The Donkey's Bray - Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dear Friends,

President Obama is urging you to support Newark Mayor Cory Booker in Wednesday’s special election – and to have a plan for voting. So do it -- make a plan for election day, tomorrow, Wednesday, October 16.

The President praises Booker's experience creating positive change that has improved people's lives, saying "Cory Booker has spent his entire life bringing people with different perspectives together, regardless of party, to take on tough challenges. Now more than ever before, that's the kind of leader we need in the Senate." We agree. And, like the President says, let's "send a message to the entire country about what kind of leadership we expect from our representatives in Congress...that we're better than the kind of shutdown politics we've seen in Washington."

Despite losing his father last Friday, Mayor Booker carries on with tremendous resolve, reaching out to voters in these final days of the campaign. "My father taught me that immortality isn't about how long you live but about how well you love," he said. Booker seems to love the campaign trail. Just yesterday, the mayor made campaign stops to pump up the field team in Edison, Trenton, Camden, Atlantic City, Pennsauken Township, and Willingboro. Today he's in Little Falls, New Brunswick, Belleville, Hoboken, and Newark.

Meanwhile, the endorsements continue to pour in. The South Jersey Times and the Bergen Record join the New York Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as firefighters, among others, in making the smart choice for Booker.

However, as the Times' Gail Collins asks,"Why is New Jersey electing a United States Senator on a Wednesday in the middle of October anyway? Why can’t everything be at the same time?"  Simple, she adds, "Because Gov. Chris Christie says he does not want to 'cause unnecessary voter confusion,' that’s why. Christie is up for re-election on Nov. 5, and you do not want writers scratching their heads about whose name to put at the top of the story. So the state will spend $12 million to provide the crystal clarity of a special Senate election on Oct. 16."

So VOTE DEMOCRAT BOTH tomorrow, WEDNESDAY, OCT 16th, and THEN AGAIN on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5th. Send Cory Booker to Washington to send a message to the Republican fringe that is playing "shutdown politics" and let Chris Christie know that we're not going to tolerate his wasteful spending and partisan priorities.

Voting information
Find
your polling location.

Tonight's Debate
And be sure to tune in tonight to watch Buono take on Governor Christie as they square off at Montclair State University for their final debate. The 90-minute debate broadcast will be moderated by NJ Today’s managing editor and anchor Mike Schneider. Check local listings on
NJTV’s website. The debate will also be simulcast on the C-Span networks., and be broadcast in Spanish on Vme, the regional public television digital channel. The debate will be live-streamed on the websites of Montclair State University, NJTV, C-Span, WBGO 88.3FM, WKXW 101.5FM, WNYC and WHYY/NewsWorks.org.

The Previous Debates

U.S. Senate – October 16th - 
Last week, Mayor Cory Booker stayed cool in the face of the erratic and irrational Steve Lonegan, who put his irresponsible Washington Tea Party policies on display for all of New Jersey to see. As we highlighted in
this video, no matter the age, everyone knows that Steve Lonegan is too extreme for New Jersey. One writer even said he came across as an "extremist jerk." No argument here.


Lonegan's hypocrisy was really on full display. Although he opposes government bailouts, and he boasts of his fiscal leadership as mayor of Bogota, as
the Star Ledger reported, "every now and then, even Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan needs a little help from his friends. Even if those friends are Democrats. In 2006, Lonegan asked former Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration for a $500,000 bailout to balance Bogota’s books. And he asked for Sen. Loretta Weinberg’s help to get it."
 
Thankfully, the truth about Lonegan is beginning to have an impact. After he said to Cory Booker, “You may not be able to swim in that river [in Newark], but it’s probably, I think, because of the bodies floating around from shooting victims in your city,” Asbury Park Press columnist Bob Ingle's Twitter feed was filled with messages from people saying they were Republicans but they had decided to vote for Booker.

Governor’s Race – November 5th - At the first televised gubernatorial debate, Senator Barbara Buono unmasked Chris Christie’s failed economic record and misplaced priorities. She was diligent and spirited; true to her working class values and principles, and proved not only that she is ready to lead New Jersey, but also has a plan to get us out of the economic mess that Chris Christie’s policies have made worse. 

Buono even did what much of the media will not -- demanded that the governor to
"man up" and take responsibility for his failed policies.

It bears repeating: Chris Christie and his administration have increased the property tax burden while 400,000 New Jerseyans are out of work, and they blocked common sense gun reforms and an increased minimum wage. Christie administration officials have dodged hearings on their botched effort to streamline federal aid for survivors of super storm Sandy and are currently preventing New Jerseyans from enjoying marriage equality. That's not a record to run on, it's a record to run from.

New Website
In other news, we recently launched
a new website that allows you to better engage with other New Jersey Democrats. It is more of a community than a page, and you can create personalized accounts or sign-in using passwords for other online platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. As Justin Myers, executive director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee noted, “NJDems.org. has not only received a facelift, it is a leaner, meaner organizing tool that effectively elevates local activists to the status of regional field directors. By launching this new website, we hope to empower New Jersey Democrats to engage in our campaign efforts, participating in a more interactive manner." Sign-up today.

Administrative Misconduct
Perhaps by grand design, much of the administration's misconduct is being overshadowed by the U.S. Senate contest. These are things that Chris Christie just doesn't want to discuss. Reports in
the Wall Street Journal, Bergen County Record and Star-Ledger have raised serious concerns that last month’s closing of George Washington Bridge access lanes in Fort Lee were politically-motivated retribution by Christie administration officials, but the governor’s robust media operation is being uncharacteristically non-responsive. Or, as we noted in a press release, "Chris Christie's silence is deafening."

Consider that Governor Christie’s last public availability was on Sept. 18, when he hosted a Statehouse news conference for the signing of a bill that expanded corporate tax breaks in New Jersey; his Port Authority appointees have still not released any information on the supposed “study” they were conducting when GW Bridge lanes were closed; when Sandy survivors attended legislative hearings on the botched effort to quickly rebuild homes, Christie administration officials refused to even attend; and by dodging higher-profile debates, Christie will face minimal questions and accountability.

The fact is, Chris Christie has a record to run from, not on. But he cannot dodge that record forever. Avoiding serious questions and accountability has a limited lifespan as a strategy. Just ask Mitt Romney, with whom Christie has a lot in common. Despite winning a gubernatorial election in Massachusetts by more than 100,000 votes, Mitt Romney lost the state’s Electoral College votes in his bid for the White House in 2012 by more than 20 percentage points (37.59% to Barack Obama’s 60.78%). We should take the opportunity to retire Chris Christie now.

When Milly Silva squared off against Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno last Friday, the scandals of the Christie administration lingered in the air. Not only do we have reason to question her frequent assumption of the governor's office (Christie is outside the state nearly 25% of the year), but serious allegations have been made about Guadagno's involvement in a "hush-hush pension fraud probe that began more than two years ago." As reported by New Jersey Watchdog, an investigative outfit financed by conservative billionaires, the Christie administration is arguing in court that the outcome, findings and all other records of the investigation should remain state secrets… an obvious conflict-of-interest, as Guadagno is a former Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) deputy director and now sits in the governor’s cabinet alongside the state attorney general, who is in charge of the DCJ." And then came the startling New York Times story, "The Quashing of a Case Against a Christie Ally". Guadagno spun herself silly during the debate, but it's time for the Christie administration to stop posturing and start providing answers.

Superstorm Sandy Anniversary
As the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy appraches, the pain and suffering of Sandy survivors, struggling to rebuild their lives, remains complicated by the inattention of an administration more concerned with late night television talk shows than recovery efforts. The Christie administration is tone deaf to real life problems and not at all helpful in cutting through the bureaucratic red tape that compounds the troubles of those people adversely affected by the storm. Just ask
John and Lee Ann, Andrea, Chrissy and Paul, and Joyce. When we campaign for Barbara Buono, it's these people we think of -- the people who make New Jersey strong, despite being burdened with the weight that the governor's failed policies place on their shoulders.

For the time being, the only coming event that matters is Election Day, tomorrow, Wednesday, October 16th. Please vote.

Sincerely,

John Currie
Chairman
New Jersey Democratic State Committee

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