John Farmer, the tie breaking member of the congressional redistricting commission, chose the Republicans’ map because, in his view, it created the possibility of two more minority districts than they Democratic map did, according to a report by Mark Magyar at NJSpotlight.
The new 9th district’s population is 53.1% minority. Leaders of the minority community were pleased with the map, counting on it becoming a minority represented district once Bill Pascrell, who turns 75 this month, retires. But Steve Rothman, 59, challenging Pascrell in the Democratic primary makes eventual minority representation less likely, which could lead to a minority challenger entering the 9th district Democratic primary. That’s the point of Magyar’s piece.
The addition of all of Trenton and Plainfield in Rush Holt’s district, presumably makes the 12th the other potential minority district.
The NJGOP should identify and agressively recruit high quality minority candidates to run in these districts. A Hispanic in 9 and an African American in 12. Then the GOP should raise the money to make those campaigns competive.
The GOP should recruit and fund an Asian American to challenge Frank Pallone in the 6th, while they are at it, unless Diane Gooch decides to run.
If running competively in the 9th, 12th and 6th is considered a pipedream, than it is also a pipedream that Joe Kyrillos can beat Robert Menendez for U.S. Senate or that the GOP presidential nominee can win New Jersey.
If the NJ GOP uses the same old playbook it will get the same old result.
Posted: January 3rd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, 2012 Presidential Politics, 2012 U.S. Senate Race | Tags: Bill Pascrell, CD 12, CD 6, CD 9, Diane Gooch, Frank Pallone, Joe Kyrillos, John Farmer, Mark Magyar, New Map, NJSpotlight, Rush Holt, Steve Rothman | Comments Off on Republicans’ map favors minorities
The New Jersey congressional delegation will likely be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, 6 of each, after the next election, thanks to John Farmer, Dean of Rutgers Law School and the tie breaking member of the redistricting commission. Farmer told the partisan members of the commission that he would vote for the Republicans’ map when the commission meets in at the Statehouse this morning, according to reports on Politickernj and NJ.com.
The new map will combine portions of the current 5th, 8th and 9th districts and pit incumbent congressmen Scott Garrett (R) and Steve Rothman (D) in a district that gives Republicans a 4% advantage based upon historical voting patterns.
According to the Politickernj story, the new map gives Congressman Chris Smith a larger portion of Monmouth County than his previous 4th district. The district remains safely Republican for Smith, New Jersey’s longest serving congressman.
The 6th and 12th districts, represented by Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, respectively, remain safe for the Democratic incumbents, according to Politickernj.
The 7th district, represented by Republican Leonard Lance will now be a safer district for the incumbent.
Posted: December 23rd, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Reapportionment, Redistricting | Tags: Chris Smith, Frank Pallone, John Farmer, Leonard Lance, New Congressional Map, New Jersey, Rush Holt, Rutgers Law School, Scott Garrett, Steve Rothman | Comments Off on Republicans Win The Congressional Map Battle
Both Democratic and Republicans members of the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission prefer to reduce the number of towns that are split between two or three districts, according to a report on NJ.com.
If they could find a way to reduce the number of two faced congressmen, that would be real progress.
Due to the one person one vote rule, each district must have 732,658 residents per the 2010 census, it is mathematically impossible to completely elminate fragmented towns. So says Bill Caster, the Democrats lawyer on the commission.
Linden and Jersey City have three congressmen. 35 municipalities are divided between two districts.
In Monmouth County, Manalapan, Marlboro and Middletown are each divided between the 6th district, currently represented by Frank Pallone, and the 12thdistrict, currently represented by Rush Holt, both Democrats.
Manalapan and Middletown are Republican towns. Marlboro usually votes Republican on the county, state and federal levels but has been taken over by the “LaHornicca” Democrats locally.
Manalapan has 9,060 registered voters in the 6th district; 15,787 in the 12th. Marlboro has 9,148 registered voters in the 6th; 15,957 in the 12th. Middletown has 21,725 in the 6th and 22,264 in the 12th.
A Republican challenger to either Pallone or Holt would theoretically benefit by each of these towns landing in only one district. A competitive district could emerge if all three towns were united and placed into the same district. If that happens, maybe Anna Little will give up her U.S. Senate bid and run for Congress again.
Former State Attorney General John Farmer, the redistricting commission’s chairman and tie breaking vote, has said he would like the commission to complete its work today. By law, the new map must be completed by January 17th.
Posted: December 21st, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Redistricting | Tags: "LaHornicca", Anna Little, Congressional Redistricting, Frank Pallone, John Farmer, New Map, Rush Holt | Comments Off on Redistricting Commission Looking To Limit Towns Represented By More Than One Congressman
By Art Gallagher
Giving credit where it is do, The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board got one right in their recent editorial lamenting the closure of Fort Monmouth’s commissary. They give a quick summary of the disaster the closure of Fort Monmouth is and how the entire BRAC decision to close the fort was based on faulting economic and home security data.
Fort Monmouth’s closure and the move of its operations to Aberdeen Maryland was a huge waste of money that compromised national security. An investigative series by Asbury Park Press reporters Bill Bowman and Keith Brown (which is no longer linkable) documented the waste and fraudulent numbers that BRAC gave Congress to justify the closure.
In their editorial, The Asbury Park Press accurately lays the blame:
The closing of the base was based on faulty economic and security research in the first place, and yet even with the facts on their side, Reps Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, along with Sens. Lautenberg and Menendez could not carry the day.
That is largely due to the fact that the faulty economic and security data was uncovered by Bowman and Brown after Congress had already voted to close the fort. Pallone, Holt, Lautenberg and Menendez didn’t have the juice to uncover that data before or during the BRAC hearings when it might have made a difference. Worse, the didn’t have the juice needed with their congressional colleagues to keep the fort in New Jersey. Maryland’s delegation had the juice.
This latest insulting failure is just one in a decades, maybe centuries, long example of ineffective congressional representation from New Jersey. Not just Pallone, Holt, Lautenberg and Menendez, but most of the delegation. Every two years during congressional elections challengers complain that New Jersey only gets a fraction of the money we send to Washington sent back, but it never changes. Has there ever been a House Speaker from New Jersey? Name on U.S. Senator from New Jersey who could be considered a historic figure.
As Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray indicated during his interview on the LaRossa and Gallagher Radio Show two weeks ago, New Jersey Congressmen have little incentive to represent the interests or philosophies of their constituents. They vote how ever they want and work on, or don’t work on, whatever they want without regard for the good of their constituents because no matter what they do, their jobs are safe. Historically, gerrymandering as assured that an incumbent member of congress will be reelected time after time except in the rarest or circumstances.
A competitive congressional district map could go a long way to improving the quality of representation New Jersey gets from the people we send to Washington. Currently, Congressmen face no consequences for failures like the BRACing of Fort Monmouth. Despite the rants of congressional challengers every two years about the about of money that New Jersey sends to Washington vs the amount of money that comes back, that situation never changes and our representitives have little incentive to work to change it.
If competitive congressional elections were the norm, rather than a rare exception, New Jersey would get better representation and better results.
New Jersey’s Redistricting Commission has a huge opportunity to create an environment that could lead to an major improvement in the quality of our representation in Washington over the next decade. If past is prelude, the Democrats and Republicans on the commission will spend the process jockeying for influence with the “13th tie breaking” member. The commission will predictably produce a winning map for one party which will be a losing map for the other party.
For New Jersey to have a “winning map” would require at least one party to propose a competitive map based upon population and geography only without regard for the residency of incumbents or the historical voting trends of residents, and for the “13th member,” former Attorney General and Acting Governor for ninety minutes, John Farmer Jr, to do the right thing.
Otherwise, it won’t really matter much which party “wins” the redistricting battle. New Jersey’s representation in Washington will not likely improve if the people will send there have little incentive to work for it.
By the way, Lautenberg and Pallone are scheduled to make a “surprise announcement” in Belmar tomorrow.
Pray for rain.
Maybe Lautenberg is announcing his retirement and endorsing Pallone to replace him. Not likely, but one can hope.
More likely they will announce some legislation they are sponsoring that will probably never become law or some appropriation they are proposing or maybe even secured that will not have nearly postive impact on New Jersey that the negative impact that the closure of Fort Monmouth will have.
Posted: August 16th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Congress, Congressional Redistricting, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, LaRossa and Gallagher, Patrick Murray, Redistricting, Rush Holt | Tags: Congressional Redisticting New Jersey, Congressional Redistricting, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, John Farmer, JR, Patrick Murray, Robert Menendez, Rush Holt | 7 Comments »