Monday, October 23, 2006

New Jersey News and Notes

  • New Jersey welcomed some heavy hitters from the US Senate to campaign on behalf of their respective party's Senate candidate here in the state: John McCain for Junior and Hillary Rodham Clinton for Bob Menendez. Clinton and McCain are widely viewed as favorites for their party's presidental nomination in 2008. Stay tuned for that.

  • With all that's riding on the outcome of the Senate race, it's disconcerting that NJ's the voting system is under scrutiny. Aparently there are a whole host of concerns ranging from less-than-competent poll workers, potential voter intimidation and (of course) the paperless electronic voting machines.

  • Speaking of the Senate campaign, the NY Times ran a piece this AM about Junior's relative lack of real world experience. It was once said that Junior "had never demonstrated any leadership skills beyond organizing a canoe trip down the length of the Danube River after graduating from Dartmouth." Judging from Baby Kean's paltry legislative record in Trenton, that statement is still operative.

  • Switching to the House races, Viola Thomas-Hughes faces long odds to overcome incumbent Frank LoBiondo, but she insists she's in it to win it. Besides said Viola, "Just because someone has served for a long time doesn't mean that person is unbeatable. While my opponent has been in Congress, we've seen tax breaks for the wealthy and no change in the minimum wage at the same time members of Congress are giving themselves a raise... . The poor and the working class are getting left behind."

    I should add that Congressman Rob Andrews had nothing but kind words for Thomas-Hughes when I interviewed him for a podcast (available later today) noting that she has an articulate and progressive vision for her district. No word yet if that endorsement from Andrews comes with finanical help, but Andrews is a team player and indicated his willingness to possibly assist Viola's campaign (and Rich Sexton's, as well) when we chatted on Friday.

  • On that front, Congressman Frank Pallone has the second biggest campaign warchest in the entire House of Representatives, a jaw dropping $3.1 million. If my math is correct, Rep. Pallone could donate $100,000 each to candidates Stender, Gay, Sexton, Hughes, Wyka and Aronsohn and he's still be just about the biggest endowed Congressman in Washington. The mind reels, I'm sure. Anyway, here's what's at stake for New Jeresy if Congress turns blue.

  • Switching gears, election season also means flu season. Have you gotten your flu shot yet? The last thing we need it a bunch of democrats getting sick on election day, so get protected.
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