Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | September 30, 2002

NJ Dems have GOP boxed in

It's official. Toricelli is out. This is starting to look increasingly like a brilliant tactical move by the NJ dems. Here's how it works:

1) Toricelli announces he will serve out his term, but kill his reelection effort.

2) The Democratic Party names a succesor, then requests a ballot change. Even though the law required such a change by September 16, the Democratic State Attorney General grants a waiver.

3) The state GOP can't win on Forrester's strength alone. His entire election strategy was based on "I'm not Toricelli". So, the state GOP files suit to prevent the ballot change.

4) If the GOP loses, then the election proceeds with the Democrats' chances greatly improved.

5) If the GOP wins, then Toricelli resigns his Senate seat, now within the 30-day window, and by law, there's no election. Toricelli's replacement (a Democrat!) serves two years before a special election in 2004.

At this point, the state GOP may have to suck it up and allow the ballot change, lest they maneouver the Dems into cancelling the elections outright.

Of course, there are Constitutional issues, and the NJ law is of dubious legality. However, the litigation necessary to resolve such issues would extend well past the election. If Forrester sought and was granted a temporary injunction to postpone the election until the issue was resolved, that would also play into Dems hands -- they would then have the statutory time necessary to change the ballot wording (48 days before an election). And, the extra time would give the Dem candidate even more time to raise name recognition and hammer home the fact that the Torch was no longer on the ballot.

As a Latino, I'm pushing hard for Menendez. I'm not sure if one has ever served in the Senate, and the historical symbolism would play into the Dems hands. But regardless, keeping the seat Democratic is priority number one. And, it looks as though the Democrats have pulled a rabbit out of the hat and ensured it will happen.

Posted September 30, 2002 02:59 PM | Comments (35)


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