First of all, thank you for your participation in the electoral process and for your support during the campaign, and even for your constructive criticisms along the way. Below is the latest edition of the Bray.
On Election Night, we won some and we lost some, while some races are still too close to call. What's very clear is that Chris Christie did not have coattails that Republicans could ride into office. Our Democratic legislative majorities were maintained, and we are proud of the trust that New Jersey voters put in many of our party's candidates.
The outcome proves that the fondness that New Jerseyans have for Mr. Christie's bluster, while it defies logic, only runs skin deep. Throughout the campaign, Senator Buono was tenacious and passionate in her commitment to being on the right side of the issues -- on your side -- and were campaigns won or lost on the basis of who has the right principles and the most substantive ideas, Tuesday would have yielded a different outcome.
Although Chris Christie was elected to a second four year term, we expect that Christie’s brash style and celebrity will grow tiresome, and that when we start paying attention not to HOW he says things, but what he says and what he does, his poll numbers will decline -- an assumption this poll validates. "Despite Christie’s overall consistently high ratings, voters continued to question his performance on important issues."
Unabashed about his hypocrisy, Christie will only become more difficult to tolerate. On Election Day, in an interview with CNN, he began touting his conservative credentials. He's already gone after teachers, and stood against the minimum wage, marriage equality, and common sense gun reforms. If he's now tacking to the hard right, we have our work cut out for us.
The legislative majorities picked their leaders for the fight to protect New Jersey' middle class families, choosing Vincent Prieto to serve as the new Assembly Speaker, and returning Senate President Steve Sweeney to his position. We look forward to working with them.
Tea Party Crashing
On the national stage, there was reason for optimism. As the major Democratic committees concluded in a memo, the identities of the Tea Party and the Republican Party "have merged and voters by and large view them as one and the same." And neither party is well liked. This fact may have precipitated our newest opportunity in the 3rd Congressional District, a seat that Republican Congressman Jon Runyan is vacating. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, "Boiling frustration with the Republican Congress' dysfunction spilled over and the race for a GOP-held House seat was thrown wide open."
The public is still angry that Tea Party Republicans recklessly shut down the government. And, when you look at the record on issues like gun violence, women’s reproductive rights, taxes and environmental issues, New Jersey Republicans are saddled with a damaged brand.
G.W. Bridge Lane Closure Scandal
And last but not least, we wanted to bring a damaging story in the Wall Street Journal to your attention. In case this link does not let you pass the subscription-only firewall, the article begins: "Early on the morning of Sept. 9, an official of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey appeared at the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge and looked out over a traffic jam he helped create, according to people familiar with the matter. The official, according to these people, was David Wildstein, who was hired in 2010 as the authority's director of interstate capital projects by an appointee of Gov. Chris Christie."
Is it true that the potentially illegal decision to close access lanes to the G.W. Bridge was an act of political retribution? Did the Port Authority spokespeople fabricate the "traffic study" that allegedly compelled the lane closures? Will someone get fired for the crime or the cover-up? And, did the decision emanate directly from the governor's office?
We trust that the reporters doggedly pursuing this story will get to the bottom of it. And, we're reminded that Watergate started as a story of a burglary, just before a big election.
Thank you again for your support.
New Jersey Democratic State Committee