By Editor | November 14th, 2012 - 12:20pm
| More

By Patrick Torpey

I met Tom Bonier in the 2000 legislative redistricting process when he played the same consulting role he did in the 2010 redistricting cycle for the N.J. Democrats. Tom is a man of great skill and intellect and played an important part in selling Larry Bartels on the non-responsive iron-clad Democratic Legislative map of the last decade.  For this partisan spin master, truly a job well done. And he beat me, one of the GOP consultants in that process.

But talk about a sore loser. Tom’s recent comments on the Congressional Map crossed the line from political analysis and went into a personal attack on Dean John Farmer. Most readers of this site know that Dean Farmer is non-partisan to a fault, a registered independent and no fan of ultra-conservative Tea Party ideologues. His many articles as a columnist for the Star-Ledger indicate this. John is one of the most well respected and fair people on the N.J. political scene as evidenced by his unanimous choice as the tiebreaker.

Tom is used to dealing with the academic elite who sit in their ivory towers to make political judgments on the “science” of redistricting. I recall Professor Bartels saying he never even voted, therefore he was unbiased in his deliberations as the tiebreaking member a decade ago. Priceless.

Dean Farmer used something as a basis for his decision-making that Tom Bonier was unfamiliar with: common sense.  Dean Farmer consolidated districts in the part of the state that lost the most population. Tough for the academics to understand, I realize.

Tom cannot grasp this single fact: He lost on the merits!

The GOP map was significantly more compact, competitive and reflective of communities of interest.

The GOP map offered 9 districts that the Democrats could win. The Democrat map offered only 6 the GOP could win, if they were lucky. The demographics of District 2 are Democratic. In fact President Obama handily won this district. Republican Frank LoBiondo is rewarded by voters for the fine job he does. Should Congressman LoBiondo not run for re-election this seat is a Democrat seat.

The demographics of District 3 are right down the middle, a “fair fight” by most calculations. Initial results indicate President Obama slightly ahead in this district. However, the Democrats ran a terrible campaign this year and their candidate proved to be not ready for prime time. This seat will remain competitive by the numbers for the next 10 years.

That brings us to District 5. Note that Congressman Scott Garrett, the one true GOP Tea Party member, was put in a district with a well-healed incumbent Democrat.  I have heard the rumor of a Democrat poll that showed Congressman Rothman beating Congressman Garrett. We will never know. Too bad for Tom Bonier that Steve Rothman decided to start a civil war within the Democrat Party and challenge Bill Pascrell instead. This is another “fair fight” the Democrats could have had if Congressman Rothman stayed the course.

So let’s summarize.  President Obama won New Jersey with 58% of the vote. The President handily won 58% (7 of 12 including CD 2) of the Congressional Districts and it looks like the President won 67% (8 of 12 including CD 2 and CD 3) of our Congressional Districts. Furthermore,  the most well-funded Democrat incumbent Congressman  shied away from a legitimate challenge to New Jersey’s Tea Party standard bearer and instead forced a primary with a fellow Democrat.

Tom’s political spin regarding the Tea Party falls flat on its face. Also Tom’s charge that “Farmer discriminated against  northern New Jersey” is the first time I have heard that one. Do our friends in South Jersey really believe North Jersey doesn’t get its fair share?

Mr. Bonier can make his case for why Dean Farmer’s decision is flawed. The implication that his decision was to protect the Tea Party or payback for Legislative redistricting is baseless, insulting and below him.

I know you are used to winning Tom, but you lost this one on the merits.

Patrick Torpey  is former executive director of the Assembly Republican Majority (ARM) and GOP consultant to the 2000 GOP redistricting team. He is currently a partner with the Trento- based lobbying firm 1868 Public Affairs.

The Back Room

Trenton mayor's race: Worthy campaign funds surge according to filed ELEC report

Trenton mayoral candidate Walker M. Worthy, Jr. raised more than $75,000 during the most recent fundraising period, boosting his total campaign contributions to date to close to $110,000, according to a written statement issued by his campaign. 

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 15, 2014

East Side Neighborhood Association hosts packed Paterson Mayor's Forum PATERSON – On the eastern end of Market Street stands a restaurant amid the clinging remnants of industry and a city’s trampled history, where inside under chandeliers in front of a crowd of 100 people, seven candidates for mayor made...

Op-Ed

Ryan's Budget Plan

BY ALBIO SIRES This week, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), released yet again another budget with misplaced priorities that will slow our economic recovery and destroy American jobs.  Rather than address the priorities of the... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"A break-in occurred early this morning at the offices owned by Carl Sharif and two others at 660 Stuyvesant Ave. in Irvington, New Jersey. Several items are reported missing, including two laptop computers owned by Carl Sharif. There is also reported damage in the building. The Irvington police were called and a report was filed." - Jeffries campaign spokeswoman Lupe Todd

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

Who does Alieta Eck want to win the CD12 Democratic Primary?:

Resources

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources