The Donkey's Bray — Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dear Friends,

We have lots to do in the next three days to get out the vote for Barbara Buono, Democratic legislators, and the rest of the Democratic ticket. If you share our concern about another four years of Chris Christie's damaging policies, do something about it. Find your county party organization here, or volunteer to get involved on our website here. Your efforts will make a positive difference. 

And, if you had a busy week and could not keep up with political events, catch up with our summary, below.

Show-off Your Democratic Donkey
Our Donkey mascot is not only Jersey strong, it's Jersey tough -- it's even tattooed the state flag across its face. We're not exactly recommending you do that, but you can show your Jersey pride by liking our Facebook page, making this new image your profile picture, and on November 5th, voting Democrat! Another new Facebook graphic is coming soon.

Even Mitt Romney Dislikes Chris Christie?
Things got interesting yesterday after a book about the 2012 presidential campaign revealed that Christie (code name Puffer-fish), annoyed the Romney campaign over his demands for expensive hotels and private jets. But that's the least of it. As this story explains, "when those vetting Christie’s background began digging deeper, they were 'stunned by the garish controversies' lurking in the shadows of his record — including his decision to steer hefty government contracts to donors and political allies, and a Justice Department report ripping his spending on travel when he served as U.S. Attorney... One of those involved in the vetting process said, 'When you look below the surface, it’s not pretty.'" Who knew we agreed with Mitt Romney about anything?

Barbara Buono for Governor -- Vote on November 5th
Buono has been busy traveling the state sharing her vision for a stronger New Jersey.

At Montclair State University, her alma mater, she called for more higher ed programs and criticizes Christie, noting, “There should be a renewed sense of urgency to invest in education and higher education, because our middle class under this governor has shrunk. What’s grown is the ranks of the poor and the ranks of the very, very wealthy.”

She continued her push for addressing education policy in Essex County, and at a Trenton rally delivered a passionate critique of the governor. She also won the endorsement of a New Jersey police union that once backed Christie. And, in Little Falls, Buono highlighted the value of small businesses.

Senator Buono has defied expectations all her life. But last week, she again encountered the chauvinistic attitudes of men in politics when former Governor Kean, in a backhanded swipe, called Buono a "nice lady" and then questioned her qualifications. It was insulting. After a 20 year career in public service, Buono's qualifications are strong. Kean retracted his words after Buono blasted back. "For years, the political class in New Jersey — made up mostly of males — have had no problem with casually just dismissing and marginalizing women when they want to get involved in and contribute to the political process here... Over the years, it's become discredited, but I can tell you that it's gone into the backrooms now. And former Gov. Kean's comments underscore that it's still a prevalent attitude."

The numbers tell the story. Despite the fact that they are half the population, women are grossly under-represented in elected office. As this report by Rutgers' Eagleton Institute of Politics shows, less than one fourth of statewide offices across the country are held by women. On Tuesday, we can change that statistic by electing our historic all-woman gubernatorial ticket.

Flip-Flopping to the Finish
Our spokesman told the Washington Times, That Christie has been all over the map on a slew of issues, including in-state tuition. “Fits a pattern of flip-flopping, ambiguity, and evasiveness — more of his help-yourself smorgasbord of political beliefs and brashly talking out of both sides of his mouth. On the Dream Act and marriage equality, he’s had deathbed conversions — conceding tepid support after stubbornly standing in the way of progress.”

Another example is the changing climate. As one columnist explained, Christie is willing to sweep under the rug concerns about how stronger storms and rising sea levels will impact New Jersey if it pleases the radical right wing of the Republican party.

Although Governor Christie hasn't held a press conference in six weeks, his second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, hasn't had one in five months, and her campaign refuses to let her sit down for an interview. This is important because Guadagno could be our governor -- as she is the 25 percent of the time that Christie is campaigning out of state. Part of what makes that so crazy is, as WNYC radio reports, New Jerseyans don't even know her.

Senator Cory Booker
It's official. Cory Booker is no longer Newark's mayor and, as the sign is on the door demonstrates, he is now our newest U.S. Senator for New Jersey.

On October 31st, Cory Booker was sworn-in by Vice President Biden in the company of the senior Senator, Robert Menendez.  It was a packed crowd, as countless New Jerseyans made the trip down to witness the ceremony. They had their cake and ate it too. And, afterwards, New Jersey's dynamic duo of senators rode the subway between the office buildings and the Capitol.

We are all very proud to have another progressive fighter representing us in Washington, DC -- someone who has a record of tacking difficult issues, bringing people together and finding innovative solutions -- and we are pleased that he is continuing his campaign by supporting local democrats, like those in Bergen County.

Be sure to look for Senator Booker on the campaign trail!

South Asian American Caucus
In Edison last Tuesday, Chairman John Currie launched the South Asian American Caucus in the company of Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, Senator Barbara Buono and Co-Chairs Satish Poondi, Esq and Dr. Khyati Joshi. As explained in our press release, there are more than 350,000 South Asians residing in New Jersey -- the third largest South Asian population after California and New York. The caucus leaders pledged to mobilize their community to support Democratic leaders, such as Senator Buono, who have demonstrated their commitment to New Jersey’s South Asian community. This story appeared in and Rep. Chivukula, the first and only South Asian American in the 120-member state legislature and the highest ranking elected South Asian official in the state, heralded the South Asian American Caucus as a historic milestone.

State Legislative Campaigns
There's been lots of great news coming from Democratic legislative campaigns. Here are three examples:
For his legislative achievements, the Philadelphia Inquirer argued that that Senate President Stephen Sweeney had "earned the support of voters". Interestingly, Sweeney also received a reelection endorsement from the Republican mayor of Harrison Township, where his opponent once served as deputy mayor. Meanwhile, in District 37, the legislative team won the endorsement of the Bergen Record. And, in District 18, the Democratic ticket earned the backing of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police, and the Probation Association of New Jersey. We look forward to celebrating their victories on Tuesday.

RIP Essex County Chairman Phil Thigpen
Sad news. As Chairman John Currie said in a statement earlier in the week, "New Jersey Democrats, and me personally, have lost a dear friend and ally, Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Phil Thigpen. News of his passing is a shock to us all, and we send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Thigpen family." Condolences were shared by many. Services are this weekend in Essex County.

GWB Lane Closures
Still nothing from Governor Christie about why access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were actually closed -- an act that the executive director of the Port Authority called potentially illegal. The silence sure makes you wonder.

Superstorm Sandy Anniversary
One year later, the devastating storm was remembered. Former President Bill Clinton sent this tweet, and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez released this video from Hoboken. Check it out.

Happy Halloween
We hope you had a safe, healthy, and happy Halloween. Since the Affordable Care Act isn't nearly as spooky as some like to make it sound, we wanted to share this website: 9 Scary Things Not Covered By Obamacare. Do you recognize all of the horror movies on the list?

Congressional Corner
And, last, but not least, as you may have seen, down in Washington, DC, Congressman Bill Pascrell told it like it is during a hearing on the Affordable Care Act, calling out the hypocrisy of House Republicans. Here he was on Chris Matthews's show explaining the situation. It's worth a watch.

Don't worry, you'll hear from us again: We'll be reminding you to vote this Tuesday. Until then, keep up the fight!


John Currie
New Jersey Democratic State Committee

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