Senator Bob Menendez, left, and Congressman Frank Pallone, making like chimpmunks at the 2012 Belmar St. Patrick’s parade. Photo credit Charles Measley
First of all, Senator Bob Menendez might not even be indicted. Leaks out of the Justice Department have been notoriously unreliable since Chris Christie resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2008.
If Menendez is indicted, he probably will not resign. In his press conference this evening, the Senator defiantly insisted on the “appropriateness and lawfulness” of his relationship with Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Florida ophthalmologist who is Menendez’s friend and benefactor. He declared that he is not going anywhere.
If, as CNN speculates, Menendez is charged with corruption this month, it could be Halloween before he goes to trial. Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was indicted in January of 2014. His trial didn’t start until late July and didn’t end to early September. Unless Menendez makes a deal to avoid prosecution that includes his resignation, there is not likely to be a Special Election to fill the Senate seat until next year….2016, the year of the next presidential election.
If Chris Christie is still Governor in 2016 and Menendez’s seat becomes vacant, he will get to choose the next Senator and set the date a special election. There could be a mid-year Special Election or the Special Election could be on the same day as the presidential election. There’s no way to know now what is likely to happen.
Still, the prospect of a Senatorial vacancy stirs speculation and the phone lines among both Democrats and Republicans have been burning this afternoon since the news of the possible prosecution broke.
Congressman Rush Holt announced this afternoon that h.e will not seek a 9th term in the House of Representatives. In a statement posted on facebook, the rocket scientist/Jeopardy champion said it was a honor to serve and that there are no hidden motives in his decision to retire. “For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative.”
Holt couldn’t debate healthcare with Rhoda Chodosh. He certainly doesn’t want to debate Dr. Alieta Eck this fall.
Holt was a candidate for U.S. Senate for the Democratic nomination in the Special Election to replace the late Senator Frank Lautenberg last summer, losing then Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the winner of the nomination and the seat, and Congressman Frank Pallone.
Democrats are lining up to compete for the nomination to replace Holt in the 12 district which includes parts of Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union Counties and is considered a safe Democratic district by most political experts.
Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford overcame the scandal of his marital infidelity and abandoning his state. He was elected in a special election to the U.S House of Representatives last night.
Could former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey launch a similar comeback?
Sanford won by 9 points in a district that went for Mitt Romney by 18 points last November. Nate Silver argues that 13% of South Carolina’s 1st district voters withheld their support of Sanford over his sex scandal. McGreevey lives in Rush Holt’s 12 Congressional District of New Jersey. McGreevey could win that seat if it was open, unless Scott Sipprelle was the GOP nominee, but he wouldn’t challenge Holt in a primary.
But what about U.S. Senate? Senator Frank Lautenberg announced he is retiring. Newark Mayor Cory Booker won’t say if he is running, officially. Booker strung the Democratic Party along for too long before announcing he wouldn’t run for governor this year. McGreevey wouldn’t really be stepping on Booker’s toes if he announced a candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Congressman Frank Pallone says he wants Lautenberg’s job. He wouldn’t be too happy if McGreevey entered the senate race. But McGreevey offered Pallone the opportunity to become a senator in 2002 when Senator Robert Torricelli dropped out of his reelection campaign. McGreevey doesn’t owe Pallone anything.
Gay Rights is the progressive social issue of our day. Who would be a better standard bearing for Gay Rights in a New Jersey U.S. Senate race. Booker, Pallone or McGreevey?
McGreevey will appear with Governor Christie at the Hudson County Jail this morning. They are holding a press conference about the work that McGreevey is doing as a minister to incarcerated women. There will probably be YouTubes and spots on the evening news.
Timing is everything, they say, in politics. A governor driven from office in a sex scandal being elected to congress is good timing for McGreevey.
Since they formed in 2009, the Bayshore Tea Party Group has supported three campaigns that have defeated the Monmouth County Republican Organization in primaries.
Former Highlands Mayor Anna Little won the 6th Congressional District nomination twice. In 2010 Little defeated the MCRO’s endorsed candidate Diane Gooch. In 2012 Little defeated newcomer Ernesto Cullari. Cullari had won the Monmouth Republican organization’s endorsement. Little won the Middlesex County Republican Organization’s endorsement and won the primary handily in both counties. Little went on to lose twice to incumbent Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone.
Oceanport real estate executive David Corsi beat Princeton venture capitalist Scott Sipprelle in Monmouth County during the 2010 primary for the 12 Congressional District nomination. Sipprelle prevailed on the strength of his support in the Middlesex and Mercer portions of the district. Sipprelle lost to incumbent Democratic Congressman Rush Holt.
Both Little and Corsi were supported by BTPG’s grassroots activists.
Surprisingly, 2010 congressional candidate Scott Sipprelle was leading the poll by a wide margin before we took it down this morning. Sipprelle had 39% if the votes, followed by State Senator Joe Kyrillos with 19%. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Congressman Chris Smith each had 12%. Here are the results of the original poll.
We’ve added former Highlands Mayor Anna Little’s name to the mix because we had a couple of complaints that she was excluded.
Congressman Frank Pallone is on television more than U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) now-a-days, not because of his outrage that House Speaker John Boehner delayed the vote of the Superstom Sandy relief package, but because he needs to raise his profile in the minds of New Jersey voters.
Since Newark Mayor Cory Booker dropped out of the gubernatorial race and announced his intentions to explore seeking the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senator Frank Lautenberg in 2014, Pallone has been letting Democratic power brokers that he too want’s Lautenberg’s job and he has been on TV every chance he can get. Pallone has long coveted a U. S. Senate seat, but has never had the fortitude to risk his seat in the House to run for it. Governor Jon Corzine passed over Pallone in favor of Bob Menendez in 2006 for the appointment to fill the Seante vacancy created by Corzine’s election as governor and Lautenberg came out of retirement to take over Bob Toricelli’s spot on the ballot in 2002 after Pallone passed or was passed over, depending on which version of the story you believe.
Pallone is acting like he is willing to make a race of it against Booker for the 2014 Democratic nomination for Senate. Given Booker’s star power, social media savvy and resulting name recognition, Pallone has an uphill battle. Booker works twitter better than any other politician with his clothes on. In order to match Booker’s name recognition, Pallone would need a crisis to go on TV about every week. Either that or he needs to start running into burning buildings and living on food stamps. Or, he can run in a statewide race in an election he is not expected to win to raise his name ID and as prelude to the race he wants to win.
It’s been nearly a week since Hurricane Sandy made landfall, but no one can yet gauge how this calamity has affected the national psyche, and the outcome of a major election. Here is what I think…
When you see your fellow citizens struggling in horribly devastated communities and preyed upon by looters after dark, you begin to wonder if perhaps we have taken too much for granted in this country. When you consider our shocking inability to turn the lights back on, you wonder what the government is actually doing with your money. Perhaps it begins to dawn on folks that the politicians have pampered us with a false sense of entitlement, but when the wind starts howling, you are on your own. Perhaps we will re-learn that the central function of government is the safety and welfare of its citizens. And government cannot perform that function well if our finances are saddled with the cost of bloated past promises. Perhaps we will cherish anew the value of thrift and hard work and never again take our good fortune for granted. For only a prosperous country can be charitable in the support of its citizens. America needs a new direction.
This morning InTheLobby calls on Governor Chris Christie to call the Democrats’ bluff regarding their resistance to his plan to remake New Jersey’s Supreme Court into judicial body that interprets the law and away from the destructive unaccountable body that has been legislating a liberal agenda from the bench over the last four decades by nominating a conservative Democrat to the bench.
Last week, after a charade of a hearing for Christie’s nominee to the Court, Phillip Kwon, Senate President Sweeney admitted that what the Democrats really want is a Court packed with Democrats.
By nominating a conservative Democrat, one who doesn’t believe in legislating from the bench, Christie would be calling the Democrats bluff, says InTheLobby.
Where would anyone find a conservative Democrat in New Jersey?
What about Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik?
Hornik tells every Republican he meets that he’s really a Republican. On his facebook page, Hornik apologizes for his Democratic registration. “Democrat, but the people matter the most,” is how Hornik describes his politics.
Is Hornik qualified? That would be up to Christie’s vetters and the Judiciary Committee to decide, assuming the Judiciary Committee cares about qualifications going forward. They clearly didn’t in Kwon’s case.
From a legal career and public service perspective, Hornik’s resume is not all that different from that of Bruce Harris, the Mayor of Chatham whose Supreme Court nomination is currently pending in the Senate. Both of specialize in real estate, finance and commercial transaction.
Hornick doesn’t have Harris’s academic pedigree. Harris went to Amherst, Boston University and Yale. Hornik went to University of Delaware and Brooklyn Law. University of Delaware is good. It’s better than Rowan. Governor Christie went to University of Delaware, so that might be good for Hornik. Brooklyn Law is no Yale, but Geraldo Rivera, Percy Sutton, David Dinkins, Larry Silverman, Sheldon Silver all graduated from Brooklyn.
What do you think MMM readers? Is Jon Hornik a conservative Democrat? Would he be an activist Justice or and interpretive Justice?
PRINCETON, NJ- January 12, 2012- In response to inquiries from supporters and potential candidates, Scott Sipprelle announced today that he will not be a candidate for Congress this year in the reconfigured 12th Congressional District.
“While I remain as committed as ever to the principles of political reform and economic renewal, as articulated during my 2010 campaign, this is not my time to be a candidate,” said Sipprelle. “Over the last year I have become fully engaged, with a renewed passion and purpose, in my business of starting and building emerging growth companies.”
“For now I intend to play an outside role in the world of politics, with a particular interest in supporting first-time candidates for public office,” said Sipprelle. “Through The Lincoln Club of New Jersey, I also intend to continue as a squeaky wheel, working to educate and inform the voters while supporting candidates with the experience, courage and independence to serve as problem solvers.”
Freeholder Deputy Director John Curley called for a public review of Brookdale Community College’s budget and spending after learning of expensive country club memberships and a housing allowance for college President Dr. Peter Burnham. Burnham had drafted a budget that called for a 8.2% tuition increase and blamed the need for the increase on the Freeholder Board reducing the county subsidy for the college.