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CROWLEY STILL CONSIDERING RUN FOR NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR

Bio Tech Entrepreneur  John Crowley

Bio Tech Entrepreneur John Crowley

Political insiders make it clear, that at this point in time, biotech entrepreneur John Crowley is still strongly considering running for Governor of New Jersey.

So far there are already two declared candidates for New Jersey’s Republican gubernatorial nomination. Assemblyman Richard Merkt and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan.

Both of these men deserve to be heard and are worth watching. Not only do they have substantial records on the issues but they were also brave enough to throw their hats in the same ring that is likely to contain, now former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. With all the hoopla over Chris Christie’s possible entry into the race, many other potential candidates opted out of even trying. But not Merkt and Lonegan. That alone warrants their right to be heard.

So we already have two strong willed, determined aspirants for the nomination and that is a good thing, a very good thing.

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Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine

Another potentially prominent presence in the growing field of Republican candidates could come from an incumbent mayor.

Brian Levine has twice won election as Franklin Township’s mayor. Not an easy job in a town that is heavily weighed in favor of  democrats.

Levine has the type of crossover appeal that we will need to win back the keys to Drumthwacket in November. If Levine does declare his candidacy for the nomination, the question will become, does his crossover appeal to Democrats turn off the more conservative wing of the Republican party that would nominate him?

Presuming that Chris Christie does run, Lonegan’s, Merkt’s and possibly Levine’s, efforts, will at least force Chris Christie to do some real campaigning of his own for the nomination.

Although Christie brings the name recognition and seeming ability to tap into the financial resources that a successful campaign requires, I do not want the party to simply coronate him. I want him to earn the nomination. Make clear his positions on the issues, articulate his plans for the state and prove that he has the ability to get his message across in a way that people can believe.

As official candidates for the GOP nomination, Steve Lonegan and Richard Merkt will help to make sure that Chris has to prove himself. But truthfully, both Merkt and Lonegan are slightly handicapped in their ability to force Christie to play on the same field as them. Neither of them have the name I.D. that Christie does and neither of them have the access to the amount of money that is needed to be truly competitive and that Christie can tap into. The same holds true in the case of Levine’s possible candidacy.

Money is not everything but in politics, unfortunately, it means a lot.

That brings us to back to John Crowley. He has money.

John Crowley is a self-made, independently wealthy man with a compelling and inspirational history that brings even more to the table than just the money that is needed.

After studying at the U.S. Naval Academy for three semesters, he graduated with degrees in foreign service from Georgetown University and went on to obtain his J.D from Notre Dame Law School and then worked as a litigation associate in the health care industry.

Crowley furthered his education and received an M.B.A from Harvard Business School. From there he went on to work for a San Francisco based management consulting firm.

In 1998, John Crowley was handed the greatest challenge of his life. His wife, Aileen gave birth to twins, Patrick and Megan. Both were born with a fatal neuromuscular disorder called Pompe disease.

The disorder was so rare that few if any pharmaceutical entities attempted to develop treatment or cures for Pompe.

Determined, the Crowley’s settled in Princeton, to be near doctors who were specializing in Pompe disease.

John Crowley subsequently took up employment with Bristol-Meyers Squibb but after two years he left Bristol-Meyers to embark on a new venture. A venture that sought to increase the pace of research into Pompe and the development of a cure for it. It was a race against time that was slowly taking the lives of his children.

He became the CEO of a biotech company called Novazyme. In short time Novazyme merged with the world’s largest biotech company, Genzyme Corp., and soon after that the combined efforts of the two, brought about by John Crowley, led to the creation of an enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe disease that is keeping the Crowley kids alive today.

Getting to that point was not easy and there were a great many trials and tribulations, but John Crowley, his wife, and the team he assembled never gave up.

The story is the stuff that books are written about and about which movies are made.

A Pulitzer prize winning author actually did write a book about it. It is called “The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million – And Bucked the Medical Establishment – In a Quest to Save His Children” (ISBN 978-0060734398).

On top of that Harrison Ford has procured the rights to turn the Crowley story into a movie that he will also co-star in.

So, to say that John Crowley is a storybook candidate, is not just an understatement. It is true.

Now, at 41, Crowley is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve and is currently the President and CEO of Cranbury, New Jersey based, Amicus Therapeutics. He is also considering running for the Republican party’s gubernatorial nomination.

I hope he does.

That is not an endorsement of his potential candidacy but it is a sign of my eagerness to get to know what John Crowley would do as our Governor. He obviously is a talented, determined man with spirit, ingenuity a strong sense of commitment and a can do attitude and work ethic.

As is the case with Chris Christie, I do not know where John Crowley stands on the issues, but I hope we will be able to find out in a hard fought primary battle for the nomination.

Unlike Lonegan and Merkt, Crowley has the money needed to establish the name I.D. that Christie has. That would help even the playing field and insure that Chris Christie will have to earn the nomination as opposed to having it handed to him by the party establishment.

If Crowley enters the race, the entirety of the pro-Christie, Republican, establishment has the potential for splintering up. That is made apparent by Mercer County Chairman Roy Wesley who is the G.O.P. leader of the county that Crowley lives in.

It is reported that, right now, Wesley is “leaning toward” either Christie or Crowley.

Seeing as how we all know that Christie will be running but are not yet sure if Crowley will, the “either or” answer of Wesley makes sense. Why piss off Christie now by backing someone who may not run? However that “either or” response bodes well for Crowley and can best be interpreted to mean that if Crowley runs Wesley will endorse him but if he doesn‘t run, Chris Christie can count on Wesley‘s support.

The Chairmen of Union and Salem counties have already indicated that they are leaning to Christie. Monmouth county’s Republican chairman, Joe Oxley, has not gone that far, but nearly.

According to PolitickerNJ, Oxley stated that “everybody’s anticipating, hoping and expecting that Chris may very well enter the race”. He added that he is good friends with Christie and that Christie will have lots of support throughout the county.

Regardless of the opinions established at this point in time, if Crowley does enter the race, he will certainly shake things up. Many uncommitted county leaders and organizations will probably find themselves impressed with Crowley. He may even have the capacity to change the minds of many individuals currently inclined to support, Lonegan, Merkt or Chris Christie.

Personally, I look forward to Crowley’s interest in the governor’s job turning into a yearning for the job. I want him to run and turn our primary into a truly competitive race that will capture the headlines and attention of voters for months.

Such a race will help establish much needed name recognition for our future nominee and it will help to shed some light on our Republican solutions to our state’s problems.

On top of that, I hope John Crowley believes in the principles of our party and is willing to implement those principles in his approach to solving New Jersey’s problems.

If Crowley comes out trying to run a campaign that, for the sake of political expediency, makes him sound like a democrat, than I will be saying, “Adios, Sayonara, Au revoir, John.”

The same applies to Chris Christie.

If we are to win in November, we will have to run against the liberal policies being applied in Trenton by the current regime. We cannot run against democrats by trying to be them. If that is ones intention than don’t run.

I have a feeling that not only does John Crowley disagree with liberal policy, he is also not afraid to promote a right of center approach to government.

If that is the case, then Crowley may very easily get my vote.

For me, his political outsider status is a plus. He has no entanglement with the political bureaucracy that brought us to where we are today and as result he bears no blame. Furthermore; his “can do” mentality to getting things accomplished in the real world is the type of thinking that we need in the jaded world of government bureaucracy.

Of course, no matter who wins our nomination, it will behoove them to select State Senator Jennifer Beck as their running mate and our Lieutenant Governor nominee.

Please be sure to sign the online petition for that effort!

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There’s one thing that Democrats and Republicans share in common:

 Our money.

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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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PRESS RELEASES ABOUT THE EFFORT FOR JENNIFER BECK HAVE GONE OUT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Anthony M. Del Pellegrino
LiberalsRlosers@aol.com

 

Garden State Grass Root Republicans Trying To Cultivate A Winning GOP Ticket In ‘09

(Manchester, N.J. -November 26, 2008) ~ Followers of Republican State Senator Beck, R-Monmouth, have begun a petition and campaign for her to be tapped as the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor and running mate of whomever ultimately wins the nomination for Governor. They expect to deliver that message to whomever the Republican nominee for Governor winds up being .

As stated in the petition, it calls “upon the Republican party’s nominee for Governor to select State Senator Jennifer Beck as their running mate and our nominee for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey in the November elections of 2009.”

Supporters of the “State Senator Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey” petition effort believe that Senator Beck’s placement on the ticket would significantly boost Republican chances of winning“.

The petition’s creator, Anthony Del Pellegrino of Ocean County, released the following statement:

“As the race for Governor in New Jersey takes shape, many potential candidates for the Republican nomination are waiting for soon, to be, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie to make his intentions official. With the undeniable advantage that his popular, positive recognition, name id and deserved reputation brings, few will be very competitive against him if he decides to run. Some potential candidates won’t even run against him because of those advantages.

However, while Christie’s decision puts the GOP field in a temporary holding pattern and even though things could change at any moment, one thing wont change. That is the fact that no matter who is nominated for Governor, barring Jennifer Beck herself, no one person will bring more to the ticket as Lieutenant Governor than Senator Beck.

She has proven herself to be one of the state’s brightest and most energetic Republican lawmakers. While during the course of the last few state election cycles, Republicans have been losing seats in the state senate and assembly, Jennifer Beck has been winning them back for us. She appeals to independents and Democrats alike and beyond her masterful ability at campaigning and conveying our message of prosperity, fiscal responsibility and efficient government, Jennifer Beck is someone we believe in. She is a proven, positive force who embodies the future of New Jersey Republicans and, if elected, should the need arise for her to become Governor, Jennifer Beck would be more than just a competent Governor, she would be a unifying force and innovative leader who could steer New Jersey in the right direction.

That being the case, I have embarked on this effort to show whoever gets the Republican gubernatorial nomination that State Senator Jennifer Beck has a great deal of support for being chosen as our candidate for Lieutenant Governor

I have chosen to begin this campaign now, as a grass root effort, there is no heavily financed machine behind it. There will be no ads purchased on the airwaves or placed in newspapers. It is simply a heartfelt attempt to be able to help Republicans shape the strongest possible ticket against Jon Corzine and Trenton’s liberal led state legislature. Such a grass root effort takes time—–lots of time, to build momentum and recognition. So today we start that process and enlist the support of all those who hope to be a part of putting New Jersey back on track and who want to be a part state history by influencing the selection of New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor”.

Initial steps for the Beck for Lieutenant Governor movement have begun.

An online petition has been set up and is available for signing on to at:

http://www.gopetition.com/online/23572.html/

And along with the petition, two internet sites for the cause have been created. One is a blog that can be visited at:

http://jenniferbeckforltgovernor.wordpress.com/

The other is on a new web site called Rebuild The Party. Initiated by political computer tech king Patrick Ruffini, Rebuildtheparty.com was created after the recent elections and is designed as a networking platform for, as the title reads, rebuilding the party. On it supporters of the Beck petition drive have set up an online group called State Senator Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey and that can be found at:

http://rebuildtheparty.ning.com/group/statesenatorjenniferbeckforlieutenantgovernorofnew.com

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The Race To Shape New Jersey’s Future Begins Now!

POLITICS 24/7 has launched a new political effort and blog .

With it, today, the Republican grassroots of the Garden State takes steps to begin shaping New Jersey’s statewide elections in November of 2009.

It may seem early but given the importance of the outcome of the election, we need to gear up wisely and quickly.

In that vein, POLITICS 24/7 has started an effort to build support for the selection of our state’s first Lieutenant Governor.

The newly amended state constitution created the office after an abundant number of recent occasions where vacancies led to the sitting Senate President becoming the Acting Governor, thereby giving him the power of two of the states legislative branches at the same time.

The position is long overdue and in this coming election, for the first time, voters of New Jersey will be electing a gubernatorial ticket—–a Governor and a Lieutenant Governor. The constitution states that the individual who wins their party nomination hand picks his running mate for Lieutenant Governor.

It is fact that there are only a few potential Republican candidates, who may be running , that have the name identification and accessibility to the financial resources required to compete with the independent wealth of incumbent Governor Jon Corzine. Governor Corzine has invested tens of millions of dollars in his three statewide campaigns and the money successfully purchased his elevation first to United States senator and then Governor.

At the same time, Republicans in the state, have lost their own level of competitiveness in fundraising . Combined with the uniqueness of campaigning in a state that is split between the most expensive and third most expensive media markets in the nation, running a statewide campaign in Jersey is inordinately expensive.

On top of that, Republicans have been losing power and influence in the state legislature. The more their numbers decrease and their minority status increases, the tougher it becomes to influence legislation. Less influence leads to lesser fundraising capabilities.

This brings us to where we are today. It is a situation where few Republicans seem poised to be able to run a truly competitive and viable campaign for Governor. The only two potential candidates who might be willing and are able to overcome the obstacles to a successful campaign are soon to be former U.S. Attorney. Chris Christie and the resourceful, bright, determined, bio tech millionaire John Crowley.

Chris Christie’s efforts combating crime in New Jersey have garnered him incredibly positive and popular name identification and with that, the ability to raise the funds needed for a campaign with any chance of winning.

John Crowley‘s inspirational story and his personal wealth might make him another possible contender. A wealthy, New Jersey, political outsider who has a heart of gold and the pockets to match it. He is an innovator and an achiever. After establishing a bio tech company for the purpose of saving his newborn children from a rare and fatal disease, John Crowley has proven himself to have the determination and ability to solve problems and improve the lives of New Jesey residents lives.

In any case, the choices for a gubernatorial candidate who has all the right qualifications and resources, at this time, are limited. I for one am looking at all the potential candidates. For a more detailed assessment of them check out this highlighted POLITICS 24/7 post.

This leads us to why Politics 24/7 has begun an effort for the Lieutenant Governor spot.

Whichever possible candidate can prove themselves to be most qualified and to has the ability to tap into the resources needed to compete, there is one person who would be their best choice for a running mate.

State Senator jennifer Beck

State Senator Jennifer Beck

That person is State Senator Jennifer Beck.

When it comes to adding value and enthusiasm to the ticket, Senator Beck wins hands down. Her proven ability as a campaigner exceeds most others in today’s political arena.

When over the past few election cycles, Republicans were losing seats in the assembly and senate, Jennifer Beck won them back for us. She has won uphill battles in elections where Democrats outnumbered Republicans by margins that would have made most Republican operatives look the other way and avoid having their perceived, expected loss, added to their records.

As a councilwoman, assemblywoman and state senator, Jennifer Beck appealed not to the partisan tendencies in us but the collective goodwill among us. Independents and Democrats alike warmed to her approach to problem solving and government policies. Yet she did so not by trying to be politically expedient by trying to sound like a liberal. She did so by articulating conservative values in a way that appealed to those who she sought to lead.

And lead she did.

In just a relatively short time in Trenton as a legislator, Senator Beck established a solid and trusted reputation for herself. The type of reputation that our gubernatorial needs. it’s a reputation for clean government and positive reform. A reputation for innovation, fiscal responsibility and government accountability.

Between her appeal and ability as a candidate and communicator, and her legislative policy direction, Jennifer Beck would not only be a plus for the GOP ticket, but she will be a plus for the state of New Jersey and its citizens.

With Jennifer Beck, New Jerseyans will have a the security of knowing that should the need arise, we would inherit a true advocate of and for the people of New Jersey at the helm. Her steady hand will be a source of confidence that we need.

Furthermore, as stated in the constitutional amendment creating the office of the Lieutenant Governor, The Governor can appoint the Lieutenant Governor to lead any cabinet position excluding the position of Attorney General.

By granting a cabinet position to Lieutenant Governor Beck, the state will not just have some lady in waiting, sitting behind closed doors, but a hands on head of government applying her great abilities each and every day to specific responsibilities that we, the people, can benefit from.

So today, I officially launch this site, “The Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor” blog and welcome any and all Republicans who have any vision to join me in getting the ball rolling.

No matter who receives our nomination for Governor, Jennifer Beck is an asset whose involvement on the ticket will boost our fortunes and prepare New Jersey for the next generation of leadership.

With that in mind, today POLITICS 24/7 proudly introduces JENNIFER BECK FOR LIEUTNANT GOVERNOR, a blog site created for building a grass root network of Republicans who intend to make it known that we expect and urge our nominee for Governor to tap State Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor.

In accordance with the state constitution, the Republican nominee for Governor must select a running mate within 30 days of winning the nomination and the person should be JenniferBeck

Part of this effort utilizes a petition which makes our intention known and will be presented to whomever wins the nomination on the day after such a victory is determined.

I ask that any and all New Jersey residents to sign the online petition.

As a the process of deciding New Jersey’s future unfolds many things may change but the fact that we need to restore responsible, effective and constructive leadership in Trenton still remains. That being the case, today the grassroots of the Republican party begins an effort that sets a standard for the upcoming election. It is a standard set by the person who is our focus of our attention, Jennifer Beck. If she is not to be our nominee for Governor in 2009, then the individual who will be the nominee must reach the standard standards set by her. Then they must also make her their running mate and possibly New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor.

So I invite you all to visit JENNIFER BECK FOR LIEUTNANT GOVERNOR. Republican ticket in next There you will be able to find out more about Senator Beck, including, among other things, her voting record and biographical information.

Thank you!!

Yours truly in republicanism;
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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.

 

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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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