The political landscape in New Jersey is ripe for a historic shift this November. But a shift in New Jersey’s representation in Washington is not likely to happen because the New Jersey Republican Party is wholly unprepared for the opportunity. The nincompoops who lead the NJGOP gave up on the U.S. Senate race in January. They gave up on picking up seats in the Congressional Delegation in 2012 when the new congressional map was drawn.
According to a Fairleigh Dickinson Univeristy Public Mind Poll released this morning, President Barack Obama’s approval rating among New Jersey registered voters is a dismal 36%. 49%, including 21% of Democrats and 45% of Independents, disapprove of the President’s job performance. Senator Cory Booker is 8 points below the magic number of 50% that an incumbent needs to be comfortable in a reelection race. Those are the kind of numbers any opposition party/candidate would pray for 8 weeks before an election.
It’s not that Booker is invincible, as was widely thought prior to the Special Senate Election last October. He is beatable. Steve Lonegan exposed the fallacies of the Booker myth and Patrick Murray documented that Booker’s support is shallow. Had Washington Republicans not followed Senator Ted Cruz’s lead to shut down the government in October and had State Comptroller Matt Boxer released his audit of Newark’s City Government which exposed millions of wasted taxpayer money and management practices that encourage fraud in September instead of this week, Lonegan might have pulled off the upset that Booker deserved.
There’s nothing wrong with 4 of the 5 Republicans reported to be looking to challenge Booker. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Senator Minority Leader Tom Kean JR, Senator Mike Doherty or Assemblyman Jay Webber would all serve New Jersey well in the U.S. Senate.
That Darryl Isherwood included Assemblyman Chris Brown is his list of 5 Republican of potential candidates to challenge Booker is more of a reflection of Isherwood’s sense of humor than it is of Brown’s viability as a candidate for any office in the future. After blaming his Assembly running mate John Amodeo’s 39 vote loss on Governor Christie, Brown will be lottery winner lucky if he is even re-nominated for his Assembly seat in 2015. “What will Brown do after politics?” MMM asked a senior Republican strategist after the gaffe. “We’ll find out soon,” the strategist said with a laugh.
(Correction: As a commenter pointed out, Isherwood was referring to a different Assemblyman Chris Brown (the LD 8 Brown) than the one who blamed Christie for his running mate’s loss. My mistake makes my overall point. MMM readers are more informed than the average voter. How many knew there was even one Chris Brown in the Assembly prior to the LD 2 Brown’s gaffe? There isn’t a member of the legislature with the statewide name ID to compete with Booker~ Art)
The “Rahm Emanuel Never Waste A Good Crisis Award” goes to Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Mike Dohertyfor their political courage in proposing that funding for rebuilding the Jersey Shore post-Super Storm Sandy be contingent on the elimination of beach badge sales to pay for beach safety and maintenance. Sweeney gets the bonus Kitten, kitten , kitten award for his unwillingness to discuss his proposal with anyone other than stenographers and the Asbury Park Press Editorial Board.
The “Cory Booker Profile In Grandstanding Award” goes to Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik for his multiple TV appearances promoting his community’s Cops in Schools program.
Senator Mike Doherty wants the Jersey Shore rebuilt with high-rise condos
State Senator Michael Doherty (R-Warren) would go a lot further than eliminating beach badges from the Jersey Shore if he had his way. Doherty says that the pre-Sandy Shore was a failed economic model reminiscent of the 1950’s Catskill Mountain bungalow communities and that our coast should be rebuilt in the image of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Ocean City, Maryland and Destin, Florida with high-rise condos with pools, free beaches and high end merchants.
Photo Credit: Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Buerau. Click for larger view.
Doherty has proposed legislation that would prohibit coastal communities that accept state or federal funds to rebuild from selling beach badges or otherwise charging the public for access to the shore. The bill would also require municipalities to provide free restroom facilities from Memorial Day through Labor Day annually.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has signed on as a prime co-sponsor of the bill. That means it is not likely to be buried in committee never to see that light of day.
“It is likely that state and federal taxpayers will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to repair and replenish New Jersey beaches that were washed away during Hurricane Sandy,” said Doherty. “Considering the massive public resources that will be directed at rebuilding many New Jersey beaches, it only seems fair to ensure that everyone have the opportunity to enjoy free access to the beaches they will support and help rebuild with their tax dollars.”
Sweeney said, “Where taxpayers are paying for beach restoration, they shouldn’t be taxed a second time just to walk on the sand. As New Jerseyans, we are all in the recovery and rebuilding process together. That means we should all be able to enjoy the reopening of our state’s greatest natural resource together, too.”
MMM called Doherty and Sweeney to ask how beach maintenance, life guards and police would be paid for under their plan. Sweeney hasn’t gotten back to us, but Doherty gave us an earful.
The Record’s Herb Jackson reports that U.S. Senator Robert Menendez has raised over $10 million in special interest contributions for his 2012 reelection campaign. A look at the Senator’s FEC reports reveals that $5.3 million of that money was raised last quarter and that he had $6.9 million in cash on hand on September 30th.
Despite Menendez’s weak poll numbers, whoever the GOP nominates to challenge him will have a heavy lift. New Jersey voters are split 40-38 percent over whether the Hudson County poll deserves another term, according to Quinnipiac, yet they favor him 43-39 percent over an unnamed Republican.
Most All of the Republicans vying for the nomination are unnamed in the minds of New Jersey voters. Joe Kyrillos, Mike Doherty and Anna Little are names well known in political circles and to readers of this site, but are not households names throughout New Jersey. At the pace Menendez is raising money, the GOP nominee will likely need to raise $25 million or more to compete.
Anna Little’s fliration with the Senate race has many Republicans shaking their heads. Others are scratching their heads. Little’s FEC reports indicate no money raised in 2011 for her announced rematch against Frank Pallone. Yet Little has been sending fund raising letters,”paid for” by Anna Little for Congress 2012, the expenses for which are not reported, and is traveling the state and the country seeking support and singing God Bless America.
Should Little actually enter the Senate race and forsake a potential rematch against Pallone, her candidacy in the primary will ironically benefit State Senator Joe Kyrillos. Little would split the hardline conservative/Tea Party/Loneganite vote with State Senator Mike Doherty, making what is already expected to be a smooth ride for Kyrillos, should he choose to seek the nomination, even easier than previously anticipated.
Former Highlands Mayor and former Freeholder Anna Little is considering a primary run for the GOP nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in 2012.
An announcement posted on TPATH, a website run by Tea Party activist Dwight Kehoe, declared that Little is running:
Breaking News – (TPATH) Anna Little, one of New Jersey’s most dynamic supporters of the Constitution and smaller government, has set her sights on the US Senate race in 2012.
Anna announced today that her battle to unseat one of Obama’s most ardent supporters, Robert Menendez, will run hand in hand with the battle to save America by making Obama a one term President. She intends to use all her resources, energy and considerable enthusiasm towards that goal.
The Anna Little For Senate Campaign Will be holding its first campaign meeting this coming: Tuesday
November 15, 2011
Little’s spokesman Larry Cirgnano told Politickernj that the 2010 6th Congressional District nominee is “leaning” towards the Senate race.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos has established an exploratory committee for the Senate nomination and is considered the front runner by GOP insiders. State Senator Michael Doherty and former Roxbury Mayor Tim Smith are also expected to compete for the nomination. Jets owner Woody Johnson has been rumored to be considering a run.
Ian Linker is the only declared candidate for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate race against Senator Robert Menendez next year. If Linker gets enough signatures to get on the primary ballot he is likely to face State Senators Joe Kyrillos and Mike Doherty in a race for the nomination. Former Roxbury Mayor Tim Smith is also acting like a potential candidate.
We had a good conversation with Ian, challenging him on why he is starting his political career at such a high level and on his fund raising ability. I’ll say this for Linker, the $3950 he’s raised so far is more money than Anna Little has raised in her fledgling quest for a rematch against Frank Pallone.
I don’t believe that Linker has a remote chance to be the nominee, and I told him so. I even bet him dinner at any restaurant in the country, including travel expenses, that he would not win the party line from any county in the state for the primary. He took the bet (after the show via facebook), which proves to me he’s gotten in over his head. I’m looking forward to dinner at Latitudes in Sunset Key on Linker.
Yet, I give Ian a great deal of credit for entering the arena and fighting to make a difference. I hope his passion survives the ordeal he has chosen.
Listen to the first half hour of the show. Maybe I’m wrong about Linker.
During the second half hour Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace joined us with an enlightening and informative conservation that included comments on the utter lack of representation Monmouth County gets in the House of Representation from Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, the difference Irace and his colleagues on the Oceanport governing body were able to make, with the help of Senator Jennifer Beck, regarding the establishment of the Fort Monmouth Redevelopment Authority, and the predicament New Jersey’s Horse Racing Industry and Monmouth Park in particular face in these challenging economic times.
Irace makes a compelling case for VLT’s, slots, in the Meadowlands.
Enjoy the show.
Next week, Tuesday the 30th between 5PM and 6PM, our guest will be political strategist Mike DuHaime. DuHaime is to Governor Christie as Karl Rove was to President George W. Bush and David Axlerod is to President Barack Obama.
We’ll be talking about the 2012 presidential race. You won’t want to miss that show which will be broadcast on WIFI AM 1460 and on the Internet here.
The LaRossa and Gallagher: Real Jersey Guys On The Radio Show featuring former Senator Dick LaRossa and Art Gallagher is sponsored by Repatriot Radio.
Ian Linker is the only declared Republican candidate for the nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in the 2012 election. The attorney who resides in Bergen County wrote an Op-Ed piece on education reform that goes a step further than State Senator Mike Doherty’s proposal in bringing equality to New Jersey’s education funding.
Linker is embracing the the New Jersey Parental Rights Act, legislation sponsored by Morris County Assemblymen Anthony Bucco and Michael Patrick Carroll which would grant scholarships or vouchers directly to parents of school age children to use at the school of their choice. Linker is also calling for the elimination of teacher tenure and wasteful duplication is school administration.
Former Senator Dick LaRossa and I will be talking to Linker about his proposal and his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace is probably the best known councilman in Monmouth County, if not all of New Jersey. Without a doubt he is the best know councilman in Trenton. Unlike many politicians, the media savy Irace does not use his social media and public relations skills to promote himself. He uses the media to generate support for and interest in the multitude of challenges that the small Borough of Oecanport has faced since he has been an elected official. From Fort Monmouth to Monmouth Park and the Horse Racing Industry, Irace is an effective and outspoken leader for the interests of Oceanport. He has stood up to and often frustrated powerful special interests and Trenton insiders.
Irace will be joining us at 5:30 for the second half hour of the show.
The LaRossa and Gallagher: Real Jersey Guys On The Radio Show is broadcast every Tuesday from 5PM till 6PM on WIFI 1460 AM and on the Internet here. The show is sponsored by Repatriot Radio.
You are welcome to join the show with your questions and comments. The numbers to call in our 609-447-0236 and 609-447-0237.
The primary election for the Republican nomination for United States Senate in 2012 now appears to be a contest between two members of the New Jersey State Senate, Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County and Mike Doherty of Warren County. Kyrillos served in the State Assembly from 1988 until 1991 and in the state senate since then. Doherty served in the State Assembly from 2002 until 2009 and in the State Senate from 2009 until the present.The contest has been depicted in the media and in some political quarters as a race between a conservative Doherty and a moderate Kyrillos. This is, however, a most inaccurate portrayal.
Joe Kyrillos is a solid Reaganite conservative. By contrast, Mike Doherty is a Ron Paul conservative. Doherty supported Ron Paul for President in the 2008 election.
Senator Doherty has emphasized as his defining conservative issue his Fair School Funding plan, which he has introduced in the State Senate in the form of a bill. Under this legislation, each school district would receive state aid based upon a per pupil amount, multiplied by the number of its students.
The Doherty plan would clearly be held to be unconstitutional by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Under its Abbott v. Burke line of cases, the court has shifted a disproportionate amount of state aid from suburban districts to the state urban “special needs” districts. Senator Doherty’s legislation is effective in making a point, but ineffective in making change.
By contrast, in 1992, Senator Kyrillos proposed a constitutional amendment which would have been far more effective in preserving suburban state school aid. This measure would have effectively superseded Abbott v. Burke and limited the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Supreme Court to intervene in state school funding matters.
Specifically, the Kyrillos amendment would have prohibited the New Jersey Supreme Court from requiring that any school district be funded in an amount in excess of 120 percent of the state per pupil average. The amendment was considered at a joint Assembly-Senate public hearing in July, 1992.
The liberal media in New Jersey harshly criticized the Kyrillos amendment as having an anti-minority impact. At the public hearing, urban school officials and activists denounced the amendment as racist. In the face of these attacks, the amendment failed to get the necessary support of 24 Senators and 48 Assembly members for placement on the November, 1992 ballot.
In sponsoring and advocating this amendment however, Joe Kyrillos demonstrated both his judicial conservatism and political courage. In the election of that same year of 1992, Kyrillos ran against incumbent Frank Pallone for the U.S. House of Representatives. Yet he still sponsored the amendment, refusing to sacrifice his judicial conservatism as an expediency of the election.
The judicial conservatism of Joe Kyrillos was also much in evidence on November 14, 2006. On that day, he was the only member of the State Senate to vote against granting tenure to New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia.
Earlier in 2011, Justice LaVecchia issued the court opinion requiring the state to give the urban 31 districts an additional $500 million. In assessing the Kyrillos vote on Justice LaVecchia’s tenure back in 2006, one must understand that he would oppose the granting of tenure to any justice he perceived to be legislating from the bench rather than strictly interpreting the law.
Joe Kyrillos has a connection to the presidency of Ronald Reagan deeper than that of any other current elected official in New Jersey. He began his career as a special assistant to the then Secretary of the Interior Don Hodel during the second term of the Reagan administration.
After the completion of the Reagan administration, Hodel later served as president of the Christian Coalition from 1997 until 1999 and as president of Focus on the Family from 2003 until 2005. The social conservatism of his mentor, Don Hodel influenced Joe Kyrillos as well. It was much in evidence during the second term of the Whitman administration, when Kyrillos sponsored a constitutional amendment banning all third trimester abortions.
The tax reduction and pro-business ideology of Ronald Reagan has constituted the core of the conservative, free market philosophy of Senator Joe Kyrillos. He was a leading advocate of the Whitman income tax cuts. Most significantly, Kyrillos made history by his authorship and sponsorship of the New Jersey Business Employment Incentive Program, which gives rebates to companies who create a substantial number of new jobs.
Kyrillos also demonstrates his appreciation of the Reagan style by his effectiveness in securing the passage of legislation. While he is loyal to his conservative principles, he works well with senators of different political parties and divergent ideologies. Joe Kyrillos has demonstrated the ability to not only talk conservative change, but make it as well.
In writing this column, I do not mean to imply in any way that Mike Doherty is not a conservative. I simply want to correct any misperceptions about Joe Kyrillos. Far from being a moderate, he is the ultimate Reaganite conservative.
I must make a full disclosure, however. Joe Kyrillos is a good friend of mine. That is something of which I am most proud.
Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush. Region 2 EPA consists of the states of New York and New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and eight federally recognized Indian nations. Under former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, he served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. He currently serves on the political science faculty of Monmouth University.
State Senator Mike Doherty will be our guest for the first half hour of this afternoon’s LaRossa and Gallagher: Real Jersey Guys Radio Show which will be broadcast live on WIFI AM 1460 and on the Internet here from 5PM till 6PM. The show is sponsored by Repatriot Radio.
The Borough of Oceanport past a resolution in support of the plan last week. Councilman Joe Irace said,
“Our School District is one of the many treated unfairly by the State of New Jersey when school aid dollars are appropriated. According to Senator Mike Doherty, our Borough gets back $0.01 for each dollar we send to Trenton.
If all school tax revenue collected by New Jersey were to be distributed equally to each student, it would equate to $7,481 per student. Given our enrollment projections, adoption of this plan would result in an increase in State school, aid of $4,122,031.00 annually. This change would provide meaningful tax relief for Oceanport residents immediately.”
During the second half hour former State Senator Dick LaRossa and I will be discussing the negotiations happening in Washington over the federal debt ceiling and taking your calls.
If you would like to be part of the show, call into 609-447-0236 or 609-447-0237.