Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lautenberg, Andrews, Shulman, Abate

With Representative Rob Andrews announcement he was planning on taking on Senator Frank Lautenberg in the Democratic Primary, and a Democratic civil war likely to ensue, one has to wonder what impact it could have on the Dems fighting to take on Representative Scott Garrett.

Back in November, when State Senator Loretta Weinberg and "Papa" Joe Ferriero were ratcheting up their war over pay-to-play, both Camille Abate and Dennis Shulman sought to distance themselves from the conflict. From PolitickerNJ:
"I'm not coming down on either side," said Shulman during a conference call with reporters. "...As a psychologist who works with families and as a rabbi, I have a lot of experience trying to repair splits in families and people, and I'm hoping that this election will be an opportunity to repair some of the split not only between Democrats and Republicans but within the county as well as within the party."


"I know that Joe is the head of the Bergen county organization, and I know Loretta is a respected member of the party," said Abate. "I'm sure that they all have on good faith a situation where they believe in different things, which happens between decent people sometimes.. I don't really have a stance on that. My focus has really been to beat Scott Garrett."

As someone who doesn't see a lot of grey as to whether pay to play is wrong, to be honest, I was grossly disappointed in both answers. However, the pundits all agreed it was smart politics because both were courting the BCDO nomination and so little of Weinberg's district falls within the Fifth.

Now that Shulman won the BCDO line, and the endorsement of Representative Steve Rothman, it gets a bit more complicated. Rothman has threatened to go toe to toe with Papa Joe if he backs Andrews. So who does Shulman go with? Abate, with the machine already working against her, could go either way. If I hear from the campaigns, I'll post it here.

An open endorsement of Andrews seems unlikely but, as one commenter on Politicker noted, State Senator Paul Sarlo's endorsement means the BCDO machine will quietly be hoping Andrews wins.

On a side note, if Rothman has the power to mount a good government drive for the BCDO, why he's waiting I don't understand.

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