My phone was BLOWING UP on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, Save Jerseyans, over something that the Lieutenant Governor (Kim Guadagno) said in an address to the New Jersey Bankers Association.
“No matter how hard the Republicans fight his year, we will not be taking back the Legislature,” Guadagno reportedly told the audience. “We’ll take some seats, I hope. We’ll save some seats, I hope. But not enough to stop the legislation being passed that will ruin the state and turn the clock back eight years.”
Several Republican friends — most of whom in the interest of full disclosure weren’t big LG fans in the first place — were upset that she broached this taboo subject in public.
Me? I’m disinclined to fault someone for being honest.
But there’s another part of the story which far too few Republicans in this state (2017 GOP candidates included) are willing to discuss publicly save through vague inferences. I’m referring to the WHY taking back the legislature from the Democrats is nearly impossible until the next round of redistricting, and hint! It ain’t “the map.”
Still need another hint?
Two recent headlines should do the trick.
First, check out this“New Jersey’s GOP raised $31,543 in the first three months of 2017, but after spending close to $425,000 in Bridgegate legal bills last year, still has nearly $40,000 in debt, according to the report,” Brodesser-Akner reported.
This is nothing new, sad to say. Christie-era NJGOP spending on stuff that has NOTHING TO DO WITH ELECTING NEW JERSEY REPUBLICANS is a long-standing problem. Remember the mailers paid for by NJGOP last cycle to support ballot question #2? The “gas tax” referendum? That money could’ve been spent on any number of down-ballot-races in 2016… or perhaps even to help rescue Scott Garrett? But it wasn’t. Can’t blame a “map” for that.
Then there’s this nugget from earlier in April: the LD1 GOP Assembly candidate dumped by Cape May County Republicans from their ticket over the contents of a released recording. “Let me tell you right now: You should [have sex with] me,” the GOP candidate, Brian McDowell, reportedly told a young lady at a local watering hole. “It would be really good. Listen, you never know.”
LD1 “WAS” a top New Jersey GOP pick-up opportunity — we snagged a seat there back in 2013 but it only last one cycle — before Chris Christie & Co. decided ceding South Jersey to the regional Democrat Machine was politically expedient. Now? They’re clearly not even bothering to vet candidates for what should be a major candidate position (this McDowell gentleman has had multiple past run-ins with the law).
Did McDowell’s history fail to disqualify him earlier in the process due to incompetence? Conspiracy? Or a little bit of both? This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, recently, in a battleground district (see the 2015 Cappola meltdown).
I hope you’re getting a brutally clear picture of what’s going on here, Save Jerseyans, and we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg (I’ve written plenty, for example, regarding how the gas tax issue was mishandled, or the many missed opportunities in Northern N.J. districts).
The bottom line: YES, N.J. Republicans will not be taking back the legislature in 2017, and the Democrats who’ve raised taxes well-over 100-times will remain in charge. The legislative map and how it’s drawn, however, has precious little to do with the LD1 screw up or reckless NJGOP spending.
It has everything to do with Chris Christie’s objectively terrible stewardship of the New Jersey Republican Party.
The NJGOP is a neutered, whimpering dog right now… by design.
This IS the Republican Governor who recently rallied union members to defeat members of his own party who voted against a tax increase.
So who with a pin or vanity license plate — or a chance at succeeding Chris Christie — has the intestinal fortitude to do what needs to be done and come out and say it?