As Rep. Rob Andrews (D-01) "faces a decision" 4/28 "in his challenge of statewide balloting procedure," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) shakes his head "at his younger rival's strategy." Lautenberg: "If he persists in staying in court, it tells you what he thinks about campaigning...He'd rather campaign in the courtroom than on the streets."
Andrews "says his advantage in the campaign is that he is actually talking to voters." Yes, "he questions county ballots that give candidates endorsed by party organizations a decisive, column A edge, while leaving those without the line in ballot limbo land. But he insists that his courtroom efforts are merely one facet of a campaign attack heavy on voter outreach." Andrews: "Look, we want the fairest ballot position we can get...This is an important tactic, but we're not going to win this race on tactics" (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/27).
Meanwhile, Lautenberg said 4/26 that oil companies, speculators and GOPers are to blame for the high price of gasoline. Lautenberg said President Bush, and VP Cheney allowed "Big Oil" to write an energy law "that guaranteed them billions and billions of dollars in tax giveaways." Lautenberg: "Now, they are hauling in record profits...We are paying record prices." He said Dems were working on solutions. He "cited a recent law that set new mileage standards on cars and trucks, but said that long-term consumption must be reduced through investment in alternative fuels." He also said oil prices are being manipulated and the government needs "to rein in traders who keep bidding oil prices higher and higher" (Jackson, Bergen Record, 4/27).
Lautenberg: "Republicans won't break with the status quo easily. The grip of Big Oil and energy companies is strong...That's why we need you to help us keep the pressure on President Bush and the Republicans who are intent on rewarding their oil friends while they stick the American people with the bill" (AP, 4/27).
Andrews brought his campaign to Middlesex Co, "saying he wants to provide health insurance" for the 1M NJans who lack it, "boost college scholarships and create a federal government market for green technology." Andrews never mentioned Lautenberg during his two-hour "town-hall" meeting, the first of about 20 he plans to hold throughout the state. Andrews: "I'm hearing that people are tired of campaigns based on destroying the reputation of the person against whom they're running"
To pay for his proposals, Andrews said he would allow Bush's tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans to expire. He "said he knows that will earn him the label of a tax-raiser, but told his audience to beware of politicians who promise to find savings by cutting fraud, waste and abuse." Andrews: "The only fraud, waste and abuse is that statement" (Schwaneberg, Newark Star-Ledger, 4/27).
Also, calling him "a champion of workers' rights," the Communications Workers of America, Local 1034, endorsed Andrews. CWA Local pres. Carla Katz added that the CWA was supporting Andrews because the Dems need "a candidate who will mount a vigorous campaign against the Republicans in the fall, and New Jersey needs a new, energetic voice in the Senate to fight for the middle class" (PolitickerNJ.com, 4/25).
They're Also Hoping For Change
It's been more than two decades since a GOPer held a senate seat in NJ, but the three vying for the GOP nod "are hoping this year's race will be different." They're banking on factors such as the age of 84-year-old incumbent Lautenberg and John McCain's candidacy. '96 nominee/ex-Rep. Dick Zimmer (R): "We have a presidential candidate running as strong as any Republican has in the last 20 years."
But Zimmer "will first have to face" '00 candidate/'97 Libertarian GOV nominee/Ramapo College prof. Murray Sabrin (R) and state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R). Political observers "say as the most moderate of the three, Zimmer has the best chance for election" in Nov. (Graber, Lehigh Valley Express-Times, 4/28).
Meanwhile, Sabrin "launched the first TV ad" of the GOP campaign. FULL TEXT:
SABRIN: "I'm Dr. Murray Sabrin and I approved this message to Legalize Freedom. While our nation's at war and our economy staggers, we need conservative solutions to these serious problems. Here is The Sabrin Solution: First, we must secure our borders from foreign terrorists and illegal immigrants. Next, we must secure our economic well-being by getting government off our backs and out of our wallets. And finally, we must secure a first-class education for our children. I'm running for the United States Senate from New Jersey -- please join me at MurraySabrin.com" (release, 4/25).
Bergen Record's Stile writes, Sabrin began using "front-runner" references to himself "in darkened type in several news releases issued last week." Spokesperson George Ajjan "says there is plenty of evidence to make the case that Sabrin is leading the pack: his ability to field insurgent slates in five counties...his recruiting of six congressional candidats to run" under his platform, and his mobilization of a grass-roots network of donors." But "missing from Ajjan's spin is polling numbers -- the measurmet that typically bestows front-runner status on candidates." Ajjan "said he hasn't seen any. And there has been no independent survey conducted since Zimmer entered the race" (4/27).
This article appears in the April 28, 2008, edition of Latest Edition.