Skip to main content

It's Menendez.

New Jersey Gov.-elect Jon Corzine will name Rep. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, as his successor in the U.S. Senate, multiple New Jersey Democratic sources told CNN Wednesday.

Menendez will serve the remaining year of Corzine's Senate term in 2006 while launching his own campaign for a full six-year term, the sources said.

Menendez was chosen over a handful of other Democrats being considered for the appointment, including Rep. Robert Andrews and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., the sources said.

"I think it is a good move," said one Democratic source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "He has the statewide infrastructure in place. He has got the money, the fire in the belly -- and he will win."

Update: Corzine's office refuses to confirm. It would be hilarious if everyone reported this wrong, though cruel to Menendez. Point is, this isn't official.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:05 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  ah well (none)
    I still think Springsteen woulda been fun... "Senator boss"...

    undercaffeinated

    by odum on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:07:24 PM PST

    •  DeLay vs. Menendez... (none)
      A question of ethics...

      Philadelphia Inquirer
      Sun, Nov. 27, 2005

      Soon after that, in late August 2004, the New York Sun reported that
      McGreevey loyalists were shopping a story about Kay LiCausi, a Menendez-staffer-turned-lobbyist whose company, K.L. Strategies Inc., had contracts with Menendez supporters.

      A LiCausi story popped up in July in the New York Times documenting how
      several LiCausi clients were Menendez supporters.

      Though becoming a lobbyist is a typical career move for a congressional staffer, an anonymous tipster has been e-mailing politicians and reporters a complaint about Menendez and LiCausi to the House Ethics Committee signed by "Concerned Citizens of New Jersey."


    •  Not quite there yet... (none)
      PoliticsNJ

      "Your sources do not speak for Jon Corzine." -- Corzine spokeswoman Ivette Mendez, to CNN.

  •  I promise to run a primary against him (none)

    Don't you know I would never fucking say fuck?!

    by faithfull on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:08:06 PM PST

  •  All I know is... (4.00)
    that he better change his stance on the flag burning amendment.  He is now representing all of New Jersey and the majority of New Jersians disagree with the flag burning amendment.
    •  A lot of Dems (none)
      Support the flag burning ammendment. It's a red-meat issue that they can support without any real-life repercussions.

      Take a look at some of your favorite Democrats, and you will probably be surprised to see that at least a handful of them "support" an ammendment.

      •  Flag burning is a non-issue (none)
        and should be brushed aside like a gnat by any lawmaker worth his salt.  There are simply more important things to do than waste time issuing legislation to protect the flag in a country where flag-burning does not happen in the first place.

        In terms of import, flag burning is right up there with the "war on Christmas".  In other words, it's a total bunch of baloney cooked up by the same kind of backwards Murkans who think patriotism = venerating no-talent ass clowns like George W. Bush.

        The freedom to burn the flag in this country is the best reason not to do so.  That is all the protection it needs.

      •  possibly so (none)
        I've heard rumored, although it's not possible to verify, that the vast majority of Senators think the amendment is stupid and don't want it to pass, but know that it's a populist issue, so get 34 people in safe seats to vote against it, even though more than that would've voted against it if they really had to to keep it from passing—which is why it keeps "almost" passing, but not ever quite doing so.

        "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

        by Delirium on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 05:27:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not a Democrat (none)
        so I really don't care.  In fact, if a majority of them are against the freedom of expression (and that is what flag burning is) then all the more reason for me to not vote for them.
  •  Lets Send Him a Card Welcoming Him to the Senate (none)
    How do you Jersians think he will vote on progressive issues?

    Don't you know I would never fucking say fuck?!

    by faithfull on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:09:41 PM PST

    •  if I remember correctly (none)
      He voted against the middle class when he supported the Republicans in the recent Bankruptcy bill.  But best to double check that.  As a progressive NJ Corzine volunteer, Menendez was last on my list.  Pallone and Holt are by far the superior candidates.  If Menendez is his choice, it is a smack in the face to progressives and a gift to the machine.
  •  No surprise (4.00)
    Menendez was the frontrunner from the beginning.  Not the worst possible choice, Andrews would have been, but not the best, Pallone would have been.  Menendez needs to get the maximum amount of mileage out of his year in office if he is to beat Kean.

    No more Melissa Beans!

    by Paleo on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:09:53 PM PST

    •  Why no love for Rob Andrews? (none)
      His voting record appears to be more progressive than Menendez's overall, though I know he's on the more hawkish wing of the party.
      •  "more hawkish"? (none)
        He wrote the House version of the Iraq war resolution.
        •  You mean . . . (none)
          . . . people here might disagree with this?  
          After listening to constituents, evaluating the reports of diplomatic, intelligence and military authorities and searching my conscience, I have concluded that this is one of those times.  Our nation must act by any means necessary, including military action, to remove the government of Saddam Hussein.

          Failure to act will result in calamity for America.  We will likely suffer attacks by enemies using chemical, biological and nuclear weapons that will result in deaths that dwarf the grim casualty roll of September 11, 2001. These attacks will strike people here in our own land as well as around the world.

          At the request of President Bush, I have helped to form a small group of Members of Congress from both political parties.  We share the conviction that our duty to protect the people of the United States requires us to remove the Iraqi government from power. We are working to write and pass a Resolution authorizing our nation to take any steps necessary to replace the Iraqi dictatorship with a government that will practice peace.

          •  I can top that (4.00)
            "Make no mistake about it, these weapons of mass death are not pointed at the Germans who doubt the scope of this risk. They are not pointed at Saddam's Arab neighbors who scoff at the necessity of this mission. These weapons of mass death are meant to kill Americans, and we will not and should not ask anyone's permission to defend the people of this country."
            - Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), 10/08/02
            •  I think I blogged that in a diary (2.00)
              But yeah.. "Weapons of Mass Death".. good call Rob

              "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

              by RBH on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:30:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Two reasons... (none)
        I can think of two (both generally wrongheaded, IMHO):

        1.  Because of his seniority and prior high-level work with the DCCC, Menendez's namerec outside of his district is higher.
        2.  Many Kossacks believe anyone "on the hawkish side" is unacceptable no matter what the voting record on other issues.
      •  More progressive? (none)
        In what way is it more progressive?  I know Andrews is pretty good on labor issues, but overall he's solid DLC.  Certainly more so than Menendez.

        No more Melissa Beans!

        by Paleo on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:26:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Rob Andrews is so stiff it's scary. (none)
        I've been to wax museums and seen figures that were more lifelike.

        Q: Is it ignorance or apathy? A: I don't know and I don't care. [-4.25, -5.33]

        by GTPinNJ on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:38:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree (none)
        I don't think Rep. Bob Menendez would have voted against the Clinton Health Care Reform Plan of the 103rd Congress (1993-4), which Rep. Andrews did.  Rep. Andrews was one of two Democrats (Rep. Scotty Baesler the other) who voted against the Clinton Health Care Plan in the House Education and Labor Committee.  This isn't a small issue either.

        The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

        by jim bow on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:53:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Voted for the Bankruptcy Bill n/t (none)

        "Let him that would move the world first move himself." --Socrates

        by joanneleon on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 02:43:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  lieberman loves him (none)
        i'm sure.
    •  yeah (none)
      also many doom-and-gloomers here are forgetting that Menendez has three things going for him Kean doesn't:

      • first, and most importantly, his connection to the NJ machine could be a blessing. It was because of semi-machiney people like Menendez that Corzine was able to win 53-43 instead of the expected closer margin. Labor will be strongly behind Menendez, and labor is the most important element of Democratic GOTV in New Jersey.

      • second, Menendez has raised over $4 million. It's nothing to scoff at, especially since he doesn't even officially have the appointment yet. He is a rabid fundraiser and campaigner. Kean is still untested.

      • finally, Menendez's race may be very important. The Hispanic population is large and fast-growing in New Jersey, and Democrats need a commanding percentage of the Latino vote to win. Kerry's weak 53-44 (or 58-40, depending on who you believe) win of Latinos in 2004 was the death knell for him in a number of swing states. The death of Menendez's longtime rival, Union City Mayor Cunningham (sp?), gives Menendez a rare opportunity to mend relations with the black community, also crucial to Dem wins.

      "Rarely is the question asked: 'Is our children learning?'" -- George W. Bush

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 03:17:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Death of Cunningham (none)
        Glen Cunningham was the Mayor of Jersey City,not Union City. Menendez is a former Mayor of Union City.They were indeed political enemies.
        •  Although... (4.00)
          ...they were enemies, they were not long-term enemies.

          Note, this goes into a long winded recent history of Hudson County politics.  Ignore it if you wish.

          When Cunningham ran for mayor in 2001, he was actually the pick of the Hudson County Democratic Organization.  Menendez was the nearly undisputed boss at this time.  Cunningham won with his support.

          Now, a bit further back in time.  Hudson County has always been overwhelmingly democratic.  The major center of power was always Jersey City, the largest municipality in the county.  In 1992, Republican Bret Schundler won a special election for mayor of JC, and then won 2 full terms.

          This caused massive shifts in the balance of Hudson County politics.  Without a democratic strongman in the county seat, power was spread out to different officials.  Moreover, the county machinery began to exert more influence over the city, rather than vice-versa.

          When Cunningham took office, a lot of people wondered whether he would try to restore the prior arrangment of the mayor of JC calling the shots.  Early on, Hudson County Exec. Robert Janizewski (don't remember the spelling offhand, sorry) was indicted on bribery charges, and he turned state's evidence and has since been testifying against various lesser organisims in the county political food chain.  The first question was, who will replace him?

          Menendez and Cunningham initially agreed on a "placeholder" replacement, Bernard Hartnett.  After Hartnett's initial appointment, the seat was filled by a special election, followed by a regular election for the full year term.  Menendez and Cunningham split when it came whether to back Hartnett in the special election. This was really a pretext for some other issues, as well as the general question of "who's the power broker."

          Menendez's candidate won (he backed the man who Cunningham defeated in the mayoral election), and Menendez was able to turn every other Hudson county mayor against Cunningham.  All but one of the 9 Jersey City councilmembers ended up supporting Menendez in the various intra-party squabbles as well.  

          Cunningham gained a bit of revenge in 2003, when he won a State Senate seat in one of the 3 legislative districts of which Jersey City is a part.  His district comprised the largely black neighborhoods in Jersey City (Cunningham was the 1st black mayor of JC) with the city Bayonne.  Cunningham put together a strong ticket of himself and two challengers for the state assembly.  They swept the district, which gave Cunningham power to block county appointments.  Cunningham was able to win back a few allies on the council and elsewhere with this show of strength.

          The result was that while Menendez still controlled, the county, Cunningham had worked himself into a position where he was pretty much unbeatable in his Senate seat.

          This all ended abruptly last year, when mayor Cunningham died of a sudden heart attack.  At this point Mendendez can pretty much call the shots.  The current mayor of JC, Jeremiah Healy, sometimes displays an independent streak, but has no interest or appetite for trying to take over the entire county.

          Anyway, that's much more than you wanted to know.  Sorry.

  •  This is Dem choice to fight culture of corruption? (4.00)
    Bad choice -- the way to get mainstream voters is not to pit someone so closely identified with the corrupt side of NJ bossism (Menendez) against the son of NJ's perceived "Mr. Clean and Independent" (Kean, Jr.).

    For whatever strengths Menendez clearly brings with the Latino community, they're lost with his apparently bad relations with the African-American community in northern NJ.

    And this is no way to go after the GOP's culture of corruption -- it's more like Torricelli v.2.

    •  Which NJ democrat (none)
      comes free of the stink of corruption.

      It's the state, not the party.

      If there is anything I have learned from Scooby Doo, it is that the only thing to fear is crooked real estate developers.

      by JakeC on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 02:13:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plenty (none)
        Of course Republicans will throw this at any Democrat in NJ, but because that's how they operate, not because it's true in every case.

        They threw it at Corzine and it didn't stick both because it wasn't very plausible against a guy who only got into politics 6 years ago, and came into politics rich from money he made elsewhere.  And because Forrester's own background in corruption was much clearer.

        Holt is clearly not part of the dirty parts of the NJ machines, and Pallone much less than either Andrews or Menendez.  Either could have made a  plausible "throw [or in the case of an interim, keep] the Republican bums out" case.  They each have other issues, but that's a different matter, and at least wouldn't have run against what clearly will be the national Democratic theme -- of Republican corruption -- in 2006.

        •  the campaign in 2006 will be dirty, no matter what (none)
          The GOP is convinced they just need to throw some big money at Kean and get him to win. Yes they will launch all sorts of negative campaigning and swiftboating, and whisper campaigns at whoever the incumbent Democrat might be. So the Democrats will need quite a bit of money to counterattack. Menendez has the big lead in money to defend himself. As long as he is not the subject of any criminal investigation, and no one has offered any information that he might be, he's best choice.
          •  Been there, done that (none)
            The GOP is convinced they just need to throw some big money at Kean and get him to win. Yes they will launch all sorts of negative campaigning and swiftboating, and whisper campaigns at whoever the incumbent Democrat might be.

            Didn't the GOP just try that in the Governor's race? And it didn't work. Maybe NJ voters aren't as gullible as voters in other parts of the country.

      •  asdf (none)
        If Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce gets his act together and decides to run in '06, Menendez will be absolutely crushed in a primary.

        I think someone should start a "Draft Bruce" campaign...

        •  oh please (none)
          I mean, when's the last time a celebrity ran for the Senate? It's always rumors, and they're always just fluff.

          The only three celebrities I can think of ever elected to a high political position are:

          • Ronald Reagan, Governor of California from 1966 to 1974 and President from 1980 to 1988
          • Sonny Bono, U.S. Representative from California (Palm Springs area) from 1994 to 1998
          • Jesse Ventura, Governor of Minnesota from 1998 to 2002
          • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California since 2003

          Notice NO Senators.

          "Rarely is the question asked: 'Is our children learning?'" -- George W. Bush

          by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 03:00:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's four (none)
            And there are a couple of others, off the top of my head (the guy from Love Boat, couple of former NFL players).

            But, you are right.  To me, when the party starts looking to celebrities, it just shows how desperate they are.  (Reagan, especially by the time he ran for President, was a different story).  Sure, it's clear that Springsteen has a social conscience- but, don't we need a little more out of a Senator?  Could he even really handle himself with the media, or in a debate?

            I'm not Menendez was the way to go, but the whole Springsteen thing was just a distraction.

            If there is anything I have learned from Scooby Doo, it is that the only thing to fear is crooked real estate developers.

            by JakeC on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 03:17:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There was one senator (none)
            Sorry, Nathaniel, but I think there was one celebrity senator. Former New York Knicks star Bill Bradley used to be a Democratic senator from none other than New Jersey. I actually think that Bruce Springsteen would make a great senator. I can just see "Born to Run" being played at his candidacy declaration... Sadly, I just don't think he'd run.

            GOP stands for Grand Old Problem.

            by LennyLiberal on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 03:44:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Which New Jersey Democrat is free (none)
        of corruption? How about Rush Holt?
  •  Well... (none)
    "A Corzine spokeswoman, Ivette Mendez, described any discussion of the appointment as "speculative" and noted that "your sources do not speak for Jon Corzine."

    A Menendez spokesman refused comment."

    There's still hope that Corzine switches his mind and picks someone much more practical, like Pallone or Holt, instead of machinist and corruption-sponsored Menendez.

  •  Missed Opportunity (none)

    I don't know about the Boss, but Corzine would have done well to find someone who could represent New Jersey without representing the worst in Democratic machine politics. Not that I think of Menendez as absolutely the worst in this regard--but he's tainted by it and so are his same-old-pols future challengers.

    A new face representing a new kind of politics would have been refreshing, would have helped bolster Corzine's image as above NJ goings-on (maybe too late for that), and would have given me higher hopes for the inevitable face-off with Kean, Jr.

    Oh well.

  •  Menendez (none)
    Are there some skeletons in his background that Kean Jr. will exploit?
  •  bad move (none)
    This was the worst possible pick that Corzine could have made. Menendez has baggage, and hes a machine guy. Kean is not the guy we want running against someone like Menendez. Corzine just made this race a lot more competitive that it should be. What a shame.

    I HATE REPUBLICANS, HATE HATE HATE THEM!!!!!!!!! UGHHHHH [-5.50, -4.69]

    by michael1104 on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:12:05 PM PST

    •  So if the corruption card didn't work for (none)
      Forrester, why will it work for Kean? We're going to hold this seat in the end. Kean cannot win because he will have to justify:

      1. Why should New Jersey send GW another vote in the Senate?

      2. Where does Kean stand on the war?

      Kean will try to distance himself from the unpopular Republican Congress, but in the end, the voters of New Jersey don't want to give George Bush another vote in the Senate. The best shot they had was winning the governor's race because it wasn't national, but they blew that. Kean Jr. will go down in the same fashion as Brad Carson and Inez Tenenbaum.
  •  so much for Nia Gill (none)
    oh well.
  •  My Congressman (none)
    Menendez is my congressman.  I can't say I'm thrilled.

    "When you starve the beast, you starve the people. And the bathtub was a reference to New Orleans." -- bink

    by bink on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:12:46 PM PST

  •  Yuck (none)
    That's the best we could do?  An appointment that reeks of cronyism.  Yes, Menendez has lots of money in the bank.  But NJ politics has been a cesspool of nasty smells for years now.  Appointing someone who is part of the machinery means that we are failing to recognize the problem.  I really hope I'm wrong but Menendez will have trouble against Kean.  This is especially bad when we need to hold this seat if we're going to win back the Senate in '06.  
  •  Maybe a Head Fake -- Hopefully (none)
    as before Bush nominated Roberts, all the media was certain it was going to the woman on the Fifth Circuit.
    •  Yeah, but (none)
      I heard that was partly a way of putting that particular woman back in her place... Joy Clement had "seemed too eager" or "promoted herself too heavily" or something, so since they wanted to run some false name up the pole, they used her.

      Corzine probably can't afford not to appoint Menendez; he certainly can't afford to slap him in the face.

      Course, I don't know shit, so who knows.  It'd sure be beautiful if he appointed Rush Holt instead.

  •  Damn... (none)
    someone from North Jersey...I had higher hopes than that from Corzine.
  •  first (none)
    this isnt definate, someone in corzine's camp vehemently denied it. second, even if it is, and the closet demonds ARE that bad, then Andrews or Pallone will take him out in a primary
    •  Still not confirmed anywhere else (none)
      as of 4:24 pm EST.

      A couple of  articles  that "Corzine favors Menendez" in ABC News and Newsday.

      Of course, even if the choice hasn't been finally made yet, it would be pretty impossible for Corzine to pick anyone else in the House delegation after this has gotten out.

      If it's not entirely final yet but Corzine is genuinely close to picking Menendez, I wonder if one of Menendez's allies leaked it to try to force Corzine's hand, just by making it look like C. was screwing Menendez if he didn't?  

      Of course, it's not smart to play around like that with a newly elected Governor who's worth several hundred million dollars.  

      Interesting to know what's really going on.

  •  Corzine did the (none)
    politically expedient thing?

    Shocking...

    "If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy, too..." : The Smothers Brothers.

    by wozzle on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:18:29 PM PST

  •  Two things. (none)
    will there be a Special election for Menendez's seat?

    "please don't lie to me my Govt. does enough of that" -Aaron Hayes.

    by dieharddemocrat on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:20:31 PM PST

  •  I was really hoping for Rush Holt (none)
    He's smart, progressive, and most importantly, not corrupt. I love Jon Corzine, but seriously, what the hell was he thinking when he made this choice?
    •  he was thinking (none)
      that if he doesn't pick Menendez, he will make his life miserable with the influence he has over the party machine making it impossible for Corzine to enact his agenda.
    •  Wha? (none)
      I'll tell you what Corzine was thinking -- he was thinking that Menendez has well over 3 million in his warchest, that he was going to run in a primary regardless of Corzine's pick, that he was going to line up the critical North Jersey labor support (the same GOTV effort that turned Corzine's race from a nailbiter into a blowout), and that he was going to win the primary regardless of who Corzine backed.  

      This was the smart choice.  Picking Menendez was the only way to possibly avoid a primary.  Holt et al will have another chance very soon.

      •  Not true at all (none)
        Rob Andrews and Frank Pallone have already committed to running in the primary regardless of who Corzine picks. Now I don't think that Andrews could keep the seat if he was chosen instead, but if Pallone was picked instead, who is relatively unknown but very well respected by those who do know him, chances are he would have the power to keep the combined Menendez-Andrews force at bay during the primaries.

        shrugs. Pallone would've been the best option.

        •  Maybe . . . (none)
          Maybe an incumbent Pallone is able to emerge, bloodied and poor, from a battle with Behemoth Bob.  Maybe not.  By making Menendez the incumbent, Corzine will either:

          a) Scare Pallone, Andrews, and Holt into waiting till next time, or;

          b) Ensure that any primary is relatively bloodless and won by an incumbent who is beholden to Corzine.

          Incumbent Pallone might have fought off Menendez -- but to what end?  Menendez will win any primary in which he's the incumbent, and should cruise over the untested Kean.

          •  You're much too sanguine about this prospect (none)
            should cruise over the untested Kean

            Getting elected to these kinds of offices is basically a combination of three factors:
            (1) the political capability of the candidate
            (2) the resources the candidate can muster
            (3) the political atmosphere (specific to the state or locality and the year) in which the race occurs.

            (This isn't some academically-derived theory, it's from 35 years of being involved in campaigns.)

            (1) is obviously unclear with Kean, but equally clearly he was raised in a political setting and has had long experience of seeing what state-wide campaigns look like, what works and what doesn't.  If he proves to have even average political capabilities, he's unlikely to make novice mistakes.

            (2) No question that the RSCC and the RNC will make sure Kean has all the bucks he needs.  No problem with dropping out or taking too much time off the campaign to have to dial for dollars.  This isn't even tentative or open to question; his father's name guarantees it.

            (3) If the Dems have one national line in 2006, it's "throw the corrupt Republicans out!"  Kean's dad's image runs directly counter to this working, and so does Menendez's own Hudson County history.   It lets Kean put himself in the aggressor's role, using the national Democrats' own slogan.  

            Not a pretty picture.  Not saying Menendez can't win, but it won't be through a campaign that improves his image, and he won't "cruise".

            •  No doubt he'll have to work at it (none)
              But he will win, and by more than 6 points.

              Your factor 1) is the biggie:  Menendez is an excellent politician, a true craftsman.  Kean, OTOH, is largely untested.  Skilled pols are a finite resource, so until proven otherwise, advantage to Menendez.

              1. Menendez will have more money.  Kean will do well, no doubt, but Menendez already has over $4 million (I understated it earlier), and he can get plenty more.

              2. Menendez might not be squeaky clean, but he ain't the Torch.  Corzine was somewhat sullied as well (the CWA shenanigans), and he was able to overcome a vicious anti-corruption campaign at a time when corruption was leading the news.   And while anti-corruption feeling is part of the '06 zeitgeist, another element is the blue trending of Jersey.
      •  They'll Be a Primary... (none)
        ...and picking a horse in that primary can only hurt Corzine's ability to govern until that primary is over.  In a state with as many Democratic factions as New Jersey, no one is going to roll over for Menendez.

        If there was ever a time to pick a caretaker Senator, or at least a fresh face, it was for this appointment.

        Corzine blew it.

  •  Rep. Sires or Rep. Vas? (none)
    any other ideas of who'll be running in NJ13?

    Although I can't honestly remember the last special election in New Jersey.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:22:23 PM PST

    •  Conventional wisdom (none)
      Sires is a certainty.
      •  Sires is an automatic (none)
        Part of the reason he stepped down from the NJ Assembly leadership is the promise of this seat.  I am not as depressed as a number of people around here seem to be.  Is Menendez the perfect candidate?  No.  Does he have flaws?  Yep.  But almost everyone else running has tremendous flaws including the interim candidates.  Kean is going to be a strong candidate.  Just on name recognition alone.  Plus, there is not going to be a primary for the Republicans.  If an interim was put in place, the resulting jostling and scrum in our primary would be counter productive.  Now, Corzine has given the voters of NJ a year to get to know Menendez and allow Menendez to build name recognition.  Both Pallone and Andrews might back off if Menendez does well.  I don't think Andrews has the cajones to take Menendez on one on one.  And Pallone is young enough that he might be looking at Lautenberg's seat and say I will wait till next time.  So this might eliminate a very costly primary.  The most important seat is keeping the NJ Senate seat blue.  This gives us that opportunity.    
        •  logical choice (none)
          The Republicans are hoping that Tom Kean Jr. will beat any of Corzine's choices. Tom Kean Jr. has name recognition, in fact, many probably confuse him with his father who was a popular Republican governor of NJ. So the national GOP is going 100% with Kean, and he will have tons of money to run on his father's name, plus the GOP will avoid a Republican primary in 2006.

          The Democrats must appoint someone who can also avoid a primary and who would run very strong in 2006. Menendez has the money, quite a bit of name recognition in the NJ high-density population centers that vote democratic, and has a national network of influential and big money hispanic supporters.

          Lautenberg's seat will most likely be open in 2008, so all those Democrats who would intend to challenge Menendez in 2006, are probably going to be strongly persuaded to wait until then.

  •  Why did Corzine run for governor (none)
    in the first place?  I'd rather have a Democratic senator from NJ and have the state be headed by a republican than have a democratic governor there and have them send a Republican to the Senate (which may now occur in 2006).  
  •  I KNEW IT (none)
    I wish I had bet money on it.

    The ups: Menendez is Hispanic (we MUST sweep Latino voters to win), liberal, and will do well with the base. He is also a rabid campaigner with $4 million so far in his war chest.

    The downs: He can easily be tied to the NJ Democratic machine. Corruption as an issue could hurt him.

    Overall, an okay pick. Not perfect, but better than picking your daughter, like Frank Murkowski did.

    "Rarely is the question asked: 'Is our children learning?'" -- George W. Bush

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:36:39 PM PST

  •  I think we know who Corzine wants (none)
    It's probably Nia Gill.  If he weren't in such a difficult predicament he probably would have appointed her.  But such is politics, so he did the next best thing by putting her on the short list.  That elevated her status and positioned her for something bigger in the near future.

    Hey Roberts lovers, a link to a CNN story PRIOR to the nomination: Big Biz Draws Up Supreme Court Wish List

    by DWCG on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:40:24 PM PST

  •  Cruel to Menendez, Kos? (none)
    If it's not being confirmed by Corzine's office, how do you know that this wasn't sourced to a Menendez ally or advocate in Corzine's camp?

    That would be the sort of LBJ-type game that a machine politician like Menendez might play.  Not necessarily the case, obviously, but I'll repeat here what I wrote above:

    Of course, even if the choice hasn't been finally made yet, it would be pretty impossible for Corzine to pick anyone else in the House delegation after this has gotten out.

    If it's not entirely final yet but Corzine is genuinely close to picking Menendez, I wonder if one of Menendez's allies leaked it to try to force Corzine's hand, just by making it look like C. was screwing Menendez if he didn't?  

    Of course, it's not smart to play around like that with a newly elected Governor who's worth several hundred million dollars.  

    Interesting to know what's really going on.

    If it is from a Menendez ally, this may be Menendez's way of reminding Corzine what a pain Menendez will be for him as Governor if he doesn't get the appointment.

    •  Is this a Schumer leak? (none)
      With typos and all...

      New York Senator Charles Schumer is being blamed for leaking news that Jon Corzine has decided to appoint Bob Menendez to the U.S. Senator, according to several sources close to Corzine and other Democratic leaders. The story first broke on CNN, followed by WCBS-TV in New York and the Associated Press. Schumer is the Chairman of teh Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. (12/07/05)
      Link
      •  Schumer again?! (none)
          That man is a human spaghetti strainer, in that he's really leaky (get it?).  First he talks about how he was interviewing candidates for the next New Jersey senator, pissing off Corzine something awful.  Then he leaks who Corzine is going to pick, before Corzine even makes a decision?!  What is Chuck doing?!  What is going on with him and Corzine?    
        •  Schumer?! (none)
          Well, it's obvious who he wants. If Corzine is undecided, this may have settled it for him.

          WTF is Schumer doing? First trying to sink Eliot Spitzer and now screwing around with Corzine. It probably just burns him up he's #2 in New York because of Clinton. Bah.

    •  politicsnj.com (none)
      is reporting that this was leaked early by Sen. Schumer who has a wonderful tendency to interject himself into New Jersey politics.  The guys that run that site are pretty good at recieving the unofficial word and seem to have a handle on what really happens in the back room.    
      •  Heh (none)
        Sounds about right to me.

        Schumer pissed off Corzine even before the election with this stuff.

        If Corzine truly hasn't decided who to appoint, this is a big break for him, because if he doesn't pick Menendez, he can blame this on Schumer.  

  •  Menendez is a great choice! (none)
    This is more about National politics-Menendez is the Third Ranking Democrat in the US House.  He did not get there with the "New Jersey Machine".  He is a smart, savvy politician and he has the national stature to take the Senate seat and make things happen.  Pallone??  Andrews??  Who could possibly think these guys would ever get a shot?  I agree Holt is a Great guy-I lived in that district and voted for him in his first win.  But he is not ready yet.

    Support Menendez, he is a keeper!

    •  Say what? (none)
      Are you lying, stupid or simply misinformed?

      Bob Menendez IS the machine in Hudson County.  He's a praty Boss...One of NJ's Bosses...what's this nonsense about "He did not got there with the New Jersey Machine?" bull shit?

      He IS part of the machine...and a major cog of it.

      And to your question--Andrews, Pallone?  

      FYI--Andrews ran for Governor several years ago and lost by only 2 points.  He has statewide name ID.

      I'll assume that you're not stupid...just misinformed.

      •  I have forgotten 10% of what you will ever know. (none)
        For you to call ME stupid shows how pathetic you really are politically.  What ever his MACHINE is in (oh my god...HUDSON COUNTY NEW JERSEY)he did not GET ELECTED THIRD RANKING DEMOCRAT IN THE US HOUSE WITH THAT-you pathetic dumbass!!!!
        •  Are you kidding...? (none)
          I said you were misinformed...asked a hypothetical question, "are you stupid?" then concluded, that you are most likely misinformed.  not stupid.

          now to get to the main point...he is the machine. he is a main cog in the machine. he wins because of the machine in Hudson county. He's the chairman and boss of hudson county.

          he has a lot of skeletons in his closet and in the day of Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, why should we run a candidate who's equally vulnerable on ethics charges and violations?

          Corzine is yet to confirm this...he's thinking it over.  Know why?  Because Menendez is one of the bosses Corzine was accused of beholden to.

          Now...you're still misinformed.  But now I'm willing to call you stupid too.

          You're dismissed.

          •  OKAY-WHAT ARE THE FACTS ASSHOLE (none)
            Name them-right now-what are Menendez negatives-NAME THEM NOW BIG MOUTH!!!!
            •  Dear Fucktard MaryEllenMoore... (none)
              Two major problems.

              1. Ethics/Corruption  2. Sex

              As you may recall, Torch had to resign as Senator in 2002 because of ethical problems. and McGreevy stepped down as Governor because of corruption and sex.  Two of NJ's biggest problems...Menendez comes to the table with those 2 "qualities.

              You must not be good at reading with an understanding of the material.  Read my earlier post.  but here they are  

              a. Ethics/Corruption

              N.Y. Times

              One issue that is clearly clinging to Mr. Menendez, at least within political circles, is his relationship with Kay LiCausi, his former state director who left his staff in 2002 and quickly began making hundreds of thousands of dollars as a consultant, lobbyist and fund-raiser.

              Mr. Menendez steered more than $200,000 worth of political consulting and fund-raising contracts to Ms. LiCausi, and several of her clients were businesses or organizations run by prominent supporters of Mr. Menendez, while others had interests that could be assisted by Mr. Menendez as a political leader and congressman.

              2. Sex: LiCausi

              He refused to say whether he had a romantic relationship with her, despite the widespread belief in New Jersey that the two were dating during the time her consulting business took off...

              At least two people, including a Democratic Party leader, said the only way the party could lose the Senate seat next year in the heavily Democratic state is if their candidate is tainted by a personal scandal..

              A question of ethics...


              Philadelphia Inquirer
              Sun, Nov. 27, 2005

              Soon after that, in late August 2004, the New York Sun reported that
              McGreevey loyalists were shopping a story about Kay LiCausi, a Menendez-staffer-turned-lobbyist whose company, K.L. Strategies Inc., had contracts with Menendez supporters.

              A LiCausi story popped up in July in the New York Times documenting how
              several LiCausi clients were Menendez supporters.

              Though becoming a lobbyist is a typical career move for a congressional staffer, an anonymous tipster has been e-mailing politicians and reporters a complaint about Menendez and LiCausi to the House Ethics Committee signed by "Concerned Citizens of New Jersey."

              Can you read? Well, you're stupid, misinformed and a dumbass.

              •  You are so really pathetic- (none)
                WE ALL KNOW ABOUT MS. LICAUSI, stay the course.  After all Mr. Manendez is single, he can date who he wants.  Does that BOTHER you somehow???  Please explain-we are waiting with um, BATED BREATH-Does that make you hot, stay the course?  Oh. I know its not the BJ, its the LYING-RIGHT???
                •  You're one of Hudson county's Menendez cronies... (none)
                  Who cares if he's single?  That doesn't give an ELECTED member of Congress, better yet the 3rd Ranking Democrat in the House to use his influence to lure lucrative contracts to his girlfriend.  It's unethical and in violation of House Rules.

                  He can date W. Bush if he wants.  But he can't pull a Tom DeLay and peddle contracts to a woman he was living with and dating.  He can't abuse his power to make her rich.

                  Are we not any different than Tom DeLay and Republican cronies?  As Howard Dean said, "we can do better."

                  And yeah, I'm hot.  

                  •  The way the game is played in Jersey. (none)
                    The nation' second largest multi-billion dollar Port, a key component of the global market and gateway to the structural US trade deficit, is located in Menendez's district. Real estate in district forms NJ's "Gold Coast", sitting directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan and attracting Wall Steet's back office operations and luxury riverfront townhouses for brokers.  

                    The powerful economic interests Menendez represents here in NJ are who paid the fare for his ride to national House leadership (facilitated by co-opted working class labor unions - remember that Menendez is Cuban).

                    See below story for how the game is played in NJ. Includes small but powerful players loyal to Menendez, and involves favors for the Torch. If this type of petty government corruption goes on for such relatively small stakes, just think about what goes on behind the scenes when there's real money involved.  

                    Protections for streams guard other interests
                    BY ALEXANDER LANE
                    STAR-LEDGER STAFF  
                    9/11/05

                    A bold environmental program touted
                    by former Gov. James E. McGreevey as the
                    cure for suburban sprawl has sputtered
                    thus far, and its critics contend it has been
                    hampered by influence peddling and political favoritism.

                    McGreevey's plan was to grant the government's
                    strongest level of protection,
                    known as Category I status, to streams,
                    rivers and reservoirs across the state. He
                    promised to protect them based on their
                    value as recreation havens and drinking water
                    sources, at the same time curbing
                    development enough to "change the fundamental
                    direction of our state".

                    Scientists at the Department of Environmentai
                    Protection identified l,67l water-body segments as worthy of Category 1. So far,just 74 have received the designation, and no new Category I streams have been proposed since December.

                    New questions have arisen, however, about how those 74 were chosen, and why the program seems to have lost steam.

                    For example:

                    After former Democratic Sen, Robert Torricelli requested Calegory I status for a stream near his estate in Hunterdon County, a DEP staff member was sent to tour the property with Toricelli. Later the streams were protected.

                    A river in Essex County was removed from the list of proposed Category 1 candidates after a request from an influential builder, DEP documents show.

                    Certain Hunterdon County streams in Republican state Sen. Leonard Lance's district were protected to drum up bipartisan support, DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell said. Other streams were chosen to appeal to influential mayors, environmental groups and even newspapers, two
                    former DEP employees said.

                    The governor's counsel',s office intervened to slow the program at least twice. Once to try to please developers who were important campaign contributors, current and former DEP officials said.

                    What this all amounbs to, critics in the
                    environmental communiby say, is a program
                    that has served certain people very well but has failed io protect New Jersey's most keenly appreciated water bodies and its most sensitive
                    waterfront land.

                    Regardless, Campbell said he is moving ahead with the program.

                    "There's a legitimate concern that we're not working through the candidate list fast enough, and that's because you have to do a site-specific study for each one,', he said.

                    He said he did not know about Torricelli's special home visit until recently, and he denied any inappropriate political meddling in the
                    progam across the board. "I don't see that you can make a case that somehow these designations
                    are done on a basis other than ecological criteria," he said.

                    However, one former DEP scientist, Tom McKee, made just such a case. He said he worked for
                    months with a team of professionals who picked streams based on their water-supply value, support of endangered species and other objective
                    criteria. "When the C-l candidates were
                    announced, I was shocked to find our recommendations werc completely igaored," said McKee, who has since retired ftom the department.

                    Unlike McGreevey's successful initiative to preserve the Highlands last year, targeted to that North Jersey region, the Category I program
                    was louted as a statewide anti-sprawl weapon.
                    Part of bhe plan was bo give new meaning to the C-l designation, and McGreevey and his environmental
                    team succeeded at that.

                    In a rule finalized last year, they widened the no-building buffer around C-l streams to 300 feet
                    from as litile as 50 feet, and established that no discharge pipes could run through the buffer. They also made the case that the designation
                    could be used to protect drinking water, whereas previous administrations had used it just for
                    pristine trout habitats.

                    When the DEP launched the high-stakes process of picking water bodies to protect in late 2002, requests poured in regarding specific streams.
                    Some got special attention, DEP documents show.
                    River Vale Mayor George Paschalis, who was trying to stop development in his Bergen County
                    town wrote Campbell in January 2003 asking that Lake Tappan and the Upper Hackensack River be
                    added. "Pls look into this." Campbell
                    scrawled on Paschalis' letter, sending it down the ladder.

                    A review of documents shows DEP scientists had not included these water bodies among suitable
                    C-l candidates, but after Paschalis' letter, they were added and eventually protected.

                    Lance, a Hunterdon County Republican, held a news conference around the same time calling on
                    Campbell to protect water bodies in his district The DEP chose several partly to cultivate bipartisan support, Campbell acknowledged. And Toricelli, seeking protection for the Lockatong Creek system near his home, got a special visit ftom a DEP staff member, as Torricelli made an impassioned plea to plotect it. A call to Torricelli was retumed by an aide, Sean
                    Jackson, who said the request mirrored the senator's history of land preservation advocacy.

                    Campbell - who, like Torricelli, is a Democrat - said he was never aware of the former senator's request or visit, and it had nothing to do with the Lockatong's selection.

                    But not everyone seeking protections for waterways received such personal service from the
                    DEP. Beth Styler Barry of Frankin Township in Warren County said she contacted the department
                    seven times seeking C-l status for the Musconetcong River, where she kayaks and her four young children fish. She said she got one phone call and no meeting. "This is a river that deserves protection" she said, "And it's not
                    just us saying that," DEP scientists also had selected the river for C-l status, but it has
                    yet to receive the designation.

                    Bill Wolfe, a former DEP policy aide who now heads an environmental group, said streams also
                    were selected based on their ability to generate favorable publicity. He provided an e-mail he sent to DEP communications chief Mary Helen
                    Cervantes in early 2003 - which he said he wrote at her request - listing candidate streams according to the coverage areas of newspapers,

                    A DISAPPOINTMENT

                    Environmentalists acknowledge the Highlands protections saved a great deal of open space in North Jersey, but they remain disappointed
                    with the C-1 program and suspect it is largely due to lobbying by developers.

                    In late 2002, documents show, Joseph Riggs, the area president of K. Hovnanian Homes, wrote
                    Campbell asking that the Peckaman River in Essex County be taken off the lisi. Hovnanian planned to
                    build nearby. "He (Riggs) makes a valid point
                    re: the Peckmnan, methinks," Campbell wrote in an e-mail to Wolfe and other staff members.

                    The Peckman, which had been selected as a scientifically sound candidate by DEP staff, later appeared on a list of rivers proposed
                    for C-l protection - but when that list was finalized in November 2003, the Peckman was not on it.

                    Campbell said the fact he proposed it in the first place was proof he had not caved into developers. As further proof, he pointed to
                    his choice to protect Sidney Brook and the South Branch of the Rockaway Creek, both in Hunterdon
                    County. Pulte Homes and K. Hovnanian,
                    generous campaign contributors, wanted to build major developments on them. "Politically, they were nightmares," Campbell said. "There was
                    strong opposition by (McGreevey's former chief counsel) Paul Levinsohn . . . because they affected developers that were major contributors."
                    Neither McGreevey nor Levinsohn, now a private businessman, returned calls for comment.

                    Wolfe said a big blow to the program came last year when Michael DeCotiis, who was McGreevey's
                    chief counsel after Levinsohn, demanded that before proposing any new streams for C-l status, the DEP list all affected properties by block and lot and list all proposed development projects in the area.

                    Wolfe said that created practical and political impediments to any new candidates.

                    Campbell declined to discuss internal talks with DeCotiis. Decotiis, who has retumed to a
                    partnership at his family's law firm, DeCotiis Fitzpatrick Coie & Wisler, said he did not recall asking for a list of projects that would be affected, but he did remember asking for maps of the affected areas. "We don't live in Utah," he said. "People need to remember that before
                    you designate 1,600 streams and everything upstream that feeds into that people need to ask
                    what does it mean?"

                    The progam seems to have lost steam since DeCotiis' request, critics complain. Campbell disagreed. "We've made extremely good progress," he said' "No one expected that 1,600 stream segments would be designated overnight."

                    Nevertheless, environmentalists said that with development continuing apace, ihe C-l program, thus far, is doing little to stop it "What happened to the other 1,500?" said Eric Stiles of the New Jersey Audubon Society, "The train will have left the station by the iime they get around to those watenvays."

                    Alexander Lane covers the environment. He can be reached at alane@starledger.com or 973-392-1790.

  •  Remember..... (none)
    "Kerry Picks Gephardt", courtesy of the NY Post?
  •  I'll remember this thread in 2018 (none)
    ...when Kean, Jr. is reelected to his third term in one of the most Democratic states in the union.

    Idiotic.

    •  wow (none)
      you're perky.

      "Rarely is the question asked: 'Is our children learning?'" -- George W. Bush

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 04:13:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I suggest you read the main article at (none)
      PoliticsNJ.com to see why Kean Jr. is going to get his clock cleaned. Besides, the GOP's big chance was the governor's race, since national issues are peripheral in state races. But there's no way they can win a race when they have to defend Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, and George Bush. Kean is another vote for Bush and it'll be hard to convince people in New Jersey that Bush needs another vote in the Senate when he's got a huge majority as it is.
    •  OH, fpc (none)
      Ha, Ha, ha, ha, h, h, oh let me catch my breath,   Please are you just brain dead or what?  Let us remember the last Republican governor elected to the great state of NJ-Christy Whitman-who has written a book seperating herself from the powers that be.  And then there is TOM KEAN SR, himself, who has been scathing about the current administration and their conduct during 9/11.  Who in NJ would trust a NJ Republican politician now? Huh???  
      •  I'm not brain dead !!! (none)
        ...and Dr. Frist will be happy to back me on this diagnosis.  :)

        There are 10-12 House seats and 4-5 Senate seats that should rightfully be Democrat in New England and the upper mid-Atlantic, if you went by national voting trends.  But they aren't.  Why?  Because people in the Northeast still like Rockefeller Republicans, and have kept people like Collins, Snowe, Chafee Sr & Jr, D'Amato, Jeffords (before defection) in office as Republicans even against their national voting interests.  I worry that this NJ seat will fall the same fate.  I see well-educated, suburban "Rush Holt" Democrats in NJ defecting to Kean in large numbers.

        And how can Tom Kean Sr's recent activities be a negative?  He's practically a hero to the 9/11 families, many of which, of course, live in NJ.  Please don't tell me you buy that Curt Weldon's tall-tales...

        •  OK, fpc, let's get serious (none)
          The people you mention have been elected and reelected because they represented liberal social policies and conservative economic policies coupled with hawkish military tendensies, a political position I myself am tended to favor.  

          Unfortunately, they have aligned themselves with a radical ideology that uses 9/11 to appeal to their hawkish side.  And it has left them foundering for a position.  To abandon protecting US soil would be akin to treason-but to what end-a true conundrum.  Do we give up on "taking care of the lesser of these" to protect ourselves-obviously not as Katrina so pointly showed-we can not bear seeing the smallness of ourselves so overtly-so where does that leave us?

          •  Serious is my middle name (none)
            You wrote:

            The people you mention have been elected and reelected because they represented liberal social policies and conservative economic policies coupled with hawkish military tendencies.

            ...which I wager, is exactly how Kean Jr will position himself in preparation for the election in 2006, if he's not doing so already.

            I'd dispute the notion that they are foundering.  Collins looks pretty safe in 2006.  Chafee is foundering, but that's mostly because he's arguably the least competent member of the Senate, not because of his ideology.  

            And I don't think that the ideas that you mention in your last paragraph have a wide currency in the American population.  Sad to say, but people have already moved on emotionally, and I don't think that Katrina is turning out to be some kind of tipping point for a reordering of American values.

  •  Extra, Extra, Read All About It! (none)
  •  Well, according to (none)
    PoliticsNJ.com it was Schumer who leaked the information.

     "Your sources do not speak for Jon Corzine." -- Corzine spokeswoman Ivette Mendez, to CNN.

    That's touching. Schumer probably thought he could force Corzine into appointing Menendez by leaking news of his "appointment." I don't know what's wrong with this guy. He seems like a modern day LBJ in the Senate. First he tries to torpedo Eliot Spitzer's run for governor and now this. We should have known since Schumer started "interviewing" candidates for NJ Senate without Corzine's permission. This is the same guy who tried to force an anti-choice candidate on us in Rhode Island. If we get the majority back in the Senate, you can bet Chuck Schumer is going to challenge Harry Reid (unsuccessfully of course).

    Schumer probably wants to be President, but he can't stand that first Hillary Clinton and now Eliot Spitzer are getting in his way, dropping him to the #3 statewide official even though he's the Senior Senator. He probably wanted to be governor to set up a presidential run, but if he has to stick to the Senate, the next best thing for him is to make sure Spitzer doesn't become governor. Schumer needs to take a deep breath and remember that just because he can't control everything the world isn't going to end for him.

    Well, now Corzine has a dilemma. If he was planning on appointing Menendez, he looks like Chuck's sock puppet. If he decides to re-evaluate his choice, that'll waste more precious time that we need and further build up tension between New Jersey's Democratic congressmen.

  •  Schumer (none)
    Schumer probably believes that appointing Menendez will strengthen Hispanic support for Democrats throughout the country.  This is important because Bush picked up Hispanic votes in 2004 and Florida elected a Hispanic senator.  Schumer should not have leaked if it is true, but may have done so because he is excited about the national implications for the party.

    Re Corzine:  Does anyone believe he is acting without consulting leading Democrats in NJ and nationally?  

    •  I don't know, but am I the only one (none)
      who sees something inherently sleazy about Corzine picking his successor? I know it's the law, but getting to pick your successor is one of the most un-Democratic things I can imagine. I've never been that big a fan of Corzine. He's probably just run for governor to set up a Presidential bid. He can buy a Senate seat. He can buy the governorship. But his money is not going to buy him the presidency. Also, with all the sleaze around New Jersey politics, it's hard to imagine him succeeding nationally.

      It's too late, but I think all states should hold special elections whenever a vacancy occurs and have the governor appoint someone who serves only until the special election.

      If your name was George Walker instead of George Walker Bush, your candidacy would be a joke.

      by dole4pineapple on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 05:51:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To hell with it (none)
    Unfortunately, Kean Jr.'s "record" won't mean squat. The wimgnuts like Ferguson won't squawk because they know Kean Jr. will have wonderful coattails in the 'burbs. All the "moderate" Republicans in Jersey are delusional. They're RNC puppets in Washington because they think in some wonderful future the religious extremists will go away & they'll get to control the party again. They're all cowards, & Kean Jr. is one of the most gutless. He shouldn't be elected to the senate, rather he should be taken out into in the street & horsewhipped until his skin peels off in bloody strips, then tossed into the stinking horse stables of his rich "old family" pals .

    "Only poets know how many poems end up as pies."

    by DJ Rix on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 06:12:33 PM PST

  •  C-Span has it (none)
    on their "Capitol News" feature at the bottom of the screen.  Sounds confirmed.
  •  crazy idea: let's _elect_ our politicians... (none)
    it's a good opportunity for Dems to speak up on the matter right now...
  •  Menendez (none)
    Menendez is my congressman.  On balance, I think this is an ok pick.

    The upside.  Menendez is bright.  And he generally votes the right way.  Which is what you want your legislators to do.  He has been decent in responding to community concerns and bringing in funding to worthwhile projects.  Overall, he does his business in the house very well.

    The downside.  As many people have said, he is a tough as nails political boss type.  See my post above on his feuding with Jersey City's former Mayor.  This isn't bad in and off itself, but it can definitely interfere with government.  While Menendez did a creditable job as a congressmen, my personal feeling was that the infighting at the local level led to far to many patronage appointments and a general inability for politicians to accomplish important things.  So whle Menendez did a good job himself, his machinations resulted in some very bad local politicians.  Again, not all his fault. Menendez's enemies had a lot to do with it too.

    My hope is that as Senator, he is more or less able to rise above the county infighting.  Or it could be that he just ends up transferring his "boss" mentality to the whole state.

    Finally, a word on Kay LaCausi.  I'm guessing this scandal wont have much legs.  She was a former aide, and the speculation is that they had an affair.  Now she works as a lobbyist and consultant, and people go to her because they know she can get Menendez's ear.  The NY Times story pretty much printed everything except photos of them having sex, and people just shrugged.  If the Times, or anyone else, had any more goods on Menendez, they would have used them by now.  My guess is that Corzine was doing some extra due diligence to see what else there was, if anything.

  •  Top Ten Reasons Corzine Is Appointing Menendez (none)
    1.  Wants to keep the seat in the hands of someone with a "z" in their name.

    2.  Trying to give Tom Kean, Jr. a fair shot

    3.  Kay LiCausi promised a three-way with Sherry Katz

    4.  Wanted to be the first way to say that he'd broken his own promise to clean up "culture of corruption."

    5.  Thought he was appointing former first baseman for the Mets.

    6.  Can understand the phrase "$3 million warchest" in Spanish

    7.  Frank Lautenberg wasn't available

    8.  Wants Menendez to show him where Hudson County is.

    9.  Could have sworn he read the phrase "Send me your tired, your poor, your ethically compromised" on the Statue of Liberty

    10.  Thought Nia Gill should wait her turn
  •  Geez... (none)
    Son of a once popular Gov., has the same name and just happens to have a father on a commission to prevent another terrorist attack and fresh face

    against

    A politician under scrunity for his ethics with years of "Washington" experience...basically an insider

    Unless he is beat in the primary...Can we say Sen. Tom Kean, Jr.

  •  Rasmussen Poll Just Released - Menendez vs. Kean (none)
    This poll just released gives Menendez the edge (38% to 34%) over Tom Kean, Jr. even though Menendez approval rating is lower than Kean's at this time.
  •  NJ Dem ratings (none)
    FYI, here's where all of NJ's Dem Congressmen rate on the combined ADA/ACU ratings of most liberal/conservative in Congress (numbers through 2004, so these are approximate):

    Donald Payne - 39th most liberal (95.2 out of 100)
    Rush Holt - 85th most liberal (91.4 out of 100)
    Steven Rothman - 95th most liberal (90.5 out of 100)
    Robert Menendez - 98th most liberal (90.2 out of 100)
    Frank Pallone - 130th most liberal (85.7 out of 100)
    Bill Pascrell - 140th most liberal (84.2 out of 100)
    Robert Andrews - 164th most liberal (78.8 out of 100)

    FYI, Jon Corzine is currently the 2nd-most liberal Democrat in the Senate (only behind Barbara Boxer), more liberal than any of the the NJ House members.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site