InsiderNJ’s Friday Political Potpourri. Maps & Double Standards Edition

Steve Ayscue

Drawing Maps

Redistricting is a once-a-decade opportunity for politicians to redraw NJs political boundaries and it’s right about the corner. It’ll follow this year’s Census. Redistricting is partisan bloodsport in NJ, a state where unaffiliated voters still have a plurality.

There’s nothing we can do to change the caustic red v. blue nature of the redistricting process at this point. But we can surely point out that 41% of registered NJ voters are neither Republican nor Democrat by choice.

According to official figures, there are 6,114,630 registered voters here in the Garden State. I love this table which sorts those figures by congressional district and by party.

Micah Rasmussen runs the Rebovich Institute for NJ Politics at Rider University.

“Soon after they officially cross the million (more Democrats than Republicans) mark, the next milestone will be when registered Democrats surpass the number of unaffiliated voters, which they are on path to do,” Mr. Rasmussen told InsiderNJ.

Presently, NJ’s voter rolls include 2,459,369 voters who are neither Democrat or Republican. That’s mostly unaffiliated voters plus another 74,162 smaller party devotees.

Issues aside, that’s still the largest bloc of voters in the state.

And yet, when those new maps are made, no one at the table will be thinking of the plurally of voters who are unaffiliated or aligned with smaller parties. That’s because redistricting will be dominated by rapid democrat and GOP partisans keen for politicians to choose their voters and not the other way around.

This isn’t about giving voters a competitive district. In fact, the whole process of the opposite of that: party first. Then principles.

Voters come last.

We don’t actually need a commission to create our new legislative boundaries. A computer could do this, probably in a matter of second. And the result would be vastly superior and infinitely fairer than the partisan process we’ve got now.

Double Standards

Veteran political operative Michael Muller is the NJ director for Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign. A longtime Norcross machine loyalist, Mr. Muller is among the most successful campaigners of his generation.

Mr. Bloomberg is the former mayor of New York City (2002-2013) and he wants the Democratic nomination to take on Donald Trump in November.

A recent convert to the Democratic Party, Bloomberg was also the architect of stop-and-frisk when he was mayor of New York City. A highly controversial police tactic, stop-and-frisk ensnared hundreds of thousand of (mostly) black and brown people into the criminal justice system every year.

I’m not here to drag Mike Bloomberg or even Mike Muller for jumping at the opportunity to work for a former Republican. But when the irony’s this thick, it’s worth a little reflection don’t you think?

Mr. Muller’s machine pals spend a lot of energy trying to undermine anyone not marching to their tune including Sue Altman, the anti-machine liberal disrupter. They call her a phony progressive for registering GOP over a dozen years ago.

Of the torrent of obnoxious tweets sent Ms. Altman’s way from Camden Machine Democrats, I pulled one example (see pic.)

Steve Ayscue

This particular tweet from Steve Ayscue, the Camden Democrats’ loyalty enforcer, questions Altman’s bona fides over a how she may have voted back in 2000.

It was bewilderingly ironic coming from Mr Ayscue, a man whose close ties to President Trump stretch back at least two decades.


In 2000, when Trump briefly toyed with running for president on the Reform Party ticket, one of (George) Norcross’s top political consultants — a friend of Trump ally Roger Stone — worked for him. Today, that consultant, Steve Ayscue, is the second-in-command for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in New Jersey.

Camden Democrats always bend over backwards to discredit anyone not kissing their ring. That’s a lot like projection considering their best and brightest are still working to send billionaire Republicans to the White House.

For them, it’s fine to work for Trump and hang out with his favorite pet felon Roger Stone like Mr. Ayscue does. Or in Mike Muller’s case, it’s perfectly acceptable to go work for Mayor Bloomberg, the billionaire ex-republican who invented stop-and-frisk.

Instead of a torrent of vindictive tweets questioning his credibility and accusing him of being a “fake Democrat,” Mr Muller was universally fêted on his way to lead Bloomberg’s NJ efforts.

The sendoff was especially warm from the South Jersey Democratic machine, who took time from their busy schedule deciding who’s a real progressive, to celebrate a big move by one of their own.

Jay Lassiter is a longtime NJ political watchdog and potpourri aficionado.   He spends a lot of time working to keep the government out of your bong. And your womb. 












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