"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Menendez – Kean Debates In June

We agree with Roberto’s take on the U.S. Senate race between Bob Menendez and Tom Kean:

Frankly, I think Kean's best chance is to focus on (4), make the election a referendum on Corzine's tax and spend budget and focus on the fact that Menendez has never met a tax hike that he didn't like. Let surrogates bring up the Menendez dirty laundry. Also, my feeling is the more voters see the two, the more they will dislike Menendez. He is nasty and unlikable, a younger Cuban version of Frank Lautenberg. Debates will help Kean, but not when they're in June which is the current plan.
Menendez’ positions and record should be enough to turn nearly everyone off, but too few voters are familiar with the facts. On the other hand, we hadn’t realized Mendez has a personality to match his record- nasty and unlikable. Roberto has been following New Jersey politics far longer than we have and we are inclined to believe him when he says Menendez is a JUNIOR version of Frank Lautenberg.

Reading Roberto's post reminds us of a Fred Snowflack blog post, Why now? of June 22:

Tom Kean and Bob Menendez are scheduled to debate Monday night. A debate in late June for a race that is going to be decided in November? Why?
A commenter wrote:
Fred, you are right. This is a joke to have a debate so early. Menendez apparently feels he needs to do something because Jr. is only 4 points down.
SnowFlack responded with:

As always, people sound a bit looney when they are too partisan. The above poster is far off-base. The debate scheduling has nothing to do Menendez needing to do something. He didn't schedule the debate.
You’d think Fred Snowflack, the editorial page editor of the Daily Record, would follow politics a bit more closely and refrain from calling people names. Because you see, it was Menendez that specifically called for a June debate. The Hall Institute of Public Policy contacted Menendez and Kean about participating in a virtual debate on its web site. This led Menendez to challenge Kean to a live debate on TV before the end of June.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The Kean and Menendez campaigns have agreed to participate, but Menendez campaign director Steve Dimicco issued a caveat.

"An online forum is no substitute for live, televised, real-time debates between the two major-party candidates," he said. "We issue a challenge today for Tom Kean Jr., should he become his party's nominee, to meet Sen. Menendez in a one-hour debate before a statewide television audience."
And from the Atlantic City Press:
The Menendez campaign also has accepted the institute's invitation, but a spokesman challenged Kean to engage before the end of June in a live, one-hour television debate — if both Menendez and Kean win the June 6 primary election.


At 8:18 PM, Blogger jay lassiter said...

isn't it funny how to righties he's "Kean" and with lefties he's "Kean Jr." or just "junior"

wonder what that's all about?

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your theory that “to righties he's "Kean" and with lefties he's "Kean Jr." or just "junior"” is off. Look at the back and forth from Snowflack’s blog – Snowflack refers to him as Kean, the commenter Snowflack calls a partisan “rightie” refers to Kean as just Jr. and the Inquirer and the Atlantic City Press refer to him as Kean. The left seems obsessed with calling him Junior.

In my opinion, I think lefties refer to Kean as Kean Jr. or Junior because they fear people making up their voting base are too dumb to realize a 37 year-old state senator is not the 71 year-old former governor.

How lefties plan to keep Menendez separated in the minds of their base from Lyle and Erik Menendez remains to be seen.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger DBK said...

I find it more interesting that Kean Jr. (guess that makes me a "lefty", for whatever that's worth to real discussion) left the Budget Committee where he could have a real say in the state's budget and then would try to focus on problems in the state budget. If he is truly concerned with the budget, why run from the committee in which he would have the most influence on the budget?

Look, I know how the game is played and I understand that politics is, unfortunately, not all about integrity, but this business of Junior making noise about the state's budget after he jumped ship on the committee with the most influence on the budget makes him look very bad. It makes it look like he didn't want to be in a position, while running for office, where he would have to take responsibility or take a stand on a controversial issue. That kind of cowardice, whether politically inspired or not, does not speak well for the man. Say what you want about Menendez, but he isn't gutless. You can follow this posting up with quibbles about either something you think Menendez ducked or with other quibbles about the stands he has taken, but I respect the fact that he is ready to stand at the point of the spear rather than hang back and hide out and not get involved in the issues because it might not be good politics. There is something to be said for a representative who represents rather than floats like a feather in the breeze and avoids responsibility for decisions.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

DBK, you’ll need to take up the “Junior” thing with Jay Lassiter, he started that discussion in this thread. But we agree it is a petty matter.

As far as the state’s budget goes, from all we’ve read Governor Corzine is calling all of the shots and even refuses to compromise with members of this own party. Republicans have proposed $2.2 billion in reductions to Corzine’s budget and Democrats have proposed $600 million in cuts. Corzine has turned them all down and has threatened that if the sales tax increase is not approved he will shut down state government or cut $800 million in municipal and school aid that added not one penny to Corzine’s $2.6 billion in spending increases.

Perhaps if Kean had been on the Senate Budget Committee he would have had more clout with Governor Corzine than Assembly Leader Joe Roberts. Although we doubt it, because all spending and tax bills originate in the State Assembly and not in the State Senate. That’s why the state’s budget negations are between Corzine and Roberts here in the 11th hour. In any event, Kean sits on the three senate committees where the bulk of our tax money is spent - Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens,, the Judiciary committee and Joint Committee on the Public Schools..

As you know, Kean has opposed Corzine’s spending and tax increases from the beginning and now in last night’s debate Menendez has joined the chorus against Corzine’s proposed sales tax increase. Perhaps Menendez can use his clout to reason with Corzine on the issue, the Governor isn’t listening to anybody else.

We would more than “quibble” with the stands Menendez has taken and votes he has cast in the Congress over the years. That’s what this election is all about, the candidates’ position on the issues and the future votes he will cast in the Senate. That’s why you support Menendez and we support Kean.


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