PLAINSBORO, N.J. -- Doug Forrester won the New Jersey Republican primary for governor, beating his closest rival, Bret Schundler, by five percentage points in a light-turnout election. One issue dominated the campaign: Soaring property taxes.
Clips from my work.
New Jersey holds its primary for governor today. Democrat Jon Corzine faces no serious opposition. Among the seven Republicans, businessman Doug Forrester and former Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler are leading the pack. Recent Quinnipiac polls have Mr. Forrester widening and then losing much of his lead over Mr. Schundler. Mr. Forrester now leads by two points, down from 11 points less than a week ago.
The Netherlands votes today on the European Union constitution, and Dutch officials would be blind not to notice the trail of destruction left by Sunday's French rejection. The first casualty was the constitution itself, which in its current form is now dead. Number Two is French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who was sacrificed after the referendum's defeat. President Jacques Chirac's re-election run in 2007 is also in serious doubt.
All eyes now focus on the Dutch, who vote tomorrow after the French public's stinging rejection of the proposed European constitution on Sunday. It will be Holland's first referendum in 200 years and voters evidently plan to celebrate by staying home in large numbers, which would be unusual behavior for the civic-minded Dutch. According to polls, turnout could be as low as 30%, with opponents outnumbering supporters of the constitution by 3 to 2.
Shut up if you want to win. That seems to be the message French voters are sending Jacques Chirac. Monsieur President is campaigning hard to pass France's European Union constitution referendum, to be held May 29. Signs so far point to "non," which would mortally wound the constitution. Likely rejection by the Dutch a few days later would kill it outright.
The field of seven Republican candidates for New Jersey governor held their first televised debate Sunday. For the five playing catch-up to front-runners Doug Forrester and Bret Schundler, the debate was their first chance to prove their conservative bona fides to a state-wide audience. The primary is June 7.
Former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler has played a successful David to New Jersey's political machine Goliath for years. But there's one foe that always got the best of him: the teacher's union. Maybe that's why in his second run for the governorship, he's no longer talking up school choice, his signature issue for years. Instead, his current campaign for the GOP nomination is focused on ethics and property taxes, making him sound a lot like his Republican rival, Doug Forrester. Even the likely Democratic nominee, Jon Corzine, is promoting similar stances.
With New Jersey's gubernatorial primary about a month away, the leading Republican candidates are coming into view. Good thing for the front-runner that it's tough to quote the crickets in print.
Sen. Jon Corzine wants to party like it's ... 2007. That's the year his Senate term ends. Problem is, he's running for New Jersey governor now and needs to donate loads of money to state political causes to win friends and influence party bosses. He told the Federal Election Commission that because his future interest is state, not federal, office, he should be subject to the higher state fund-raising caps. No way, the FEC ruled. As a current federal office holder, Mr. Corzine is bound by federal political contribution limits. Hey, John McCain, you finally caught a "special interest."