Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Jersey Town Halls


Republican Christopher Smith was elected to Congress 37 years ago, in 1980, age 27. He had been a Democrat but switched parties in 2 years earlier and ran against crooked Democrat, Frank Thompson, who had been convicted of taking bribes in the Abscam scandal. The Democrats have coveted taking the district back ever since-- but have been highly unsuccessful in ever getting anywhere near doing so. His reelection bids have attracted over 60% since 1984. Last November, he beat Democrat Lorna Phillipson 206,137 (63.7%) to 108,373 (33.5%), rolling up large margins in all 3 counties that make up the districts-- Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer. He only spent $661,899 on his campaign.

Smith's last public town hall with his constituents was in 1992-- that's a quarter-century ago. When a friend of mine in Trenton Gardens decided to organize an impromptu town hall in front of Smith's house he had to call it off because Smith lives too far from the district-- in Herndon, Virginia. No, really, his family is so-much part of Virginia that Smith was able to request and receive in-state tuition privileges, saving the family $20,000 per year. In 2006 he spent a total of exactly 7 days in New Jersey. He spends more time traveling abroad than he does in New Jersey.

Fact is, the Democrats have lusted after all 3 Republican-held districts in South Jersey for some time. (They hold the 1st district in the Philly 'burbs, but with an extremely corrupt, right-of-center fake-Dem, Donald Norcross, most Democrats would rather not claim political kinship to. The 2nd district (PVI is D+1) is held by Frank LoBiondo, the 3rd (R+1) is held by Tom MacArthur. Neither of them are bothering with town hall constituent meetings either. Yesterday there was a Citizens Townhall for MacArthur at the DeMasi School in Marlton and one for Smith at the Monmouth County Library in Manalapan. Neither MacArthur nor Smith showed up. Saturday there's a demonstration planned for LoBiondo at his district office in relatively remote Mays Landing (population 2,135) at noon. Obama won LoBiondo's and MacArthur's districts both times he ran and lost Smith's district both times. The DCCC has been willing to recruit and finance candidates-- usually terrible ones-- against LoBiondo and MacArthur in the past... but that may not be as automatic in 2018. Trump won all 3 Republican-held South Jersey districts in November.
NJ-02- 50.6% to 46.0%, 5 points better than Romney had done
NJ-03- 51.4% to 45.2%, 4 points better than Romney
NJ-04- 55.8% to 41.0%, a point and a half better than Romney
The DCCC is looking north towards Leonard Lance's 7th district and perhaps even Rodney Frelinghuysen's 11th district instead, districts they never seriously consider. Hillary beat Trump in the 7th CD-- 48.6% to 47.5%-- and almost tied him in the 11th-- 48.8% to 47.9%. Frightened, Lance scheduled 2 town halls this week.

MacArthur’s staff is, repeating alt-fact GOP talking points that paid, out-of-district protesters are the only ones in Burlington and Ocean counties who have a problem with MacArthur carrying Trump’s water on such things as the racist travel ban. Not only is that ridiculous, it's also utterly offensive to the people he purports to represent. All three are cowering in Trump’s corner and steadfastly refusing to do their jobs and absolutely refuse to stand and listen to the fears and concerns of their constituents.

Leonard Lance's town last night at Raritan Valley Community College had the biggest turnout of any public meeting of his political career and was especially interesting because he seemed to have been figuring out in real time that by adopting progressive agenda items he didn't get boo-ed; he got cheered. Watch how he handles the Obamacare replacement question right in the beginning of the clip. He also told the large crowd that he "urges" Trump to release his tax returns.

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At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's such a shame that a state as pastorally beautiful as NJ has to vote as stupidly as KS, TX and OK. Add up all the natural beauty in TX, OK and AZ and it doesn't sniff the crotch of NJ. But is equal to the others in dumbfucktards. Boggles the mind.


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