Christie Likes His Luxury

The Republican candidate for Governor of nearby New Jersey enjoys his luxurious hotel rooms.  That wouldn’t be bad if he weren’t doing it at your expense.  While serving as one of George W. Bush’s “loyal Bushies” as U.S. Attorney he traveled on the public dime.  Rather than staying at hotels costing up to $400/night.  This is relevant because he has made ethical issues and cutting spending key issues in the campaign.  When someone centers their campaign around certain issues such as this it is appropriate for the voters to examine his actions in comparison to his rhetoric.

Chris Christie fails this test.  He “exceeded the government’s hotel allowance on 14 of 16 business trips he took in 2008.”  I’d love to spend just one night in a $400 a night hotel.  Wow, imagine how soft those sheets must be!  

“I’m sure he knew better, and he chose to ignore the rules,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “There is never a situation where the only available hotel in Washington is the Four Seasons. If you stay there, you’ve chosen luxury and you’ve chosen to ignore the rules.”

The more we know about Christie the better Jon Corzine gets.

Meanwhile GOP Gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett today met with Virginia Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell who resigned as that state’s AG when he began his run for Governor.  Corbett refuses to resign while conducting politically charged prosecutions.  The serious and massive conflicts of interest inherent in his refusal should condemn him in the eyes of all voters.  Amazingly he is running well ahead of opponent Jim Gerlach who, so far, has garnered only 13% support from Pennsylvania Republicans.  It appears Gerlach is dead in the water and Corbett, a fatally flawed candidate due to his conflicts of interest, will be the Republican candidate.  Democrats are salivating at that prospect due to his refusals to resign.

Delaware Senators Kill Delaware River Dredging

Delaware’s two United States Senators killed the dredging of the Delaware River which Gov. Rendell has advocated.  In fact Rendell and New jersey Gov. Jon Corzine have bickered over the issue for some time but Delaware wasn’t seen as a significant player.  In an anomaly the border between Delaware and New Jersey does not run down the center of the river.  Delaware owns all of it to the high water mark of the Jersey side.  This enabled Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman to insert a provision blocking the dredging project.  Ed Rendell wants to deepen the shipping channel to facilitate the port of Philadelphia.

Of course Philadelphia competes with the Port of Wilmington.  Right now many merchant ships, especially oil tankers, must offload some cargo before coming up the channel to Philadelphia.  The idea of dredging the channel is to make it easier for Philadelphia to compete and avoid the dangers inherent in offloading oil and other cargoes in the middle of the river.

In other Delaware news Rep. Mike Castle announced today he is a candidate for Kaufman’s Senate seat.  The longtime aide to  Joe Biden is holding the seat pending this election.  Castle is a very popular figure in Delaware though the state has been trending bluer and bluer.  Historically the Diamond State voters split their tickets to vote for their favorite sons.  Mike Castle has never lost an election there and served two terms as Governor before taking the Congressional seat when Carper moved up to Bill Roth’s Senate seat.  With Beau Biden expected to run on the Democratic side this race could see national coverage.

NJ, VA Guv Races Tightening

On a DGA (Democratic Governor’s Association) conference call Monday John Brougher said polls in both New Jersey and Virginia show tossups five weeks before election day.  The GOP has targeted both races for crucial wins going into next year’s Congressional and state races.  2010 sees 37 Governerships up for grabs and the DGA has targeted quite a few for pick up.  They will not favor any of the Pennsylvanians running in the five way Democratic primary.  The DGA does intend to be active here in the general election however.

Election polls in New Jersey are famously inaccurate and always seem to undercount Democratic voters and turnout.  If that holds Jon Corzine should win re-election.  Chris Christie’s negatives now are larger than his favorable ratings as Jerseans learn more about his ethical lapses as U.S. Attorney.  In Virginia Bob McDonnell’s infamous comments from his master’s thesis are haunting him with women voters.  Though he continues trying to claim the extremist views about working women and contraception are part of his past he tried to enact them into law while serving as a state legislator.

Governorships are particularly important going into the 2010 census and redistricting.  One advantage for Pennsylvania and the Northeast is that fewer residents are moving south and southwest due to the Republican economic meltdown so we may lose fewer Congressional seats.  Still, state legislatures will redraw districts and the Governors can have a significant influence on the outcomes.  State Supreme Courts will have the final answers on whether gerrymandered districts are legal so do NOT forget to vote for Jack Panella November 3rd.

NJ Gov: Christy’s Ethics Being Questioned

The Democratic Governor’s Association conducted a blogger conference call this afternoon where they itemized Republican Chris Christy’s numerous ethical lapses.  This is topical because the former U.S. Attorney called himself the ethics candidate when he announced his candidacy.  He forgot to mention he’d probably already violated the Hatch Act by discussing his possible run for the office with Karl Rove while in his prosecutor’s office.  Remember that the “loyal Bushie” U.S. Attorneys were run from the White House by Rove, Bush’s political director.

Chris Christy pretending to be ethical is laughable.  Just last week he used his name and position to escape getting a traffic ticket.  His successor as USA in New Jersey is also under investigation for violating the Hatch Act by seeking to assist Christy’s candidacy through the office.

Maybe most interestingly the GOP nominee gave a personal loan to the top assistant in his office.  The $36,000 makes her, literally, indebted to him.  Since Christy prosecuted others for the same ethics violation he needs to come clean on this issue.

New Jersey Governor’s Race Heats Up

A new Greenberg Quinlan poll shows Gov. Jon Corzine closing to within two points of challenger Chris Christie in this year’s big race in New Jersey.  Being a border state to Pennsylvania what happens in Jersey affects us.  Delaware River dredging is one significant issue which has divided the two states more than simply geographically.  Christy is a former U.S. Attorney for George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales and the baggage he has from GonzalesGate and the fact he was deemed a “loyal Bushie” in that scandal is hurting his chances of succeeding Corzine.  The Governor has his own baggage but his own personal integrity is intact.  He never sold his soul to George Bush for partisan political purposes.

There are but two Gubernatorial contests this year, this one and Virginia.  The GOP hopes to regain some ground and the momentum going into next year’s Congressional and Senate races by winning these elections.  A two point differential is statistically a dead heat and Corzine seems to have the momentum in this state going into the heart of the season at Labor Day.  Corzine normally self funds but I’m sure he’ll appreciate volunteers.  Every four years we get scores of volunteers from surrounding states assisting us so this time we can repay the favor.

Social Networking with the 2009 Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates

( – promoted by John Morgan)

{First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.}

While 2010 will be chock-full of exciting races at all levels of government.  In 2009, though, there will be two marquee races across the country: the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey.  Republicans are favored in both races, but both races should come down to the wire, and Democrats can hold both seats – with your help.

In Virginia, Democratic State Senator Creigh Deeds won an impressive, come-from-behind victory for the nomination this past Tuesday, demonstrating a strong ground game.  The Republican nominee will be far-right-winger Bob McDonnell.  The best description for McDonnell’s brand of Republicanism is that he is a Pat Robertson disciple.  You can learn more about McDonnell at TheRealBobMcDonnell.com.  Deeds and McDonnell have tangled before, in the 2005 Virginia Attorney General race, where McDonnell barely edged Deeds by 323 votes (yes, just 323 votes – that’s not a typo with zeroes missing) out of over 1.94 million votes counted.  This race will be exceptionally close, so every single dollar contributed and every single hour spent volunteering will make a real difference.  A bit of good news is that the first poll taken after Tuesday’s primary, by Rasmussen Reports, shows Deeds with a 47-41 lead over McDonnell, but this could just be due to a primary bump.  Rasmussen’s last poll showed McDonnell leading Deeds 45-30.  Your support will help Deeds sustain his new lead.

In New Jersey, Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine will square off against Republican former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.  Christie is very much at home in the Republican Culture of Corruption.  Republican Christie has faced scandals involving no-bid contracts, abuse of the state pension system, pay-to-play, and even allegedly cutting a deal to get his younger brother’s sentence reduced after being implicated for fraudulent trading practices on Wall Street.  Despite Christie’s mountain of scandal, New Jersey’s lagging economy has hurt Governor Corzine’s poll numbers.  Recent polling gives Christie a 7 to 13 point lead over Corzine.  Research 2000, May 25-27: Christie 46, Corzine 39; Rasmussen Reports, June 4: Christie 51, Corzine 38; and, Quinnipiac, June 10: Christie 50, Corzine 40.  In other words, Christie has an edge, but the fundamentals of the race moving forward favor Governor Corzine.  As the economy gradually picks up over the coming months and voters learn more about Christie’s corrupt background, New Jersey’s blue state status will shine through and Governor Corzine should tighten the race back up.  Your support will help Governor Corzine tighten the race up even faster.

Below are the links to how you can connect with the gubernatorial campaigns (and – please – contribute anything you can to these campaigns, and spread the word!).  Republicans are expecting (and expected) to win both of these races.  However, after being upset in the NY-20 special U.S. House election and losing a U.S. Senator to a Party switch, the GOP is reeling.  Losing either (or both!) VA-Gov or/and NJ-Gov would be a major body blow and simply crush Republicans heading into the 2010 calendar year.  If Democrats across the country are able to support these Democratic campaigns, we can flush the conventional wisdom down the toilet and deliver two more embarrassments to the Rush-Newt-Cheney Republican Party and two more losses to the Michael Steele RNC.


Creigh Deeds for
Governor of Virginia
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Jon Corzine for
Governor of New Jersey
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