The Region is percolating with intrigue.
NJ-- The Hudson County Democrats are still reeling as some are admitting to the charges brought. If things were not bad enough Essex County Democrats are facing an absentee ballot rigging investigation. Democrat Governor Corzine's response is to accuse Republican U. S. Attorney Christie of ties to corruption. It doesn't matter that everyone who pays attention knows that Christie and his running mate are actually the ones who started the clean up.
Corzine has developed a three fold attack to comeback from his 14 point deficit. Lies, try to claim the property tax mantle, and attack Christie on guns. I predict that by November he will close the gap to 7 points as some undecided Democrats come home. He will lose. Fearing that two Democrats are preparing to replace Gov. Corzine on the ballot. Congressman Palvone is publicly volunteeringm which has to be a perfect GOP ad. (Are you reading this powers that be?) Newark Mayor Booker, who is one of few clean local officials is being mentioned. He said he would like the job, but he supports Corzine. What an endorsement! How serious is this? Democrats are doing polling on it behind the Governor's back. At this stage they cannot replace someone who won the primary unless he steps aside. Unlike scandal-plagued Sen. Robert Torricelli he is self funded. He won't go anywhere. Another Democrat wouldn't win anyway.
Lastly for NJ, the NJESA (teacher's union) put out it's endorsements of 47 Democrats and 24 Republicans (almost all Republicans were in safe districts) in assembly races. It endorsed Governor Corzine. Chris Christie did not even seek the endorsement.
VA- Virginia also has an election this year. As you know from Tuesday's post, AG Bob McDonnell has taken a commanding 14 point lead over Sen. Deeds in the race for governor. Even a poll for Daily Kos confirmed the change. This 10 point jump came after the first televised debate but some Washinton pundits wonder if it relates to the President's falling numbers in VA. Deeds came back from as bad a position to win the primary. His comeback seems to based upon playing in rural turf and touting his farming background. Rural VA is republican turf and Northern VA (NoVA) is better for Democrats. The problem for Deeds, who is from rural VA is that McDonnell grew up in NoVA and launched his political career in Tidewater (SE VA). In the debate on agricultural issues, Deeds focused on his background while McDonnell focused on specific proposals and shared values.
MD- Governor O'Malley's (D) reward for not dealing with spending this year but adding slots and using stimulus money to keep the state afloat is--- a $700 million dollar shortfall in an election year. He is taking suggestions until August 10 so go to that Website and help your governor. Then ask him for part of his salary if you solve the problem.
The Governor just couldn't avoid controversy this week. His light rail program for D. C. and Baltimore has found opposition not only from residents but the University of Maryland. Nonetheless he submitted them to the federal government.
PA- One would think the election for U. S. Senate was this year. Polls are about even now between Congressman Toomey and Senator Specter. The Senator also has an opponent in the primary who he christened no show Joe. Joe Sestak has one of the worse records for missing votes in the Congress. 105 so far this year.
The Congressman is all in because the line to fill his seat is long. It may be a Republican pick up with U. S. Attorney of Pat Meehan (of Vince Fumo and Corey Kemp prosecution fame). An entrepreneur Steve Welch is also filing on the GOP side. On the Democrat side, two state representatives Vitali and Lentz are battling it out so far. Considering how tight the state house is that can't make the Democratic powers that be sleep well at night.
The state budget is still a mess. The Governor line itemed out all but 11 billion of the state budget of 27 billion. He turned the bill into a bridge budget. He kept everything to do with payroll and essential public safety. The rest was tossed back to the legislature.
NY- PA is getting more of a senate race while New York has less of one. Senator Gillibrand (D)no longer has a primary challenge from her left and is currently unopposed within the party.
Governor Open Marriage Patterson made an exception to the hiring freeze to hire his party partner to an $88,000 deputy of federal and state affairs position.
NYC had to raise taxes they said now the mayor and council are giving significant raises to staffers.
Delaware of course seems tame in comparison. The Republicans just won a special election for the senate seat formerly held by the late President Pro Tem Thurman Adams (D). Now there is a special election to fill the seat of victorious 37th Rep. Republican Joe Booth. Delaware also got a green light this week to start sports betting in September. It is the only state East of the Rookies allowed to do so under federal law.