Altman: ‘Yup, that’s Me’


It’s all how the story is told, or rather, who tells it first.

That thought is relevant in looking at an ad for Sue Altman, the Democratic candidate in CD-7.  In case anyone forgot, Altman is challenging Republican Thomas H. Kean Jr. in what is the most interesting congressional race in New Jersey this fall.

Altman’s ad portrays her as a fierce opponent of corruption and a sincere standard bearer for decency in government. The ad lumps Kean in with Donald Trump, a “convicted felon,” Bob Menedez of “gold bar” infamy and Chris Christie – “a bully.”

Kean is called an absentee congressman and an “apologist” for Trump.

This is normal campaign stuff, but there is also an intriguing part of the ad. That’s when Altman refers to being “escorted” out of the Statehouse.

That’s a rather benign way of putting it. She was actually thrown out of a hearing by the State Police.

This was back in 2019 and the details are worth reviewing.

At issue was a legislative hearing in a committee room centering on the state’s tax incentive program, and more particularly, how it benefited south Jersey political boss George Norcross.

It was an overflow crowd – SRO – and many on hand were not Norcross supporters.

The chair of the meeting, Sen. Robert Smith, warned the crowd to behave and not to act up.

He then told police to remove those standing along the back wall. Altman was not standing along the back wall, but state troopers appeared to single her out. She was then “escorted” out of the room. It was quite a heavy-handed response.

That was almost five years ago and now, Altman is running for Congress.

You might expect the Kean campaign to use this episode to suggest Altman is some sort of a loudmouth protester without the temperament to serve in Congress.

But Altman is out front with this saga and is using it to demonstrate her opposition to corruption.

The ad presents a photo of her being removed from the hearing, to which Altman says, “Yup, that’s me.”

Pointedly, her ad is bipartisan. She mentions Trump, Christie and Kean, but also Democrats like Menendez and Norcross. Obviously, this ad is more effective now that Norcross is under indictment on corruption charges.

A few months after the 2019 meeting, the state Attorney General’s office said state troopers thought Altman was causing a disturbance and that her removal was not motivated by politics.


But it’s all about politics now. And Altman clearly hopes her Statehouse adventure works to her advantage.




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3 responses to “Altman: ‘Yup, that’s Me’”

  1. Vividly remember this picture.

    There is also a picture of George Norcross
    with his head of well managed white hair
    sitting there with (to quote a columnist)
    Insouciance i.e.smug indifference.

    GO, SUE, Go!!!!

  2. Kean’s milquetoast approach to politics at best appeals to the lame-o (feckless, gutless, spineless) establishment folks in both parties, who are comfortable looking the other way at cronyism and corruption. Altman’s more smash mouth approach appeals to the renegades in both parties, the progressive Ds and the anti-establishment Rs, many of whom are MAGA. Altman might do well to tone down the trashing of MAGAs (and Trump) and focus just on the establishment folks who are lining up against her (i.e., the machine Ds and their aligned trade unions and the establishment Rs). Many MAGAs are antiestablishment but are realizing the flaws with Trump. However, it’s a work in progress that needs time. A large swath of voters on both sides are ready for some (non-violent of course) smash mouth, anti-establishment approach to politics. Keep that coalition as broad as possible.

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