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New Jersey GOP Profits From Chris Christie & So Does the State

Other than Grover Cleveland, New Jersey has never really been known for its Republican leaders. There have been no Lincolns or Reagans to hail from it. There have been no Glodwaters or Jack Kemps to claim it as home in recent years. We’ve had some fair governors like Christine Todd Whitman and Tom Kean but none have profoundly led the G.O.P. or set a tone for the Party on a national level.

But in 2009, unbeknownst to most, that all changed.

In less than 1 year’s time, after defeating liberal Governor Jon Corzine, Chris Christie burst on to the scene and in no time at all proved that he was not your ordinary Republican and certainly not your run of the mill Northeastern liberal Republican.

He came into promising that he would govern as if he intended to only be a one term Governor. He said this because he refused to allow himself to be beholden to the powers that be and the special interests and powerbrokers who peddle political favors for government kickbacks.

So far Christie, has lived up to that promise. He has taken on the biggest unions in the state. He has adopted fiscal restraint and slashed the budget of every state government agency and department in order to balance the budget and get spending under control. He has made many hard decisions and most New Jerseyans have no regrets over the choices he made.

Along the way, all of Christie’s actions have echoed loudly and far beyond the borders of the Garden State. From Kennebunkport to California, Chris Christie’s actions have given rise to a true profile in courage which leaders all over America want to emulate. Which is why Chris Christie spend a month worth of time campaigning for the elections of Republicans to congress, the U.S. Senate and statehouses. His legendary prowess as a fiscal conservative who knows when and how to say no, during a time with a President that feels spending is the answer to everything, has made Christie a novelty and turned him into a national figure and in some cases a national hero.

So it is only logical for the New Jersey Republican State Committee to try and capitalize Christie’s fame. That’s is why, under the stupendous leadership of Assemblyman and Republican State Chairman Jay Weber, the N.J.G.O.P. has begun to sell Chris Christie gear. From mugs and bumper stickers to T-shirts and hoodies, conservative can purchase items that signify their appreciation for common sense, fiscal restraint and the man who has come to represent such concepts .

Proceeds from the sales go directly to the N.J.G.O.P. which unlike most states will be holding critical state legislative races and end up having much to do with the redistricting process that will draw the district lines from which every House and state legislative candidate will run in for the following ten years.

The effort is one that is sure to bring some sorely needed bucks for next years legislative races. So I for one commend the N.J.G.O.P. for their bright packaging of our Governor to the rest of the nation and taking advantage of his popularity. I mean why not? It’s not anyone could have made money off of Jon Corzine sweatshirts. I also thank Governor Christie for making New Jersey proud again and for becoming one of those few great Republican leaders that we can proudly say hails from New Jersey.

Click Here To Get Your Christie Gear

     

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Join New Jersey In Paying Tribute To President Ronald Reagan

Bookmark and Share  Ronald-Reagan-1985  Few annual political events in New Jersey are growing in popularity as much as Assemblyman Jay Webber’s New Jersey Reagan Day Dinner.   And this year the state’s “tribute to the life and legacy of our 40th President” is going to be the biggest yet.

This, the Seventh Annual New Jersey Reagan Day, will feature former Attorney General Ed Meese as its Keynote speaker.

Few men worked as closely with President Reagan as did Ed Meese. He was at his side for over 21 years and through his two terms as Governor of California and two terms as president of the United States.

When President Reagan first took office, Mr. Meese, served as Reagan’s chief policy adviser, a responsibility that, as Counselor to the President, was his from 1981 to 1985. In February of 1985, President Reagan made Ed Meese the 75th Attorney General of the United States. Prior his work in the White House, Attorney General Meese played a role in each of President Reagan’s two presidential bids and both elections for Governor of California.

While in Sacramento, Mr. Meese served then Governor in several different capacities including Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant and from 1967 through 1968, he was the Governor’s Legal Affairs Secretary.

Reagan and Meese appreciated and trusted and each other. And appreciated each others talents and abilities. That respect and appreciation was never more evident as the time President Reagan told reporters;

“If Ed Meese is not a good man, there are no good men”.

The feeling for Ed Meese was mutual. And it is that special bond and knowledge of one another that makes Ed Meese probably the most appropriate political leader to offer the Keynote address at New Jersey’s tribute to President Reagan

Reagan and Meese worked together through some tough times in our nation’s history and not only did they get us back on our feet again, they stood us on solid ground and provided a roadmap for prosperity and security. A roadmap that many American’s see us taking a detour from as the current Administration and the ruling liberal regime marches us down a path of mediocrity and dependence on government.

Last year’s Reagn Day dinner saw a crowd well in excess of two or more hundred as the room opened up in order to allow more tables to be set for the arrival of many more people than was expected. And in addition to a host of state, county and municipal leaders, it also attracted all the candidates who were vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. That included the inevitable nominee and now incumbent Governor, Chris Christie.

This year is different though. This year, a sense of a nation that has wandered off track and in need of a return to the conservative values and practical application of government that Reagan offered, will probably attract even more people and top name political leaders. Although the official NJ Reagan Dinner invitation does not say it, I suspect that after showing up last year as a candidate, Chris Christie will be showing up again, but this time as Governor.  If by chance he can not show up, there is a pretty good chance that our new, and the state’s first Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno will be there to say a few words.   (These are my expectations, not those of the event’s organizers or sponsors, so don’t hold them accountable to my prediction.  Hold me accountable)

Last year, the man responsible for the New Jersey Reagan Day dinner was a prominent young Assemblyman. This year that man, Jay Webber, is still a prominent young Assemblyman but he is now also the Chairman of the State Republican Party. As such, unless of course there is some kind of emergency that creates a scheduling conflict, protocol would dictate that Governor Christie show his respects with a personal appearance. After all, Assemblyman Webber is now the leader of the Governor’s Party and he is also the man that gave candidate Christie the opportunity to address hundreds of Republicans when he wanted their support. Now it’s Governor Christie’s chance to show his appreciation and make a return appearance.

It should be noted that in addition to the main purpose of this event, our tribute to President Reagan, and in addition to the possible appearance of Governor Christie, another good reason to head out to the Reagan Day dinner is to thank your host, Assemblyman Webber.

Assemblyman Webber is truly one of the state’s brightest stars.

He is among the most conservative legislators that we have and he is no establishment politician who simply goes along to get along. He is a fighter and a true defender of the Reagan values that made our nation strong and can make our state strong. Legislators like him are, unfortunately far and few between, so it is up to all of us to have his back because he’s got ours.

So be sure to make it to the 7th Annual Reagan Day Dinner.

Join Assemblyman Webber, Attorney General Meese and all the others who will be paying tribute to our greatest contemporary President,…….Ronald Wilson Reagan.

The party is :

Friday, February 19th, 2010

From 6 to 8 pm

  at the

Zeris Inn

372 Route 46 East

Mountain Lakes, New Jersey

Tickets are $40.00 per person and that includes a Full Dinner Buffet with Dessert, but lushes beware, it is a cash bar.

Checks can be made out to New Jersey Reagan Day,  42 Carlson Place, Lake Hiawatha, NJ 07034-3102

For more information you can call (201) 602-4468 or visit www.njreaganday.com

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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.

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 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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AFTER 7 YEARS OF DELIVERING JUSTICE TO JERSEY, CHRISTIE MOVES ON

Today marks the end of a era.
It marks the end of the seven year reign of one the most effective and influential figures in New Jersey.
U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially leaves office today

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially leaves office today

Today, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially resigns from office.

During his time as U.S. Attorney, Christie created an atmosphere that chilled those on the dark side of justice and brightened the hopes of those of us on the right side of justice.

With 132 convictions and zero acquittals, Chris Christie not only rooted out wrongdoing, he successfully prosecuted it wherever he found it.

Given the propensity for political corruption in a state that breeds wrongdoing through it’s proliferation of local governments and government arranged deals, Chris Christie had a lot of ground to cover.

And cover it, he did.

Whether the target was a Republican or Democrat, if they were breaking the law, Chris Christie was ending their careers and cleaning up the messes they were making.

More than just racking up white collar convictions, Chris Christie spared New Jerseyans from the violence that hardcore criminals would be free to carry out were it not for his successful prosecution of them. But it is in the area of white collar crime that Christie had the greatest impact. His efforts fighting government corruption gave citizens a sense of confidence. The confidence of knowing that those in government whom were not acting in the best interest of the people, would soon pay a hefty price and their wrongs would be rectified.

Christie restored a sense of balance. The type of balance that assured us that while government might be watching us, someone was watching them.

As Chris Christie closes the door on his own efforts fighting crime through the u.S. Attorney’s office, he may just open another door that could usher in the opportunity to continue doing some good for New Jersey. That door could be the one to the Governor’s office.

Many Republicans are waiting with bated breath, for Christie to announce that he is running for Governor. The hope is that with all of his name identification and his high positive polling numbers, he will run for the Republican nomination.

I will admit that Chris Christie has all the right qualities and advantages for a successful candidacy but I am not willing to grant him the nomination because of that alone.

I want to know where Chris Christie stands on the issues.

If I find myself agreeing with him than I will be ecstatic over his potential candidacy, but that remains to be seen .

That’s why we go through the primary process……..to find out where those interested in the job, stand on the issues. So I want the process to play itself out. I want Chris Christie to have to fight for the nomination and earn it. Let him show me why his positions on the state’s economy or pension negotiations and taxes are better than other candidates like Steve Lonegan or Assemblyman Richard Merkt.

Hopefully others besides them will also enter the race for the nomination.

People like the compelling John Crowley.

Crowley’s story is an inspiring one that demonstrates his ingenuity, sense of commitment, dedication and effectiveness. It is a story so inspirational that books have been written about it and a movie, starring Harrison Ford as John Crowley himself, is to be made about it.

If people like him enter the race, we are assured of a contest for the nomination that will produce one of the strongest candidates that New Jersey Republicans have fielded for statewide office since Tom Kean Sr. ran for reelection as Governor.

So I look forward to the primary process that will allow us to choose our nominee and I hope that Chris Christie will be a part of that process. If he has a conservative approach to the solutions that New Jersey needs and can demonstrate that his political leadership is anywhere near as good as his crime busting efforts then he just might get my support.

But today, regardless of Chris Christie’s political future, we take a moment to pay tribute to him and to thank him for all that he has done to combat the corruption that cheats all of us in New Jersey.

His departure from the U.S. Attorney’s office leaves us hoping that justice in Jersey will continue to be served as efficiently and as effectively as it was under his direction for the past seven years.

So thank you Chris. 

Thank you for serving us with distiction and for doing your part in insuring that those working in government were making government work for us.

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TRUE POLITICAL STORY

Supposedly G.B. Shaw once sent Winston Churchill some tickets for the first night of one of his plays.

Churchill then sent Shaw a telegram to the effect: “Cannot come first night. Will come second night if you have one.”

Shaw promptly replied: “Here are two tickets for the second night. Bring a friend if you have one.”

 

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THE TOP 10 POLITICAL HAPPENINGS OF 2008

With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.

So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.

TONY SNOW

TONY SNOW

10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW

TIM RUSSERT

TIM RUSSERT

Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and during  a different time they covered both sides of the aisle in politics . Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.

 

 

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

9 . – IS THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME?

 

The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.

 

 

8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

 

Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.

 

 

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

7. – BID WELL FIDEL?

 

In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.

 

 ant1georgis1a2

6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WAR

 

It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.

 

 

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT

 

2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate.

 

 

4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

 

One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!

 

 

ant1oil23. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?

 

The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up.

 

 

2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

 

Putting all political opinion aside, Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction, they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability to win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was done to political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth, Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like any other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.

 

 

ant1bailout21 . – BAIL OUT MANIA

 

POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.

 

2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.

With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.

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