Kim Teams up with Altman

BRIDGEWATER – Andy Kim is still riding high, secure in the knowledge that he already has accomplished something pretty startling in New Jersey politics.

He now only beat the establishment’s choice for U.S. Senate – First Lady Tammy Murphy – he challenged “the line” in court and won.

So, what happens now?

Well, there are elections to get through.

Kim has opposition in next week’s Democratic primary, but his victory is just about assured. He also must be considered the favorite in the fall against one of two Republicans – Christine Serrano Glassner or Curtis Bashaw.

But beyond that, Kim offered this assessment of his recent triumph and the future.

“I think there is power in the reform agenda.”

Kim was the featured speaker along with CD-7 candidate Sue Altman at a Tuesday afternoon forum in the local library about the “influence of money in politics.”

Altman is the Democratic candidate challenging incumbent Republican Thomas H. Kean. The district leans Republican, but is still considered the most competitive in the state.

Also on hand was Tiffany Muller, the president of End Citizens United/ Let America Vote. As the name suggests, the group’s goal is to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that cleared the way for unregulated campaign expenditures on behalf of candidates.

Overturning that decision given the court’s current makeup would not be easy.

That’s why Kim and others on the Democratic left have been so enthused by their recent success. The conversation centered on how to keep the momentum going.

Kim acknowledged that “big money” in politics combined with what he said are attempts to curtail voters’ rights are still a major problem. He said the current system is just grand for corporations and in a swipe at Elon Musk, for “billionaires” who build rocket ships.

As Muller noted, the people retain the power to change things, which is very much what happened in New Jersey. Kim’s Senate campaign took off and so-called grassroots support allowed him to win endorsements from many county committees throughout the state. Facing that, Murphy exited the race.

Duplicating that is not easy.

Apathy is one problem.

There were about a dozen people seated around a conference table and many admitted getting average people interested in the nuts and bolts of politics is not easy.

One speaker referred to a study that said only 13 percent of 18-year-olds are registered to vote. That’s a problem, because theoretically, at least. one would expect young people to embrace the anti-establishment message Kim and others are talking about.

Kim described it as realizing you do not need to “get permission” from party bosses to run.

Altman described the problem, or was it a challenge.

She said that after holding a number of events with college students, she realized why they are apathetic, cynical, or a combination of both.

“In their entire lifetime, they have never witnessed the federal government ever working properly,” Altman said.

 

 

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