STATE—The Republican National Coalition for Life Political Action Committee endorsed GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan.
The pro-life endorsement is perceived as a major blow to the campaign of former U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie, a liberal Republican who is unpopular with conservatives because he supports abortion and gay rights.
“I am honored by the RNC Life PAC endorsement, and I am proud of my longstanding pro-Life record,” said Lonegan. “I look forward to the day when as Governor I will be able to turn my pro-life principles into policy, including ending state funding for abortions.”
STATE – Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie, who built up a record as a corruption buster in seven years as the state’s top federal prosecutor, has found his own ethics called into question in recent weeks. The allegations could affect Christie’s chances to win the GOP nomination.
This year’s Republican primary contest is a classic match up between the conservative GOP ideologue Steve Lonegan, and Christie, the more liberal political insider who became a media darling during his tenure as a Bush administration appointee.
While serving as U.S. attorney, Christie appointed attorney Herbert Stern to monitor the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to settle concerns over Medicare fraud; the contract was worth $3 million. Stern, two law partners and their wives recently gave Christie’s campaign $3,400 each, the maximum donation allowed by law.
STATE—Gov. Jon Corzine’s standing with the New Jersey public is suffering along with the economy.
According to the most recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, 40 percent of voters approve of the job Corzine is doing while 46 percent disapprove—a reversal from January when 46 percent approved and 40 percent disapproved. “The governor is taking his lumps along with the rest of New Jersey,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll.
RAHWAY – Republican municipal chairman Patrick Cassio endorsed former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan as his choice to be New Jersey’s next governor on Wednesday.
“The only way we’re going to change the way things are in New Jersey is to elect someone who has been a small town mayor, who knows the common person like me in Rahway. That’s Steve Lonegan,” Cassio said at a news conference in front of his home.
EDISON – At a Monday afternoon press conference attended by approximately 60 supporters and members of the press, conservative Republican and anti-tax advocate Steve Lonegan announced that he would run for governor next year.
Lonegan is determined to slash the size of government – and government spending—by 20 percent through layoffs, eliminating programs and “devolving government from Trenton to local municipalities.”
“New Jersey was built on that fundamental belief – the belief is individual freedom, defending liberty and letting every individual fulfill their potential,” Lonegan said.“Over the last decades, we’ve seen that philosophy undermined—undermined by a growth of government that has accelerated the entitlement state and reliance not on opportunity, but on government handouts.”
STATE—Two-thirds of New Jersey voters say their state is on the wrong track, but they split on their assessment of Gov. Jon Corzine. According to the most recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, just 23% of registered voters say the state is headed in the right direction, a new low during the governor’s term, while 67% say it’s “off on the wrong track,” a new high during the governor’s term.
Just 31% of New Jersey voters say the governor is doing a “good” or “excellent” job, essentially unchanged from June, while 41% rate his work as “only fair” and 25% rate his job as “poor.” Among Democrats, 45% give him rating of “good” or “excellent” while 39% rate his work as “only fair” and 12% rate his job as “poor.”
Similarly, the governor’s approval rating continues to drift sideways: Voters split about evenly with 41% approving and 43% disapproving, little changed from June when 40% approved and 41% disapproved. But a majority of Democrats (58%) approve, even if a majority of Republicans (64%) disapprove. Independents split with 34% approving, 44% disapproving and 22% unsure.