Calm Before the Storm 2016

CHERRY HILL – I’m tired. You’re tired. And we all just want it over, amiright? The good news: the end is near. The bad news: there’s another few hours of nervous/excited/anxious energy to burn. Can you stand it?

Are you (like me) refreshing fiveththirthyeight.com every five seconds? Perhaps you’re out on the trail volunteering or campaigning today. Or maybe you’re at home like I am, quivering with anticipation at the unwinding spectacle that was/is Election 2016.

It’s an exquisite tension this year is it not?

Like many of you, I’ll be breathlessly switching between NJTV (for Jersey-centric stuff) and cable (CNN) for the national updates. NPR’s on tap as well, for commercial breaks. Between all that plus Twitter and Facebook we’re all everywhere at once. Isn’t it amazing?

So while we wait on tenterhooks for tonight’s mouthwatering Main Course (Hillary v. Trump) let’s nibble on a very gay, pot-centric appetizer medley, shall we?

OMG YES WE CANNABIS

It’s a yuuuuge day for marijuana at the polls today. Cannabis is on the ballot in every corner on the land!

Voters in five states (California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and Arizona) will vote to legalize recreational cannabis. Or not. Another four states (Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana) are holding medical cannabis ballot measures. (note: States in bold should win)

NJ Democrats have vowed to legalize cannabis legislatively in 2018 as soon as Chris Christie is gone.

NJ GOP Assemblyman Mike Patrick Carroll doesn’t wanna wait that long, especially if today’s results overwhelmingly favor marijuana reform.

“What do Democrats care if Chris Christie vetoes the damn thing,” Carroll told PolitickerNJ. “Have them post the most radical (cannabis) bill you can get — mine, preferably — and run on it. Have (Democratic leadership in Trenton) show some backbone; what have they got to lose? (Democrat) Phil Murphy’s got a good shot at (becoming NJ’s next Gov) — he could buy all the necessary votes and not have to go much beyond the cash he cleans out of the cushions on his couch — and this would be a good way to get the ‘cannabis community’ — which I recently discovered actually exists; learn something new every day — on board.”

Then a quip from Carroll, Trenton’s jolly arch-conservative.

“Lordy,” he deadpanned, ” I am giving aid and comfort to the “enemy” — in HRC’s terms.”

TINKY WINKY NATION

What does this election mean for NJ’s LGBT community? Turns out a lot. Hillary Clinton has evolved into a durable ally for LGBTs. No so Donald Trump, who underscored his commitment to de-legalizing gay marriage by choosing a running mate, Mike Pence, who “signed a bill to jail same-sex couples for applying for a marriage license.”

Ouch!

Unsurprisingly, most LGBTs lean left. This year should be no exception.

“This year’s elections are all about the LGBT community,” Christopher Hillman, himself a gay candidate, told PolitickerNJ. He’s running for township council in Hasbrouck Heights.

“From CD5 and hopefully a win by Josh Gottheimer to Monmouth County races for Freeholder and Surrogate, the NJ LGBT community is taking a leadership role at all levels of government.”

“We are a force to be reckoned with,” Hillman emphasized.

Added Garden State Equality director Christian Fuscarino “I hope NJ’s LGBT community goes to bed tonight knowing Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and (notoriously anti-gay NJ Congressmembers) Scott Garrett, and Chris Smith won’t be able to undermine our rights.”

(Note: Chris Smith will retain his seat in Congress with relative ease. Garrett’s in a dogfight. That race is a tossup.)

Sue Fulton, a former Army Captain running for Monmouth Freeholder (who happens to be lesbian) gets the final word, “this campaign has caused me to reflect many times on my values. On the Army values. On values of integrity, respect, selfless service, personal courage. On duty, honor, country. And today I will also be thinking of an oath I have sworn, more than once: to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I’m blessed, and proud, to be an American, and to be part of a country that honors no king, no single person, but a set of principles, an ever-expanding promise of justice and equality for all. I hope you feel that way too. Now you have a job to do. Get after it. #VOTE!”

Polls in NJ close at 8PM. Hurry! Still a few hours left to vote!

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