Some Political Musings on the Menendez Indictments

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop

The speculation on the political fallout from the indictment of New Jersey Democratic US Senator Bob Menendez is in full swing.  Let me add a few random thoughts.

1) Menendez is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  He will be represented at his trial by very competent counsel.  In the court of public opinion, however, he is finished.  Charges of political corruption and bribery of this nature are lethal and render him categorically unelectable.

The Biden White House, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, and the various key New Jersey Democratic leaders will bring all their powers to bear in pressuring Menendez not to run for reelection in 2024.  They are gravely concerned regarding the damage his presence on the ballot will cause others on the Democratic line, up ballot, and down ballot.

Democratic leaders will assist Menendez with his legal defense fund if he does not seek reelection.  They will allow him to serve the remainder of his term, expiring in January, 2025.  Menendez will eventually agree to bow out and concentrate on his legal defense.

2.  Look for Democratic Members of Congress Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer to make a deal.  Gottheimer will run for US Senate in 2024 and Sherrill will run for governor in 2025.  They will endorse each other’s campaign.

Gottheimer is right out of central casting for the Senate race, a virtual certain winner.  His leadership of the Problem Solvers Caucus has made him a good government, bipartisan hero in an era of intense bitter political polarization.

Gottheimer also has a Federal PAC with $30 million.  There is no Republican in New Jersey who can come close to him in terms of financial resources, intellectualism, issue incisiveness, and energy.  He will begin his Senate service in 2025, when he will be just shy of 50 years old.  If his health continues to be satisfactory, Gottheimer could serve at least until 2049.

Gottheimer’s endorsement of Sherrill is likely to win her the endorsement of the County Democratic Chairs of Passaic and Bergen County.  This will give her the widest and most powerful geographic political base of all the prospective statewide Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

This will also result in basically a two-person matchup for the 2025 Democratic gubernatorial nomination:  Mikie Sherrill v. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.  In Fulop’s view, Sherrill will be perceived as the candidate of the Democratic establishment, and Fulop will be viewed as the grassroots alternative.

3.  Actually, Sherrill versus Fulop was always the 2025 matchup Fulop desired and even thirsted for.

In Steve Fulop’s mind, his campaign has been one of direct appeal to Democratic Party constituents – progressives, labor, mayors, and ideological groups. The message is not to be filtered through county political bosses.

And the core of the Fulop message is his record as governmental executive service.  This contrasts well with the Sherrill record, which does not match his in terms of governmental executive experience.

Will the Fulop strategy work?  This is the key question of Campaign 2025.

One more question: Will Phil Murphy attempt to appoint himself to any US Senate vacancy?  That is the major immediate unknown, a topic which deserves a separate column, which I intend to author.

Alan J. Steinberg of Highland Park served as regional administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.




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One response to “Some Political Musings on the Menendez Indictments”

  1. Fulop can handily beat Sherrill because of his governmental executive service. However, who wants Fulop as Governor with his “progressive” Socialist-Communist ideals, narrative and plans??? We’ve had enough progressives, Socialists and Communists running (ruining) New Jersey into the ground for the past 25 years. New Jersey hasn’t gotten any better. In fact, it has gotten substantially worse:

    1. Highest property taxes in the nation (No. 1 this year) for the past 10 years.

    2. Went from 4th lowest to 4th highest in gasoline taxes in the past 10 years.

    3. Ranked Top. 3 in most regulations to stop small businesses or impede them. See plastic bag and plastic straw regulations which are more harmful to the environment and humans than before. (CASE IN POINT: Stitch plastic bags are not reusable profitably [need 131 uses for stitch bags to become profitable or environmentally friendly) or biodegradable like one-use plastic bags, and papers straws have toxic PFAS chemicals in them).

    4. Schools have deteriorated in the past 7 years thanks to the NJEA having the Governor in their pocket. High school graduates in inner city schools are unable to graduate with an 8th grade English and Math level when 12th grade is Senior graduation level. Schools have become an indoctrination center rather than a learning center for children, and are fighting parents over this Communist approach to “dumbing down” our society.

    5. Attempt at imposing wind turbine farms off the coast so the Governor and his Democrat-Socialist-Communists get a major financial windfall from the turbine company. All the while, the turbine tests are killing whales, dolphins, other sea life, etc. And, Germany and Sweden are taking down their sea wind turbine farms because they aren’t providing the energy they claimed they would. Putting in NJ wind turbine farms are anti-environmental. They’re killing untold numbers of ocean & coastal birds, killing sea life, deleteriously affecting commercial and recreational fishing, ruining lobster fishing, etc. It will also kill $5 BILLION in New Jersey shore tourism because the wind turbines can be seen out to the horizon off shore. Standing at 900 ft. tall, they will be an eyesore from the NJ beaches. And, no one has yet to determine how these wind turbines will be able to withstand a major Category 3 to 5 Hurricane or even another Superstorm Sandy.

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