By Joshua A. Sotomayor-Einstein | The Save Jersey Blog
Save Jerseyans, you may recall that in June I had the pleasure of debating Dorit Goikhman, Vice Chair of the NJ Libertarian Party and her party’s nominee for the House of Representative in CD 6, in a forum sponsored by the Hudson County Republican Club (HudsonRepublicans.com). It was a great debate and the questions we asked each other and were asked by the audience were challenging and intellectually provocative.
I’m all about building a big tent GOP family with libertarians inside the Republican Party despite my many reservations with the dominant libertarian approach to foreign policy, so I recently asked Dorit to share with the Save Jersey community a little bit about herself, why she is running, and her campaign.
The 26 years old attorney and Morganville native had a lot to say. Enjoy…
Perhaps. The esteemed D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals made huge waves on Tuesday morning, Save Jerseyans, when a three-judge panel that the language of the (Un)affordable Care Act prevents states from providing subsidies to residents of states who declined to establish their own independent insurance marketplaces from the federal exchange.
Thirty-six of fifty U.S. states fall into that category including our own New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie repeatedly vetoes attempts by the Democrat legislature to establish a state-based exchange.
“It is implausible to believe that Congress gave the IRS discretion to authorize $150 billion per year in federal spending, particularly when Congress had directly spoken to this issue,” the Halbig v. Burwell plaintiffs successfully argued. “Major economic decisions like these — indeed, any decisions granting tax credits — must be made unambiguously by Congress itself.”
Who would have thought that one of the most conservative and small-government-favoring Republicans that New Jersey has seen in years would be four months away from a shot at joining like minded individuals such as Justin Amash and Thomas Massie in Congress?
Over the objections of citizens who urged them not to restrict their 1st Amendment Rights and to avoid expensive litigation, the Marlboro Township Council unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits the placement of temporary political signs on public property and rights of way, limits the time before and after an election that signs may appear on private property and rights of way adjacent to private property, and regulates the size of signs and the distance they may appear from each other on private property.
At the request of Councilman Frank LaRocca, the ordinance was amended to eliminate the imposition of a 90 day jail sentence for violating the ordinance. Candidates, Committee Chairmen, Campaign Treasurers and private property owners now face fines ranging from $100 to $1250 if signs appear more than 45 days before an election, 7 days after an election or if signs promoting the same candidate are posted within 50 feet of each other on the same property. The total square footage of all political signs on any one tax lot must not exceed 16 square feet.
Matthew Rasmussen, an attorney representing the Marlboro Republican Committee told the council during the public hearing prior to the adoption of the ordinance that it contained numerous “constitutional infirmities, some of them fatal” and urged the governing body to defeat the ordinance in order to avoid expensive litigation that they would certainly lose.
Aimee Belgard (D, NJ-03) and Bill Hughes, Jr. (D, NJ-02) are having enough trouble gaining traction this cycle in their respective swing districts, Save Jerseyans. The last thing they needed today? A full-throated endorsement from Nancy Pelosi, one of Congress’s most polarizing figures, in a published national interview:
“Let’s go to New Jersey, Amy Belgard. She’s really terrific. She was in before the current incumbent got out of the race. We have [Bill] Hughes in that race up there against [Rep. Frank] LoBiondo. I don’t know how that one is going. But I’ve been to a number of fundraisers with Amy Belgard, because she comes over to our events in Philadelphia, where we have a number of good candidates there.”
Pelosi might as well have cut a check to the NRCC for the mailer/web ad/TV spot which will, almost assuredly, feature her quote. She’s that toxic in Toms River, Mt. Laurel, Egg Harbor Township and every other South Jersey point in between.
Republicans were rightly appreciate though not quite in expectation of the formal donation. “Aimee Belgard just received the kiss of death with this latest endorsement from Nancy Pelosi,” opined NRCC Spokesman Ian Prior. “New Jersey families now have confirmation that if Belgard is sent to Congress she will be a reliable vote for Pelosi and her liberal agenda.”
Cory Booker (D-Twitter), a potential contender for the 2016 Vice Presidential short list, recently teamed up with Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), a potential 2016 Presidential Candidate to introduce (and at the same time make a pretty large political statement) the REDEEM Act (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment). The Act targets the United States’ criminal justice system in regards to non-violent crimes.
Non-violent crimes, as Paul points out, is about the war on drugs; not the type of non-violent crime where some sort of theft or other crime that physically violates the rights of another individual are at odds.
Yard signs are often as controversial as the politicians that they advertise, Save Jerseyans. Yes, they’re one of the clearest physical manifestations of free speech, but many residents also view them as indistinguishable from litter when they’re left to clutter intersections and bypass ramps for months after the voting ceases.
Is one Jersey Shore town going too far in seeking to control yard signs? To the point of limiting the right of opposition groups to oppose the majority party?
That’s the contention of some Marlboro Republicans who oppose an ordinance slated for consideration by town council on July 17th. The comprehensive amendment to the municipal code reportedly backed by oft-mentioned higher office aspirant and occasional Christiecrat Jon Hornik (I’ve re-posted it below for reading at your leisure) heavily regulates the placement of “temporary” yard signs ahead of elections (e.g. Christie/Guadagno 2013), and some detractors say a broad reading could impact free speech in the borough by design.
Caveat to this understandable presumption: George Norcross III “invites” you to help his brother.
Then all bets are off, Save Jerseyans.
That’s why Harry Reid will reportedly visit Cherry Hill on August 4th (h/t Matt Friedman) not to stump for Cory Booker, but to attend a fundraiser for Donald Norcross, the Democrat power broker’s brother and a sitting state senator seeking to claim Rob Andrews’s vacated House seat for himself by fending off a challenge from former Eagle Garry Cobb.
One of the major complaints cited by Republican observers of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign? He wasn’t very comfortable discussing his impressive track record of public philanthropy and private charity. That made it all-too-easy for Democrats to smear the successful businessman as a cold, robotic millionaire unconcerned with the plight of hard working Americans.
NJ-03′s Tom MacArthur, himself a well-heeled former executive who’s considered to have an early advantage in what is arguably New Jersey’s only seriously competitive 2014 House race, is determined to avoid that pitfall as evidenced by his first general election TV spot, “Integrity,” released on Friday:
MacArthur (center back) and supporters walk in Riverton 4th of July Parade
Another major institution of political prognostication is recognizing a decidedly pro-GOP trend in NJ-03, Save Jerseyans; this time, it’s “Pure Toss-Up” to
“Barack Obama won the district twice, so this is the type of district Democrats have to win in order to creep closer to the majority,” opined Nathan L. Gonzales, Deputy Editor of The Rothenberg Political Report, in a report released Thursday, “[b]ut their challenge is indicative of how difficult this cycle has been so far.”
Few serious observers think Democrat Freeholder Aimee Belgard’s comically lame “click and paste” campaign is gaining traction against Republican Tom MacArthur in a district that’s only gone Democrat once since Reconstruction despite recent demographic shifts in Burlington County that should, in theory, benefit Dems.
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) raked in $411,281 in 2014′s second quarter, Save Jerseyans, and now enjoys $1,562,459 cash on hand down the home stretch.
“With less than four months to the election, our campaign is raising the bar in accessibility and outreach,” the Lobiondo campaign boasted in a press release. “South Jersey residents are no stranger to seeing Congressman LoBiondo in their communities at church BBQs or firehouse fundraisers for our first responders. Now they will be able to interact with his campaign on their time via their mobile devices and social media. Congressman LoBiondo continues to be humbled and grateful to his long-time supporters for their continued financial and electoral support.”
Lobiondo’s Democrat opponent Bill Hughes, Jr. claimed just $342,199 in his war chest as of the prior reporting period; he has yet to announce his latest tally.
Governor Chris Christie has formally weighed in on this year’s U.S. Senate contest, Save Jersey, via a statement issued by the Bell campaign:
“New Jerseyans have made a great choice in electing Jeff Bell as our candidate for the U.S. Senate. Jeff has proven to be a consistent and strong voice for promoting the important fiscal policies and pro-growth agenda that our country so badly needs, and I am proud to support his candidacy for the United States Senate. I look forward to the spirited campaign ahead as Jeff, his campaign team, and supporters prepare for election day this fall.”
The endorsement itself it’s a surprise; what remains to be seen is the extent to which Christie will engage his home state’s Senate contest in a year when his RGA Chairmanship keeps him on the road raising money for governor’s races.
Average Americans are shutting down for the long-holiday weekend but the political class is just warming up, Save Jerseyans. Officious statements, soaring speeches, patriotic parades and memorial services are a part of the job description on the 4th of July. This is also a midterm year, in case you’ve forgotten, and we actually saw an endorsement come across the wires on a hazy, humid Independence Day Eve, a time when most campaigns are trying to bury news.
“I voted for Jeff in the Republican primary and have known and respected him for more than three decades, including his remarkable Senate race in 1978 and when he helped me develop my economic program in the 1981 campaign for Governor,” Governor Tom Kean, Sr. recalled in a Thursday afternoon statement released by Jeff Bell’s U.S. Senate campaign, recalling Bell’s legendary grassroots victory over liberal Republican Senator Clifford P. Case.
State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1) took a pass on a CD2 run against Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ2) this year, Save Jerseyans, leaving his party’s chances for a New Jersey Democrat House pick-up in the less-than-capable hands of Bill Hughes, Jr., scion of a political family led by his father, former Congressman Bill Hughes.
I say less-than-capable because Hughes has $342,199 on hand, hardly an inspiring amount of cash for a Democrat challenger in a PVI D+1 district where the multi-term incumbent boasts a better than one million dollar advantage. Hughes will likely post a less-than-inspiring finish in November barring a major Lobiondo slip-up or a dramatic reversal of the national climate trajectory (we just found out that President Obama is solidly upside down statewide at the moment, so he’s likely even less popular in the redder reaches of South Jersey).