Spotlight on New Jersey

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The long-expected death of Senator Lautenberg put the spotlight on New Jersey, as many speculated about whom Governor Christie would appoint to fill the deceased Senator’s seat. The appointment would have political consequences for the middle-of-the-road Governor, regardless of which way he leaned. So in a political move to be admired – he punted and surprised the country when he failed to take advantage of his opportunity to appoint Senator Lautenberg’s replacement and announced a special election to fill the seat.

The problem for Christie is that he had previously moved Board of Education elections to November from April in order to save the State money by consolidating the elections. The scant reasoning offered did not fool savvy New Jersey residents. They recognized the part the Governor’s political pandering played in the announcement – preferring his political future over New Jersey’s financial woes. However, the repercussions of his decision may have had negative personal implications for the Governor as his nemesis and former gubernatorial challenger, Mayor Steve Lonegan, is rising in the polls – once again, turning the national spotlight on New Jersey.

While the country is suffering from a dearth of real Conservative candidates, New Jersey, arguably the headquarters for RINO paragons, has produced not one but two bona fide Conservatives vying to fill the vacant Senate seat.

Spotlight on New Jersey: Republican candidates

Spotlight on New Jersey: Steve Lonegan

Steve Lonegan addresses protestors at the Philadelphia Tea Party Protest on April 18, 2009. Photo: User “Surfsupusa”/Wikipedia English, released to public domain

The favorite in the polls is Mayor Steve Lonegan. Mayor Lonegan is a Jersey Boy through and through. He is a proven street fighter and has Governor Christie’s most endearing quality – the ability to straight talk. No doubt that a senatorial campaign headed by the Mayor will make Jersey Conservatives proud. He, like his primary opponent, has walked the walk and fought against RGGI, Obamacare, Second Amendment violations, as well as a host of other Conservative causes. He unapologetically affirms his pro-life status and appreciates that government’s first responsibility is to protect the lives of all its citizens. The Mayor, who has a vision impairment, has developed an amazing ability to speak without the aid of teleprompters or scripts, as well as developing an astounding ability to recall details about virtually any issue affecting America today. Harry Reid, look out, Mayor Lonegan may soon be sitting in your hallowed halls.

Spotlight on New Jersey: Alieta Eck

Alieta Eck, candidate in the special Senate primary, waits for a hearing on a challenge of her place on the ballot. Photo: Essex County Conservative Examiner

Lagging behind in the polls is Dr. Alieta Eck, a fine woman by anyone’s standards. Once again, a proven Conservative who has walked the walk. Dr. Eck has demonstrated “good old American know how” by founding a clinic that exists independent of government funding. When this fine candidate fights against government over-reaching, she doesn’t just tell you not to rely on government, she shows you how. At the outset of the primary campaign, many thought Dr. Eck would not have the “right stuff” to fight for her candidacy. However, she has proven that she is a true Jersey Girl and can tackle head-on the tough issues with the best of them. Regardless of the outcome of the primary elections, Dr. Eck’s name is one that will not be forgotten.

Spotlight on New Jersey: Democratic candidates

Whether Mayor Lonegan or Dr. Eck emerges victorious in the New Jersey primary election, these candidates of proven substance will be facing non-substantive charismatic opponents. Most believe that Mayor Cory Booker, who is leading Congressman Frank Pallone by 42%, is expected to prevail as the Democrat’s choice. Mayor Booker has the uncanny ability to “coincidentally” be at the right place at the right time to prove to the world that he is a bona fide hero, although he has earned the name as the “Absentee Mayor” during his administration. Booker also has the ability to sound like a Conservative when he so deems, endearing himself to those who should be his worst enemies. Unlike his Republican opponents who walk the walk, Mayor Booker can talk the talk.

The Mayor’s biggest asset will be none other than Oprah Winfrey – the same woman who helped give us Barack Obama. This shouldn’t surprise us, as Oprah is consistent. Booker, similar to her former favorite, Barack Obama, has done his best to avoid transparency. It took a court order for him to reveal emails between him and Newark’s $100,000,000 education benefactor, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Unfortunately, unlike Barack Obama, Mayor Booker doesn’t have access to the Executive Privilege card. If Oprah is his biggest asset, then his biggest liability would be his record. Contrary to his obvious charms and charisma, statistics do not respond to branding – no matter how brilliant or charismatic. Over the past three years under his administration, taxes have increased over 20%, crime and unemployment have skyrocketed, and the city’s troubled finances have continued to tank. If Republicans can’t win against such an empty suit, perhaps they need to re-invent themselves completely. So, regarding the survival of the Republican Party, again – the spotlight is on New Jersey.

Mayor Booker will be facing 13-term U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone in the August 13th Democrat primary. While Congressman Pallone’s website spins his record, his problem just may be that New Jersey citizens are just not that stupid. For instance, the Congressman takes credit for helping to pass the “Food and Drug Administration Reform Act of 2012.” This Act was passed to ensure that Americans would have access to safe and effective drugs and medical devices. Sounds good. However, The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Pallonecare” negates those advantages by making the costs of medical devices for seniors insurmountable. Also regarding the “Affordable” Care Act, New Jersey residents are getting the bills from their medical insurers and are discovering that all the promises made about “driving down the cost of healthcare,” were blatant lies.

As if all of the above isn’t bad enough, Congressman Pallone is the senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This Committee is responsible for issues pertaining to energy, the environment, health care, commerce and telecommunications. If anyone has taken a look at the price at the gas pumps lately or the price of home heating fuel, nothing more needs to be said about the Congressman’s incompetence – except for the area of Commerce. While Pallonecare was supposedly designed to drive down the cost of health care, the one area that could have been effective would have been to allow citizens of one state to purchase health care across state lines. This is the true power of commerce. However, this is an aspect of health care that was not addressed or included in the Act, contrary to the pleading of many logical thinking citizens. You would think that the senior members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee would fight tooth and nail to address the commerce issues that could have favorably impacted the cost of health care. You would be wrong.

Why the spotlight is on New Jersey

New Jersey’s campaign for Senator Lautenberg’s seat may well prove to be a microcosm of the battles that permeate this country: the battle between the substantive candidate and the charismatic incompetent. The outcome of this battle will affect the entire country. Therefore, it is right to assume that the spotlight should be on New Jersey – as should the prayers and the support of those who understand what is at stake.

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RoseAnn Salanitri is a published author and Acquisition Editor for the New Jersey Family Policy Council. She is a community activist who has founded the Sussex County Tea Party in her home state and launched a recall movement against Senator Robert Menendez. RoseAnn is also the founder of Veritas Christian Academy, as well as co-founder of Creation Science Alive, and a national creation science speaker.

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