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June 17, 2019, 08:27:54 pm
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  What can be done to end the Jersey political machine?
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Author Topic: What can be done to end the Jersey political machine?  (Read 463 times)
bronz4141
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« on: May 23, 2019, 02:38:04 pm »

What can be done to end the New Jersey political machine, especially of the George Gilmore GOP machine in suburban Ocean, the South Jersey Democratic machine of George Norcross and Stephen Sweeney and the North Jersey machine of Joe DiVincenzo and Steve Abudabo?

https://www.njspotlight.com/stories/19/05/21/outsiders-take-on-dems-lampitt-and-greenwald-in-south-jerseys-district-6/

https://www.wnyc.org/story/emails-reveal-norcross-familys-pull-over-nj-tax-breaks/

https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/05/george-norcross-influence-how-companies-and-allies-of-the-democratic-powerbroker-got-11-billion-in-tax-breaks.html

https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2019/05/21/governors-feud-with-party-boss-rocks-new-jersey-politics-1021356

https://www.jta.org/2016/06/02/politics/at-25-hes-trying-to-take-down-a-new-jersey-political-machine-and-become-the-youngest-person-in-congress
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RoboWop
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2019, 04:53:17 pm »

We need to take the state and push it somewhere else.

Seriously. Incumbents are highly entrenched because it's basically impossible to get any media attention as a challenger in the Philadelphia or New York market (or sometimes both!). Nobody can raise the necessary funds for a State Senate or Assembly race, so they have to rely on party leaders and wave elections to move the needle even a centimeter.

As long as incumbents are completely titanium-safe like they are now, reforms to additionally weaken their standing (like removing the "county line" or using a fair redistricting scheme) are impossible.

TL;DR: It's not going to happen.
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CrabCake
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 07:02:09 am »

My serious answer would be proportional representation via STV, which was briefly experimented with in the Progressive Era, but seriously upset the machine Dems, who were horrified when Republicans, blacks and socialists started appearing in their turf.

I also think NJ - like many states - has far too many local executives and too small legislative bodies. If every elected local figure is just an at large plurality win, machinists can sweep every single race and crowd out opposition. Arguably it should also cut the number of municipalities to root out the numerous rotten boroughs, but I recognise that's basically impossible in most American states.
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LoneStarDem
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 03:38:08 pm »

The Machine will NEVER go down anytime soon. Period!
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LabourJersey
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 05:27:53 pm »

My serious answer would be proportional representation via STV, which was briefly experimented with in the Progressive Era, but seriously upset the machine Dems, who were horrified when Republicans, blacks and socialists started appearing in their turf.

I also think NJ - like many states - has far too many local executives and too small legislative bodies. If every elected local figure is just an at large plurality win, machinists can sweep every single race and crowd out opposition. Arguably it should also cut the number of municipalities to root out the numerous rotten boroughs, but I recognise that's basically impossible in most American states.

Definitely this. New Jersey has 566 municipalities, each with a council and mayor who are usually elected at-large. Plus all 21 counties have between 3 and 9 Freeholders (what we call county councilpeople). It's insane
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LoneStarDem
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 11:56:53 pm »

566 municipalities ?
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TML
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2019, 07:45:39 pm »

End private financing of elections, make them publicly financed instead.
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Pollster
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2019, 04:29:41 pm »

The Jersey Dem machine has survived as long as it has because of a lack of press coverage and attention - that is poised to change as Murphy is currently having a very public feud with Norcross. I would imagine Norcross' stock will go down as his connections to Donald Trump continue to be aired out, and as Murphy continues to position himself as a representative of progressives.

Genuinely, one solution that would be a major step towards fixing the state's political problems would be to give the state its own media markets (Newark-Jersey City, Princeton-Trenton, Camden-Atlantic City). The fact that such a densely populated state is situated within two massive, expensive, and high-profile media markets is a major hindrance to the state's politics.
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Anthony Davis is Awesome
olawakandi
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 03:11:39 pm »

Robert Torricelli, Corzine, Christie and even Booker(who isn't gonna be prez) are all part of the Jersey machine. Unlike Obama was touched by the Daley machine.  Some of the problems that is plaguing the Booker camp is that Democrats like Menendez have been part of the establishment and not resolving deep poverty issues. Same as in CA with Harris. Booker will remain as Senator, but Dems need fresh leadership out of Jersey to get rid of the machine, and Phil Murphy is starting to do it.
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hurricanehink
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2019, 08:43:17 am »

Move NJ elections to the presidential year or midterm. We have elections *every single year*, often more than once for municipalities. Given how NJ is basically ignored during presidential elections (thanks Bill Clinton for turning the state permanently blue in 92), I think moving our governor and State senate elections to presidential years, with assembly every 2 years. This would be the same as neighboring Delaware.

The move would focus more attention on the legislature, instead of getting voting fatigue. https://nj1015.com/njs-governors-race-cost-79-million-but-had-lowest-turnout-ever/ - the 2017 election had 37.5% turnout, the lowest turnout for a state governor race, beating out... 2013, when turnout was 39%. Compare that to 2018, when turnout was 53.7%, or 2016, when turnout was 68%.
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skbl17
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2019, 02:30:59 pm »

The Jersey Dem machine has survived as long as it has because of a lack of press coverage and attention - that is poised to change as Murphy is currently having a very public feud with Norcross. I would imagine Norcross' stock will go down as his connections to Donald Trump continue to be aired out, and as Murphy continues to position himself as a representative of progressives.

Genuinely, one solution that would be a major step towards fixing the state's political problems would be to give the state its own media markets (Newark-Jersey City, Princeton-Trenton, Camden-Atlantic City). The fact that such a densely populated state is situated within two massive, expensive, and high-profile media markets is a major hindrance to the state's politics.

That's not as easy as it seems. Designated market areas are set up by Nielsen and are based on viewership habits; they're not dictated by the FCC.

You'd have to create New Jersey affiliates of all the major networks (aside from PBS, which already has NJTV,) then convince Jerseyites to watch those stations instead of their New York and Philadelphia counterparts. That's extremely difficult considering the proximity of the New York and Philadelphia areas and New Jersey's small size, not to mention the difficulties of setting up a new station from scratch.

Also, the networks own their NYC and Philadelphia stations, so they won't award affiliations to upstart stations within their coverage areas. The last Big 4-affiliated station in New Jersey, WMGM in Atlantic City, lost its NBC affiliation in 2014, in part because Comcast (owners of NBC) wanted to protect their Philadelphia station, WCAU. A similar fate would befall any ABC/Fox/CBS/NBC affiliate in Newark, Trenton, or Atlantic City.
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