Kean unveils N.J. gun control and mental health compromise bill

assetContent2TRENTON — Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. unveiled a new bill Friday that aims to ends a tug-of-war between Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney over gun control and mental health legislation. Kean (R-Union) described the draft legislation as a more comprehensive bill that combines the original requirement that police be alerted when… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: October 16th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Gun Control, Gun Rights, Guns, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Republican Legislators Unlikely To Override Christie

The eyes of New Jersey’s political junkies on are Trenton this afternoon to see if the public rift between Governor Chris Christie and the Kean family will lead to the first override of a Christie veto.

The Pig Gestation Bill is on the Senate calendar for an override vote this afternoon.   The bill, which would prohibited NJ pig farmers from caging gestating pigs in a manner such that they can not move or lay down for most of their lives passed both houses of the legislature overwhelmingly last spring.  Christie vetoed the bill, noting that the State Supreme Court upheld the Humane Standards that the State Board of Agriculture and  Department of Agriculture have set and enforced in accordance with the 1995 Administrative Procedures Act. In his veto message, Christie said he was confident the Board and Department would continue to monitor the humane treatment of gestating pigs, and that bill would inappropriately criminalize a practice that is not opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association nor the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

Christie critics and skeptics have said that the governor vetoed the bill with an eye toward the 2016 Iowa Republican Presidential Caucuses.   Iowa is the largest producer of pork in the United States.

Don’t bet on an override, warn legislators who spoke to MMM on background.

As a matter of policy, since they voted for the bill last spring, the Republicans we talked to have learned that it is the Democrats supporting the bill, not Christie, who are playing presidential politics. The bill would not impact the quality of life for New Jersey pigs. No one knows of at New Jersey pig farmer that uses the gestation crates that the bill would prohibited.

As a matter of politics, New Jersey Legislative Republicans are united with the governor, the rift over this move to oust Tom Kean, JR as Senate Minority Leader notwithstanding.  They are not going to weaken Christie’s negotiating position with the Trenton Democrats over a bill that has no impact on what is happening in New Jersey.

“Things are back to normal,” one legislator said, “The governor underestimated the trust, respect and affection the Senate Caucus has for Tom (Kean, Jr), and mishandled that situation. But when your friend makes a mistake, you don’t trash the friendship.”

Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Assembly Republicans, Chris Christie, Legislature, NJ Democrats, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature, Trenton Democrats, Trenton Republicans | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Republican Legislators Unlikely To Override Christie

Not business as usual in Trenton: How Republican senators bucked Christie

Not business as usual in Trenton: How Republican senators bucked Christie (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — The word from Gov. Chris Christie’s office on the first floor of the Statehouse was heard loud and clear Thursday on the third floor, where Senate Republicans met in their caucus room overlooking the Delaware River. Time was up for Senate…

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Posted: November 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Not business as usual in Trenton: How Republican senators bucked Christie

Breaking: Possible shake up in GOP Legislative Leadership



The statehouse press corps is buzzing news on twitter about a possible change in the GOP leadership in the New Jersey State Senate.

Current Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean JR has been fighting to keep his leadership post since the election results…no pick ups in the Senate…on Tuesday.  Kean released a letter signed by 11 of the 16 Republican Senators pledging their support for his reelection as leader to the press yesterday.  Governor Christie declined to comment about the possible change in  the Republican leadership in the Senate, but said that the he is “committed to Steve Sweeney” being President of the Senate.

Within the last half hour, The Star Ledger’s Matt Friedman and PolitickerNJ’s Matt Arco both tweeted that Kean entered Christie’s office and left a few minutes later, looking unhappy.  Senator Joe Kyrillos entered Christie’s office 5 minutes after Kean left.

Neither Kean or Kyrillos would speak to reporters.

The Republican Senate Caucus is meeting to elect a their leader for the next legislative session this afternoon.

Kean’s relationship with Sweeney is not good, as Sweeney resented Kean targeting the Senate President seat.  Sweeney responded by keeping all Republican sponsored legislation off the calendar.  Since Tuesday’s election, Sweeney has been publicly taunting and teasing Kean for not gaining any ground for Republicans when the Governor was reelected by over 20%.

Christie needs Sweeney’s cooperation in order to get anything accomplished in a second term, whether Christie runs for president or not.  If Kean’s unworkable relationship with Sweeney is an obstacle, tapping his trusted friend, the ever congenial Kyrillos, as Minority Leader makes perfect sense.


Posted: November 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: NJ GOP, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Buono’s Best Friend

She hasn’t officially secured the Democratic nomination yet and the wheels are falling off State Senator Barbara Buono’s gubernatorial campaign.

Buono will be the nominee.  Her only competition on the ballot is Troy Webster, an aide to East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser.  Webster isn’t really running for governor.  He agreed to through his hat in the ring on the same slate as Bowser for ballot positioning purposes in the primary.

But the wheels are falling off the Buono wagon. She can’t raise money.  She defiantly divided the party and broke with the legislative leadership with her choice of State Democratic Chairman. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews dubbed her Dawn Quixote.

Buono is on track to be the first major party candidate not to qualify for state matching funds for her campaign. She named Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell her choice as State Chairman, against the advice of Senate President Steve Sweeney and over the objections of Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver.  A prominent Monmouth County Democrat told MMM “Buono should never go on TV again,” after her appearance on Matthew’s Hardball.

Just when things couldn’t get any worse for Buono they did. Over the weekend former  Democratic Governor Brendan Byrne, on a teleconference with former Republican Governor Tom Kean, told The Star Ledger that Buono should consider dropping out of the gubernatorial race.

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Posted: May 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Double Dose of Bad News For Buono

Yet, good news for Trenton Democrats—the NJ Republicans are trying to lose

By Art Gallagher

Buono Dawn Quixote2State Senator Barbara Buono, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, received two doses of bad news today (so far) for her fledgling campaign to unseat Governor Chris Christie in November.

1) A Quinnipiac poll released today indicates that Buono has made no progress over the last month in increasing her dismal name recognition.  78% of those polled don’t know enough about Buono to form an opinion. That compares to 79% last month.  Of the few who recognize her name, 43% have an unfavorable opinion.

Christie’s numbers remain amazingly strong. 67% approve of the job he is doing as governor.  66% says he deserves to be reelected. In a head to head match up with Buono, Christie wins 58%-26%, with 13% out to lunch.

2) Even worse for Buono, PolitickerNJ reports that she is likely to be the only major party gubernatorial candidate in the history of New Jersey’s matching funds campaign program not to qualify for the maximum amount. PolitickerNJ said that Buono has raised only $29,000 per week since she declared her candidacy in December.  In order to earn the maximum $2 million in state matching funds for the primary, she would have to raise $216,000 per week over the next six weeks of the primary campaign.

Christie has opted out of the state matching funds program and has raised upwards of $5 million to date for the primary.

Trenton Republicans Trying to Lose

With Chrisite’s polling and financial numbers so strong, one would think that the Trenton Democrats that control the legislature would be concerned about Christie coattails.  Trenton Republicans seem enthused about the prospect of taking control of the legislature, but so far their campaign is deploying the stupidest strategy imaginable.

I’m not a professional political strategist, I just play one of the Internet.  In my not so humble opinion the NJ GOP‘s campaign against Corzine Democrats is the dumbest political strategy since Christine O’Donnell declared she is not a witch.

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Posted: April 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Art Gallagher, Assembly Republicans, Barbara Buono, Chris Christie, Democrats, Jon Bramnick, Legislature, NJ GOP, NJ State Legislature, Quinnipiac poll, Republican Party, Sheila Oliver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »