Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Linda Stender is Right: Leonard Lance Stoops to a New Low

In fundraising and general campaign financial health,Republican congressional candidate Leonard Lance is in trouble, as Huntsu over at Blue Jersey has noted that Lance has close to $200,000 in debt, including a $100,000 personal loan he made to his own campaign. With no financial help on the way from the NRCC, at least not yet, Lance has decided to use Karl Rove-esque personal attacks on his opponent, Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender, rather than mount a substantive campaign. And as I've written elsewhere on Blue Jersey,, Lance is a dyed-in-the-wool right-winger who sometimes is mistakenly cast as a "moderate."

Thus the Lance campaign sent out press releases supposely concerning Linda Stender's finances that accused Stender of not paying her federal and state taxes on a family business. The only problem is that, according to records, Stender makes no money off the business, the business in question is owned by her mother and sister, and Stender only has a 5% stake in the business ownership.

Stender has used this opportunity to talk about middle-class economic struggles in the state and country, which is the right course of action to take: "It is shameless that Leonard Lance and the Republican Party are attacking my 80-year-old mother and sister's small business, particularly at a time when small businesses throughout New Jersey are struggling to make ends meet," Stender said.

Why Lance, a somewhat respected, anti-partisan (at least in the state senate) politician would stoop to this low level is clear: His campaign is losing any and all traction after a difficult GOP primary, and Stender is the superior candidate for this seat. Distractions and personal attacks, especially with they are based on questionable merit, are not going to win this campaign for Lance.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bayh or Biden?

From what I'm reading online, and the general buzz surrounding vice presidential candidates, it seems that this is now a two-person race between Indiana Senator Evan Bayh and Delaware Senator Joe Biden for Obama's VP. My personal evaluation is that either of these candidates would be attractive ones, but that is a pragmatic assessment more than anything else; I think they would balance the ticket.

First, either one will be unwelcomed by elements of the progressive netroots; both senators supported the Iraq War, with Biden working especially closely with the Bush administration in its initial planning. Both, to be fair, have since basically repudiated their support for the war, and each favors a withdrawal from Iraq.

Biden is from a blue state, with a Democratic governor (Minter), which means that Dems won't lose a senator, should Obama be elected. Bayh is from a Republican-leaning state, with a Republican governor (Daniels, who is leading against Thompson), and would probably be replaced by a Republican. Strategically, it makes sesnse for Biden to be chosen, even over a Jack Reed of Rhode Island (Republican governor), in this regard. Biden, of course, would be in his 70s at the end of Obama's two terms, should Obama win, which would make him a somewhat old presidential candidate.

Both Biden and Bayh would be friends of labor, both would understand the dymanics of the progressive turn of the country; but a presidential election, of course, is based upon who is at the top of the ticket, so perhaps the pick wouldn't have major ramifications one way or another, and this holds true for McCain, too.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's Time to Show Frank LoBiondo the Door: David Kurkowski for Congress in NJ-02

Despite breaking a term-limit pledge, social conservative Frank LoBiondo, a Republican in New Jersey's 2nd district, absolutely should be taken out of office and replaced with a capable, new representative; that person should be Cape May councilman David Kurkowski. Kurkowski is slowly gaining traction in this southernmost N.J. district, and the more that LoBiondo's awful voting record and fundamentalist beliefs become apparent, the better position Kurkowski is in.

LoBiondo is a decent congressman on two issues, the environment and free trade/unions; but Kurkowski would be even better on both these issues, and he'd be working with an increased Democratic congress majority and (hopefully) President Obama and thus be able better to implement Democratic-led legislation in both these areas. LoBiondo is stridently, unapologetically pro-Iraq War and favors no withdrawal or benchmarks for the Iraqi government; Kurkowski opposes the Iraq War and and understands that strategic redeployment is necessary for our country's protection and Iraqi sovereignty.

LoBiondo's social conservatism is appalling: He has voted against Family Planning funding for women in developing nations if abortion was included as an option there, he opposes any and all stem cell research, and he voted to change the Constitution and restrict the rights of gay and lesbian couples. Meanwhile, as LoBiondo acts as an apologist for Bush-Cheney policies, the federal government continues to be less than helpful to struggling NJ-02 communities like Millville, Salem and Vineland.

Join the Kurkowski campaign and give a few bucks to his Act Blue page, if you can. New Jersey-02 deserves better than Frank LoBiondo

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 01, 2008

McCain Out of Touch on Iraq

Columnist Ellen Goodman has a must-read article out on John McCain and his selective amnesia on the Iraq War:

In "McCain's Iraq War Stance Rooted in Another Era," she basically argues that McCain is reliving the end of the Vietnam War with his perpetual call for a nebulous years-away victory in Iraq and that he frames the Iraq War post-surge, chronologically, neglecting the very reason that we went into Iraq. McCain's convoluted logic is that, since the surge was "successful," the war is therefore a success; he neglects to question the origins of the war, let alone the price that the war is having on U.S. troop readiness and other matters.

I've been noting McCain's selective amnesia on Iraq for quite some time, from his claim that we'd be greeted as liberators there to his statement, about a year ago, that walking in Iraq was like walking in a peaceful American market -- this despite him being heavily guarded and recent bombings in the very area he was touring.

Something is wrong with Sen. McCain's understanding of the Iraq War; certainly, it seems clear that his policy here has been coopted by a neoconservative doctrine of endless war, but he is also confusing Shiite with Sunni, Al Queda with insurgents, the wars aims vs. the actual problems on the ground.

Labels: , ,