June 4, 2013

Frank Lautenberg died Sunday night. He was, at 89 the oldest member of the Senate, had been ill for a long time and his death doesn't surprise many. Now Obama's BBF, Gov. Chris Christie gets to appoint a successor. Lautenberg was a dependable progressive across the board. His ProgressivePunch crucial vote score was 94.05, just between Barbara Boxer and Tammy Baldwin. Although, like many of his wealthy liberal colleagues, he sometimes joined with the Republicans to pass corporate-friendly policies, there were no issues he wasn't one of the best in the Senate on. Christie is not likely to pick someone nearly as good-- on any issues.

Today is primary day in New Jersey, although neither Republican incumbent Christie nor Democratic challenger Barbara Buono has any real competition. Buono's problem is that-- largely thanks to Obama and a superficial media-- Christie has an undeserved reputation as a moderate. His record is that of a hard core right-winger, far out of step with most New Jersey voters. Buono has been having a hard time raising money and Christie is busy defining her before she can define herself. So far Christie has raised $6.6 million and Buono has raised $2.3 million. The Newark Star-Ledgerreported yesterday that Christie has been reaping a great deal of money from Democrats, many sent his way by Rahm Emanuel, a conservative with many of the same pro-Wall Street policy agendas as Christie. I know it isn't politically correct to say "retarded," but that's probably the best way to describe the "Democrats" writing big checks to Christie.

Christie’s partnership with New Jersey [super-corrupt] Democratic leaders and his warm relationship with Obama after Hurricane Sandy could be enticing donors who don’t often give to GOP candidates, even if they are closer ideologically to Democrat Barbara Buono, Christie’s lesser-known challenger, political scientists and Democratic fundraisers say.

"While I do not agree with his stance on every issue, he is one of the best political leaders I have talked to in a long time," said Ken Rosen, a UC-Berkeley professor who cut a $3,800 check to Christie after chatting with him at two events. "He is willing to take on tough issues such as pension reform, education reform, mental-health issues, even if his views are not politically correct."

...Tim Mullen, a Chicago investor who gave more than $100,000 to Emanuel’s campaign for mayor in 2011 and bundled from $200,000 to $500,000 for Obama in 2008, has also sent Christie a maximum donation, as has his wife Alice. Mullen was already a Christie donor in 2009, state records show.

...Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University, said much of Christie’s Democratic support stems from a recent fundraiser in California with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. If those West Coast donors knew more about Christie’s conservative record inside the Statehouse-- vetoing a same-sex marriage bill and minimum-wage increase, for example-- they might not be so eager to open their wallets, she said.

"These are exactly the type of donors (Buono) would need in order to put a chink in Christie’s armor," Harrison said. "For people who do not live in the state of New Jersey, Christie’s bipartisan rhetoric is wildly appealing, particularly for those who don’t scratch beneath the surface."

Down With Tyranny has endorsed Buono and you can contribute to her campaign here. Maximum contribution is $3,800. And there is no minimum. Do you hate Chris Matthews? Add an extra $5 to what you want to contribute to Buono.

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