Congressman Frank J. Pallone, Jr. Since losing the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate to Cory Booker in a special primary, New Jersey’s longest serving Democratic Member of Congress has gone off the rails with bizarre rants is defense of ObamaCare. As the healthcare plan proves to be increasingly unworkable and unpopular, Pallone’s credibility will tank.
Pallone’s once formidable campaign war chest of roughly $4 million is down to $1.2 million after the special primary, as of the September 30th FEC reports. That $1.2 million is not as high as it might seem, as the congressman historically burns through about $1 million per year in “campaign” expenses during years when he doesn’t have to face the voters. Given that his seat is considered “safe,” he’ll have a tough time competing for campaign dollars with candidates who are in districts considered “competitive.”
There is a talk of an Asian-American from Middlesex County who is willing to spend $1 million of his own money to unseat Pallone. It will take a guy like that to exploit Pallone’s obvious vulnerability.
Tom Kean Jr. Kean overplayed the best hand dealt to New Jersey Republicans since Jim Florio’s toilet paper tax, Chris Christie’s overwhelming popularity, and lost. He picked a fight with Senate President Steve Sweeney and thought he knew better than Christie’s strategists how the Republican legislative campaign should be waged. His only winning option was to defeat Sweeney’s reelection bid and pick up at least another two state Senate seats. He failed on all counts, not winning even one Senate seat.
The three Senate seats Christie’s team wanted to target were lost by Republicans by a combined 5,375 votes, while Kean spent precious resources trying to win in three South Jersey districts, including Sweeney’s, that he ended up losing by a combined 22,522 votes.
Kean survived Christie’s attempt to replace him as Senate Minority Leader, but looked like the weak “trust fund baby” that Sweeney calls him when his father, the former Governor, complained in the press for two weeks about how Christie treated his son.
Now Kean Jr is Sweeney’s bitch and Kean doesn’t like it. Sweeney cut the Republican’s funding for staffing and distributed those reduced funds the way he wanted, not the way Kean wanted. Kean is whining to the press that Sweeney’s actions are “a threat to democracy.”
Sweeney is not likely to let up on Kean. Why should he? Some anonymous Republicans are saying Christie should intervene. That would make Kean look even weaker and more ridiculous than he does now.
New Jersey voters and taxpayers don’t care about Republican Senators’ funding for staffing or the internal politics of the Senate. They care about their property taxes and jobs. Kean appears out of touch and petty to be whining to the press about Sweeney’s tactics as if they are a catastrophic event.
Check back tomorrow for more losers, including Vin Gopal and the Bayshore Tea Party Group.