Don't get me wrong, Paul's a nice guy. He was always polite to my volunteers that he met, and up until the whole sign stealing thing our campaigns were rather cordial, as I was with Garrett's as well. My reaction to the sign incident was boneheaded; as hard as we worked to raise the money and get the signs out, to have a significant portion of my "war chest" vanish didn't sit well. The boneheadedness was reinforced by the press coverage and subsequent police incident report on a different night that pointed to the BCDO and not Paul's staff directly. While I didn't win the award for dumbest press release, had Stuart Rothenberg known I was alive I might have been in contention.
My objection to Paul comes down to a principle, and for me it's a really big one. It's called Democracy. On both Blue Jersey and Retire Garrett there is a common refrain about the '08 primary.
There should be a vigorous Democratic primary that will encourage the candidates to hone their policy positions and become better candidates to face Garrett in 2008.
Regardless of which party you fall into, the ability to choose your representation is a basic cornerstone of Democracy. If you're running for office, you should be a big fan of the idea. The problem I have with Paul is just that, and it was from a 2005 article from PoliticsNJ.
Even if they are both hell-bent on running, there could be a way for Wolfe and Aronsohn to settle their contest without incurring the costs of a full-scale primary. Aronsohn said he'd be willing to abide by the verdict of the Bergen County Democratic convention, which will take place next February or March. But Wolfe indicated she probably wouldn't, saying she didn't want to leave the district's other three counties out of the process.
This shouldn't even be in a candidate's mind. Even if the reporter planted the idea, or offered it as a possible solution to the primary quandary, there should be a soul shaking voice that screams no at the thought of excluding people from voting. I had a chance to ask Paul about this at one point. Due to the fact I don't have the conversation recorded I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I can say his response didn't change my mind. While his direct involvement in the BCDO is a question mark, being willing to leave the decision for an entire Congressional District in the hands of a man who actively tries to boot those who don't work with him is highly suspect.
I won't ever work or vote for someone who would vote or act against the principle right so many have fought and died to achieve and protect. When Garrett voted against re-authorizing the Voting Rights Act I called it deplorable, and I feel the same way about Paul being willing to skip the Primary. For me, or anyone else for that matter, having to choose between the two is a terrible choice to have to make.