Serious Allegations against Chris Christie
U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who should be commended for indicting several corrupt politicians across the state of New Jersey, has been accused of intimidating witnesses and hampering the defense in a high-profile case against state senator Wayne Bryant. This doesn't surprise me at all and speaks once again to Christie's blurring of the line between his rabid, self-serving brand of partisan politics -- he's a Republican who raised over 100k for the Bush administration -- and his role as a nonpartisan U.S. attorney. These allegations from Bryant are a less credible since they are coming from a state senator who has engaged in corrupt activity. But they point to a larger problem that Christie, widely viewed as a Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2009, has only created for himself. In September 2006, just before the election, Christie issued a subpoena against Bob Menendez while he was in a tight race against Tom Kean Jr. -- nothing whatsoever has come of this subpoena. He has gone on speaking tours with Republicans, did a candidate forum with Republican state senator Joseph Kyrillos that was banned from television, has implored voters to support Republican candidates, and almost exclusively focused his corruption probes on New Jersey Democrats rather than pay attention to any possible Republican corruption.
2007: A Good Year for Dems (2008 even better?)
2007 was a year where Democrats nationwide solidified their gains in our increasingly progressive, pro-Democratic country. On a local level, here in New Jersey, Democrats weren't expected to do well; historically speaking, the majority party, with a governor of the same party in power, usually loses seats in the state legislature. This wasn't entirely the case in New Jersey, though Democrats here need to do a better job of stating what it is we stand for.
In the state legislature, Dems gained two seats here in South Jersey, while losing one in a Republican-leaning district in Central Jersey. In the freeholder races, Democrats gained seats in Monmouth and Cumberland counties, respectively. Several mayoral races, unfortunately, did go to Republicans, but this was in Republican-leaning districts. Strangely enough, even though Democrats hold sizable majorities in the senate and assembly in N.J., the editor of politickernj.com saw fit to declare the election a "Republican Victory":http://www.politickernj.com/2007-republican-year-13825#comment-21578
Some of the most encouraging news for Democrats comes out of red states in 2007. Dems not only won the governorship of Kentucky, but they retook the state senate in Virginia for the first time in over a decade! What is happening in my native Virginia at the grassroots level, and because of Gov. Tim Kaine and future senator Mark Warner, is truly astounding, and Democrats continue to make gains here and across the country. It's never been a better time to join the Democratic Party, the party of fiscal responsibility, clean government, environmental protection, and a sane foreign policy.
The Solid Democratic South (Jersey, that is)
In just a few days, Democrats have the opportunity to take several South Jersey state senate seats and perhaps even some Assembly seats. From Jeff Van Drew (district 1) to Rich Dennison (district 7) to Jim Whelan (district 2) to Fran Bodine (district 8), Democrats have the opportunity to have a unified voice in the state senate, thus increasing the influence of South Jersey overall in the New Jersey legislature. Trenton can't ignore South Jersey concerns if a unified bloc of legislators are there to promote them, and it looks like the results of this Tuesday's election will allow a newly-solidified Democratic majority to arise in South Jersey.