Oliver is running for Senate

Aseembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. facebook photo

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. facebook photo

The Democratic Special Primary for U.S. Senate just got a whole lot more interesting and a whole lot more competitive.

The Star Ledger is reporting that Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver has collected 1500 signatures and will file as a candidate on Monday. She will compete with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Congressman Frank Pallone and Congressman Rush Holt in the August 13 primary for the Democratic nomination to fill the Senate vacancy cause by Frank Lautenberg’s death.

Oliver, of East Orange, cuts into Booker’s base of African-American and urban voters far more powerfully than the suburban congressmen, Pallone and Holt.

In the Republican Special Primary, former GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan and newcomer Dr. Aleita Eck of Piscataway are expected to file their petitions in Trenton tomorrow.

Bayshore Tea Party co-flounders Barbara Gonzalez and Bob Gordon, former State Senate candidate Leigh-Ann Bellew and former Assembly candidate Edna Walsh announced their endorsement of Eck on Sunday evening.  Bellew and Walsh lost the GOP primary in the 13th Legislative District last week by a 80-20 margin, with the support of the Bayshore Tea Party.

Posted: June 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, Pallone, Rush Holt, Senate Special Election, Sheila Oliver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Christie Praises Lautenberg For A Life Well Lived

Governor Christie On Senator Lautenberg: I Give Him Praise On A Life Well Lived from Gov Chris Christie on Vimeo.



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Posted: June 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Frank Lautenberg | Tags: , | Comments Off on Christie Praises Lautenberg For A Life Well Lived

Senator Frank Lautenberg, RIP


U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg died of viral pneumonia this morning.  He was 89 years old.

Posted: June 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Frank Lautenberg | Tags: | 8 Comments »

Lautenberg returns to Washington to vote for gun control measures. Anti-gun legislation still fails in the Senate

220px-Frank_Lautenberg,_official_portrait,_112th_portraitU.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg returned to the Senate floor in a wheelchair today, after a six week absence due to muscle fatigue caused by cancer treatments, in order to give gun control advocates a the deciding vote in legislation that would expand the use of background checks for gun purchasers.  The legislation failed, 54-46. Sixty votes were required for passage.  Other gun control measures failed in the Senate today by wider margins.

Four Democrats voted against the background check amendment.  Four Republicans voted for it.

President Obama said, “It is a shameful day in Washington,” as family members of children killed in the Newtown, CT massacre stood behind him.

Obama, Senate Democrats, NBC, CBS, CNN, ABC, the New York Times, et al, as well as Barbara Buono and Sheila Oliver in Trenton, have been pushing to further restrict the right to bear arms since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown on December 14 of last year.

Today’s legislative failure by Obama and the left is a victory for law abiding gun owners and the 2nd Amendment.

Today could be marked as the beginning of the lame duck phase of Obama’s presidency.

Most Americans don’t care, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday.  Only 4% of Americans think guns are a major problem.  Yet Washington and the national media have been consumed with the issue for the last four months.

Gallop Guns poll


Posted: April 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Connecticut Murders, Frank Lautenberg, Gun Rights, Guns, Media, Newtown CT, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Second Amendment | Tags: , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Lautenberg ailing…..what if he retires early?

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg missed work, on doctors orders, for the entire month of March.  On Friday he released a statement saying he will not return to Washington on Monday as the Senate convenes after a two week recess, according to reports in The Star Ledger and Politico.

“I regret that I will not be returning to Washington next week as I continue  treatment for, and recuperate from, muscle weakness and fatigue. My physician  continues to advise me to work from home and not travel at this time,”  Lautenberg said in a statement issued by his office.

Lautenberg added: “I am disappointed I will not be present for the opening of  the debate on gun legislation in the Senate. It is an issue I am deeply  passionate about, and my victories over the gun lobby are among my proudest  accomplishments. I am, however, gratified that my legislation to ban  high-capacity ammunition magazines will be one of the key amendments offered to  this bill.”

Lautenberg will also miss the confirmation of U.S. Magistrate Patty Shwartz to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a nomination that was initially blocked by New Jersey’s junior senator, Bob Menendez.

“I have worked hard since Judge Shwartz’s nomination by President Obama toward her confirmation, and I am confident that she will be confirmed by a strong majority of my colleagues,” Lautenberg said.

Lautenberg, 89, announced in February that he would not seek reelection in 2014.

Should the senate seat become vacant on or before August 27, New Jersey’s election law requires that a successor be elected in the November general election.   If a vacancy occurs after August 27,  the next election for the seat would be on schedule in November of 2014, unless the governor calls for a special election sooner.  Governor Christie could appoint a temporary senator or leave the seat vacant.

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Posted: April 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

U.S. Senate Passes A Budget For The First Time In Four Years

After an all night debate, the U.S. Senate passed a $3.7 trillion budget at 5am this morning.  With four Democrats joining all the Republicans in the upper house in voting no, the budget passed by one vote, 50-49.

The Seante’s spending plan, the first it has passed in four years, increases taxes by $1 trillion over the next decade, modestly reduces projected spending and plans for continued deficit spending.

New Jersey’s Frank Lautenberg, was the only senator not voting.  Lautenberg has been absent from the Senate, on doctors orders, for the entire month of March.

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Senate | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

FDU Public Mind Poll is bad news for Frank Pallone and the politicos who want to replace him

The hopes of Middlesex and Monmouth County mayors, freeholders and legislators hoping to move to Washington in early 2015 as the newly elected representive of the 6th Congressional district were set back a bit this morning by a new FDU Public Mind Poll that shows Newark Mayor Cory Booker dominating the Democratic field to replace Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Congressman Frank Pallone has been considered Booker’s main competition for the 2014 Democratic U.S. Senate nomination among the media and political establishment.  However,  12th District Congressman Rush Holt has almost twice the support among self identified Democrats than Pallone does, according the FDU survey.

FDU surveyed its respondents cable news viewing habits, polling the trustworthiness of CNN, FoxNews and MSNBC.  Given Holt’s surprising showing, they should have surveyed how many of their respondents are Jeopardy fans.  Holt is famous for being a five time Jeopardy winner and beating IBM’s supercomputer, “Watson,” on the TV trivia game show.

Booker leads the Democratic U.S. Senate field with 50% support. Pallone got only 4% and Holt 7%. 32% of the respondents are unsure and are probably Wheel of Fortune fans.

Frank Pallone aged 30 years

Frank Pallone aged 30 years

Unless Booker becomes incapacitated running into fire, shoveling snow, or leaping a tall building in a single bound, Pallone is likely to remain in the House of Representatives until he’s Launtenberg’s age.

Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, former Edison Mayor Jun Choi and Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman best hopes for becoming a congressman is if Gerald Rivera manages to beat Booker next year in the general election and then Pallone beating Rivera in 2020. But that is not much of a hope, as FDU says Booker will beat Geraldo 52%-21%.

Posted: March 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, Cory Booker, FDU Public Mind Poll, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, Geraldo Rivera, Pallone, Rush Holt | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lautenberg will not seek another term

220px-Frank_Lautenberg,_official_portrait,_112th_portraitNew Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator, Frank Lautenberg, will not seek reelection when his term expires in 2014.

The Star Ledger broke the story with a statement from the senator:

“I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey,” Lautenberg told The Star-Ledger. “While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”

Lautenberg will be 91 when his term expires.  Recent independent poll have indicated that New Jersey voters favor Newark Mayor Cory Booker heading to the Senate.

Congressman Frank Pallone is said to be ready to challenge Booker for the Democratic nomination in 2014.   State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver have also indicated interest in the Democratic nomination.

Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik said he will not be a candidate.

TV and radio personality Geraldo Rivera is the only Republican who has publically expressed an interest in competing for the Senate seat.  State Senators Tom Kean, JR,  and Joe Kyrillos have been mentioned as possible candidates, as has Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Lt. Governor Kim Guadango, and bio-tech executive/Navy Intelligence Officer John Crowley.  New Jersey has not had a Republican in the U.S. Senate since 1974.

In a statement issued to the media, Governor Chris Christie said, “Frank Lautenberg and I have had our differences through the years, but I’ve always respected him for his tenacity, devotion to the people of New Jersey and his love for and commitment to public service. I will always be grateful for his doggedness in fighting with me and the delegation to ensure congressional passage of an aid package after Hurricane Sandy that is delivering necessary assistance to our residents. I wish him the best in his retirement.”

Posted: February 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, Frank Lautenberg | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Quinnipiac Poll: 74% approve of Christie. 68% says he deserves reelection

A Quinnipiac poll released this morning shows Governor Chris Christie’s sky high approval ratings are continuing to rise.

79% of New Jersey voters, including 70% of Republicans, approve of the verbal lashing Christie gave to House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican House over the delay in emergency funding for the Hurricane Sandy recovery. Voters approve of the overall job that Christie is doing my a measure of  74%-21%.  94% approve of Christie’s overall response to Hurricane Sandy.

But, if the election was held today, Christie’s down ballot coattails would be weak.  By 48%-39%, New Jersey voters want the Democratic Party to retain control of the State Legislature, despite the Legislature’s weak approval ratings.

Only 40% approve of the job the State Senate is doing.  37% approve of the Assembly’s performance.

30% approve of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s performance, 25% disapprove and 45% don’t know enough to say.  Only 21% approve of Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver’s performance, 18% disapprove and 61% don’t know enough to say.

In the race, or lack thereof, for the Democratic nomination for governor, former Acting Governor Richard Codey would easily win a primary over Senator Barbara Buono, the only declared candidate.  Despite Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal’s strong support, Buono would only receive 10% of primary votes.  Sweeney also gets 10%, but Codey gets 28%.  45% don’t know how they would vote.

Christie easily beats all Democratic challengers, 2-1 or better. Christie gets 35% of the Democratic vote.

In the 2014 race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator, Newark Mayor Cory Booker returns the spanking by beating Senator Frank Lautenberg 51%-30%.  Most voters like the job that Lautenberg is doing, but think he is too old.

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Barbara Buono, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, Quinnipiac poll, Richard Codey | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lautenberg Recommends Schumer’s Brother-in-law For Federal Bench

New Jersey is “stunned”

menendez-schumer-and-lautenbergNew Jersey was stunned that U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg recommended U.S Senator Chuck Schumer’s brother-in-law to be a federal judge, according to a headline in the NYPost.

I live in New Jersey and I’m not stunned.  Are you stunned?

Lautenberg  and Senator Robert Menendez recommended Kevin McNulty of Short Hills for a federal judgeship in October.  President Obama nominated McNulty for a seat on the New Jersey District bench on December 16th.

McNulty, a Director of the Newark firm, Gibbons, PC is married to Schumer’s sister Fran.

The Post says that McNulty was a last minute choice of Lautenberg who had been actively considering other candidates and that the choice was made to keep New Jersey’s senior citizen senator in the good graces of Schumer who will help him stave off a movement within the Democratic party to challenge his nomination for reelection in 2014.

Lautenberg will be 88 years old in January.  He’ll be 90 on election day 2014.  96 at the end of another term, should he be reelected and survive.

Lautenberg’s staff denied that politics was involved with the McNulty appointment.  The senator didn’t even know McNulty was related to Schumer when his name first came up for a judicial appointment in 2009.  Maybe he forgot.

Schumer’s staff denied that he had anything to do with the nomination.

The point of the story seems to be that Lautenberg is running for another term.  Not even Frank Pallone is stunned by that news. 

The other point would be that a candidate for the bench other than McNulty was stunned. Oh well.

The good news is the McNulty appears to be qualified to be a federal judge.  The Schumer-McNulty’s do not appear to have bought political influence.  McNulty has made on $2000 in federal campaign contributionssince 2000; $500 to Jon Corzine’s senatorial election campaign and $1500 to his firms PAC.  Fran Schumer gave another $500 to Corzine in 2000.

Posted: December 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »