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?
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.”
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:
Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) usually tells it like it is, Save Jerseyans, and he’s presently demanding that Philip Gordon, Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region, apologize for questioning “[h]ow can Israel have peace if it’s unwilling to delineate a border [and] end the occupation?” in a recent speech.
“As Israel defends itself against countless rocket attacks from Hamas, it shouldn’t also have to defend itself against those in the White House,” Garrett declared in a statement released Thursday. “While the Obama administration says it supports Israel, these comments obviously stand in stark contrast to that commitment and must be retracted. My heart goes out to those who have been the victims of these attacks. I wholeheartedly support our greatest friend and ally in the Middle East as they seek to eliminate those who are perpetrating this violence.”
This latest instance of Obama Administration idiocy comes as events in the Middle East continue to spiral out of control and Israel is under attack from a punishing round of Hamas rocket assaults and threats of escalated violence. Garrett’s colleague Leonard Lance is sponsoring H.R. 4411, the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, designed to disrupt the terror organization’s financial channels.
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.
That’s you. And me, but interestingly not everyone. What did Asw. Bonnie Watson Coleman, candidate for Congress, choose to opine about in her July 4th campaign email blast?
“Equal pay” liberal mythology and Hobby Lobby’s contraception coverage. “Our country’s proud history continues to evolve daily and, in those fifty years we have made so much progress…,” Watson Coleman reflected, “but we still have so far to go to achieve fairness for everyone. Women still make .78 on the dollar that men make for doing the same job and under this Congress and the current Supreme Court we have recently had some other significant setbacks. The Supreme Court gutted voting rights laws that were designed to protect African Americans and racial minorities and, just this week, the Supreme Court ruled that employers can object to paying for birth control that a doctor prescribes.”
So please, during this weekend’s beach and bbq festivities, don’t forget to pause and remember the millions of American soldiers from the Revolutionary War forward who paid the ultimate sacrifice… for your girlfriend to get subsidized Plan B from her boss?
But is it the most inspiring choice? One worthy of your vote? Not in my opinion or, I’d hope, anyone other free-thinking individual invested our country’s future.
To put it as kindly as possible, South Jersey Machine Democrat Aimee Belgard had an inauspicious start to her candidacy, announcing before the ink on Jon Runyan’s retirement statement was cooled yet unbelievably, from all outward appearances, having given precious little forethought to the major challenges facing our nation.
It’s tempting to blame Eric Cantor’s shocking political demise on Tea Party-driven anti-immigration reform angst, Save Jerseyans, but if we were truly witnessing a wave of some sort, then Lindsey Graham (who Rush Limbaugh nicknamed “Gramnasty”) would be headed for a big law firm after Tuesday night’s results, too, but he’s not. And Steve Lonegan would be holding a press conference outside of Aimee Belgard’s campaign headquarters tomorrow morning…. but he’s not. Same goes for David Larsen. And Matt Bevin for that matter.
So what’s the “x” factor?
There isn’t one. I know, I know, complicated answers are hard for TV analysts, radio hosts, demagogues, spin masters and fundraisers to manipulate for their own ends. But the truth is what it is and I don’t see the utility in glossing over it; it also wouldn’t be fair to David Brat who, having won a race where he had only $230,000 to Cantor’s $5.7 million, he must’ve done something right. Right? Still…
Launched by men Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan in 2007, the Young Guns program is considered a boon for first-time candidates; it’s a sign that keeping CD3 ‘red’ remains a top GOP priority in 2014 AND that they’re confident in MacArthur’s ability to accomplish the task.
A second leading national congressional race analyst in 24 hours sees reason for CD3 (PVI R+1) GOP optimism in the wake of Tuesday’s primary, Save Jerseyans….
From The Cook Report‘s David Wasserman.
“NJ-03: OPEN (Runyan) (R) – South central: Burlington, Toms River Lean Republican. With former GOP Senate nominee Steve Lonegan no longer in the picture, Republicans can breathe slightly easier in this open seat. After loaning his campaign $2 million, GOP former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur easily beat the Tea Party-backed Lonegan, 60 percent to 40 percent, for the right to face Democratic Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard in the fall. MacArthur’s money and the tilt of both the district (R+1) and the national environment make him the slight favorite in November.”
At the moment, Cook places 232 House seats in the GOP column (including leaners) for Election 2014; the Republican Party presently has 233 seats in the popular chamber which, putting things into perspective, is a pretty darn good place to start. Another 27 seats are either toss-ups or lean/weak Democrat. That tells me Democrats may not have a financial incentive (or ability) to fight to flip CD3 by the fall if current trends persist and defenses pile up. TBD…
As prepared for delivery on Tuesday night by Tom MacArthur in Berkeley (Ocean County) after receiving Steve Lonegan’s concession phone call…
And I mean that from the bottom my heart. Thank you to each and every one of you who talked with your family, friends and neighbors. Who knocked on the doors, made the phone calls, and stuffed the envelopes. Who wrote letters to the editor and attended our Meet and Greets. Who forwarded the emails and posted on social media and put up our lawn signs.
The worst crime imaginable among the Republican population of New Jersey’s First Congressional District? Being outed as a fake or “Norcross Republican,” one who is registered with the GOP but secretly (or not-so-secretly) in league with South Jersey’s notorious Democrat party boss George Norcross III. The fact that his brother, state Senator Donald Norcross (D-5), stands as Rob Andrews’s anointed successor in the Democrat column does nothing to assuage fears of Norcross interference on the other side of the aisle.
Paranoia? Not entirely without basis! Read this, that and here for all the validation you’ll need of my fellow South Jersey GOP’ers deeper and darker fears.
It’s therefore not all too shocking that the two primary contenders in this year’s race for the CD1 Republican nomination – former Philadelphia Eagle Garry Cobb and local business owner Claire Gustafson – are both actively accusing one another of conspiring with GN3.
The NRA released New Jersey Election 2014 ratings on Monday (primary eve); Tom MacArthur and Steve Lonegan both earned ‘AQ’ ratings, the third highest possible grade, which the NRA describes as indicating that the politician in question is “[a] pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.”
Draw your own conclusions; then click here to view the rest of the New Jersey 2014 ratings.
The U.S. House GOP’s budget guru is weighing in on CD7, Save Jerseyans.
“Leonard Lance has helped House conservatives lead the fight against Obamacare,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said by way of a Lance campaign release. “And he has worked to advance pro-growth legislation to expand our Nation’s energy production. He is committed to reducing our debt, making common-sense reductions in spending and balancing our budget.”
“We need more principled leaders like Leonard Lance and I am proud to support his reelection to Congress,” Ryan continued. “On Tuesday, June 3 I ask that you vote to reelect Leonard Lance to Congress.”
Ryan is undoubtedly grateful for Lance’s support for his “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal back in April 2014 that ruffled some feathers in the base. For the third consecutive federal cycle in a row, Rep. Lance is aiming to overcome a primary challenge from David Larsen. The vote itself isn’t expected to be highly competitive. Larsen lost to Lance by 25-points, 56% to 31%, in a three-way 2010 primary. He fell short by a similar margin two years later in 2012 as Lance prevailed 61% to his 39%.
Tuesday’s victor will face Democrat county party chair Janice Kovach.
I think it’s extremely telling that Democrats primarily attack Republicans in their primary campaign ads whereas Republicans primary hopefuls… also attack Republicans.
Is it any wonder why we’re constantly getting our clocks cleaned at the polls?
In any event, the CD12 Democrat primary TV ad war is heating up in the final hours of the 2014 primary cycle as Bonnie Watson Coleman took to the air in the past 24 hours with this spot promising to stop the Tea Party from, essentially, killing everyone’s grandparents by stealing their benefits: