The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Plainfield, New Jersey and America the morning after


Why this image with an election story? Read on.
Plainfielders turned out in droves yesterday to elect Rebecca Williams and re-elect Bill Reid to City Council, and to push Linda Carter over the top, making her the top vote-getter among the three Freeholde candidates, despite being a newbie.

And Plainfield's (unofficial) 7,717 votes for Congressman Frank Pallone did their part in cementing his -- narrow -- victory over Tea Party challenger Anna Little.

By the numbers tracked at the New Dem headquarters on East 7th Street, Plainfield came through with a 39% registered voter turnout -- which will probably top 40% once the absentee ballots are counted in the next few days.

The race for the Wards 2/3 at-large seat are an indicator of the strength of the 2010 turnout: Williams polled 4,426 as contrasted to Councilor Burney's tally of 3,719 in 2006 -- a 19% increase in voter turnout.

So Plainfield had plenty to be proud of last night locally.

NEW JERSEY
 

Democrats kept three of four key Congressional seats (Pallone, Holt and Pascrell), with only freshman John Adler losing to former football pro Jon Runyan in South Jersey.

And Linda Greenstein won a special election for a state Senate seat in Mercer County, in part due to the efforts of Plainfield's own Christian Estevez, who was on assignment to that campaign.

Democrats will continue their hold on the Legislature, but without a veto-proof majority in the Senate (it will be 24 Dems - 16 Republicans).

NATIONAL

While the GOP made enormous strides in House seats nationally (see links to national coverage and interactive maps at end of post), the Senate remains in Democratic hands, though weakened.

Beginning today, reality will set in. That throbbing feeling in the heads of victors this morning -- whether Dem, GOP or Tea Party -- is not just from the overindulgence in the moment last night, it comes from the realization that all of the problems facing their defeated incumbents yesterday ARE NOW THEIRS.

Voters nationwide are upset at the state of the economy and the rate of joblessness. Though President Obama labored mightily, their is a widespread feeling that he had a tin ear to the question of jobs -- which I think is the straw that broke the back of many folks who supported Obama in 2008 and pulled the plug on Tuesday.

Tea Party victors now face a terrible choice: either maintain their independent streak and be utterly ignored in Congress or be co-opted by the GOP and become the big-spending Beltway insiders they inveighed against during the campaign.

The independents who voted GOP because they are upset over the economy and joblessness will give the new crew a chance, and if things don't improve will change their vote again in 2012.

Will President Obama learn the value of having political enemies in the driver's seat? Only time will tell.

UPCOMING CHALLENGES

One of the biggest challenges facing Plainfield in the electoral scheme of things is the REDISTRICTING that will take place once the Census figures are verified early in 2011.

Lines will have to be redrawn from the bottom to the top, beginning with Plainfield's ward and district boundaries.

After the 2000 census, both Ward 2 and Ward 3 were enlarged by the several blocks -- a result of POPULATION GROWTH in Ward 1 and Ward 4. Will that trend continue?

Voting districts are also redrawn where necessary to account for shifting turnout patterns. (Districts are determined by the numbers of voters who turn out on average, with a threshold that mandates reducing the number of districts in a ward and redrawing the lines when it is not met.

Plainfield will also be facing the question of LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT REDISTRICTING. Will the 22nd Legislative District remain the same? Or will there be a rejiggering of the lines?

As for Congressional districts, these must also be redrawn if, as expected the Census results will cause the loss of a Congressional seat.

In both the Legislative and Congressional redistrictings, having a Republican governor in office will have an effect -- even though New Jersey's system calls for an 'independent' tie-breaker to be appointed to the redistricting commission.

And Plainfield and the state Democratic party will be worried about whether Plainfield will be put into a more (or mostly) Republican district, depriving Plainfield of the clout it brings to the electoral table.

One thing the future will not be is DULL.


PS -- the Red Stripe Beer illustration accompanying this post is a nod to the fact that I lost an election wager with New Dem chairperson Adrian Mapp, and I will be presenting him with some of Jamaica's famed Red Stripe beer. Prosit!




-- Dan Damon [follow]

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Tea Party victors now face a terrible choice: either maintain their independent streak and be utterly ignored in Congress or be co-opted by the GOP and become the big-spending Beltway insiders they inveighed against during the campaign."

OR

GOP will have to fall in line with the tea party's vision of smaller government and less spending or face the wrath of the tea party against next election.

Another question: How will Linda Carter be treated by the freeholders. The same way Mapp and Van Blake were?

Anonymous said...

I think that the county will have to tread lightly in trying to beat up Plainfield. If anything, we better begin to see more positive projects coming this way. As for the New Dems, congratulations to them while I am not one of them, I have been impressed with their consistency and pride in Plainfield. Keep up the good work!!! As for Jerry, its time for him to go. My family which numbers about 30 can’t wait to the next election to vote against him. Who is running against him?

Yep I Said It!!! said...

Linda Carter will be just fine! Especially after the old machine has broken down and taken away.

Congratulations Linda!!!

Blackdog said...

What is truly sad is that there are still people in the Congress and Senate who do not belong there . . . they are in the way of fresh ideas and progress!
Two terms is not only good enough for the President, but that limit should apply to all other politicians too!
If they want to stay in the political arena all they have to do is run for a different office!
Give someone else a chance to serve their country . . . don't die in office!

Anonymous said...

And my Taxes will go down by how much ??

Anonymous said...

Blackdog, Plainfield voers had a lot to do with putting Pallone back in office, who has served for 20 years. Green and that mess of a Mayor allowed him an office in City Hall. Why? Because he has a D after his name. I cannot feel sorry for you Plainfielders. It is obvious that you allow yourselves to be used and abused by democrats. And Mapp encourages this bad behavior.

Anonymous said...

what was the tally on the question of the use of employment contributions?