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Tags: Frank Lautenberg

Hey, Remember Cory Booker's Pledge?



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Over in New Jersey:

Hours after Chris Christie set the special election clock in motion, New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) started making a round of calls telling people [he] plans to run for the Senate, sources confirmed to POLITICO.

Pallone, who had acted as next-in-line for Lautenberg’s seat for years, had been on the fence about whether to challenge Newark mayor Cory Booker in a primary in 2014 for the seat.

Booker is a strong fundraiser and is the odds-on favorite. But the special election this year allows Pallone to keep his congressional seat if he loses, making this something of a free shot for him.

The coverage seems to suggest Booker is running. So Booker’s big pledge from last December is now moot, huh? “Let there be no doubt, I will complete my full second term as mayor. As for my political future, I will explore the possibility of running for the United States Senate in 2014.”

Notice the lack of conditions or wiggle room in that statement.

But I guess he meant, “unless our 89-year-old senator dies in office or something.”

Tags: Cory Booker , Chris Christie , Frank Pallone , Frank Lautenberg

Lautenberg Dead at 89; Special Election to Come



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RIP, Senator Frank Lautenberg.

According to New Jersey election law, Governor Chris Christie can appoint a senator until a special election is held, and that special election could occur in November, but Christie could schedule it some other time:

19:3-26. Vacancies in United States senate; election to fill; temporary appointment by governor.

     19:3-26. If a vacancy shall happen in the representation of this State in the United States senate, it shall be filled at the general election next succeeding the happening thereof, unless such vacancy shall happen within 70 days next preceding such election, in which case it shall be filled by election at the second succeeding general election, unless the governor of this State shall deem it advisable to call a special election therefor, which he is authorized hereby to do.

     The governor of this State may make a temporary appointment of a senator of the United States from this State whenever a vacancy shall occur by reason of any cause other than the expiration of the term; and such appointee shall serve as such senator until a special election or general election shall have been held pursuant to law and the Board of State Canvassers can deliver to his successor a certificate of election.

Tags: Frank Lautenberg , Chris Christie

Frank Lautenberg to Retire From Senate . . . Again



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Happy Valentine’s Day, Cory Booker! Frank Lautenberg got you a Senate seat.

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., will not seek re-election, setting up a lively Democratic primary for his seat in 2014.

CQ Roll Call confirmed Lautenberg’s decision, which he explained to The Newark Star-Ledger in a report published Thursday.

“I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey,” Lautenberg told the paper. “While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”

Representative Frank Pallone, who has represented central New Jersey in the U.S. House since 1993, is also being mentioned as a potential candidate.

Or, you know, that other New Jersey senator could resign to create an opening.

Tags: Frank Lautenberg

Geraldo: I Won’t Decide on A Senate Bid for a While



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Over on his Facebook page, Geraldo Rivera clarifies his level of interest in running for U.S. Senate in the state of New Jersey in 2014:

The deadline for the relevant filings for the November 2014 New Jersey election to fill the seat currently held by five-term incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg is still many months away. Despite my constitutionally protected musings on whether to seek that high office, I am taking no formal steps to initiate the electoral process, making no declarations, forming no committees, raising no money and hiring no campaign aides. Therefore, there is no FCC complication regarding equal time.

Moreover, supporters of Newark mayor Corey Booker can hardly complain about my bully pulpit since the media-savvy mayor appears on television more frequently than I do. Further, I extend to Mayor Booker an open invitation to appear on my radio program as often as he would like; and that invitation is also extended to Senator Lautenberg. 

Perhaps we could discuss and debate how best to deal with issues affecting New Jersey and the nation, like the continuing plague of gun violence in cities like Newark, which refuse to implement policies I advocate like “stop, question and frisk.”

If he does decide to collect campaign donations, I’m sure he knows some good secure storage sites, such as a large, empty vault.

Tags: Cory Booker , Frank Lautenberg , Geraldo Rivera

Lautenberg to Booker: I’ll Spank You! Now Get Off My Lawn.



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The midweek edition of the Morning Jolt features more reactions to Obama’s inaugural address, the election results in Israel, and then this sudden Democrat-vs.-Democrat spat in New Jersey:

Lautenberg: Respect Your Elders, and Get Off My Lawn!

From one of the first articles I wrote for National Review Online, back on October 22, 2002:

The annual town fair in Metuchen, N.J., isn’t really known for bare-knuckle politicking. It’s usually marked by parents eating funnel cakes drowned in powdered sugar and children trying to win goldfish by tossing beanbags into baskets. In election years, the political action is mostly candidates showing up for a little handshaking and baby-kissing.

But fairgoers got some dramatic theatrics this year. Democratic Senate candidate Frank Lautenberg’s scheduled grip-and-grin was interrupted by the approach of his GOP opponent, Doug Forrester, dragging two podiums. Forrester challenged Lautenberg to make good on his earlier “any place, any time” debate pledge on the spot.

For about 15 minutes, Forrester asked the 78-year-old former senator to justify past votes against the 1991 Persian Gulf War and for military spending cuts, while Lautenberg, wagging his finger in Forrester’s face, brought up his opponent’s views on abortion and gun control. The exchange devolved into a shouting match by both men’s supporters, with Forrester’s backer’s chanting, “DE-BATE, DE-BATE!” and Lautenberg’s crowd countering, “WE WANT FRANK!” The scene ended when Metuchen’s mayor asked them to move, and the former senator walked away.

Hey, I just realized I passed my 10-year anniversary as an NRO contributor last year. Well, we were all a little busy last October . . .

Anyway, few would have expected that Lautenberg would still be on the political scene in 2013, much less acting indignant that any other Democrats in New Jersey might have an inclination to run against him in 2014.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who might face a 2014 primary challenge from Newark Mayor Cory Booker, said his fellow Democrat is “entitled” to run if he chooses to but suggested that he had to give a “spanking” to his potential rival for so openly coveting his seat.

Booker has already formed a 2014 campaign committee, prompting anonymous Lautenberg aides to rip the mayor to Politico, accusing him of being “disrespectful.” I asked Lautenberg about that characterization this afternoon.

“I have four children, I love each one of them. I can’t tell you that one of them wasn’t occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was OK,” Lautenberg said with a smile in his first public comments since Booker announced he was considering a run for Senate.

Lautenberg, who turns 89 on Wednesday, would not say if he intends to run for another six-year term in 2014.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do yet, serious things and we pride ourselves (in) my office and my team (on) getting things done. That’s the focus. I’m not thinking about the politics right now,” Lautenberg said.

Ah, an elderly white senator threatening to spank a younger black male politician for being too ambitious and not knowing his place. Ahem. I guess we should be glad he didn’t call Booker “boy” or threaten that a primary fight would result in a “whuppin’.” Say, mainstream media, you might want to take note of this, if you want to have even a shred of credibility the next time some no-name state lawmaker makes some racially insensitive comment and you demand every Republican in the country ritually denounce the unknown yokel in order to prove no racial maliciousness lurks in their hearts.

Strom Thurmond served until he was 100; perhaps Lautenberg is aiming to top that record.

Also kind of embarrassing for Lautenberg? Democrats are starting to talk about the 2014 race like he’s not even there anymore:

New Jersey’s Assembly speaker has a warning for Cory Booker as the Newark mayor begins exploring a race for the U.S. Senate: Focus on New Jersey.

Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) told The Huffington Post that she is seriously considering entering the 2014 primary race for U.S. Senate against Booker. Oliver said she sees a need to send a woman to Congress from New Jersey and added that Booker’s potential ascendancy to the Senate is not a “fait accompli.”

Tags: Cory Booker , Frank Lautenberg

Christie’s Job Approval: 52 Percent



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This morning, Quinnipiac brings good news to both New Jersey governor Chris Christie and President Obama:

New Jersey voters approve 52 – 40 percent of the job Gov. Christopher Christie is doing and say 54 – 35 percent that his first year in office is a success, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This compares to a split 46 – 44 percent job approval in a December 21 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

In today’s survey, Republicans approve of Gov. Christie 82 – 11 percent and say 85 – 10 that his first year is a success. Independent voters also approve 55 – 36 percent and give him a  59 – 30 percent thumbs up for his first year.  Democrats disapprove 66 – 27 percent and say      59 – 27 percent the governor’s first year has been a failure.

There’s fairly good news for the state’s Democrats, as well:

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is growing in the Garden State and now stands at 55 – 41 percent, up from 50 – 45 percent in a December 21 Quinnipiac University poll and a negative 50 – 46 percent November 9.

Democrats approve 90 – 8 percent and independent voters give him a narrow 49 – 45 percent thumbs up, but disapproval is 83 – 15 percent among Republicans.  There is a gender split as men approve 50 – 46 percent while women approve 59 – 37 percent.  White voters disapprove 50 – 45 percent while black voters approve 91 – 7 percent.

“A bit of an up-tick for Obama.  Black voters approve enthusiastically and he gets a slight negative among white voters,” Carroll said.  “New Jersey women like the president a lot more than men.”

New Jersey voters are feeling better about their two U.S. Senators, as well:

•     Sen. Frank Lautenberg gets a 45 – 40 percent score, up from a 42 – 43 percent split December 21;

•     Sen. Robert Menendez gets a 44 – 36 percent score, his highest approval ever and up from a negative 38 – 42 percent December 21.

Senator Menendez . . . what have you been doing to have 44 percent your highest approval rating ever?

Tags: Barack Obama , Bob Menendez , Chris Christie , Frank Lautenberg

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