Rep. Rob Andrews (D-01) "continues to hit" Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) "for not yet agreeing to an aggressive debate schedule." Lautenberg's camp "countered that they're trying to fit a debate schedule in with Senate business, noting that Andrews has spent his time campaigning instead of casting votes in the House."
An Andrews press release: "Effective today we are encouraging all New Jersey Democrats to call and email us if they find Senator Lautenberg and tell us what his latest excuse is on why he won't debate Congressman Andrews." Andrews "reiterated that he's accepted 11 debate invitations from press organizations across the state, noting that Lautenberg has not yet agreed to any."
Lautenberg spokesperson Julie Roginsky: "I'm not debating debates for him...We're in the process of working out debates right now, but I would advise him to remember that we have a Senate schedule to keep to" (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/28).
Andrews, 4/28, "demanded at least seven debates with Lautenberg" before the 6/3 Dem primary. Andrews: "Stop stalling. Stop hiding...Stop running a tired, negative, exhausted, status quo campaign." Roginsky: "We're not going to debate debates...Congressman Andrews knows we've agreed to debate. He's beating a dead horse" (Haynes, AP, 4/29).
And while the "largest branch" of the Communications Workers of America backed Andrews last week, "two of the union's smaller locals stuck with" Lautenberg. CWA Locals 1039 and 1032 "endorsed the incumbent." Combined, the two have about 12K members (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/28).
Lautenberg also won the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign. The group, which describes itself as "the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization" is the second major gay rights group to endorse Lautenberg (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/28).
Lending His Political Paul
Ron Paul and '00 candidate/'97 Libertarian GOV nominee/Ramapo College prof. Murray Sabrin (R) "gathered with supporters" to raise cash for Sabrin "and show that Paul's campaign" for the WH is still alive. Paul and Sabrin "are similar philosophically, from economic policy to opposition to the Iraq war, and each has run for office as a Libertarian." Sabrin: "We come from the philosophy that governments governs best that governs least."
Paul: "We are going to give Murray a boost, raise some money and win him a seat in the Senate." The event "didn't draw a big crowd, with about 50 people assembled shortly before the event's start time, but it did attract donors" from as far away as RI (Baldwin, Gannett Newspapers, 4/29).
The "general theme of the night was an impending economic collapse if the government doesn't radically alter its fiscal policy." Sabrin said that "tax freedom day" was just a few days ago -- that the average American works almost five months to pay their taxes. Sabrin: "If nothing is done over the next 10, 20 or 30 years, the young people in this audience and their kids will be paying their taxes from January 1st to August 23rd -- eight full months of the year" (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/28).
Meanwhile, leading up to the 3/31 FEC deadline, state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R) raised only $107.7K. At "the end of last month," Pennacchio had $25K CoH. While those numbers "appear to contradict the fundraising information the campaign released earlier this month" -- which showed Pennacchio having raised $361.7K and having $279K CoH -- Pennacchio "said that wasn't the case."
During the two weeks between the FEC's cut off date and his campaign's release of the fundraising totals, Pennacchio "loaned himself an unspecified amount of money that may account for the discrepancy." Barring other significant donations, Pennacchio "would have had to loan himself" about $250K to make up for the discrepancy. Pennacchio "referred inquiries" to mgr. Dan Gallic, who said Pennacchio had loaned himself "probably something like" $250K since 3/31. Gallic joked: "Maybe the Republicans have found that self-financing candidate they were looking for" (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/28).
This article appears in the April 29, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.