Obligatory warning: This is Yet Another Diary About Corzine's Senate Pick (YADACSP).
Bob Andrews picks up a few endorsements today from the Philly Inquirer, and Courier Post. Both eerily saying similar things, and both, eerily full of that stinky stuff that Ocean County Freeholders are also reeking of these days.
First off, the Courier Post endorsed Doug Forrester, so why should Gov. Elect Corzine give their opinion any more deference than a fruit fly?
Second, both these pieces look like perhaps someone sent a press release to some editorial boards and perhaps consulted with said boards on verbiage and such. This is of course speculation and speculation is something I don't like trafficking in. So forget I just wrote this last part and let's get to taking these babies apart like a cheap Lego set.
Both columns make the assertion that its about time South Jersey gets a Senator again. Cuz its been like 50 years or so.
Andrews, 48, is in his eighth term in the House, where he has championed a broad range of progressive causes, while being a strong, consistent voice for fiscal discipline. His Camden County roots don't hurt, either; the last U.S. senator from South Jersey was Robert C. Hendrickson of Woodbury, whose service ended back in 1955.
Since his election to Congress in 1990, Andrews has been an effective, thoughtful and independent representative who has done an excellent job of being responsive to and in tune with his constituents.
It's been nearly 50 years since one of New Jersey's two U.S. senators hailed from South Jersey. That lack of representation is unacceptable. The time for a senator from South Jersey is now, as Andrews is one of the most capable and forthright politicians our region has produced.
Capable and Forthright? Laughable on it's face. (more on this later)
If 50 years earns a group of people a Senate seat then YIPEE! Harrison, NJ has never had a sitting Senator, this must mean that it is time for me to be Senator. Beam me up Corzine! I am more than deserving of the spot! Joking aside, 50 years? Who cares. Luckily we realize very shortly if we read the Courier Post's piece of why we shouldn't want Bob Andrews in the most deliberative body in the world.
A key argument against Andrews is that he's a South Jersey Democrat, so he must be tied to George Norcross' machine. But Corzine shouldn't rule out Andrews for the seat because of those perceived ties.
So Norcross isn't the demon spawn that Forrester (and most Joe Voter Jersey Democrats) think him to be? Any friend of Norcross' is a friend of ours? Sorry CP, I don't buy it, and if I had followed the campaign, I'd say your boy Forrester pretty much pissed away any chance of a Norcross "protege" landing a Senate seat.
Of course, the CP was ready to throw Corzine out with the same Norcross stained bath water back in October:
New Jersey's leaders turned a blind eye toward ethical shortcomings, talked big but delivered little on property taxes and continually made room for more patronage jobs for cronies of the ruling party.
All of that happened under the watchful eyes of two Democrats, former Gov. James E. McGreevey and acting Gov. Richard J. Codey.
Now, U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine, D-Hoboken, hopes to replace Codey.
But as different as his campaign tries to appear, it still sounds like more of the same.
Hang on kiddies, this is gonna be a long ride, this is right at the top of the column. I could spend all day on this stuff alone.
More Norcross... (I am starting to think they are trying to kill and endorse Andrews at the same time)
Andrews began his political career as a protege of South Jersey's Democratic machine and its boss, George E. Norcross 3d, but has distanced himself somewhat from Norcross since.
Time and again, Andrews has proven himself to be independent. He doesn't rely on Norcross to finance his campaigns. Since his split with Norcross in 1998, Andrews has raised campaign money from a wide array of donors. Campaign finance records show that a significant portion of his campaign funds come from Camden County Republicans.
Mark Otto, Andrews' GOP opponent in 2002, even offered a testament to Andrews independence.
"I've never seen any reason to believe he's a puppet of George Norcross. I don't agree with him on everything, but I do respect the man," Otto said.
That's 6 Norcross mentiones between both columns, 1 more Norcross reference and Andrews gets the lucky 7 Atlantic City Slot Machine treatment. If that doesn't do it, then this last revelation by the CP that he got his donations from County Republicans should most certainly land Andrews' chances in the oddsmakers' "longshot" column. Should Corzine appoint a guy because he takes money from Republicans? Yeah any Democrat can get behind a guy that takes money from the other team.
The Inquirer then goes on to describe Menendez's shortcomings:
Menendez, 51, is the third-ranking Democrat in the House. He has a solid record, and was a key player in the passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform.
But Menendez has a ticking time bomb in his camp: questions about his relationship with a young female staffer, who eventually left his employ to become a lobbyist whose work benefits from Menendez's position in Congress. He said yesterday that their current relationship is "strictly professional." When asked about their relationship while she was his aide, Menendez would only say, "I have a public life and a personal life."
It's not that simple. This situation would inevitably become an ugly sideshow in any Senate campaign, the kind of thing New Jersey politics has seen far too much of lately.
In comparison to taking money from Republicans, I think even I can swallow a Menendez pick (no puns intended - ya sick bastards!).
Beyond that, Andrews has done a remarkable job of staying close to his district and doing things to help his constituents. That comes in part from the fact that Andrews lives in South Jersey and commutes to Washington each day. When people go to the polls to vote for Andrews, they often do so because he personally helped them or someone they know.
Really? So he does his job? Great. He lives close to Washington so his commuting skills don't impress me (I would be more impressed if he had to take 287 to rt. 80 everyday). As for personally helping people. I can think of 42 people who were dreadfully served by Andrews pro-war vote.
Finally, the Philly Inquirer gives Rush Holt a good review:
Holt, 57, is in his fourth term. He revels in his status as an un-bossed outsider, and says his success in a moderate district gives him the best chance among Democrats to win next year. Holt is a smart, likeable candidate who has built a good record on promoting stem-cell research, intelligence reform and environmental protection. If not for Andrews, Holt would be a fine choice.
Of course, if not for his ties to Corrupt South Jersey Norcross, his Republican donors, and his vote for the Iraq War, Bob Andrews would be a fine choice as well.
(aside: Rush Holt got an endorsement from the Daily Princetonian which was 20 times better than these two piss poor examples of editorialism. It must be easier to write an endorsement for someone who actually deserves it.)