>I thought this was just too funny so I wanted to pass it on ,but I ask how can they “stay the coarse” when they have nothing left to lose?
State GOP to ‘stay the course’
By GREGORY J. VOLPE
Gannett State Bureau
Despite losing three straight statewide elections with campaigns based around attacking Democratic candidates’ ethics, New Jersey Republicans say they will “stay the course” with that campaign strategy.
State Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr., R-Westfield, spent months labeling U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, a dirty politician, but with voters angered at President Bush and the war in Iraq, the Democrat won soundly.
In last year’s gubernatorial election, Doug Forrester failed to convince voters that Jon S. Corzine would be another corrupt Democrat. He used a similar message trying to oust U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli in 2002, but the Democrat dropped out of the race amid an ethics scandal, replaced by former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-Cliffside Park, who prevailed.
“You really wonder if the ethics issue is one that can carry the day in the absence of a strong connection to why you should vote for the other candidate,” said Rutgers University political scientist Ingrid Reed. “. . . Republicans in New Jersey will really have to think about what their best strategy is.”
Tom Wilson, chairman of the state Republican Party, said his party will keep the strategy “as long as they keep putting up ethically challenged candidates.”
Wilson said the strategy would have worked in the 2002 race if Torricelli remained on the ballot. Last year, he said voters believed Corzine’s wealth would insulate him from acting unethically. And Tuesday night was more about the war in Iraq.
“Bob Menendez didn’t win an election with people liking him or trusting him,” Wilson said. “He was an alternative that they preferred based on a message. . . . More people disliked him, distrusted him, than liked him.”
Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce said Republicans should “stay the course” on the ethics plank because it’s an important issue in New Jersey.
“I can’t believe the people elect people with clouds on their title, and yet they do here in the state of New Jersey,” said DeCroce, R-Parsippany-Troy Hills.
Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, D-Union, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said voters want a reason to vote for a candidate, not just a reason not to vote for an opponent.
“In Tom Kean’s case, that’s all he ran on,” Cryan said. “People knew Bob Menendez’s position on the war, they knew his stance on Social Security, they knew where he was on stem cell. They just didn’t know where Tom Kean was because, frankly, he was a one-trick pony.”
Reach Gregory J. Volpe at email@example.com
Published: November 09. 2006 3:10AM