GOP nominee Steve Lonegan for U.S. Senate fired his long time strategist and pollster, Rick Shaftan, tonight over comments Shaftan made to Talking Points Memo.
”Mr. Shaftan’s comments are not reflective of my views or that of my campaign,” Lonegan said, “His comments are distasteful and offensive, and his contract as a vendor for my campaign will be terminated immediately.”
Shaftan commented on MMM’s initial story about his conduct, “I apologize to Steve Lonegan and his supporters if any statements I have made have hurt his candidacy and do not want these comments or my presence in this campaign to serve as a distraction to his efforts to win this election and save our nation from the radical left-wing policies of Barack Obama and Cory Booker.”
GOP nominee for U.S. Senate Steve Lonegan’s chief strategist, pollster and spokesman, Rick Shaftan gave a profanity laced interview to Talking Points Memo this afternoon wherein he suggested that New Jersey voters would elect Lonegan to the Senate next Wednesday over Newark Mayor Cory Booker because of Booker’s “odd” way of relating to LynsieLee, the Portland, Oregon stripper with whom Booker interacts on twitter.
Shaftan implied that Booker is gay because he doesn’t relate to LyniseLee like a drunken frat boy might, with graphic descriptions of what he would like to do to her breasts. And he thinks that is why New Jersey will elect Lonegan.
In a disingenuous comment to The Star Ledger, Lonegan’s press contact, Will Gattenby , said Shaftan was not speaking for the campaign, yet attacked the TMP reporter published Shaftan’s comments.
Ben Dworkin, Director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics, introduces U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan. September 24, 2013
I don’t think Steve Lonegan and Rick Shaftan are stupid.
I don’t think they believed their own bs over the years that a “true conservative” could win a statewide election in New Jersey, if only given a chance.
Surprisingly to many, Lonegan’s campaign since August was working. He substantially narrowed the gap between himself and Cory Booker. He unquestionably weakened the electorate’s perception of Booker. Lonegan never moderated his message, but he significantly moderated his delivery and demeanor. He was not a scary angry conservative.
The Lonegan I witnessed at Rider University’s Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics last month was not a flame thrower. He was an honest and concerned adult sharing his wisdom with college students.
I never got to the point where I thought Lonegan would win next week. I did think that if he got into single digits, he would be the front runner for a rematch with Booker in 2014. I thought, if he kept doing what he was doing, in the style he was doing it, his best shot at beating Booker was in November of 2014.
I don’t think that anymore. With tonight’s debate performance, combined with scheduled appearances with Sarah Palin and Mark Levin this weekend, I think Lonegan and Shaftan concluded they aren’t going to win, so they might as well have fun for the last week of Lonegan’s political career.
GOP nominee for U.S. Senate Steve Lonegan is leading Democratic nominee Cory Booker among Independent voters, 50%-44%, and Republicans, 87%-10%, but women in all demographics are breaking strongly for Booker, 62%-31%, giving the Newark mayor an overall 12 point lead, 53%-41%, in the race to be New Jersey’s next U.S. Senator, according to a Quinnipiac poll of likely released this morning.
Booker’s lead is unchanged since a September 24 Quinnipiac poll that energized Lonegan supporters. The 12 point lead in September revealed the race to be a lot closer the 30%+ margins most were expecting for Booker.
The poll of 899 likely voters was conducted between October 5 and 7. If the Senatorial debate between the candidates moved the needle either way, it is not likely to be reflected in these numbers. The debate was held on the fourth, but not broadcast until the 6th.
There is some indication that Quinnipiac may be over weighting Democrats or under weighting Independents in their turnout assumptions. The poll indicates that NJ voters favor ObamaCare by a 51%-44% margin. Yet Independents oppose ObamaCare by 56%-38%. Democrats support ObamaCare, 92%-4%. Republicans oppose it 87%-8%. Lonegan has been campaigning against ObamaCare as strongly as he has been attacking Booker’s record in Newark.
In a general election, Independents are usually the largest percentage of voters. With Independents breaking for Lonegan and against ObamaCare, it is surprising that Democratic voters are predicted to carry the day. But nobody knows who will turnout for a Special Election on the third Wednesday in October.
Quinnipiac’s assumptions could be on the money. Democratic turnout in the August 13 primary was higher than expected by most.
The Lonegan campaign continues to believe the race is within three points. Strategist/pollster Rich Shaftan, who celebrated the Quinnipiac poll in September, posted the following critiques on facebook this morning:
Q-Poll is not a registered voter poll. It is a random digit dial survey where the results are weighted to the 2012 turnout model. They are weighting the numbers because they have too many Republicans completing the surveys and not enough Democrats. This the opposite of what happened in 2012, leading people to claim “the polls” were “skewed.” Pollsters should look at the raw data and not weight it for what they believe turnout will be.
Just spoke to Douglas Schwartz at the Quinnipiac Poll. He admitted to me they upweight African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians to match the 18+ Census Data. If he released the unweighted raw data it would show a 3 point race. And that doesn’t account for their sample being drawn from random phone numbers, instead of registered voters or better yet, registered voters who have voted in two of four general elections.
It sure sounds like it in the beginning of this video as the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate sings Governor Christie’s praises during an appearance in Newark yesterday, while GOP Senate candidate Steve Lonegan’s campaign manager Rick Shaftan on was hand to video the event.
GOP U.S. Senate nominee declared in his primary victory speech last Tuesday night that he would not that he would not alter his message nor parse his words during his special election campaign against Democratic nominee Cory Booker.
In his appearance with NJTV’s Michael Aron this weekend (video not yet posted), Lonegan presented himself as a reasonable fiscal conservative focused on the economy. He distanced himself from the Tea Party, which he characterized as an eclectic, leaderless network.
During an appearance MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt yesterday afternoon, the former Bogota mayor again comes off as reasonable, not a radical, framed Booker as an extreme liberal and stuck to economic issues:
This morning on Fox and Friends (also not yet postedSave Jersey has the video), Lonegan emphasized his Ridgefield Park roots, 32 year marriage, and two Gold Star Girl Scout daughters to make the case that he is representative of New Jersey and its values and that Booker is the liberal extremist.
Steve Lonegan, the GOP front runner in the August 13 Special U.S. Senate Primary has filed a challenge to the candidacy of his only opponent, Dr. Alieta Eck based allegedly invalid signatures.
Calling Eck a “prospective candidate,” the Lonegan campaign alleged that Eck herself claimed to witness signatures that she did not in fact witness.
Lonegan’s attorney, F. Michael Daily, said in the challenge that “numerous books contain signatures purportedly witnessed by Alieta Eck and investigation has disclosed that contrary to her affirmations she did not witness such signatures.”
Daily, who has been retained by the Lonegan for Senate campaign, also alleged in the objections that other witnesses, some of whom also claimed to have gathered hundreds of signatures, are similarly invalid.
Paul Mulshine says he will blame Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno if his cat poops on the rug. Really, he said that.
Mulshine’s cat usually poops outdoors, but the usual spot, probably on a neighbor’s property, is snow covered and the pussy won’t go where it usually goes. Mulshine wasn’t prepared for the storm. He couldn’t navigate the snow covered roads to get kitty litter so his pussy would have a warm place to do it.
Guadagno is at fault because she’s on vacation out of state at the same time Governor Christie is out of state, leaving Senate President Steve Sweeney in charge as Acting Governor.
Mulshine speculates that Guadagno vacationing at the same time as Christie could be the end of her political career. He quotes Rick Shaftan as saying that “nothing will screw up your poll numbers more than snow.” Shaftan, who is famous for talking to Mulshine and for running Steve Lonegan’s 2009 gubernatorial primary, noted that former New York Mayor John Lindsay lost the 1969 GOP primary due to mishandling a snow storm. Lindsay was reelected on a third party line.
If Shaftan, Lonegan, Mulshine and the ideologues were in charge of the NJ GOP, like they want to be, a third party candidate could get elected in New Jersey too.
Mulshine and Shaftan speculate that Guadagno wants the GOP nomination to run against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez in 2012. Yet another example of ideologues who can’t count.
If the NJ GOP mounts a top tier talent challenge to Menendez in 2012 we’re in deep trouble as a nation. Barack Obama will be on the top of the Democratic ticket in 2012. The only way a Republican is going to win a state wide race in 2012 is if Obama is unelectable in New Jersey. If that is the political environment in 2012 the economy will be in worse shape than it is now. Obama’s poll numbers are over 50% in NJ now, as bad as things are.
Mulshine and Shaftan have a strange bedfellow in windbag Senator Ray Lesniak who called in from Florida to criticise Guadagno and Christie for leaving Sweeney in charge of cleaning up the snow.
Sweeney assured Christie he wouldn’t create mischief while keeping the Governor’s seat warm. If Christie didn’t trust Sweeney to keep his word, other arrangements would have been made. If Sweeney breaks his word, other arrangements will be made in the future.
The constitutional purpose of the Lt. Governor’s office is to prevent one person from controlling two-thirds of the state government, as was the case when Dick Codey was Governor and Senate President after Jim McGreevey’s resignation and when Don DiFrancesco held both offices after Christine Whitman’s resignation. The current banter is nonsense.