen (and go wrong) over the next few years. Any number of decisions including the DREAM Act could come back to haunt him. A scandal like Bridgegate could derail his own dreams or, despite his team’s best efforts, he might fight himself over-exposed and vulnerable to another candidate who hasn’t yet come into his or her own on the national stage. But that’s all speculative. Today, Chris Christie is undeniably the man to beat for both sides of the aisle. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where a politician could’ve had a stronger 2013.
$500 is hardly commensurate to a smeared reputation, and it would’ve be nice for LD1 voters to judge Albano and his ticket on this information BEFORE the election but hey, good riddance to bad rubbish come January, right?
As Christmas approaches and snow blankets the Garden State, most of my fellow Save Jerseyans probably are thinking of the November elections as an event long in the past.
However, in one legislative district, things just refuse to end and, as Republicans looking for elusive legislative progress, we should be in no hurry. The battle for the final seat in the extremely close 38th is actually heating up.
After having a slim lead on Election Night, Rochelle Park Mayor Joe Scarpa trailed incumbent Tim Eustace by 54 votes after absentees and provisional were counted. On Tuesday night, there was cautious optimism among Scarpa backers that the GOP challenger may erase that deficit once again.
A quick Election 2013 recount update for those of you retaining some stomach lining:
Fading Republican hopes of a successful legal challenge in LD2 were dashed today when incumbent Assemblyman John Amodeo conceded, Save Jerseyans.
“I congratulate Mayor Vince Mazzeo on his successful campaign and wish him luck in his first term in the New Jersey Assembly,” Amodeo told members of the press on Tuesday. Asm. Amodeo lost the recount of his disgustingly-close legislative race with Democrat challenger Mayor Vincent Mazzeo of Northfield on December 3rd. Amodeo ultimately lost by 39 votes, or 1 more than he had lost by prior to the recount.
It’s a somewhat different story in terms of trajectory at the opposite end of the Garden State Parkway where GOP challenger Mayor Joe Scarpa of Rochelle Park cut his Election Day deficit from 54 to 36 votes in the initial stages of a recount. Whether he can find enough votes to overtake Tim Eustace remains a challenge. More on that later.
At the moment, the NJ GOP is grappling with a net gain of zero after last month’s legislation elections. My stomach lining is GONE in case you were wondering…
The all-out Democrat push to wound Governor Chris Christie ahead of 2016 is already well underway, Save Jerseyans, but the New Jersey Dems think they’ve finally bloodied the waters with the unlikeliest of all scandal fodder: traffic jams.
You can click here to get caught up on the substantive details. The allegations boil down to one question: did the Port Authority get political and retaliate against the Democrat Mayor of Fort Less for refusing to endorse Governor Christie’s bid for reelection?
For those of you without much North Jersey commuting experience, the lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge constitute a vital traffic artery up that way.
The man reported to be at the center of it all is former Livingston Mayor David Wildstein. Most of our readers have never heard the name, but a few veteran New Jersey political blog patrons will recall that Wildstein served as editor of PolitickerNJ for many years under the pen name “Wally Edge,” a nom de plume derived from the Republican Governor and U.S. Senator who loomed large during the Nucky Johnson era of Garden State politics.
The unofficial results of the Assembly recount between incumbent John Amodeo and challenger Vincent Mazzeo are in: this time, Mazzeo defeated Amodeo by 39 votes, 25,166 to 25,127, just one vote more than the 38 vote pre-recount margin of victory for the Northfield Democrat.
To the surprise of everyone (and the horror of Republicans), the LD2 story has emerged as Election 2013′s most controversial subplot. ]
Governor Chris Christie’s post-election attempt to replace Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr with Senator Kevin O’Toole was not a matter of Christie doing Senate President Steve Sweeney’s bidding, as has been widely perceived, but the culmination of a months long battle over differing strategies over how to wage the legislative campaign.
That Christie was unable to persuade Senate Republicans to dump Kean as their leader in favor of O’Toole was viewed by the media and political observers as a shocking act of defiance of the governor by the caucus viewed as obedient followers. But insiders say the united Republican front portrayed to the public masked an ongoing dispute between Kean’s and Christie’s political teams that resulted in Christie’s landslide reelection yielding no pick up of seats in the Senate.
Over the recently-concluded Thanksgiving holiday, Save Jerseyans, you might have missed it when District 2′s Assemblyman Chris Brown stirred up some controversy on Turkey Day Eve.
While visiting Harry Hurley’s radio show, Asm. Brown had the audacity to say that Chris Christie and George Norcross had an understanding that included Christie ignoring down-ticket candidates in South Jersey, particularly when it came to fundraising, an imbalance which Brown believes made a decisive difference on November 5th.
The reaction was predictable. Hurley immediately rebuked Brown. The Republican leadership backlash was swift. Brown quickly backtracked. District 8′s Assemblyman Chris Brown (no relation) issued a statement clarifying that he was not the Chris Brown who criticized Chris Christie’s campaign strategy. The Governor even personally chastised both Brown and his vanquished running mate John Amodeo by name during Monday’s presser.
I am here to defend Chris Brown. Not his own campaign strategy or that of his running mate, but specifically his observation concerning a lack of engagement in South Jersey’s legislative races from the top of the ticket.
Sometimes the margin makes it inconsequential insofar as the final result is concerned, Save Jerseyans, but sloppy, antiquated or in some cases downright corrupt vote tabulation procedures are costing the GOP in close contests.
The 2012 presidential election provided its own examples, but you’ve also been following the drama down in LD2 right here at Save Jersey.
That’s not all. Check out the latest development in Passaic County (h/t Bergen Record):
“Sherine El-Abd, the superintendent, said volunteers from the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization have spent the weeks since Election Day combing through voter logs and checking signatures beside ballots that were cast. Although that probe is not complete, El-Abd said Republicans have identified “more than 10,000” ballots that contain purported voter signatures that bear little resemblance to the handwriting found next to voters’ names in previous elections.”
If that’s the case, then it’s easy to see why Republican Assembly candidate Joseph Scarpa in LD38 (who lost by 54 votes with one Passaic town in his district) thinks a recount is warranted. The usual convenient Democrat response is that “every vote should be counted.” Of course! If it’s actually a vote. Isn’t that the one million dollar question? A fraudulent vote does just as much to disenfranchise citizens as does a non-vote.
There’s no easy solution. A legal fix to tighten up voting standards (including a common sense voter ID law) is unlikely with a Democrat legislature, but if we’re ever going to win these tight ones in the future, Save Jerseyans, the GOP needs to immediately and vastly expand and improve its Election Day poll monitoring operations AND work much harder to get Republican county clerks elected. We’re getting killed out there and it’s a threat to our democratic process that should concern everyone regardless of party affiliation…
We’ve got a better chance of seeing peace in the Middle East before an end to the Bergen GOP’s seemingly endless and destructive civil war, Save Jerseyans.
The latest skirmish: he stopped short of endorsing an alternative candidate in next year’s County Executive race, but in an email to Bergen County Republican leaders this week obtained by Save Jersey, BCRO Chairman Bob Yudin placed the blame for 2013 freeholder board setbacks squarely at the feet of incumbent Kathe Donovan.
Yudin zeroed in on an 11th hour email blast from Donovan urging supporters to back Freeholder Maura DeNicola for reelection but making no mention of GOP running mates, Freeholders John Mitchell and John Felice, only the latter of whom got through with a narrow margin; Mitchell lost of 0.0014%. For those of you who haven’t been following along, DeNicola and Donovan both opposed a controversial county police merger initiative endorsed by the rest of the current board including Mitchell and Felice.
“It is my opinion, if Kathe had advocated everyone, all three Republican Freeholders would have won,” Yudin concluded. He also attached both Donovan’s endorsement email and a robocall script to his own email to support the Yudin faction’s thesis.
The full text of Chairman Yudin’s email is below the fold…
As the state’s political leaders gather in A.C. for the League of Municipalities convention, Save Jerseyans, counsel for John Amodeo have asked for a recount in the super-close LD2 Assembly race, and a hearing will likely take place by week’s end in Atlantic County Superior Court.
A race won by less than four dozen votes is bound to endure a recount although GOP sources on the ground aren’t very optimistic. Still, it’s pretty obvious that something is rotten in Denmark, so were I on the losing end of this one, I’d demand every bit of accountability available to me. We’ll keep you in the loop…