Q Poll: Booker winning primary and election. Lonegan has large lead in GOP primary

The good news for Congressman Frank Pallone is that he is no longer running last in the independent polls for the Democratic nomination to replace the late Senator Frank Lautenberg in Washington.  The bad news; he’s losing to Newark Mayor Cory Booker by 42 points in the Quinnipiac Poll released this morning.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1068 registered New Jersey voters from July 2-7.   The did not survey likely voters.

Booker leads the Democratic field with 52%.  Pallone has 10%, Congressman Rush Holt 8%, and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver has 3%.

In the Republican primary, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan leads Dr. Alieta Eck 62%-5% is 28% undecided.

Dr. Eck is virtually unknown, with 91% saying they haven’t heard enough about her to form an opinion.

In the October 16 special election, Booker is leading Lonegan 53%-30%.

Pallone beat Lonegan 38%-34%. Holt beats Lonegan 37%-36%.  Lonegan beats Oliver 37%-35%.

Posted: July 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Primary Election, Quinnipiac poll, Senate Special Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Quinnipiac Poll: Booker, Christie have large leads

wake up callIn poll conducted over the weekend before Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver got into the U.S. Senate race, the Quinnipiac Polling Institute reports that Newark Mayor Cory Booker has leads of over 40% against Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt for the Democratic Special Election nomination for U.S. Senate.

In the gubernatorial race, Governor Chris Christie is maintaining his 30 point lead over State Senator Barbara Buono, the Democratic nominee.  Buono’s name recognition as risen from the high twenties to the low forties, but as voters get to know her, they don’t like her. Buono’s favorability rating is negative 18-23 percent, with 56% not knowing enough about her to express an opinion.

Presumptive GOP nominee for Senate, Steve Lonegan, trails Booker by 54%-27%.   Independents favor Booker over Lonegan 50%-25%.

Lonegan is within 10 points of Frank Pallone, and is virtually tied with the Monmouth County Democrat among Independents, leading by 29%-28%.

Lonegan loses to Holt by only 5% and is also tied with Independents against Holt.

Posted: June 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Quinnipiac poll, Senate Special Election | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Front Page News?

The big story in yesterday’s Asbury Park Press was the political spat between southern Jersey lawmakers and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg over the proposed Rutgers-Rowan merger.  Large photos of State Senate President Sweeney and Lautenberg covered most of the front page.

In case you haven’t been following, Governor Chris Christie has proposed reorganizing Rutgers, Rowan and the University of Medicine and Dentistry.  Rutgers-Camden would become part of Rowan. Rowan would get a medical school associated with George Norcross Univeristy Cooper University Hospital.  Robert Wood Johnson Hospital would become part of a medical school at Rutgers-New Brunswick, and it will be a while before there are more UMDNJ indictments.

MMM hasn’t been following it all that much.  Our young legal eagle friends at Save Jersey don’t like it because they think it will devalue their law degrees if they apply to a firm that doesn’t know the difference between Rutgers-Camden and Rutgers-Newark.  And then there’s the two idiots who don’t like the deal…that former Navy SEAL that ran for Assembly who got into it with Christie at a Town Hall meeting and Lautenberg.

If not for the idiot SEAL and the idiot U. S. Senator nobody from New Jersey who isn’t directly affected by the merger would know about it, except for news junkies like us.

Lautenberg wrote to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan alleging the proposed merger is improper and copied U.S. Attorney General Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder and New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney Paul “New Jersey is not corrupt” Fishman, thereby implying that the merger is criminal. 

Having already used “idiot” and “numb-nuts” with great fanfare, Christie’s team dubbed Lautenberg’s letter as “outrageous,” “uninformed,” and “bizarre.”

None of that was front page newsworthy.  It took Norcross and Sweeney launching  Sweeney’s 2014 campaign for Launtenberg’s job to make the front page of the APP.

Wednesday morning Sweeney emailed a scathing open letter attacking Lautenberg for opposing the merger and for his failure as a U.S. Senator to bring home Washington money for New Jersey’s higher education institutions.  Several other south Jersey lawmakers, including two Republicans, signed with letter with Sweeney. Norcross later sent a statement calling Lautenberg a “great Senator for north Jersey” who has failed southern New Jersey to the same email list.

The Sweeney/Norcross statements are not really about the Rutger-Rowan merger.  The real message is that Lautenberg’s career is coming to an end.  That message has been confirmed by the silence of Democratic leaders who have staid out of this fight.  U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Assembly Speaker Sheilia Oliver, Democratic State Chairman John Wisniewski, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker have all been silent.  No one is backing up Lautenberg. 

The message to Lautenberg…prepare for retirement… just don’t quit and let Christie appoint your replacement.  The message to Democratic donors…don’t give to Lautenberg’s 2014 reelection campaign.

So, the point of the last 460 words is that The Asbury Park Press made the 2014 race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate front page news yesterday.  That wouldn’t be so bad if there were not a U.S. Senate election between two relatively unknown candidates, U.S. Senator Bob Mendendez and State Senator Joe Kyrillos this year.

Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 U.S. Senate Race, Rowan Universtiy, Rutgers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Trenton Twilight Zone

Republican Governor Chris Christie proposed pension and benefit reforms that would have resulted in a $300 million budget savings in the coming fiscal year and that actuaries said would have corrected the system.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Democrats, gave Christie a “compromise” that results in a $9 million budget savings in the coming year and that actuaries say doesn’t go far enough.

Christie and the Republicans in the legislature are celebrating.  The media is calling the bill a landmark reform.

The Democrats and their union benefactors are having a civil war.

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.


Posted: June 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Legislature, NJ State Legislature, Public Employee Unions, Reform Agenda, Sheila Oliver, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments »

Transformative Leadership Vs The Status Quo

By Art Gallagher

During a conference call with the media after taping the Oprah show on Friday Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Governor Chris Christie and facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg each committed themselves  to transforming Newark’s school system into and symblol of educational excellence that will become an example for the rest of the country.

Booker declared, “Failure is no longer an option,” for Newark’s school children.   He pledged that he was putting everything on the line, including his career, to create a school system based on accountability and results that will give Newark’s children a educational foundation for success.

Christie said that he was committed to each child in Newark receiving a world class education and that the current results of the Newark school system are unacceptable.  He said the three men came together,” because of our belief that education is a civil right and our absolute commitment to each other that we are going overcome whatever obstacles get put in our path to be able to provide a better and brighter day for the children for the City of Newark and hopefully by example, for children who are being failed  by their school systems across America.”

Zuckerberg said he was interested in shining “a really bright spotlight on Newark, to make it an educational hotspot for education across the nation that people can look to see what is possilble.”

The initial response from New Jersey’s political and educational establishments has been petty and cynical. From Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver to Education Law Center’s David Sciarra to Newark Teachers Union President Joseph Del Grasso to Senator Richard Codey, the defenders of the status quo reveal their self interest and that of their constituencies to continue to profit from a failed system that costs New Jersey residents obscene amounts of money and costs Newark’s children their future.

The Republican establishment is complicit with the defenders of the status quo by their silence.  Since Christie’s inauguration in January my inbox has been filled with press releases from Republican leaders voicing their support of each of the Governor’s bold initiatives.  Since word of this initiative leaked out last week….nothing.

The biggest obstacle that Booker and Christie will face in transforming Newark’s school system is cynical resignation. Things in Newark have been so bad for so long that we really believe nothing will make a difference.  That is why nothing does.

If you live in New Jersey the condidtion of Newark and its school system impacts your life, past, present and future.  Suburan bliss may numb the pain, except on the days your property taxes are due.

If Booker, Christie and Zuckerberg fail in their project to transform Newark’s schools, we all fail.

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Education, Newark | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Trenton Democrats Need To Get Busy On Christie’s “Tool Kit”

The Democratic leadership of the State Legislature went along with Governor Chris Christie in capping NJ’s property tax increases at 2%  last July with the understanding that they would get to work on and pass the governor’s “tool kit” which enables municipal leaders to responsibly reduce the cost of local government in September.

Rather than focusing on municipal government reform,  the Democratic leadership is focusing on the Christie administrations failed “Race to the Top”  application for $400 million in federal education dollars.  Nothing that the Democrats discover in their “Race to the Top” circus will bring NJ the $400 million the Christie administration applied for.  That $400 million is not coming, just as Frank Pallone’s $400 million to count fish is not coming.

Trenton Democrats need to put policy over politics.  They can hold hearings on the Race to the Top snafu after they have passed the tool kit.  They will get just as much political mileage and just as much money (none) from Race to the Top hearings held in December or January as they will from hearings held now.

Failure to pass the tool kit will lead to massive municipal layoffs and service cuts throughout New Jersey while property taxes increase by 2%.   This week, just in Monmouth County, we have seen two clear examples of why the tool kit is necessary.  In Belmar a mediator awarded the police department a 15% salary increase while Highlands announced that they might layoff 12 of their 53 employees, including three police officers.  There will be literally hundreds of stories like this throughout the state if the legislature doesn’t pass the tool kit legislation before municipal leaders start crafting their 2011-2012 budgets.

Maybe that is what Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver want to happen.  Maybe their focus is on next year’s state legislative elections and they think they have a better chance of keeping control of the legislature if New Jersey’s municipalities are in chaos next year with rising crime and garbage piling up on the streets because only the most highly paid municipal employees are still working while their former junior colleagues are collecting unemployment or moving out of state to take lower paying government jobs elsewhere.

Sweeney and Oliver wouldn’t do that, would they?  Will it work if they do?  I don’t think so.

Posted: September 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Legislature, Pallone, Sheila Oliver, Stephen Sweeney, Tool Kit, Trenton Democrats | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Trenton Democrats Need To Get Busy On Christie’s “Tool Kit”