Murray Sabrin

Is New Jersey's GOP ignoring Jeff Bell?

Is New Jersey's GOP ignoring Jeff Bell?

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) kicked off his fall re-election campaign this week by reaming his opponent, Republican Jeff Bell, over all the things a popular, liberal-minded incumbent might take issue with in a policy-minded conservative who's spent the last 30 years of his political life living in Washington D.C.

Lobbyist. Washington insider. Perpetuator of "defunct and defective" Nixon-era ideologies.

It was a verbal assault that should have (or, at least, that one might have expected it to have) drawn an immediate response from Jeff Bell for U.S. Senate cheerleaders across the state. Particularly, one might have expected a reaction from fellow conservatives in Trenton, rushing to the defense of the scrappy-but-sure Republican hopeful who's dared to take on one of the Democratic Party's brightest stars.

The actual response from members of the GOP establishment in New Jersey following Booker's tour? Crickets.

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Booker on U.S. Senate race, Republican candidates: let's talk after the GOP primary

Booker on U.S. Senate race, Republican candidates: let's talk after the GOP primary

NEWARK - A general observation of the Republican candidates who have come out to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) in November is that they are not the best-known field of GOP contenders.

Jeff Bell, Brian Goldberg, Rich Pezzullo and Murray Sabrin have battled it out among GOP county committees in advance of the June primary. Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Christie continues to court Republican movers-and-shakers nationally despite his Bridgegate and Sandy aid problems at home. asked Booker if he thought that the apparent lack of serious competition in the upcoming U.S. Senate race was a sign that Christie, a native Newarker who has built a bipartisan relationship with Booker, had not done enough to build up the Garden State GOP. 

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In Chris Christie country, Ron Paul supporters lean on grassroots operations

In Chris Christie country, Ron Paul supporters lean on grassroots operations

The forces of Gov. Chris Christie have hung a prez politics “keep out” sign over New Jersey, but that doesn’t hinder the grassroots allies of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who this summer opened their campaign headquarters in Hightstown and are organizing regular events for the Tea Party presidential candidate.

“Ron Paul is the leader of the liberty movement because he has virtually single handily ignited the flame of freedom and kept it burning for decades in the House of Representatives,” said Prof. Murray Sabrin, a 2008 U.S. Senate candidate and former gubernatorial candidate who has scheduled a Sept. 8 Paul fundraiser at his Fort Lee home.

Sabrin said Paul supporters' RevolutionPAC exists to help elect Ron Paul President of the United States by producing and airing hard hitting ads during the Republican primaries and then during the general election next fall.  

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Independents who got more than 10% in New Jersey: Teddy Roosevelt and Ross Perot

Only six independent candidates have hit the five percent mark in New Jersey statewide elections.  Five of the six were running for President; only Murray Sabrin, the Libertarian candidate for Governor in 1997, was running for state office.

Only two independents made it into the double-digits in New Jersey: Theodore Roosevelt finished second with 34% against Gov. Woodrow Wilson (41%) and President William Howard Taft (21%); and  Ross Perot, in his 1992 presidential campaign, won 16% in a three-way race with Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.  When Perot ran again in 1996, he received 9%.  John Anderson (1980) and George Wallace (1968), clearly on opposite sides of the political spectrum when they made third party White House bids, each won 8%.

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The newspaper endorsement season

The newspaper endorsement season is about to begin in the three-way gubernatorial race between Democrat Jon Corzine, Republican Christopher Christie, and Independent Christopher Daggett.  During Corzine's first run for public office, the 2000 campaign for United States Senator, Republican Bob Franks was endorsed by seventeen daily newspapers, while Corzine won the backing of six.  Five years later, when Corzine ran for Governor, eight newspapers supported Corzine, while nine went for Republican Douglas Forrester.

Of the seventeen dailies that endorsed in both 2000 and 2005, three have endorsed Corzine twice: the Jersey Journal, the Trenton Times, and the New York Daily News.  Seven newspapers have never endorsed Corzine: The Record, the Asbury Park Press, the Courier-Post, the Daily Record, the Courier-News, the New York Post, and the Trentonian.

There is some speculation, mostly from those not in the know, that Daggett could get a share of print media support.  Newspaper endorsements rarely go to third party candidates: the Courier-Post backed Libertarian Murray Sabrin for Governor in 1997, and The Record, in a sort of "what the heck" kind of editorial that followed the crazy candidate switcheroo, went with Green Party candidate Ted Glick for U.S. Senate in 2002.  In 2001, the Trenton Times endorsed James E. McGreevey for Governor, and then wrote a separate editorial apologizing for not endorsing William Schluter, a Mercer County Republican State Senator who was running as an independent.  The editorial suggested that they liked Schluter best, but knew he could not win.

Corzine's newspaper endorsement record:

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Daggett at 12% of the vote with 11% favorables

Former state Environmental Protection Commissioner Christopher Daggett, running for Governor as an independent, is at 12%, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  That's a four-point increase from September 1 (9%) and a six point increase from August 11 (7%) for a candidate with 16% name ID statewide - 11% favorable -- who spent about $250,000 airing a single TV ad on New York TV.

Daggett is the only one of the ten independent gubernatorial candidates to be included in the poll.  He is also the only independent to qualify for matching funds, and the only independent to be included in the gubernatorial debates.  Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine has upside-down favorables, and voters are split on Republican Christopher Christie; the virtually unknown Daggett is the only alternative and some of his votes could wind up being cast for some of the other independent candidates.

In 1997, the last time a third party candidate received public financing and was included in the debates, a Quinnipiac poll had Libertarian Murray Sabrin at 8% in a three-way race with Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (45%) and Democrat James E. McGreevey (37%). When the choices were expanded to all ten candidates, Sabrin dropped to 5% (which was his actual percentage on Election Day), with Whitman at 46% and McGreevey at 36%.

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Daggett says he's in it to win

Daggett says he's in it to win
Angus King, above, who won two elections for Governor of Maine as an independent, says Chris Daggett needs statewide name ID by mid-September, or it will be too late

Independent gubernatorial candidate Christopher Daggett will not be content if his candidacy only manages to bring attention to issues that major party candidates might have otherwise ignored.

"I'm in this to win the election, not to steer the debate," he said in a phone interview today.

Daggett, who started his campaign with a certain amount of legitimacy from being a federal and state environmental official in the 1980's, has made progress towards becoming a competitive candidate.  He raised the $340,000 that qualified him for matching funds from the state, giving him close to $1 million to start for the general election and a spot in two required debates.  He won the endorsement of the Sierra Club yesterday, and several months ago hired media consultant Bill Hillsman, who has experience creating ads for underdog candidates like Paul Wellstone and Jesse Ventura.

But Daggett's name ID is anemic.  In a Quinnipiac poll released August 11, 92% of voters did not know enough about him to form an opinion (it was 82% in a Monmouth University poll from a week earlier).  He polled at 7% in a three-way match-up with Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine and Republican Chris Christie.  The question most insiders have asked all along is not whether Daggett can win, but whether he hurts Jon Corzine or Chris Christie.

"I think this is something that could change very rapidly as people come back from vacation mode and start to focus on the fact that we have a gubernatorial election, and the fact that people have just had it with both parties.  They're discouraged, disappointed and in some cases just disgusted by what they see," he said.  "I think people will be looking for an alternative."

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Mother of Murray Sabrin dies

Libby Sabrin, a Holocaust survivor and the mother of former gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin passed away Friday evening after a two-decade battle with cancer.

Graveside services will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday at Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus.  Donations can be made in her memory to the Holocaust Center at Ramapo College.

“Mom will be remembered for her humor, compassion, wisdom and generosity.  In fact, if everyone managed their financial affairs like Mom did, there would be no private or public debt crisis in America today,” Sabrin said in an e-mail to  “Mom was the ‘queen of coupons.’  You could not be Mom’s friend unless you ‘couponed’ after she taught you how to stretch the family budget.”

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Daggett says ELEC won't release matching funds until after LG pick

Former state Commissioner of Environmental Protection Christopher Daggett became the first independent gubernatorial candidate to qualify for matching funds since Murray Sabrin ran as a Libertarian in 1997.  The Daggett campaign says the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission won't release any money until after the selection of a Lt. Governor candidate.  If the campaign has their facts straight, that is an interesting point since the Secretary of State has said they don't know what the penalty is for a candidate for governor who does not select a running mate.

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Lonegan: Christie will have to 'maintain' conservative positions or risk losing base vote

Lonegan: Christie will have to 'maintain' conservative positions or risk losing base vote

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Steven Lonegan reaffirmed his support for GOP nominee Christopher Christie in an email to supporters today, but under the condition that Christie sticks to the conservative principles he professed in the primary.

"Our nominee for Governor has openly embraced conservatism and if he continues on that path, all of us should work hard for his election," wrote Lonegan.  "As the Republican nominee Chris Christie will also have to maintain his positions on the issues that convinced many Republicans he was a conservative, and convince many in the GOP establishment to go with him."

Christie beat Lonegan by 13 points in last week's primary - 55% to 42%.  Assemblyman Rick Merkt (R-Mendham) received 3% of the vote.

"You have moved your party to the right," Lonegan wrote to his supporters.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...


Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ


Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':


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