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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.

punchline-politics

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 . . .

GiggleSugar

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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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NEW JERSEY DEMOCRAT PARTY BOSS WANTS A CANDIDATE FOR LT. GOV. LIKE JEN BECK

NJ STATE DEMOCRATIC PART CHAIR, ASSEMBLYMAN JOE CRYAN

NJ STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR, ASSEMBLYMAN JOE CRYAN

Recently New Jersey’s state Democrat party boss and Deputy Assembly Majority Leader,  Joe Cryan of Union County explained that in the upcoming election, the liberal choice for Lieutenant Governor on the democratic ticket must be a minority or a woman.

The party boss added that the nominee for Lieutenant Governor should be “someone who doesn’t look like the governor.”

According to Cryan, Democrats must select a woman or a minority because they “want to be inclusive” and “that’s important”.

We find that interesting.

It is interesting that the state’s chief Democrat party leader is seeking to bolster the chances of reelecting the state’s chief elected Democrat by creating a visual image of inclusion. Forget about the most qualified or the best person for the times we are in. Just base the decision on looks. Base the leadership of New Jersey on skin color or sex.

Well ladies and gentlemen, we wish Democrats a lot of luck with that strategy.

They will need it. After all it isn’t Jon Corzine’s good looks that will win him reelection as Governor and it isn’t the color of ones skin or their sex which will get them elected.

And if the image of a minority or a woman is what they are looking for in a Lieutenant Governor, than they will like the Republican ticket that POLITICS 24/7 is hoping for.

A few weeks before POLITICS 24/7 began our petition effort to repeal the automatic pay raise that Congress is getting, we began a campaign to nominate State Senator Jennifer Beck as our nominee for Lieutenant Governor.

This decision was made based upon Senator Beck’s ability, not her gender.

We do not promote the candidacy of Jennifer Beck because she is a woman. Unlike the intentions of Democrats, we have chosen Senator Beck based upon her record, leadership and ability. We believe that Jennifer Beck is the best person for Lieutenant Governor not because she looks the part but because she is right for the part.

Two of the most important issues facing New Jersey are the economy and ethics.

On both of those issues Jennifer Beck has been leading the way for reform, reform of a state economy that is stripping us of the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels our economy and reform of the way that the state and it’s public servants conduct business.

In addition to that, Senator Beck brings a conservative approach to government without a politically partisan twist. Her appeal to Democrats, Republicans and independents alike proves her inclusive approach to governance. Her victories in strongly Democrat districts demonstrates her inclusiveness and proves that you do not need not be a minority to address minority concerns.

Of course it might just be time for New Jersey Democrats to try to prove that they can properly address and represent women and minorities. Republicans have elected minorities to the state legislature and unlike Democrats, Republicans have nominated women to the United States Senate and we have nominated and elected a female Governor. One of the longest serving congessional representatives that New Jersey sent to Washington, D.C. was a woman.  A Republican woman. So New Jersey Republicans have represented minoroities and woman for quite some time now.  New Jersey Democrats just have some catching up to do. 

Furthermore; unlike Assemblyman Joe Cryan’s plea, New Jersey Republican women and minorities are capable, competent individuals who are selected because of their superior skill and leadership, not simply because they are a minority or a woman.

That is why we at the draft Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor campaign are excited by the prospects of having Jennifer Beck as our nominee for Lieutenant Governor.

She is everything that Democrats like party Chairman Joe Cryan want in their own candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Perhaps running against the inclusive candidacy of Senator Beck is something that New Jersey Democrats fear.   And well they should.

BE SURE TO SIGN THE PETITION URGING THE NOMINATION

OF SENATOR BECK FOR LT. GOV.

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And Be Sure To Also Sign The Petition To

REPEAL THE CONGRESSIONAL PAY HIKE

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

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

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

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punchline-politics21

To All My Democrat Friends and others:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.

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ARE REPUBLICANS ROLLING OUT A RED CARPET OR WAVING A WHITE FLAG?

Recently, State Senator Sean Kean (R-Monmouth) and Assembly members Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean) and Dave Rible (R-Wall) endorsed Chris Christie for the Republican nomination for Governor.

antsk4

State Senator Sean Kean

I normally find myself in agreement with those lawmakers, usually.

 

However in this case I do not approve of their premature endorsement of a candidate who not only hasn’t articulated his positions on the issues facing the state but is not even a declared candidate for the nomination.

antmpphoto1

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini

New Jersey Republican leaders seem to be yearning for a savior. So much so that I believe they are willing to throw out the baby with the bath water.

In their intense desire to win an election they seem to be placing little importance on the principles that we need a Governor to bring to Trenton along with their victory.  On top of that thinking being wrong based upon its shallowness, it also ignores a basic truth.  It ignores the fact that our party should not be built around any one individual.  It should be built around our principles and the ideas that Republixcans bring to the table.  Rather than focus on one person to lead us to victory, Republican legislators should be providing Trenton with the ideas that could win the day for us.  Without those ideas, there is no need to win.  So I suggest that Republican elected officials focus on that job.  Focus on bringing change through the legislative solutions they propose.  I want them to do their job and let the candidates running for governor do their job.

Assemblyman David Rible

Assemblyman David Rible

Once the candidates  have done so, or at the very, least begun to do so, then come out and endorse one of them.  Don’t just endorse someone for political expediency.  Have some sincerity in purpose.  Endorse someone for their ideas, their thinking, the direction they propose to take us.   Not for their name. 

 

I want to know these things before I approve or reject his candidacy. I want to know where he stands on issues before we say….”here take our nomination, take all that we believe and do as you wish with it to become Governor”.

With Republican elected officials simply endorsing Christie before he has stated a position on any issues or even become a candidate, they are not helping matters. They are simply saying, “we don’t know what you stand for but we need you”. That type of courtship does not help us build a strong ticket for Governor in November. In fact it could lead to trouble.

 Years ago when New York was my political arena, before becoming the Republican nominee in his second attempt to become Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani told me that losing against Dave Dinkins the first time around, taught him a lot.

You see, the first time he ran, Rudy expected Republicans allover the nation, to roll over and roll out the red carpet for his candidacy. At the time he felt that Republicans needed him more than he needed Republicans. That wasn’t exactly the case.

 

While waiting for Republicans throughout the city to come and kiss Rudy’s ring, another Republican courted them for their support. With money and conservative opinions, Ronald Lauder garnered enough support to wage a strong primary battle against Rudy. It was a battle that probably caused Rudy to lose the election by one percentage point

Potential republican Nominee for Governor, Chris Christie

Potential Republican Nominee for Governor, Chris Christie

Instead of making his rounds and earning support from the party whose nomination he wanted, Rudy felt that it was incumbent upon them to come to him.

Not all of them did.

Many felt at home with the more conservative candidate who respected them enough to ask for their support, not expect their support.

Had Rudy maintained a little humility and earned the support of all Republicans, he may have avoided the bloody and expensive primary battle that he found himself in and by avoiding that battle he might have won the war and been elected mayor four years earlier than he was. In fact he probably would have been able to serve three terms instead of the two he was limited to by the term limits which voters adopted in the same election that finally saw Rudy win City Hall.

Four years after losing the 1989 mayoral race, Rudy admitted that the way he conducted himself, the first time, was inappropriate. He told me and a couple of county chairmen that he learned his lesson and that he knew he needed every Republican as much, if not more than they needed him.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani

With that lesson learned, Rudy went on to win the Republican nomination for Mayor with ease and ultimately became one of the greatest mayors New York has ever known.

Now, here we are in New Jersey and another famed prosecutor is on the verge of saving Republicans from defeat.

If Chris Christie believes like Rudy did in 1989, Christie could find himself in the same position as Rudy.

With some Republican elected officials simply endorsing Christie before he has stated a position on any issues or even become a candidate yet, they are not helping matters. They are actually saying, “we don’t know what you stand for but we need you”. That type of courtship does not help us build a strong ticket for Governor in November. It simply helps to create an arrogant  mentality in Christie that allows him to believe that we owe him the nomination and that the job of Governor is his merely because he may want it..

Truth is, we owe nothing to Chris Christie other than our thanks for his undeniably successful tenure as New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney for the past seven years.

So stop wooing Chris Christie. Let Chris Christie start wooing us, the voters. Let Chris Christie join the other official candidates and earn our support.

The most recent example of Republican leaders hastily rushing to endorse someone, long before the primary election for a Republican nomination took place, was at the end of last year, when hundreds of Republicans from county chairmen, mayors, freeholders, councilmembers and state legislators rushed to endorse Rudy Giuliani for President.

We all know how successful that was.

So stop trying to part the sea for Chris Christie. We need to let him articulate his positions on the issues and demonstrate why he would be a better Governor than Richard Merkt, Steve Lonegan, Brian Levine or any other potential nominee.

A good start for Christie would be to stop stalling. The longer he waits to make a decision, the more suspect people become. They begin to wonder, does he want the job bad enough? Is there some closeted skeleton that is making him apprehensive about running?

Whatever the answer, Christie needs to make it official, one way or the other.

Until then, I suggest that everyone stop hoping that Chris Christie can walk on water. Stop making him believe that he is the best thing since sliced bread merely because he is Chris Christie. Help us win back New Jersey so that we can turn things around. Help strengthen our ticket in November by making Chris Christie put his very best foot forward and earn the nomination that he may want.

We are not helping ourselves by rolling out a red carpet for Chris Christie while waving a white flag of surrender for what ,we as Republicans, stand for.

We need to let Christie articulate his positions on the issues and demonstrate why he would be a better Governor than Richard Merkt, Steve Lonegan, Brian Levine or any other potential nominee. We need to make sure that Chris Christie represents the Republican ideology and approach to government that we stand for.

So before Republicans officials hand over our mantle to someone, let them prove themselves to be worthy of holding it. Let the candidates campaign for the nomination so that the right ideas may help win day rather than just some empty suit with a well known name.

 

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punchline-politics21

Q. How many Libertarians does it take to change a light bulb?

A. None, the market will take care of it.

Q. Why did the Libertarian cross the road?

A. To start his own country.

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CROWLEY NOT RUNNING AND THE RACE FOR NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR JUST GOT LESS COMPETETIVE

Bio Tech Entrepreneur  John Crowley

Bio Tech Entrepreneur John Crowley Won't Run For Governor

The potential race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination just became a little less competitive.

For the second time this year, biotech entrepreneur John Crowley has declined a bid for statewide office in New Jersey.

According to a spokesman, Crowley has decided not seek office at this time.

Most recently, many had hoped that John Crowley would have sought the senate seat which Democrat Frank Lautenberg won a fifth term to. At the time Crowley citied his responsibilities to his biotech business in Cranbury as the reason for not running. Crowley’s biotech company, was originally started by him in an attempt to develop treatment for a fatal disease that has newborn twins were born with. After a merger, the company has since become one of the world’s largest biotech organizations under the name Amicus Therapeutics.

The combination of independent wealth, inspirational personal history, innovation, intelligence and political ideology made Crowley candidate for pinning Republican hopes of electoral victories in New Jersey on. John McCain even called John to request that he run against Lautenberg. As was the case with other state officials, the request was rejected.

Although he continues decline running for office, politics is still an arena that Crowley will participate in.

Earlier this year he created “Building The New Majority“, a political action committee aimed at taking back control of the state legislature. Aides to Crowley claim that through Building The New Majority, Crowley will be quite busy in the coming months. In fact they say that the committee will soon be launching a campaign to address the sour business atmosphere in New Jersey and how we can turn it around.

The absence of John Crowley from the Republican primary for Governor doesn‘t harm our chances to win in November but it does reduce the amount of competitiveness that we will see in it..

His ability to finance a campaign that could match the deep pockets of John Corzine who purchased his last three statewide campaigns, would have helped to heat things up a bit. He would have forced a real fight the nomination. One that would have produced a nominee that truly earned it and proved their ability to raise the funds needed to compete with Corzine in November..

Right now, many establishment Republicans are simply waiting for Chris Christie to declare his candidacy. The only official candidates so far are Steve Lonegan and Assembly Richard Merkt. They have yet to prove themselves and catch fire with the establishment or any other Republican voters on a statewide level. If they fail to raise the funds necessary to compete with the anticipated recognition of Chris Christie, it looks like the primary may become more of a coronation for Christie than an election.

That would be a shame.

It hasn’t happened yet and it may not. Christie could prove himself to be vulnerable on the campaign trail. Merkt and Lonegan have the chance to make significant inroads. However, a Crowley candidacy would have insured Christie’s need to work hard for the nomination.

Anything could change though. For all we know Chris Christie, who has seen fit to delay an announcement of his own candidacy, may surprise us and join John Crowley in rejecting picking up the mantle for New Jersey Republicans. If that happens, there are some other very good individuals who, in the absence of Christie from the field, may jump in. People like Morris County Freeholder John Murphy or maybe even someone like State Senator Bill Baroni .

A recent POLITICS 24/7 poll taken on our sister site, “Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor”, showed Baroni with a surprisingly strong showing. The results of that poll were as follows:

 

 

Former US Attorney Chris Christie
   42%
State Senator Jennifer Beck
   17%
State Senator Bill Baroni
   12%
Bio Tech Entrepreneur John Crowley
   7%
Fmr. Bogota, NJ Mayor Steve Lonegan
   6%
Morris County Freeholder John Murphy
   4%
Former Majority Leader Paul DeGaetano
   3%
Perennial Candidate Murray Sabrin
   3%
Frm. Rep. Mike Fergusson
   2%
Assemblyman Joe Pennachio
   2%
Assemblyman Richard Merkt
   0%
State Senator Joe Kyrillos
   0%
Other
 3%
In any event, Crowley’s absence fro the race makes it easier for Christie to consolidate support among those Republicans who want him to win the nomination simply because he has high name identification. That is not a good thing. That type of thinking could produce an out of touch, arrogant candidacy that could cost us more than it was worth come November.
Hopefully, we, the voters, will give all of the official candidates a fair hearing. That includes any one else runs like Mayor Brian Levine as well as Chris Christie, if he ever finally decides to run.

 

 

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punchline-politics21

A guy walks into a bar and asks the bartender, “Isn’t that Obama and Defense Secretary Gates sitting over there?”

The bartender says, “Yep, that’s them.”

So the guy walks over and says, “Wow, this is a real honor. What are you guys doing in here?”

Obama says, “We’re planning WW III.”

And the guy says, “Really? What’s going to happen?”

Obama says, “Well, we’re going to kill a few thousand Somalis this time and one blonde with big tits.

The guy exclaimed, “A blonde with big tits? Why kill a blonde with big tits?

Obama turns to gates, punches him on the shoulder and says, “See, smart ass?! I told you no one would worry about the Somalis!”

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