Monday, November 30, 2009

these numbers have to change

I found this on Daily Kos today.

This has to change. Part of what made New Jersey and Virginia take a sharp right turn at the beginning of this month (it seems like forever ago, I know) was the lack of enthusiasm from the Democratic base (in VA's case a bad candidate, and in NJ's case an unpopular incumbent.) Neither candidate had the charisma of President Obama. I really can't speak for VA, but I can and will probably blog about in the future a laundry list of what the Democrats in New Jersey could have done to pull this thing off (we almost had it).

New Jersey's midterm elections next year will not be very exciting. Since our governor's races are in odd years, and we have no open positions for senators this year, the top of the ticket will be Congress. No state races, just maybe freeholder and local races depending on the county/municipality. Not very exciting considering in some states you have senators and governors up. It does not mean that the New Jersey Democrats can sit on their asses and watch TV o election day, it means we have to vote as if Obama is on the top of the ticket.

Part of the problem lies in the Democrats in Washington-- it's a little-known fact that President Obama did more in his first year than any president since FDR. However in general, nationwide the Democrats are not running with it. Of course there are always a few exceptions to the rule. We have less than a year until the elections, and 40% of Democrats need to be convinced to get their asses to the polls.

Here is what can be done at the national level by Democrats in Congress and President Obama (courtesy of Democratic Underground)
1) Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act and actually do something for their constituents in the LGBT community.
2) Pass healthcare reform with a robust public option that will compete with private insurance. Let Americans CHOOSE whether they want public or private health insurance.
3) Pull out of Afghanistan. It's very clear that the American public is not in favor of this war that we've been in way too long. Get our troops home and stop spending our tax dollars there.
4) After healthcare reform is passed, make 2010 all about jobs. If people see that the Democrats are the party that put them back to work (in good-paying jobs, I'm not talking about Walmart or McDonald's here), then they will come to the polls with bells on. If people are back to work in good-paying jobs, then they will start paying taxes again, and tax revenues for all levels of government (federal, state, county, local) will be up. They'll be spending their $$$ again and sales tax revenues will be up.

And here is what can be done at the local and county level
1) Identify your base-- find out who they are and where they live. Open your campaign HQ in the towns with the highest concentration of registered Democrats.
2) Have fund raisers for all budgets. Have everything from a $10 ice cream social to a $5000 black tie dinner. Do not leave any dollar behind.
3) Reach out to the younger voters including the ones that are too young to vote in 2010. Even though they may not be 18, they still can canvass, phone bank, street canvass, and get their friends involved in the campaign.
4) Have several Q&A sessions with candidates so that anyone who wishes to can meet them and ask them a question (of course conduct these civilly so the teabaggers do not take over)
5) Have volunteers and staffers reach out to their peers first-- do you want to reach seniors? Have other seniors reach out to them. People respond more to their peers.
6) If there is a big name stumping for anyone-- advertise the event. If many people are expected, put strings on the tickets (for example a ticket in exchange for volunteering).
7) Last but not least preach to the damn choir first.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

a day to be thankful

Today is a day that we as Americans reflect on our lies and give thanks to those who have given our lives meaning. I will not get into my personal life here as that is not the point of this blog. What I will be thankful for are the things that are important to me as a New Jersey Democrat.

1) We have a President who is putting his efforts into solving the nation's problems instead of simply passing them off onto his successor. Say what you want to about Obama's healthcare plan-- many forget to realize that we've come farther with health care now than we have in over 40 years. We may not agree 100% with the way that he is solving all of the problems, but he is choosing to tackle them in his first term.
2) For the next 6 weeks, we have one of the most progressive governors that New Jersey has ever had. Again we may not all agree on the way he's trying to solve the state's problems, but unlike many of his predecessors (and most likely his successor), he's tackling the problems and trying to solve the state's financial troubles.
3) We still are a blue state despite our losses this month. New Jersey still sends a Democratic majority to Washington in Congress, we still have two Democratic senators, and we still have both the state assembly and state senate.
4) I am thankful to be represented in Washington by a Congressman (Frank Pallone) who shares my values and fights to do the right thing for New Jersey. I'm thankful for his strong positions on environmental issues and health care, and his role in drafting the health care legislation in the House.
5) Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, independent, or other party, we should all be thankful for our rights to free speech. Without that right that our founders fought for, I would be unable to publish this blog without fear.
6) Another right I am thankful for is my right to vote, and to become politically active. (I only wish that my fellow Democrats would exercise this right in every election but that's a post for another day.)
7) I am thankful that marriage equality has the chance of passing here in New Jersey within the next six weeks. I'm thankful that we have elected officials who want to extend the basic human right of marriage to the LGBT community here in New Jersey. As a straight woman, I believe that everyone should have the same rights that I (and so many of my straight friends) take for granted.
8) I am thankful for the many great people I have met while working on the various campaigns I've worked on in 2008 and 2009. I am thankful to call so many of you my friends. I am thankful for the strong presence of grassroots progressive political groups here in M county.
9) I am thankful for the experience I've gained while working on campaigns. Despite my blog's name, I am rather shy in real life. Street canvassing in urban areas was something that I would have never dreamed of doing just two short years ago. Now it's almost second nature to me and is something I enjoy very much. I can't wait to street canvass for Newark mayor Cory Booker's re-election in May.
10) I am thankful to all of the readers of this blog, my Twitter followers, and anyone who reads my posts on DU. Without you guys, I would have nobody to rant to and keep everything inside of me. As my presence grows, I want to extend a special thanks to Blue Jersey for featuring my post on marriage equality. Later that same post was quoted in two newspapers (Edge Boston and the Star Ledger) who's staff I also want to thank. This blog being quoted in the state's largest newspaper was beyond my wildest dreams just over a year ago when I started this blog, and now it's a reality.

I want to extend everyone who is reading this a happy Thanksgiving, and remind you guys that there is always something politically to be thankful for even after being creamed up and down the ticket. I know many people avoid politics on Thanksgiving (and rightfully so as it divides many families), but when you are giving thanks for the things in your personal life, consider giving thanks for the things in your political life as well. Happy Turkey Day :-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sarah you lost-- shut up and get over it

2008 was a very good year for Democrats politically. We gained huge majorities in the House and Senate, and recaputured the White House. Many blame two people on the Democrats' huge gains made in 2008--- George W. Bush and Sarah Palin. Politically Bush is at the end of his career-- he was term limited out of office and probably will not run for anything again (shoot me if he does). Sarah Palin is a different story. She's now seen as a rising star within the party, and definitely has 2012 on her mind.

But if you have vast political ambitions, shouldn't you serve out your term first? People want elected officials to be committed to the office in which they hold. Sarah Palin did not do that to the voters of Alaska, who elected her governor in 2006 (hey Mr. Christie-- do New Jersey a favor and take a page out of this playbook!) She quit her job to become a media whore and spend all day on Facebook. I guess it's not PC to try and run a state while posting on Facebook all day and she took the road that most teenagers would take.

Now in her post-political career, she has made enemies out of David Letterman (who she accused of being a child molestor) and Levi Johnston, her ex future son-in-law and father of her grandson. I'm still surprised she hasn't ordered a hit on Tina Fey (the best thing to come from Sarah Palin).

So now Sarah's come out with a book, Going Rogue (and the Nation will release Going Rouge on the same day-- I'd rather read the latter). It's already a best-seller because like all of the other right-wingers who write books, groups like Newsmax, the Heritage Foundation, etc will buy them in bulk and make them appear to be popular. I honestly don't know how anyone in their right mind can read a 400 page word salad written by Sarah Palin. I wouldn't even use the book to line my cat's litter box. And of course the book tour comes with the media attention that she just lives for. I won't be watching any of the interviews, but I will inevitably see clips from it on Keith, Rachel, etc. Now is the time for Tina Fey to bring her back.

Would people really vote for her again in 2012? That is a huge question. I've noticed that some of her most vocal supporters are stepping away from her becasue of her turn off the deep end. That and she did not show a commitment to doing her job. If God forbid she is elected President in 2012, would she serve out her full term?

Sarah, the American people spoke. The polls were close before John McCain put you on the ticket. Your insane antics cost him the presidency. And as a Democrat, I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to see you run in 2012. Please Sarah run in 2012-- that would ensure a 2nd term for President Obama.

Friday, November 13, 2009

abortion and health care

As you may or may not know, the health care bill passed the house last Saturday late at night. I have mixed feelings about this bill. In my opinion, it does not go far enough, but it is a step in the right direction. This bill can always be tweaked later on. I'm much more worried about whether it passes the Senate. I'd be on the phone daily with my two Senators, but I know they're both in favor of the bill and would vote for it (I've gotten letters and emails about it).

The bill barely passed the House. 218 votes are needed to pass, and 219 Democrats voted for the bill (and a lone Republican). A few progressive Democrats voted against the bill because it was not progressive enough (Dennis Kucinich). But we passed the first hurdle when it comes to health care reform and that's a good thing.

However Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) inserted an amendment in the bill that would ban any insurance company (including the public option and private companies) on the newly created "exchange" to pay for any abortion related services. There is already existing law that bans federal funds from covering abortion-- the Hyde Amendment-- and that has worked since its interception in 1976. I think it's worked well and is a good compromise on the issue.

I will also admit that abortion is the one issue that I have become more conservative on as I've grown older. It's most likely that I am watching my own clock tick wondering if I will ever have a child of my own. I used to be 100% in the pro-choice camp, but now I consider myself a part of the "personally pro-life politically pro-choice" camp. I'm also very mixed on abortion as a political issue because I know several otherwise liberal people who vote for Republicans solely on the abortion issue. The Democratic party is a big tent (unlike the Republicans who are purging moderates), and they should be welcome in the party. On the other hand, the pro-choice crowd is a very vocal part of the Democratic base, and New Jersey learned a lesson last week on what happens when you do not first mobilize your base.

It is a very complex issue. If the Republicans actually did care about abortion, they would have done something about it when they had all 3 branches of government (2001-2006). However most of the time it's only an issue that is discussed around the time of elections to pander to the church crowds. I personally think the best thing that could be done about abortion is maintain the status quo (Hyde Amendment). This will be an interesting story to watch as health care reform gets through the Senate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Some resignations

Since I'm flip-flopping between covering my take on state vs national issues, I'm flipping back to national issues for the time being. Two key figures resigned yesterday and they did not resign without my comments.

The first is CNN's Lou Dobbs. I must admit I don't watch CNN that much, I'm much more of an MSNBC girl. But I still see CNN as the middle of the road in cable news (to the left of Fox, to the right of MSNBC's primetime lineup). My main beef with CNN is that they launched the career of the uber right wing whackjob Glenn BecKKK. If they had been "liberal" as the right-wing claims, then Beck would not have been given any airtime by them.

Lou Dobbs did have some good ideas initially. His main good was that he's a crusader for the middle class, which has been decimated over my lifetime. We need more crusaders for the middle class on both sides of the aisle (the right-wing radio and TV hosts are filthy rich and look out only for themselves). Maybe another middle class crusader would convince people to stop voting against their own best interests. The downfall for Lou Dobbs is that he blames everything on illegal immigrants. In the months of the Obama administration, he's come across as downright racist. There's a lot of rumors that he'll be heading over to Faux. He'll fight right in, but the network will probably curb his fights for the middle class.

The other resignation I wanted to note was that of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. Focus on the family is a group that I have absolutely nothing positive to say about. They're part of the Christian right wing of the Republican party that wants "big government" in your bedroom (yet out of the boardroom-- go figure!). They spend all their effort opposing gay marriage, abortion, and what not. Their idea of a "family" is one that would be found on the set of a 1950's sitcom-- Dad is the breadwinner, Mom is a housewife who is a doormat. Focus on the Family was one of the groups responsible for mixing religion and politics. IMO they're responsible for George Bush and his extremely conservative social policies.

To James Dobson, good riddance. I hope your organization folds too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the case for working with Chris Christie

I will admit this... I'm more inclined as a Democrat to give Chris Christie a taste of his own medicine. Yet since the election from talking to friends and fellow Democrats, they're more inclined to work with the guy to try and move New Jersey forward. So far, you guys think that we should work with Chris Christie. I'm now arguing the opposite of what I argued yesterday, and I will admit that this post was much tougher for me to write than yesterday's. So far nobody's talked me down from fighting him though. To every Democrat I've talked to that wants to work with Christie, you're a stronger person than I am.

Chris Christie ultimately has the same goal as anyone who has ever run for office, worked on a campaign, or gotten involved in any politics in the first place. We all want to make (in this case) New Jersey a better place to live, work, and visit. You can be a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Socialist, Green, etc and want to achieve those very basic goals. The issues at place here are how to achieve them, and what the finished product ultimately looks like.

New Jersey is not a red state. In the past, Republicans that have won statewide have been moderates, although that hasn't happened (until recently) since the 1997 when I was a high school student living in New York. Ironically there must be something about the name Christie that makes New Jersey vote Republican because the last Republican who won statewide was Christie Whitman, who's mess we are still cleaning up.

Democrats and Chris Christie working together can be a good thing. Even though New Jersey is known for dirty politics, that's not a reputation that we necessarily have to keep. One thing I do admire about Christie is his toughness and willing to fight corruption, which is so rampant here in New Jersey that a book has been written about it ("The Soprano State"). Maybe he can be the governor that ends corruption in New Jersey. I say if he puts one corrupt establishment player in jail, he's made a huge stride forward.

If the Assembly and state Senate Democrats and Christie successfully work together, we could also be a model for bipartisanship everywhere, after the pathetic attempts of bipartisanship in Washington so far in the Obama administration (which consist of the Democrats watering down the legislation to suit Republicans who block it anyways).

Ever since I can remember, we've been a partisan society. And frankly as partisan as I am, I'm sick of the bickering and would love more civility in politics. I came of voting age while the Republicans in Washington were trying to impeach a president because of his sex life. More than a decade later, the Republicans are still making the same pathetic attacks on a Democratic president. This time they're listening to the Glenn Beckkks of the world and comparing him to everyone from Hitler to the Joker-- yes the Batman villain.

Across the country statehouses need to show the pundits and politicians in Washington how the two parties CAN work together. New Jersey has the golden opportunity to become a leader to show the country and 49 other states how it can be done. I'd love to see this happen and our reputation change.

I really should not be judging Christie yet as he has yet to take office. Maybe what Trenton needs is a change in administration. As you can tell from the language of this post and the last, I am still not sold on everything. Someone please try and sell Chris Christie to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

the case for fighting Chris Christie

Before I start, again I must mention other matters. However this one is a positive note. My previous post on marriage equality was featured on Blue Jersey's "quick hits" list yesterday (and it's still up there today), and I wanted to thank "Hopeful" on Blue Jersey for sharing my blog. It means a lot to me to see this little blog start to gain some traction. I'm still debating on whether or not to focus more on national issues, as I did before, or state and local issues, which ultimately matter more to me (and anyone) than national ones. I'll probably keep it a mix. If you have a preference one way or another, let me know in the comments.

The subject of my latest poll is one that I've been thinking about a lot lately. I still have very mixed emotions on how we as a party should handle Chris Christie. There are two strategies that the Democrats can take-- we can either work with him or fight him. I'm going to argue for fighting him today-- maybe for working with him in a subsequent post. If you disagree on this, as Rachel Maddow would say-- talk me down (in the comments).

The case for fighting him is rather simple and the Democrats already has a blueprint to work from. Even though in Washington, the Republicans have minorities in both the House and Senate. President Obama chose to emphasize bipartisanship after a very nasty campaign in which the opposition went as far as calling him a terrorist (and to this day continue to use such divisive tactics which endanger his safety). In the year since he's been elected and the 10 months since he's taken office, the Republicans have had a say in the legislation that's come to his desk. In the stimulus bill, there was a good chunk of tax cuts (a Republican idea) in the bill. Yet how many Republicans voted for the bill? None in the house, and three in the senate (one of who has since became a Democrat). The health care legislation in Congress (that passed the House Saturday night-- I am sure there will be more on that coming) is loaded with compromises. Hell the public option *IS* a compromise on the original progressive idea of single payer. And that's being watered down.

Of course fighting Chris Christie does have some drawbacks. The issue is CAN we Democrats as a party fight him? First of all in order to engage in a political fight, one must have a spine. With the exception of guys like Alan Grayson (D-FL), the Democrats in Washington do not show any guts. This has been a problem since they regained Congress in 2006. It's now so bad that when a Democrat does "grow a pair" it makes the news. Until recently, I have not paid much attention to the Democrats in Trenton. Locally we have no Democratic representation in Trenton. However the Assembly Democrats recently started to use Facebook and Twitter, so I'll be able to keep an eye on them that way. If we have a party of Alan Graysons in Trenton, we can fight Christie. If we have a part of Harry Reids, we can't.

Chris Christie is not exactly coming to Trenton with a clean slate. As a Bush US Attorney who kept his job, he took orders from Karl Rove to prosecute Democrats for political reasons. I was not living in NJ at the time, but when Senator Robert Menendez was up for re-election in 2006, Christie brought corruption charges against him that were mysteriously dropped after the election. Christie has already gone on record saying he would love to replace Senator Menendez (who is not up for re-election until 2012). I just hope that the Democrats in Trenton give Christie a taste of his own medicine.

If the Democrats win this fight, we have a victory-- a one-term governor. Christie knows that the great Newark mayor Cory Booker is waiting in the wings, and could energize the Democratic base to get to the polls the same way that President Obama did.

Monday, November 9, 2009

why marriage equality matters in new jersey

All year, there has been rumors that New Jersey could be the next state to pass marriage equality. Governor Corzine already said that he'd sign a bill in favor of marriage equality. Now the clock is ticking and we need to get this done fast because Chris Christie opposes marriage equality just like his party's platform.

People often wonder why I am fighting for marriage equality. As a straight woman, I have no dog in this fight, and many would sit back as a spectator. Many don't even care until legislation affects them personally. This does not affect me personally. Sure I'd like to get married someday (not sure if that will happen though-- I'm not exactly getting any younger), but no matter where I go, it will be legal for me to get married. That's not the same for my gay friends or family members, and I'm ashamed of it. Why should I enjoy rights that others can't? There's something fundamentally wrong with it.

People argue that marriage equality is wrong because it redefines the "traditional marriage" of one man and one woman. Yes those marriages have been around for centuries, even millenia. However in the past (and present), teenage girls are forced to marry men more than twice their age, polygamy is still practiced (even right here in the United States). And many churches have been the most vocal opponents of marriage equality, and often fund the campaigns against it. Funny how the Mormon church opposes marriage equality, yet it's fundamentalist sect practices polygamy. All the time, churches will deny a couple the right to get married, and IMO that's perfectly fine. City Hall should not have the right to deny two consenting adults the right to get married.

Maine also let me down last Tuesday by voting down marriage equality. The bright spot is that younger voters (under 35) tend to overwhelmingly support marriage equality, and over time the older voters (who oppose it) will die off. The problem is that the younger voters don't often get to the polls. I really don't want marriage equality on the ballot in New Jersey-- this is why we must pass it before Corzine leaves office.

If you're willing to join me in this fight, it needs to be done like yesterday. There are three major things that you can do to help. Unfortunately some only apply to New Jersey residents.
1) Send a handwritten letter to your two assembly members and one (state) senator telling him/her why you support marriage equality.
2) Call your assembly members and state senator on a daily basis urging him/her to vote for marriage equality.
3) Tell your friends and family in New Jersey to call and/or write their legislators about marriage equality.
4) Volunteer-- Garden State Equality needs your help with phone banks, office work, and postcarding to make marriage equality a relaity in New Jersey. If you're in my area, the office is located in Asbury Park, and could really use your help.
5) If you're on Facebook, become a fan of Garden State Equality (no matter where you live) and if you're on Twitter, follow Garden State Equality @GSEquality
6) Put your money where your mouth is. Garden State Equality's trying to put ads on TV and the radio, and currently can't put that many on due to funding. They need your help. Donate online at

Friday, November 6, 2009

How to move New Jersey forward from here

As you probably already know, this week has been tough for Democrats in New Jersey, especially in M county. Just when I thought that this week could get any worse, I wake up to some horrible news. I learned that a dear forum friend of mine passed away. This is uncharacteristic of me, but I want to dedicate this post to Shelly, a fellow progressive who was often the lone vocal liberal on a predominately conservative forum, and was not afraid to speak her mind. My thoughts are with your family and all who love you. I know that I will really miss you Shelly.

Unfortunately on Tuesday, New Jersey, and particularly M county took a giant step backwards. However with every loss comes an eventual greater gain. I'm trying to accept the fact, but I am still in the grieving process. We will come back stronger, I already know that in my heart. And I will do all I can to make us come back stronger.

Governor Corzine's a good guy. And now that he's not going to be our governor much longer (sob), he needs to start focusing on his post-political career. I really really hope that he does not go back into banking. Michael Moore called Corzine's defeat a message to the banking industry and was happy he was defeated. I usually love Michael Moore, but this is probably the first time I will disagree with him. Michael Moore will not have to live under Chris Christie for the next 4 years. I'm not giving up on New Jersey or M county because of this election, and I hope nobody else does too.

Because of his former career in banking, Governor Corzine has deep pockets. There are several progressive organizations throughout the state (many of which I am personally involved in) that could really use some financial help to make progress in New Jersey a reality. Several retired politicians use their money to advance their policies and pet causes, most notably Al Gore with climate change. Corzine could be a very strong backer of progress in New Jersey and use his fortune to fight for causes he holds dear to his heart, such as preschool. I really hope that he does.

Since I don't think that the powers that be read this blog (would be nice if they did but fat chance), I will be writing a letter to his office before he leaves Trenton outlining what I hope he would do to advance progress in New Jersey. I have not yet started to draft the letter, so if anyone has any ideas they would like me to add (or for a letter of your own), please utilize the comment section. I'm hoping that he gets a series of letters and will work with the grassroots groups to fight Christie's regressive policies.

Some of my friends think that Christie will not be that bad and to give him a chance. I'm still mixed on that idea, and that I am sure will be a series of new posts in the future.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

preaching to the choir

Most people say that they hate to preach to the choir. However most of the time they're wrong. When the choir is preached to effectively, they will sing to the congregation and beyond.

This is what the Democratic Party of New Jersey failed to do for the Corzine campaign. Whenever you run a campaign, you have to energize the party base first before you look towards the center. This is true for both the left and right. Last year, John McCain did not preach to the choir until he brought Sarah Palin on board. That was too late. However in the short time she had, she did effectively preach to the choir. She did not go for the centrists at all. However in her case, the choir liked her message but the congregation did not.

Governor Corzine could have preached to the choir more. I knew going into this election that I would vote for him, unless he had a primary challenger (who would have had my vote in the primaries as I was realistically looking at the chances there). Throughout the summer, he did not have the Democratic base on board even after President Obama's initial visit.

As a result, a lot of the Democrats stayed home. This IMO cost him the election. I hope that the Governor uses his fortune for good progressive causes after he leaves office. He could really make a difference and back some good groups in New Jersey (Bus for Change anyone?)

Democrats all over the United States, here's a lesson for you. Throw your base a bone, and they will come. Preach to the choir first and they will sing. And to the DGA, look at the approval ratings of all of the governors up for re-election and primary anyone below 50%. In this political climate of "throw em out" then the primary is the best way to hold the seat. My home state of New York comes to mind the most.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What we need to do from here

Unfortunately electing Chris Christie as governor was a a short sighted move in the hands of New Jersey. The voter turnout was low as expected, but even more devastating for people like me who worked very hard to get people out to vote. I care about New Jersey way too much to see us get into the wrong hands.

The battle is not over yet though. In fact it's just begun. In defeat, we can accomplish a lot. First of all Chris Christie is not a clean candidate and he never was. He made his career out of airing the dirty laundry of Democratic politicians (like Senator Menendez) for political reasons. I hate playing dirty, but two can play at this game. Democrats must immediately start filing FOIA requests on Christie.

The Democrats must do the following in the lame duck session of the Legislature before Governor Corzine's term is up:
1) Pass marriage equality. Not only will it make the state a leader in progress, but it will also bring much needed revenue to the state. It will also turn Christie's attention to social issues which New Jersey does not agree with him on.
2) Change the rules on how US Senate vacancies are filled. Two major changes need to be made. The first is that a Democrat must be replaced with a Democrat (as well as a Republican with a Republican-- what's good for the goose is good for the gander here). The senate appointment must promise not to run in the special election to ultimately fill the senate seat for the rest of the term. In the mean time, we must all pray for Senator Lautenberg's health so he can serve out his term.

And finally my party needs to start growing a spine at all levels. Let the Senators and great Democratic Congressmen in Washington fight with Christie on state issues. Congressman Pallone, who I have the utmost respect for, needs to act like he did during his rally speech on Sunday and not like he did in the Red Bank town hell, err I mean hall, this summer. Our Democrats in the Assembly and State Senate need to start growing a spine and acting the same way to Christie as the Republicans in Washington are acting towards Obama.

We can bring Chris Christie down. Sure it will take a fight, but I'm up for it. I'm not sure about any of my readers (whoever they may be), but we need to fight. New Jersey has a history of governors who do not serve out their term. If we fight this, Chris Christie can join the list. We must write and call our Democratic legislators in Trenton (I would but they're all Republicans). We must be active in groups like Democracy for America. We must be active in our local Democratic parties. We can do this, but it takes a fight with an army. Right now, we need to build up our army.

What the hell happened?

so New Jersey's no longer a solid blue state as it should be. We will soon have a Karl Rove protege as governor. Our great county is now in control of the Republicans. Here's what I posted on my Facebook page about this whole election:

What the fuck New Jersey? I thought you were better than this! WTF Asbury? WTF Long Branch--- I spend the last four days walking the streets and you can't even get out and vote? Hello!? Look where it got us--- we lost Trenton and we lost Monmouth County! What the hell do I have to do to get my fellow Democrats out to vote? People died for this right, and you just take it for granted. WTF?

That about sums up how I feel right now. And it surprised quite a few of my friends about this as I'm normally this calm nice girl. Not tonight. I see flashbacks to the 2004 election where the Democrats worked hard but ultimately did not show up. The same thing happened in New Jersey tonight. However the loss hits me so much harder tonight than it did in 2004. The great radio host Thom Hartmann always says to "get out there and get active and that Democracy begins with you." In 2004 I sat there. Yes I gave $20 to John Kerry's campaign. But other than that, I sat on my butt and didn't do anything to get him elected. I didn't knock on any doors, I did not make any phone calls, I did not street canvass, I did not ride on the Bus for Change and get people fired up. I watched the debates and results from home instead of with a group of fired up supporters. I did not bother in any of the local elections.

This time was different. I worked even harder on Corzine's campaign than I did on Obama's campaign. I paid attention to every race on the ticket instead of just the top. I even voted early. We got creamed in the county. Such great candidates, but ultimately all the campaigns could have been managed better. It came down to voter turnout. And ultimately the people that we needed to go get out and vote simply did not. The Democratic base lies largely in minorities and younger voters, who historically do not vote. I'm not sure what else can get them to learn the importance of voting in every election.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It all comes down to you

The race for New Jersey governor has become ugly. Anyone living in NJ (or in the NYC and Philly media markets) have seen the ugly attack ads on both sides.

It's an off-year election, which really does not exist in New Jersey. However a good chunk of the electorate only cares in national elections and think that their representatives in Washington can change their districts. That they can, but Trenton has much more influence than Washington does. Trenton's up for grabs today. We Democrats need to prove the naysayers wrong and tell them that we do care about what goes on in Trenton. AP, LB, Newark, Camden, Paterson, etc all of you guys need to get out and vote. I'd love to see last year's turnout! We need to keep New Jersey blue.

I'll be working on a massive GOTV effort all day, and this will be my last post before the results come in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

rally with President Obama and Governor Corzine

So after the Corzine campaign messed up royally in July by not moving the rally with President Obama to a larger venue, I was finally able to see the President stump for the Governor. We went up to Newark in the new Prudential Center (very nice venue, it was my first time there). I was hoping that Newark's awesome mayor Cory Booker (who will most likely run for Governor in 2013 and then IMO use Trenton to leapfrog to the White House), and I was right.

Before any politician took the stage, we were entertained. One thing that I like about living in NJ is its multiculturalism. Groups representing various cultures in NJ performed acts representing their culture, and I thought that was great. I think that people need to be aware of other cultures. It promotes diversity and increases tolerance.

Four New Jersey Congressmen took the stage. Keep in mind Newark's north Jersey and I'm in central Jersey, so I don't pay as much attention to their politicians. My own Congressman, Frank Pallone took the stage there too, even though M county is not that popular up in Newark (I guess they pay attention to the GOP strongholds in the rural and wealthy parts of the county). If he was as firm with his message as he was yesterday at the town hell, err I mean hall meeting in August, it would have been a completely different experience. I'm still confident that he's fighting for people like me.

Then came the great mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, who I had the pleasure of meeting last week in AP. If anyone can fire up a crowd, he can. Loretta Weinberg, who is Corzine's running mate also took the stage. She's just a ball of fire, and an inspiration to women everywhere. She'll be a great Lt. Governor.

Corzine took the stage and talked about how he is fighting for everyone in the room. People may be skeptical of him because he's an incumbent, but he's sincere in his beliefs and he really has been fighting for working people, education, jobs, and health care. And all this from a guy who works for $1 a year.

Then came the President. He mentioned how he's being told how to clean up the mess he inherited. He mentioned his naysayers that claim the mop he's using to clean up is a socialsit mop. Then he mentioned the importance of voting. Voting is what this election will come down to. If the Democratic base votes, then we win. If they don't then we get 4 years of a Bushie ruling the state. It's up to you New Jersey, I already voted, and I hope everyone else does.