The NJDSC Week In Review for November 4, 2011
Welcome to the latest installment of the NJDSC's week in review. Here's a look back at some of the news from this past week and toward the end, some of the upcoming events around the state next week:
- Chairman Wisniewski appeared on New Jersey Now hosted by Brenda Blackmon where he discussed New Jersey's legislative elections and politics. Check your local listings for when the show will air in your area on WWOR-TV Channel 9 in the New York metropolitan area.
On the Trail
- Get Out The Vote for New Jersey Democrats: Find a campaign near you.
- PolitickerNJ: Featured Races.
- NJ Spotlight on the candidates in LD-1.
- Press of Atlantic City Endorses Whelan in LD-2: "The Legislature needs more people like Whelan, an earnest representative more interested in policy than politics. In this election, Whelan is the better candidate and deserves the opportunity to continue representing the voters of the district."
- NJ Spotlight: 2nd Legislative District candidates.
- Video: Election Day is this Tuesday, the time to act is now!
- In LD-2, Assembly candidate Damon Tyner tells Atlantic County residents why they should be pulling the lever for him on Election Day. (Video)
- NJ Spotlight on the candidates in LD-3.
- Gloucester County Times: Democrat ticket in 3rd says their records are strong.
- The Courier Post endorsed Sweeney and Riley in LD-3.
- Gloucester County Times: 4th District incumbent Democrats willing to work with Christie if it saves taxpayer dollars, but cuts need to be tamed.
- In LD-4, Gabriela Mosquera is fighting to get South Jersey back to work. (Video)
- Courier Post endorses Madden and Moriarty.
- NJ Spotlight on the candidates in the 5th Legislative district.
- Courier Post: Norcross, Wilson Fuentes in the 5th.
- Gloucester County Times: In 5th district, stick with Dems.
- Courier Post: Beach, Greenwald and Lampitt in 6th.
- Burlington County Times endorses Conaway and Singleton.
- Blue Jersey: LD-7 Legislative debate.
- NJ Spotlight on the Assembly race in District 10.
- NJ-11: Senate Candidate Ray Santiago's Seabrook Interview. (Video)
- Politifact gives Republicans a Pants on Fire in LD-11:Vin Gopal targeted in GOP attack ad for New Jersey Assembly District 11
- NJ Spotlight on the candidates in LD-12.
- Home New Tribune endorses Greenstein, DeAngelo, Benson in LD-14.
- In LD-14, Connie Carella Dalton is a small business owner and trusts Dan Benson to help create a friendly climate where businesses like hers will thrive. (Video)
- Times of Trenton: Jobs a key issue in 15th District Assembly race.
- NJ Spotlight looks at the candidates in LD-16.
- Maureen Vella, Candidate for State Senate, 16th District.
- Marie Corfield, Candidate for State Assembly, 16th District.
- PolitickerNJ: GOP mailer beyond the pale?
- NJ Spotlight looks the Senate race in LD-17.
- The Home News Tribune and Courier News endorsed Buono, Diegnan and Barnes in LD-18: Diegnan has been a leader in safety for student athletes, with measures aimed at teens’ cardiac health and concussions that are designed to save lives. Barnes and Diegnan together sponsored a property tax reform measure that would cap real estate taxes based on income – an important measure that would help senior citizens stay in their homes.
- NJ Spotlight looks at the Senate race in the 19th District.
- NJ Spotlight on the candidates in Legislative District 23.
- NJ Spotlight looks at the candidates in the 24th Legislative district.
- The Express Times: New Jersey's 24th District Senate race features little common ground.
- The two candidates running for the 24th District Senate seat took the stage at the Newton Theater before a crowd of about 150 people to debate the issues of the campaign.
- NJ Spotlight on the Candidates in Legislative District 31.
- NJ Spotlight: Legislative District 34.
- The Record endorsed Nia Gill for Senate and Sheila Oliver and Thomas Giblin for Assembly in the 34th District.
- NJ Spotlight on the campaign in LD 35.
- In the 35th District, the Record endorsed Nellie Pou for Senate and Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly for Assembly.
- The Record endorsed Democrats in LD-36: The Democratic ticket in the 36th is one of the strongest around, long on energy and initiative. The Record endorses Paul Sarlo for Senate and Gary Schaer and Marlene Caride for Assembly.
- NJ Spotlight on Assembly Race: Legislative District 37.
- The Record endorsed Weinberg, Huttle and Johnson: "The slate has a strong record of advocating for good-government laws and important social issues. They have sponsored bills to improve access to government meetings and records, reform the campaign contribution law, stop bullying and restore aid to a treatment program for children with disabilities. They are sensible, informed and keenly interested in the concerns of their constituency."
- The Record endorsed Gordon and Eustace in LD38.
- Making a difference for others in the community is the motivation behind Tim Eustace's decision to run for the Assembly. (Video)
- Sayreville Democratic Party asks Republican incumbent to take a lie detector test.
- The Huffington Post: Bergen County Democrats have released a commercial showing video of Bergen County Clerk Lisa Randall, a former state banking commissioner, in places other than her office on Oct. 13 and Oct. 18, PolitickerNJ.com reports. The trips include visiting her family's law firm, playing with a dog and entering and exiting a Bottle King liquor store.
- Montclair Democratic Party Chairman Brendan Gill invited area residents who lost power during the weekend storm to Montclair Democrats’ campaign headquarters to recharge their cell phones or laptops, have some coffee or just come in front the cold.
Republicans Attempt to Lower Expectations Ahead of Election Day
- PolitickerNJ: Democrats have begun to push back against the GOP drive to lower expectations. Democratic incumbents are in dog fights in two districts where polling shows only slight margins between the candidates, Democrats say, so how is it the governor claims victory with nothing more than preserving the status quo?
- Brigid Harrison on the GOP lowering of expectations: “To argue that in the wake of Gov. Christie’s “mandate,” his national reputation and all of the fuss that has been made about him and his policies, that maintaining the status quo of the Democratic controlled Legislature is a win is really disingenuous.”
- NJ 101.5: Most if not all non-partisan political pundits agree there is almost zero chance Republicans can gain control of either the State Senate or the General Assembly this election cycle.
New Jersey Sports Betting Referendum Question
Don't forget to vote on the statewide ballot question. The following question will appear on the ballot to be voted on in the General Election on November 8:Question: Shall the amendment to Article IV, Section VII, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, agreed to by the Legislature, providing that it shall be lawful for the Legislature to authorize by law wagering at casinos or gambling houses in Atlantic City and at current or former running and harness horse racetracks on the results of professional, certain college, or amateur sport or athletic events, be approved?
Interpretive statement: A "yes" vote on this question would allow the Legislature, when permitted by federal law, to legalize the placing of bets on certain sports events at casinos, racetracks, and former racetrack sites. Currently, federal law only permits this type of betting in Nevada and Delaware. It also occurs through illegal betting operations. If legalized in New Jersey, bets could be placed on professional, college, or amateur sports or athletic events, except that bets could not be placed on any college sports or athletic event that takes place in New Jersey or in which a New Jersey college team is playing.
Christie "Fiddling With The Constitution To Score A Few Political Points"
- Star Ledger Editorial: When a wedge politician calls for a constitutional amendment two weeks before an election, you can be pretty sure that his intention is to win votes, not to build a better government. Gov. Chris Christie’s call for an amendment on judicial pensions is a case in point. There is only one possible motive: the coming election. That’s why he announced it at a press conference, with Republican candidates from swing districts on either elbow. And that’s why he is lashing out at judges, calling them elitists, and suggesting it is corrupt for any judge to rule on a pension issue that affects the judiciary. (Interesting that he sees no similar problem when he vetoes a millionaire’s tax that will clearly affect his family for years.) Demonizing judges is ugly. Fiddling with the Constitution to score a few political points is worse.
A Populist Target For The Governor - New Jersey's Multimillionaires
- Times of Trenton Editorial: State legislative leaders have wisely chosen to dismiss the call for a constitutional amendment to resolve the issue as the appeal works its way through the courts. A courtroom is the proper venue for this dispute — and we’re fortunate to have a system that puts a premium on the best reasoning rather than the loudest ranting. It’s wholly inappropriate to cast Judge Feinberg as a villain. If the governor is in need of a tailor-made populist target, he might consider the late, lamented surtax on New Jersey’s multimillionaires.
Christie Should Support Clean Air Rule To Protect Out Of State Polluters
- NJ Today: Dems Urge Christie To Support EPA Rule To Fight Air Pollution.
- Senator Lautenberg: “We are fighting in Washington to keep pollution from other states from hurting New Jersey families, but it undercuts our efforts when our Governor says he doesn’t know whose side he is on,” stated Lautenberg. “Governor Christie has a simple choice: protect New Jersey or protect the out-of-state polluters who are degrading our air and threatening our health. Governor Christie must break from the Tea Party effort to gut the Environmental Protection Agency and do what is best for the health of our children and families.”
- Senator Menendez called on Governor Christie to reconsider his position regarding an EPA measure that would protect New Jersey from toxic winds generated by polluting power plants located in other states: “I hope you will ultimately decide to support the EPA’s rule so as not to put the interests of out-of-state polluters or the economic interests of neighboring states ahead of the public health or economic interests of New Jerseyans,” Menendez said in a letter sent to the Governor today.
- Star Ledger Editorial: "This is a day to fly the flags at half-staff. Because hundreds of people in New Jersey will die prematurely every year if Christie gets his way. Many more will suffer from heart attacks and asthma. That’s not melodrama, unfortunately. The EPA has ordered a cleanup of power plants in 27 states, most of them to our west and south. The order will cost New Jersey almost nothing because our power plants are already much cleaner than most. But the benefits will be huge."
- Senators Lautenberg and Menendez announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released $72.1 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in New Jersey. The program provides critical assistance to low-income families who struggle each winter to pay their energy bills.
- Senator Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned the vote by UNESCO in Paris to make Palestine a full member of the organization, the first international organization to do so since September, when the Palestinians applied at the UN Security Council for full UN membership. A total of 107 member countries voted in favor, 14 against, and 52 abstained. The United States voted against the UNESCO measure, considering it a distraction in finding a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Congressman Rothman praised the decision by the United States to withdraw its funding from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after UNESCO chose to admit "Palestine" as a Member State.
- Senator Lautenberg introduced House Resolution 3324, or the “Real Education for Healthy Youth Act” into both chambers of Congress on Wednesday. The bill would require student instruction on both abstinence and contraception. Information taught to youth and young adults will have to be “medically accurate and complete,” meaning the information provided to students will have been verified and supported by scientific research. This bill also prevents federally funded programs from withholding “life-saving” information about the efficacy of using condoms and other contraceptives correctly and consistently.
- Roll Call: Senator Menendez’s kids are making a series of adorable campaign videos in which much is learned about the New Jersey Democrat.
- Senator Lautenberg hailed a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services report that shows more than 83,000 Medicare beneficiaries in New Jersey have saved an average of $686 this year on prescription drugs through improvements made by the new health care reform law. By closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole, the health care reform law, known as the “Affordable Care Act,” has saved beneficiaries in New Jersey more than $57 million this year. The new law will continue closing the donut hole over the next nine years to provide more relief for seniors who are struggling with the high cost of medication.
- Senator Menendez spoke out on efforts by the Republican leadership to block passage of another piece of the American Jobs Act that would put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work and boost the nation’s competitiveness by investing in our country’s aging transportation infrastructure. The Rebuild America Jobs Act, an infrastructure bill, would provide $50 billion in immediate investments to improve roads, bridges, rails, and aviation and $10 billion to create a new infrastructure bank to leverage private funds for future projects. While a majority of the Senate voted in favor of the measure, it failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to move the bill forward – as again, not a single Republican voted in favor of a job-creating measure.
- Congressman Sires has continued his campaign to get the Congressional Medal of Honor for Hoboken soldier killed in Vietnam.
- Congressman Andrews announced the successful completion of a cleanup and restoration project that put 330 local people to work and eliminated harmful agents detected at Gloucester City’s William Flynn Veterans Sports Complex. Through Andrews’s support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), this environmental cleanup project received $25 million from the federal government to put people back to work to make our neighborhoods safer.
- The Record: Congressman Pascrell notched a victory in his effort to protect a grant program for community policing after 79 House Republicans joined nearly every Democrat on a House motion seeking the highest possible funding for local police grants and highway projects.
- Congressman Holt, a long-time critic of X-ray scanners, responded to concerns raised during Congressional testimony: "I would hope that the TSA wants to deal with facts, not just perceptions," said Holt, who in April co-sponsored a bill to ban all scanners until the National Academy of Sciences deemed them safe. "No one should be subjected to radiation unnecessarily."
- Congressman Payne introduced H. Res. 452 to recognize the key role that labor unions play in ensuring a strong middle class by advocating for more equitable wages, humane working conditions, improved benefits and increased civic engagement of everyday citizens. Labor unions have been the voice for everyday Americans – from consumer protections to health, safety and civil rights – the labor movement has fought to enable workers to negotiate on more equal footing with their employers.
- Congressman Rothman welcomed the Honorable Lee Myung-bak, President of South Korea, to the House Chamber to address a Joint Meeting of the US Congress. This was the fifth time in our history that a President of South Korea has addressed a Joint Meeting of the US Congress
Under the Dome
- The deadline to apply for the homestead and senior freeze property tax programs has been extended.
- Assemblyman Conaway touted legislation that would allow local governments to create set-aside programs for business enterprises owned by or that employ veterans.
- Senator Weinberg addressed Gov. Christie's critical statements on NJTV, as well as the Governor's recent dust-ups with judges and the NJEA. (Video)
- Senator Whelan announced plans to introduce legislation that would improve communication between utility providers, municipalities, the state and consumers during major catastrophic events including hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornados, floods, heat waves and snow and ice storms that cause service interruptions.
- Senator Gordon gave his support to a plan to reopen the shuttered Pascack Valley Hospital, saying the proposal would expand health care options for North Jersey residents while also creating new jobs.
- Assemblywoman Wagner is pushing legislation that would augment criminal background checks for school bus personnel to include all adults given responsibility for the safety of school children, closing a loophole that has left bus aides free from scrutiny.
- With the new Aqueduct Casino in Queens drawing lines as long as football fields, Assemblyman Caputo stressed the need for legislation he is sponsoring that would bring video lottery terminals (VLTs) to the Meadowlands Race Track and let voters decide if they want more gaming in Bergen County.
- Assemblyman McKeon on Christie's plans to privatize state parks: “Any private partnerships must be in sync with our longstanding goals of preserving New Jersey’s great beauty and history with dignity..."
- Assemblywomen Wagner and Joan M. Voss (both D-Bergen) today encouraged senior citizens and homeowners to take advantage of the extended deadline to apply for the Homestead Benefit Program and the Senior Freeze Program property tax relief programs.
- Assemblyman Conaway issued a multimedia package documenting the 10th Annual POW-MIA Remembrance Ceremony. (Video)
- Assemblywoman Jasey honored Girl Scouts in Maplewood-South Orange Troop 20816 have earned the Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn, for their work renovating a cabin at The Oval.
- As arguments began in Mercer County Superior Court on Friday over the inequality of New Jersey’s civil union law, Assemblyman Gusciora called on State Attorney General Paula Dow to stop defending inequality and stand up for civil rights in New Jersey.
Support the New Jersey Democratic State Committee
We will continue to have updates about news from our elected officials and the many campaigns across the state. There will certainly be more to come next week. Have a great weekend.
John Wisniewski, Chairman
New Jersey Democratic State Committee