Winners and Losers: Week of May 23rd

WINNERS

Albio Sires

Unlike U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Democratic congressman stayed out of West New York politics as many disgruntled members of his own base voted incumbent Mayor Silverio Vega out of office, then gave Sires raucous approving applause at Mayor Felix Roque’s swearing-in ceremony, as though Sires was all along the underground wounded hero of the movement suddenly sprung to life in their midst.

Mitt Romney

No, it wasn’t anything more than a small town straw poll, but he still won as New Jersey Republicans grapple for a 2012 presidential contender. On Monday night, in a much publicized event, Cinnaminson Republicans narrowly picked the former Massachusetts governor  for president, followed by Gov. Chris Christie as his preferred running mate by a large margin. Open to all 3,153 of the township’s registered Republicans, 312 participated in the poll to pick the party’s 2012 nominee, according to Sandy Iaquinto, president of the Cinnaminson Republican Club, sponsor of the event. Romney remains a hardly dominant figure in national polls, however. A Zogby poll conducted from May 20-23, shows businessman Herman Cain garnering the support of 19 percent of GOP primary voters. Christie placed second with 16 percent, followed by Romney with 11 percent.

Urban School Districts

The 31 school districts received their share of the full $1.7 billion requested by the Education Law Center in the aftermath of Gov. Chris Christie’s education cuts, constitutionally bound to get an additional $500 million on a ruling this week by the state Supreme Court.

Steve Adubato Sr.

Fellow party members formally inducted the North Ward Democratic power broker into the Essex County Democratic Hall of Fame. His wife, already a member, welcomed him to the club.

Barack Obama

The president’s Osama bin Laden kill order continued to drive up his numbers with ticked-off New Jerseyans, as Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™ Poll this week showed 55% of voters here approving of Obama’s job performance, an 8-point uptick from April, while 36% disapprove.  The 19-point spread, 55%-36%, represents an increase from 47%-42% as measured in early April.

 

LOSERS

Chris Christie

Yet another poll showed the Republican governor’s statewide numbers moving in the wrong direction, and that was taken before this strange gubernatorial week when he humbly said he would comply with the state Supreme Court’s ruling on Abbott – even if he didn’t agree with it, infuriating members of his own party; and bounced back with conservative red meat a day later, calming the national party’s conservative base by pulling New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Was there ever a five-day period more illustrative of the governor’s national/statewide double image?

David Pringle

The New Jersey Environmental Federation chief who endorsed Gov. Chris Christie in 2009 bravely showed up to meet the press following Christie’s abandnment of RGGI, but Christie’s cavalier tossing of the greenhouse gas initiative – like so much loose kindling on consevative fires – had to have wounded Pringle, the man who made a trusting politicial calculation to endorse Christie and now must morosely walk the halls of Trenton trying to live with his choice.  

The Elizabeth Board of Education

The Star-Ledger’s Ted Sherman submitted a four-month probe that prompted the paper to call for a criminal investigation of the politically charged board. The story and subsequent editorial deflated an outfit whose candidates are engaged in a well-oiled effort to upset state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) and his running mates, Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan (D-20) and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20).  

Newt Gingrich

A Public Policy Poll released yesterday shows 38 percent of Republicans view the former House Speaker and presidential prospect favorably, while 45 percent view him unfavorably, not good numbers for a candidate who has an 80 percent unfavorability rating among Democrats.

Sharpe James

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) filed a civil lawsuit yesterday in the Superior Court of New Jersey seeking repayment of $94,004 in campaign funds allegedly used to fund criminal defense costs on behalf of the former Newark mayor and state senator.

Winners and Losers: Week of May 23rd