Tag Archives: Mayor Steve Lonegan

A BUMP IN LONEGANS ROAD TO VICTORY?: An Interview With Steve Lonegan-Part III

antlonegan3Bookmark and Share   On the issues, Steve Lonegan has proven himself to be well versed , prepared and experienced. As a former mayor he understands the ramifications of the legislation and mandates that come out of Trenton. In the previous two parts of our interview, Steve Lonegan didn’t just argue for a conservative approach to state government and governance, he demonstrated the how’s and whys of wrong minded liberal leadership. At the same time he presented concrete, conservative solutions to the problems that liberal leadership have presented us with today.

In this final part of our interview, I asked Mayor Lonegan about his campaign.

His campaign raised a few heads when late last year, Steve Lonegan stated that he would accept public matching funds in his race. Some saw that move as hypocritical, others, like Lonegan simply see at is playing by the rules of the game that we have to deal with.

Of course Jon Corzine won’t have to play by those rules. He has the luxury of reaching into his own wallet and financing his campaign on his own. After all, that is how he won his last two statewide campaigns. He bought both his seat in the United States Senate and his office in Trenton. And oddly enough, the so-called “rich” Republicans running for Governor in New Jersey, do not have the independent wealth of a limousine liberal like Corzine, so, by accepting matching funds, they are assuring themselves of having at least enough money to let people know that they are running against Corzine.

So far, Lonegan has raised over half a million dollars. That amount puts him significantly ahead in the field of current and potential candidates. As for those who may have had any doubt about how serious a run for the nomination Lonegan would make, the half a million he raised and the half a million that he will receive in matching funds makes for a million reasons to take his candidacy seriously. And that is just so far. More money is coming.

When asked if expects to be able to raise enough money to bring his name ID up to the level of Chris Christie, his major rival for the nomination at this point, Lonegan feels that he will raise an amount of money comparable, if not even, to Chris Christie.

As for raising enough money to be competitive with Jon Corzine if Lonegan is our Republican nominee for Governor, Lonegan states “I don’t need to outspend Jon Corzine to win”. “We need to have enough money to get our message out” he added.antlonegan4

Lonegan believes that Corzine has to raise and spend tons of money, maybe even an historic level of campaign spending all to simply defend his record,. Lonegan made it clear that Corzine has to explain why he created “the highest taxes in the country and an economic decline which has our friends and neighbors leaving the state”.

Lonegans punctuates the spending question in this campaign by adding “I think Corzine should spend $75million  or $100 million dollars. I think that could be the best economic stimulus package New Jersey could see”.

That statement could be funny if it were true, but the state of New Jersey has no major media market of its own and so much of the campaign dollars spent in the race for Governor of Jersey will be split between the New York media market in North Jersey and the Philly media market in the south. So even a boondoggled bundle of bucks in our state’s own election won’t benefit New Jersey that much.

  • “If the primary ends up being a hard hitting, bloody battle, well so be it.  Let’s get ready for the general election”     -Steve Lonegan, 1/21?09-POLITICS 24/7 Interview

That aside, with all things being equal, I asked Lonegan how he would describe himself and his political ideology to me, a self-proclaimed, “bleeding heart, Jack Kemp, conservative who is a heavily armed dove“. To which Lonegan replied that he is  a “principled conservative who believes in free-market principles and values of limited government and lower taxes who has been elected three times in a small town that is 2 to 1 Democrats to Republicans”.

But with the Republican field for Governor already comprised of another self avowed Conservative in Assemblyman Rick Merkt and will soon be having another in Mayor Brian Levine of Franklin Township, I asked Lonegan how he would differentiate himself. To that he replied, “I raised half a million dollars”.

Aside from that, the Mayor did admit that he and Rick Merkt “agree on a lot” and that he is “great and has a great record and is a terrific guy”.

  • Levine “has positioned himself as a pro COAH and Abbott funding moderate, so that will be interesting”                            -Steve Lonegan, 1/21?09-POLITICS 24/7 Interview

As for Brian Levine, Steve Lonegan has to muster up the desire to speak nearly half as nicely.

After saying that Brian Levine is a nice fellow, he throws in the fact that Levine is a small town mayor, and that,is something Lonegan likes. But that is about as far as the liking goes. Once those platitudes were over Lonegan stated “that Levine has positioned himself as a pro COAH and Abbott funding moderate, so that will be interesting”

With that out of the way, the Mayor agreed with me on the fact that Republicans need to be unified in November and so I asked him he could promise to keep the campaign civil and avoid any mocking tones and obey Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment which dictated that “thou shall not speak ill of fellow Republicans”. 

That so called commandment was first uttered by Reagan during his 1966 primary for the Republican nomination for Governor of California.

As for employing that phrase here in the 2009 Republican primary for Governor of New Jersey, Lonegan stated “Oh, absolutely. There is no need for personal attacks or mocking tones, however we will be hard hitting on the issues and the record”.

He added, “if you can’t make your way through a good, hard hitting, primary, how do you expect to take on Jon Corzine’s millions of dollars?”. So I will put my record up against anyone and I will be looking very carefully at Mr. Christie’s record and his positions on the issues and we will define the differences. If that ends up being a hard hitting, bloody primary, well so be it. Let’s get ready for the general election”.

So it looks like the stage is set for a few battles. One will be for the hearts of the conservative wing of the party. That battle may include Chris Christie if he gets off of the ideological fence but it will certainly include Merkt and Levine against Lonegan.

The other battle will be for the minds of all Republicans. That battle will not only include the emotionally charged ideological arguments but the electability argument as well.

It is on that argument that Steve Lonegan may have his greatest challenge and in that challenge he may not be making things any easier for himself.

Some may think the electability question may be raised by what a few see as Lonegan’s brashness. But what they may see as brash others see as open and honest.

For me the potential drawback to Lonegan’s success here, lies not so much in Lonegan himself as it does in his choice of staff.

Until now, one issue in particular, has not come up in the shaping primary race but I am afraid it might.  That is the selection of Steve Lonegan’s campaign manager, Kevin Collins.

The selection of Kevin Collins as his campaign manager could create a problem.

The source of the problem dates back to an incident in 2007.

antmailer2Collins designed a campaign mail piece in a Republican state senate primary against State Senator Kevin O’Toole.

Senator O’Toole is of Korean descent. And the piece referred to his Korean ancestry by claiming that O’Toole exploited his heritage by claimimng to be a minority and asking for special rights when his senate district lines were being redrawn during the redistricting process. The Collins campaign mailer described Kevin O’Toole as “The Republican Al Sharpton” for taking advantage of minority rights protections.  It also included a photo comparisson of the two.

The mailer was a low point for Republicans. It was typical race baiting and should not have ever been considered by Collins or the candidate on whose behalf the mailer was sent out. Worse than the mailer were some of Kevin Collins’ replies to accusations over the mailer. At one point Collins said:

“We could have altered the photo. We did not. We could have made a more jaundiced look to his skin. We did not.”

The judgment was so bad that Collins was even officially rebuked by all thirty of the Republican assembly members serving at the time.

In a unanimously signed  letter, the 30 assembly Republicans wrote “Mr. Collins has crossed a line and we believe it would no longer be appropriate for him to do work on behalf of any candidate running as a Republican in this state”.

When asked about the incident Steve Lonegan replied “ Since then, even Kevin O’Toole has hired Kevin Collins

A call to Senator O’Toole’s office to confirm that statement was not responded to but Lonegan went on to say “I don’t think the Republicans should have the democrats telling us us how to run our own campaigns”.

Problem is, it is not Democrats who joined together in denouncing the Collins mailer and requesting that Collins have no part in Republican campaigns in New Jersey. It is fellow Republicans who have decided that.

A call to Assembly Republican Minority Leader Alex DeCroce about this matter also went unanswered so we have no idea where assembly Republicans stand on their banning of Collins but others are not so quiet about the Lonegan hiring.

Jonathon Kim, President of the Korean Association of New Jersey called Lonean’s hiring of Kevin Collins “disturbing”and he thinks the Mayor might be “shooting himself in the foot” by hiring Kevin Collins.

To this Lonegan simply replied “well, he’s wrong”

For his part Steve Lonegan says “Kevin Collins is an effective individual, knows politics and has outstanding character and integrity”. and that he “will not have someone on his/my campaign personally attacked by Democrats”.

But it may not even get to the point where Democrats have the chance to do the attacking.

Lonegan first has to get through fellow Republicans and one cannot help but wonder if this issue will be brought up among his rivals or any of  the Republicans who, back in 2007, declared Kevin Collins persona non grata in New Jersey.

Personally I have no hard feelings either way. The O’Toole mailer does seem to be a bit over the line but I am not sure it is a demonstration of politics at its worst. However my real concern is the effects of Lonegans’s decision to hire Collins during the general election.

If this incident is not addressed and gone by then, what if Steve Lonegan does become the Republican standard bearer? Do we want our conservative candidate for Governor being attacked and labeled as insensitive to minorities or of running a campaign prone to racial divisiveness?

Come November, we will need every vote we can get to win. Such a victory will need to tap into almost every demographic we have, including the significant Korean population of the state, a population which is quite Republican oriented.

So I do hope that this issue gets addressed sooner rather than later and I do also hope it does not damage the chances of Lonegan’s promising campaign.

Kevin Collins is a decent man and he has done some good work including the work of challenges that some may have turned away from.

When Hillary Clinton was running for relection in New York, few came forward to challenge her and fewer volounteered time and money to campaign against her but not Kevin Collins. He managed the campaign of Hillary Clinton’s opponenet, John Spencer.

The same holds true of New York’s Chuck Schumer whose most recent opponent, Howard Mills was also managed by Kevin Collins.

Collins also managed past efforts for some candidates which I hold in high esteem. One of them is former GOP Assembly Republican Majority Leader Paul DeGaetano (in fact, he is one person I wish was running for the job of Governor this time around).

So Collins has paid his dues and fought the hard fights and along the way, everyone is entitled to a mistake or two. But this is politics and whether we like it or not, everything is on the table, including Collins mistake.

Hopefully it is not an issue that will blow up. Hopefully the past actions of Assembly Republicans regarding Collins and Lonegan’s present actions of hiring Collins as his campaign manager can somehow be balanced.

It is hard to quantify Lonegan’s decision in bringing Collins onboard the campaign. Some could say it is a courageous call on Lonegan’s part. Others may say it was a stupid decision that opens Lonegan up to attacks that can further advance liberal accusations that Republicans are out of touch with and insensitive to racial concerns.

Either way, on both the issues and his approach to the issues, Steve Lonegan’s campaign promises to be the stuff that political drama’s are made of and he will be the one candidate in this election who is certain to grab headlines.

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CORRECTION:  Rick Shaftan, a strategists and aide in the Lonegan for Governor campaign,  alerted us of an inaccuracy in the above post.  In it we attributed the quotation known as Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment to Ronald Reagan himself.  Mr. Shaftan made it known that the quote was first used by Gaylord Parkinson who was the California Republican State Chairman who used it in response to attacks on Reagan during his primary for the california gubernatorial nomination.

Mr. Shaftan pointed out “The Eleventh Commandment is quoted most of the time by liberals who would never quote anything Reagan said. It’s ironic that when they quote it, they are not quoting Reagan”.

We thank Mr. Shaftan for his historical accuracy and hope he was not calling us at POLITICS 24/7 liberal.

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TWIN PEEPS

Maybe there is something to the pseudoscience of face reading! When I first looked at corrupt Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich‘s face (I like to refer to him as Gov. Doucheblag), the dude who was charged with attempting to sell President-elect Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder (!!), I immediately thought, OMG, he looks just like Lyle Menendez! All you true-crime aficionados out there know who I’m talking about: Lyle and his brother Erik were charged with murdering their parents and then going on a shopping spree with their credit cards in Beverly Hills in the ’90s. Good times . . .

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Be Sure To Sign The Petition To

REPEAL THE CONGRESSIONAL PAY HIKE

Sign the Online Petition – Repeal The Automatic Pay Raise That Congress Is Receiving

Pass The Link On To Family, Friends and Co-workers

http://www.gopetition.com/online/24301.html  

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Results for the latest POLITICS 24/7 poll are in!

As for who you want to see be the next Chairman of the Republican National Committee

the results are as follows:

40%  –  KEN BLACWELL

20%  –  SAUL ANUZIS

20%  –  MICHAEL STEELE

  7%  –  KATON DAWSON

 7%  –  CHIP SALTSMAN

 7%  –  Other 

 0%  –  MIKE DUNCAN 

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YOU CAN TURN RIGHT ON RED BUT DON’T TURN LEFT TO GET ELECTED

antjohnashbrook1972boxWith the holidays upon us, family, friends, faith and other personal aspects in life come to the forefront, as they should. Although the world does not stop rotating, priorities do shift, at least for a few brief hours. Among one of the first fields of endeavor to experience a temporary cessation in hostilities is politics.

Considering the amount of headlines pointing out the treachery and lack of sincerity often associated with politics, a stop, even a brief stop, in the business of politics is warranted during this more spiritually sincere time of the year.

With the winding down of its activity, one becomes very reflective about politics. It makes you stop and think……what is it all for?

Is all the posturing, deal cutting, eloquent speeches and snappy catch phrases done for the betterment of the people? Or is it done for the personal advantage of the deal cutters, eloquent speakers and snappy phrase makers? Is it all done to achieve personal power or acclaim? Is all the demonstrated frustration and anger involved in the process caused because of the failure to pass a particular piece of legislation that benefit’s the people or is it arrived at more because of personal failure to be credited with passing a piece of legislation?

Politics, can be a wonderful arena of ideas for maintaining a prosperous and civilized civilization or it can be a cesspool of humanities worst motivations.

It is that way because politics is comprised of politicians and politicians are only human. Some are good while others are just inappropriate or downright bad. So it is only natural that as human beings, their policies are also a mix of good and bad.

Being human, politicians bring to the table all the human frailties that we as humans possess.antnoleftturnshtma2

The hope is that the best ideas and directions win the day due to there being a preponderance of humanities best people involved in the process. Unfortunately, I am afraid that many of today’s elected officials in the game are not humanities best, most sincere and altruistic people. I believe many of them simply want the power and perceived admiration of the masses. Many are in it simply for themselves. Take Illinois’ Governor Rod Blagojevich for instance.

So this leads us to wonder how we tell the difference between someone who wants to win for the sake of winning or to make a true change for the betterment of al the people.

The coming year will give New Jerseyans the chance to answer that question.

As the state gears up for a gubernatorial election, Republicans have to choose a nominee to run against liberal Jon Corzine.

Popular thinking would lead one to believe that, given the polls in New Jersey, a liberal approach would be the more expedient path to victory for Republicans in Jersey.

If  any Republican running for governor takes that approach, than I will know one thing about them.  I will know that they are not sincere.

The Republican who runs to the left in this election is the Republican who wants power for their own benefit and to win for the sake of winning, not for the sake of improving the lives of others.

The Republican who tries to avoid offending illegal immigrants by not demanding a strict enforcement of laws regarding their illegal presence and who avoids taking control away from unions like the National Education Association and giving more power to parents is the candidate afraid of standing up to the influence that those who impede progress may wield in the election.

Any candidate who allows the fear of losing an election to take precedence over doing what is right, is not running for governor for the right reasons. They would be demonstrating that they are running for themselves, not for the people.

The Republican nominee for Governor must be willing to stand up to the power brokers who have held the state hostage through secretive union negotiations and outrageous pension plans.

The Republican nominee for Governor must be willing to address the fact that municipalities in New Jersey must begin to consolidate. Our nominee needs to demonstrate that fewer governments throughout the state means less burden on the taxpayer and less of an affordability problem for residents.

Of course no local municipal king wants to give up their kingdom, but the people must hear about the advantages of reducing the costly proliferation of governments. They must be made aware of the fact that government has become the problem and that fewer governments in the state will lead to less of those things we don’t need. Like less government corruption, fewer operating costs, fewer bureaucrats and bureaucratic entanglements .

We need a nominee who will challenge that which hinders progress, not a candidate who goes along to get along.

Some might say that that is no way to win an election. They would argue that by offending the hands that organize volunteers and pours the mothers milk of any political campaign, money, into an election, is a road map to defeat.

Conservative Ohio Congressman Joh Ashbrook

Conservative Ohio Congressman Joh Ashbrook

If that is true, than I suggest we go down in defeat.

I would rather see Republicans lose by standing up for what we believe in than win by offering the same policies that liberals have provided us with.

I believe, like former Congressman John Ashbrook, who when asked why he often stood against the popular tide, explained that by representing what he believes to be right, the only thing he could lose was his seat in Congress.

For Congressman Ashbrook ideals meant more than power or winning an election.

His strong, uncompromising defense of conservative ideals did not always make him a popular figure.

Elected to Congress from Ohio in 1960, he came to Washington just as liberalism and big government was about to sweep out from Washington and through the rest of the nation. Yet he consistently stood against the tide of the time and articulated a hard line against communism, big government, social engineering and discrimination.

By 1970 a poll considered Ashbrook one of the 5 most influential conservative leaders in the nation.

In Congress he consistently added amendments to legislation important to liberals and successfully blocked their most detrimental effects.

In 1972 Congressman Ashbrook found himself fed up with the leadership of his own party.

Richard Nixon was President and despite his campaigning as a conservative, Ashbrook saw Nixon governing more to the left than the right. So in typical fashion, John Ashbrook opposed accepted popular thinking of the time. He ran against Richard Nixon for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Many Republicans were outraged that he would dare challenge “our” sitting Republican President but Asbrook wanted Republicans to be true to our principles and he believed that along with neglecting to fulfill campaign promises, Nixon was weakening our already lagging military.

As we know, Nixon was re-nominated but John Ashbrook was content with his poor showing in the primaries. Of it he said “I spread my message. So I guess you don’t have to be on the winning side to be victorious.”

From then on, not only did John Ashbrook continue to win the favor of the voters in his congressional district, he also continued to be the voice of the conservative cause.

By 1980 many in America realized that mediocrity was not what we needed in our leaders and along with John Ashbrook, people turned to Ronald Reagan for leadership.

For almost two decades John Ashbrook swam against the tide. He never gave up or took the path of political expediency. Ashbrook stayed in the game for the long haul and helped to turn the conservative movement into a mainstream movement without compromising conservative principles.

In 1981 the Congressman decided to take his conservative leadership to the United States Senate. He began to campaign against then popular incumbent Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum. For Ashbrook the race was to be an historic battle pitting conservatism against liberalism. Unfortunately the hoped for clash of ideas never came to be. Congressman Ashbrook died in April of 1982.

With his passing, we lost a man less concerned with himself and motivated more by doing what was right than what was popular. We lost the type of leader that Republicans need today. Leaders who campaign on the issues that differentiate us from the liberal agendas of Democrats.

Yet despite the loss of Congressman Ashbrook’s physical presence, we are still blessed by his spirit of unwavering commitment and the lessons he taught us.

Bumper Sticker From Ashbrook's 1972 Presidential Campaign

Bumper Sticker From Ashbrook's 1972 Presidential Campaign

He taught us that no one and no political party should establish or compromise their beliefs based on popular perceptions of the time

Ashbrook’s leadership proved that when one is right, others will eventually come to that realization. But if one fears to give the right answer because everyone else is thinking differently and offering the wrong answer, than no one will ever know what the right answer is.

Unfortunately, Republicans have been unwillingly to be honest about the answers we need to hear. Instead they run campaigns that duplicate the answers being offered by liberals and it obviously isn’t working.

Republicans are losing and rightfully so. Many candidates are not embracing the conservative principles that have led to our past successes. They have been more concerned with personal success at the voting booth than they have been with making life better for the voters.

During this holiday, when the spirit of giving and goodwill dominates the season’s atmosphere, I can only hope that Republicans in New Jersey can find a candidate who is willing to carry that sense of sincere goodwill and giving into the political atmosphere. I hope we can nominate a person who is willing to provide us with solutions to our problems rather than rhetoric that they think will deliver them a shallow victory at the polls.

John Asbrook campaigned for President on the slogan “no left turns”. At the time,  Americans were comfortable with the status quo. A few short years later, Americans were running away from the status quo that they once wanted. Instead they turned to the conservative principles that brought us out of the problems that the left and left leaning decisions created.

With the perceived popularity of President-elect Barack Obama some in New Jersey may feel that campaigning to the left is the politically expedient way to win an election but is political expediency good public policy?

In the words of Congressman Ashbrook the difference between the conservative and the liberal is that the conservative worries about the future while the liberal worries about the next election.

That being said, I want a Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey who worries about tomorrow, not the next election. I want a nominee who is more concerned with doing what is right for the people not what the left wants to hear.

If Republicans want to achieve a victory in November that means something, they need to make sure that they take “no left turns.”.

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Coast Guard Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas and all through each state,
Coast Guard families were starting to celebrate.
Just then from the white House came an urgent call,
A crisis had arisen that would affect one and all.

In fact the U.S. State Department was frantic,
For Santa Claus had just landed in the Atlantic!
It Was foggy as ever; Rudolph had made a blunder.
Santa, sleigh, and eight reindeer were going under.

Though the stockings were hung by the chimneys with care.
Poor Santa gurgled, “I’ll never get there.”
When what to his wondering eye should appear;
But some coast guard cutters with their rescue gear!

The officers and crew were so lively and quick;
Sure was a lucky break for good ole Saint Nick.
With a nod from the captain. they went right to work.
Rudolph was embarrassed, he felt like a jerk.

Poor Santa was soggy, but as anyone could see,
He was very grateful to the U.S.C.G!
And we heard him exclaim as they towed him from sight,
“If it weren’t for age and weight, I’d enlist Tonight!”

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WHY CAN’T FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY CHRIS CHRISTIE REACH A VERDICT ?

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially leaves office today

Chris Christie Was Sure Of Himself In The Past, So Why Does He Doubt Himself Now?


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Strategists behind the candidacy of former Bogota, N.J.  Mayor Steve Lonegan state that Chris Christie won’t be running for Governor.

One of Lonegan’s chief operatives claims that recent remarks by Christie, and others in his camp, are more indicative of a man who is not eager to run for the state’s top job and who is likely to forgo doing so.

Truthfully, I don’t put much weight in this claim.   However, the claim makes for a good strategy that helps to create an air of questions and doubt around Christie.

Nonetheless, the fact that it comes from a group of people who find Chris Christie to be their toughest opponent for the Republican gubernatorial nomination and their greatest obstacle to getting that nomination, makes this charge a little suspicious. It could very well be wishful thinking.

True or not,  Chris Christie’s declaring that he will will not make an announcement regarding his candidacy for another four to six weeks, is disheartening.

After the G.O.P. lost the presidential elections on November 4th, it was pretty clear that the newly elected President, a Democrat, would surely request Chris Christie, a Republican, to resign from the U.S. Attorney’s office .

Being aware of that, Christie gave notice and submitted his own resignation that took effect on December 1st.

On top of that is the fact that we saw the results of the presidential election coming for many weeks before Election Day. So what I am getting is this………….We all knew, for quite some time, that Chris Christie would be available for a new job soon. So we all anticipated that he would start submitting his resume to perspective employers relatively soon and we expected that those perspective employers would be us, the voters, and the position we would be interviewing him for was Governor of New Jersey.

We knew this and he knew this.

So what’s with Christie’s hesitation to declare his candidacy?

We hear that he wants to explore his opportunities and see where things are at.

But truth be told, such ambiguity from Christie is hogwash.

When one considers all the time he has had to make the decision to run for governor or not, one only conclude that he is playing some kind of game.

He knows by now whether he is running or not. If he doesn’t know, than I suggest he not run, because if he is that indecisive, then we would be better off with a Governor who is a bit more decisive and can effectively lead us.

I don’t know what is holding Chris Christie back. It could possibly be part of some an ingenious strategy that I am missing?

Personally, I think it is a mistake.

We need to get the ball rolling here in New Jersey. We can’t afford to waist time.

The possibility of Chris Christie entering the race is freezing things in place for Republicans.

Some potentially strong candidates are foregoing their own bid for the nomination in deference to Christie.

People like Morris County Freeholder John Murphy is one of them.

If Murphy is not running for Governor he could become a candidate for the state assembly, a successful one that could help increase our lagging numbers in that chamber. If Chris Christie doesn’t run for Governor, Murphy, who came in third in the last gubernatorial primary, could make a significant run for the nomination this time. Such a move on Murphy’s part would mean that we need to gear up the candidacy of someone else to run for that assembly seat in Murphy’s place.

There are many other pieces that are being prevented from falling into place due to Christie’s indecision.

So I for one suggest that Mr. Christie thaw out the freeze that he has created.

As a former U.S. Attorney, one of the most successful in our history, he knows that long deliberations are often the results of poorly presented cases. As such, if he needs to deliberate over this decision much longer than he already has, than I can only assume that there are too many obstacles in his way.

It makes we wonder what those obstacles could be. Are their unrevealed skeletons in his closet? Do Democrats have something on him?

Whatever the reason Chris Christie may have for prolonging his deliberations, it only creates doubts about him and that is not good.

He needs to give us voters, the jury in this case, his verdict sooner rather later.

If he wants to be our nominee for Governor, he better start creating a sense of confidence in those of us who he wants voting for him.

Right now, his procrastination is showing me that he doesn’t want the job of Governor all that much and the longer he waits to decide, the more convinced I and others become of that. And let’s face it folks……this is going to be a tough election. One that will require our nominee for Governor to want the job, bad enough, to make the sacrifices that will be necessary to get it.

While Chris Christie’s apparent indecision sets in, POLITICS 24/7 wants to know what Republicans are thinking.

So, as of today, who would you like to see be the Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey?

The following poll lists a few easily possible or likely potential candidates. Take a moment and place your vote.

Results will be released next Monday.

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 TRUE  TALE

When Daniel Arap Moi was the president  of Kenya, Moi wanted a special postage stamp issued with his picture on it.

 

 So, he instructed his people, stressing that it should be of international quality.

 

The stamps were duly released and Moi was pleased.

 

But within a few days of release of the stamp, he began hearing complaints that the stamp was not sticking properly, and he became furious.

 

He called the people responsible and ordered them to investigate the matter.

 

They checked the matter out at several post offices, and then reported the problem to Moi.

 

The report said, “There is nothing wrong with the quality of the stamp. The problem is people are spitting on the wrong side.”


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CONSERVATIVE TORCH BEARER MAKES IT OFFICIAL – LONEGAN RUNS FOR GOVERNOR

On the very same day that Chris Christie’s resignation from the U.S. Attorney’s office takes effect, Steve Lonegan announced his own candidacy for the nomination. Speculation has it that Christie will most definitely be running for the nomination and as one of the state’s most recognizable Republican names, many hope that he does run.

So Lonegan’s kicking off his campaign with an official, public, declaration of his candidacy on the same day that Christie resignation from the U.S. Attorney’s office takes effect is no coincidence. In truth, it was a smart move.

News outlets are surely going to be mentioning Christie’s resignation and giving him some earned media. They all know that Christie’s job with the justice department prohibited him from any political activity and making any declarations of his own candidacy, but now that he is out office, the media buzz about the Governor’s race will heat up.

By making his own campaign official on this day, Steve Lonegan assured himself, at least, equal time with Christie on the airwaves. Undoubtedly, if the news does bring up the fact that Christie’s resignation became effective today, then they will surely mention the declared candidacy of his potential rival for the nomination, Steve Lonegan.

In addition to his timely announced campaign kickoff, Steve Lonegan has also launched his campaign web site (which you can link to by clicking on the image from this web site, to the right).

So I give Lonegan credit for playing it right so far. It shows that he is not just interested in the job but that he and his campaign officials know how to run for the job.

And getting the job is going to be a tough. Real tough.

While Steve Lonegan is the favorite of New Jersey conservatives, Chris Christie is the favorite of the Republican establishment in New Jersey and unfortunately for Lonegan the phrase “New Jersey conservatives” is an oxymoron. There are far fewer conservative oriented voters in this state than liberal Republicans. So Lonegan starts off at disadvantage. But it is not one that can’t be overcome.

Before Christie has even announced his own candidacy he has already been caught up in a few verbal missteps. Not long ago, while speaking before a largely Hispanic group, he indicated that illegal immigration was more of an administrative matter than a criminal issue. For that, some called for his resignation from the U.S. Attorney’s office, long before he intended to do so. That remark  will certainly be an issue that is raised if Christie runs for governor. It isn’t a silver bullet but that alone gives Steve Lonegan some fighting power that will cause Chris Christie to waste time and money responding to.

But aside from Chris Christie’s own , yet to be known, positions on the issues, Steve Lonegan has a significant record on the issues in his own right. He even has the ability to lay claim to successfully spearheading political causes. He helped to defeat many Corzine initiated measures that would have raised taxes in new Jersey.

On illegal immigration, Lonegan’s voice has been loud and clear. When he was the Mayor of Bogota, he made it known that illegal immigration was not just an administrative issue but a criminal matter that needed to be addressed.

On taxes and spending , it is also clear that Steve Lonegan is not of the center or left of center mold. In fact he stops short of declaring war on taxes and spending and makes it clear that “New Jersey’s government continues to grow beyond the people’s ability to pay.”

According to his recently launched web site, Lonegan “will fight for the forgotten citizens: the hair stylist, the legal assistant, the mechanic, the nurse, the farmer, the supermarket cashier and the factory worker” and “be the champion of the men and women who get up in the morning, go to work, and obey the law.”

I for one like what I am hearing from Lonegan but the devil is in the details and the details are what we need to hear.

If Steve Lonegan can articulate those details in an easily accessible message to the people and if they add up and are believable than he just might have my support.

But until then, I will listen closely. Unlike the race for President, I am not convinced of who is best to carry our banner in November.

In the presidential race, I was among the minority of New Jersey republicans who declared my support for Mitt Romney in September of ‘07. After witnessing the campaign that our ultimate nominee waged, I feel I was right. However in the race for Governor of New Jersey, I have no clear favorite.

Steve Lonegan does seemingly represent my views most closely but I have yet to hear from the others. Chris Christie is a blank slate to me. I, like many others know of him and know of his truly incredible work prosecuting crime but that is all I know and it’s not enough.

Even though his candidacy starts off with advantages that others do not, I refuse to give our party’s nomination to someone who wants to run like a democrat for political expediency. We have had more than enough of that. Tom Kean, Jr.’s candidacy for U.S. Senate against Bob Menendez was an example of that type of candidacy. It was the first time I could not, in good in conscience, vote for the party’s nominee. The positions that he took in that race made it obvious that a vote for him was the same as a vote for Menendez. Neither were acceptable so I wrote in the name of more deserving wished for candidate.

So Christie’s name I.D. and ability to tap into financial resources does not win me over. Where he stands on the issues is more important.

At the same time, Lonegans’s conservative credentials do not automatically make me a supporter of him. Beyond the details of his intended path to prosperity, I need to see that he has the pragmatism needed to instill a sense of confidence in voters. He also needs to demonstrate an ability to be more than a hardliner. Lonegan must show me that he can deliver our message in a manner that unifies people and crosses party lines.

If he cannot do that then all the great things that he might be able to accomplish for us are meaningless.

So I will not declare my support for any one Republican candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. I will wait to see who is most suitable on the issues and who can present those issues in the most suitable way. I will let all the candidates work hard and earn my support before I state which one deserves my support and our nomination.

That means, that Assemblyman Richard Merkt will also have my ear. As the first to really declare his candidacy, Rich Merkt deserves being heard and I welcome his presence on the stage.

I even hope that bio-tech entrepreneur John Crowley throws his hat into the ring. His presence in the contest would energize the primary battle like no other. Between his inspirational story, ingenuity, dedication and personal accomplishments, Crowley would make this a close race that would force all the candidates to be at the top of their game and as a result, the truly best man will win. Such a contest would allow us to produce a nominee that would have the very best chance of not only defeating Corzine but having the coattails to win back some seats in the state legislature.

No matter how the field shapes up though, I know that I will not be putting any effort in to nominating a Democrat-lite Republican. If that’s what New Jersey republicans want then why put up a candidate at all when we could simply vote for another 4 years of the real deal, Jon Corzine.

In the meantime, Steve Lonegan’s declaration today is exciting. He sounds like the change we need. Now he just has to prove it.

 punchline-politics21

 Dance 

    There was a dance teacher who talked of a very old dance called the Politician. “All you have to do” she told her class “is take three steps forward, two steps backward, then side-step side-step and turn around.”

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