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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/nyr ... ie-for-a-senate-seat.html

Attorney General of New Jersey Named as Interim Senator

By MARC SANTORA and KATE ZERNIKE
The New York Times
June 6, 2013

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Thursday appointed Jeffrey S. Chiesa, the state?s attorney general, to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank R. Lautenberg.

The announcement comes as Democrats and Republicans across the state scramble to line up support, raise money and secure enough signatures ahead of the deadline on Monday to compete in the August primary.

Mr. Chiesa, a Republican, does not plan to seek the seat himself, Mr. Christie said, opening up the field for others in the party.

The governor, who earlier this week said a special election would be held in October to fill the seat, made his announcement at an afternoon news conference in Trenton.

?It was unexpected for sure,? Mr. Chiesa said. He declined to detail his views on specific policy issues, including immigration, saying only that he wanted to be sure the nation?s borders were secure. He described himself as a ?conservative Republican.?

?I need to learn about the issues before I can make any meaningful judgments,? he said.

He offered a flash of his laconic humor when, after being read a long litany of issues he may have to confront during his short tenure, he replied, ?Oh, is that it??

Mr. Chiesa served as chief counsel to Mr. Christie from January 2010 through December 2011, when he was nominated to be attorney general. Before that, he headed Mr. Christie?s transition team after his election, and the two also worked together at the United States attorney?s office.

Senator Lautenberg, who was in his fifth term, died on Monday at age 89. Mr. Christie first reached out to Mr. Chiesa about filling the seat that night, and he noted that the two had been longtime confidants going back more than two decades.

?There are very few people in my life I know better than Jeff,? the governor said. ?You won?t find anybody, I think, who will have something bad to say about Jeff.?

Mr. Chiesa, 47, lives in Branchburg, N.J., with his wife and two children.

As attorney general, Mr. Chiesa aggressively went after those suspected of trying to exploit consumers following Hurricane Sandy, filing fraud charges against 27 businesses in the state. He began an ambitious gun-buyback program that took 10,000 weapons off the streets, formed a division to help combat human trafficking and, in 2012, prosecuted current and former public officials in 40 corruption cases.

Matthew Hale, an associate professor at Seton Hall University who closely follows New Jersey politics, said that aside from an assumption that Mr. Chiesa would hold a tough line on law and order issues, it was hard to know how he might vote on many matters in Washington.

?There is just not a huge amount of information we have on his positions,? Dr. Hale said.

Still, he said, Mr. Chiesa is a safe choice for the governor. ?This is someone that Chris Christie knows really, really well, trusts a great deal, and will not be surprised by,? he said.

Mr. Christie said he would appoint a new attorney general on Monday.

The decision promised to shift the dynamics of the race, especially for Republicans.

On the Democratic side, Representative Rush Holt, who has represented central New Jersey for eight terms in Congress, on Thursday announced his intention to compete for the seat. In an e-mail to supporters, Mr. Holt said he was ?the best candidate to continue the passionate advocacy for progressive values? shown by Mr. Lautenberg.

Mr. Holt is likely to face Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, a prodigious fund-raiser who has become one of the state?s most visible politicians. He had been planning to run for the Senate even before Mr. Lautenberg died. Another Democrat, Representative Frank Pallone Jr., who has served 13 terms, is also expected to run. He has millions of dollars in campaign money available for the race.

The Republican primary picture remains more uncertain. Democrats in the state outnumber Republicans by 700,000 among registered voters.

Steven M. Lonegan, who competed with Mr. Christie in the 2009 primary for governor, has announced he will run for the seat.

Other names that have been mentioned as possible candidates include Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno; former State Senator Bill Baroni, who is the deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; and David Samson, who is the chairman of the Port Authority.

The day after Mr. Lautenberg died, Mr. Christie announced plans to hold a special Senate election on Oct. 16, a Wednesday, with primary contests two months earlier. His decision to have the vote separate from the Nov. 5 general election, when he is on the ballot for a second term, drew fierce criticism from Democrats, as well as some Republicans, who said it was an unnecessary expenditure. (The arrangement is expected to cost an additional $24 million.)

Mr. Christie, at the news conference on Thursday, once again defended his move on scheduling the Senate vote.

?There was no perfect decision,? he said, adding that the state?s statutes on the subject of special elections are vague and open to interpretation, which could lead to court challenges.

?As far as the ramifications politically, that is for everyone else to decide,? he said.

The practical impact of the decision has been to force potential candidates to decide quickly whether they want to compete for the seat and then adjust their tactics to navigate a compressed campaign schedule.

Republicans and Democrats hoping to run must file petitions by Monday afternoon and must include 1,000 signatures from supporters.

Posted on: 2013/6/6 21:06
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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NJ voters voted for him in the first place because had they not done so, there won't be any money left to give tax breaks to the low income folks! It's the middle class that needs tax breaks, not the low income folks.

Posted on: 2013/6/6 0:56
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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This is going to cost Christie....he made a bad choice and was ill advised. This story from the JJ backs up my contention that he was popular enough to put in place a Republican and if the Dems took him to court it would have cost them not him.



The 2013 primary election will determine who will represent the major parties in November's general election and thus could have a profound effect on the state election results, but some poll workers in Jersey City say turnout has been miniscule.

Eleanor Sabo, a poll worker for District 20 of Ward C at a firehouse on Sip Avenue, said some voters didn't understand that they could only vote for candidates in their party in today's primary election. Some voters also didn't realize that the general election in November will ultimately decide who wins.

"A lot of Democrats wanted to support Governor Christie for the Republican nomination and wished they could switch parties," Sabo said.


District 28, which shares a polling place at the Sip Avenue firehouse with District 20, reported only 16 voters by 3 p.m. Polls opened at 6 a.m.

"I have worked for eight years in this district's elections and this is the worst turnout I've ever seen," said David Ingalls, who was staffing the polls at the Golden Door Charter School on Kennedy Boulevard.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

Posted on: 2013/6/6 0:53
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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From today's New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/opi ... eat.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

The cost is more like $24 million but says the Gov ".'we?re not going to be penny-wise and pound-foolish' when it comes to this Senate seat. New Jersey voters would do well to suggest that he remember that phrase the next time he rejects a minimum-wage increase or tax break for low-income residents. "

Posted on: 2013/6/6 0:48
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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Some of you are missing the fact that he IS going to appoint a GOP senator to serve until the winner of the election is sworn in. This was just his way of avoiding high Dem turnout in Nov. I don't think he would lose, but he REALLY wants to win big as a symbol of his power and presidential viability.

Posted on: 2013/6/5 23:15
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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Christie needed to make a special election. If he would have appointed a Democratic moderate or a GOP senator, he would have lost votes in November.

NJ is a state with 700k more Dems than GOP'ers... To appoint a GOP in place of a very popular dem senator would have been a political nightmare for Christie.

He's smart in leaving the decision up to the people!

(He still doesn't have my vote- veto a minimum wage hike, sign into law a tax break for the wealthy, "increase school funding" by $1 to many districts to average out the increased funding given to Newark by Zuckerberg.... not my type of leader!)

Posted on: 2013/6/5 22:32
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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Can you name one mayor who has control of all the violence in his town? And no, a town of hobbits don't count.

Posted on: 2013/6/5 22:25
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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Booker is overhyped. He cannot even control all the violence in his town. There were two shootings just yesterday. But the governor also knows that Booker will bring out those inner city folks in large numbers and we will end up with Buono and higher taxes and more spending.

Posted on: 2013/6/5 16:02
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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If he had any sense at all, he would appoint someone who is a moderate and be done with it. It doesn't matter if Republican or Democrat, this ain't the deep South.

Posted on: 2013/6/5 16:02
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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Quote:

Toonces wrote:
I'm actually surprised that any democrat has a problem with this... It would have been completely within his right to appoint a republican senator to replace him, until the 2014 election.

And as this article in the NY Times points out, the dems in the Senate often had to rely on Lautenberg's vote, very recently, to get laws passed - wouldn't you want to have the opportunity to get your guy in there (assuming a dem wins the special election) ASAP???
I'd be willing to wait 3 weeks if it meant saving the state $12 million.

Especially since it's pretty obvious he's doing it so that all the Corey Booker supporters (if he does run) won't show up to the polls at the same time he's running for Governor.

Posted on: 2013/6/5 15:03
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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Well it looks like he just lost my vote. :(

Posted on: 2013/6/5 13:57
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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I'm actually surprised that any democrat has a problem with this... It would have been completely within his right to appoint a republican senator to replace him, until the 2014 election.

And as this article in the NY Times points out, the dems in the Senate often had to rely on Lautenberg's vote, very recently, to get laws passed - wouldn't you want to have the opportunity to get your guy in there (assuming a dem wins the special election) ASAP???

Even as politicians from both parties released statements praising Mr. Lautenberg, the machinations over his seat threatened to overshadow his death. So important was his reliably liberal vote that Democratic leaders asked him twice in recent weeks to return to Washington to vote despite his failing health.

Just last month, Mr. Lautenberg made a special trip to the Capitol to supply a crucial vote that prevented Mr. Obama?s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency from being stalled indefinitely in committee. Republicans were threatening to boycott the vote to deny Democrats a quorum. Mr. Lautenberg agreed to come to provide the quorum.

In another memorable instance in April, his aides helped push him out onto the Senate floor in his wheelchair to cast much-needed ?yes? votes for a package of gun-control legislation, a cause he had long supported. Though the bills were ultimately defeated in a Republican-led filibuster, his presence that day served as a reminder of how the majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, must scrape for almost every vote.

?The last thing Senator Reid can afford right now is to lose a reliable Democratic vote in a highly partisan Senate,? said Jim Manley, a former adviser to the majority leader who served in the Senate when the illnesses of Edward M. Kennedy and Robert C. Byrd caused problems for Democrats, who controlled even fewer seats.

Posted on: 2013/6/5 13:47
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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To the tune of $12 million. So much for fiscal responsibility, Mr. Christie.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs ... risties-risky-gambit.html

Posted on: 2013/6/5 13:31
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Re: Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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An election in October and then another election in November? Seems like an awful waste of money.

Posted on: 2013/6/5 6:30
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Special Elections in N.J for U.S. Senator
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http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/ ... _elec.html#incart_m-rpt-1
New Jersey governor to hold two special elections to fill vacant seat due to U.S. Senator Lautenberg's death.

Posted on: 2013/6/5 2:23
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