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NJ 2011 Legislative Redistricting Plan (Tea Party)

NJ 2011 Legislative Redistricting Plan (Tea Party)

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Published by Terry Hurlbut
New Jersey's Tea Party groups put together their own redistricting plan, rather than waiting for one party or the other to come up with a proper plan.
New Jersey's Tea Party groups put together their own redistricting plan, rather than waiting for one party or the other to come up with a proper plan.

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Published by: Terry Hurlbut on Jan 14, 2011
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Essex County Tea Party Coalition
Individual Liberty. Limited Government. Lower Taxes.
By Daniel Beckelman, Chair,Essex County Tea Party Coalition Redistricting CommitteeDecember, 2010Copyright 2010 by Daniel BeckelmanCopyright Number:
 Introduction: The current legislative map overstates Democratic and left-of-center
representation in Northern New Jersey’s urban core including and surrounding thestate’s four largest cities: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson and Elizabeth. Under the
current map, Republicans only hold 3 out of 17 northeastern-based Senate seats and 6out of 30 Assembly seats. Put in perspective, the remaining 24 Senate seats from thecentral, southern, and western parts of the state favor the Republican Party with 13Senators to 10. and 27 Assembly members to 23. Clearly the northern core has to been
drawn to cement Democratic majorities as the state’s population has moved South and
West into strong Republican and conservative areas such as Morris and Ocean County.The reason I decided to concentrate on this area is a) I have resided or worked in everycounty area I covered and b) it is the area that is causing the legislature to tilt toward theDemocratic Party. Republicans should have no problem redistricting growingNorthwestern New Jersey or the Shore.
The Democrats’ 2001 plan “unpacked” areas with high concentrations of racial
minority voters that have unflinchingly favored their parties candidates and melded themwith towns such as Belleville, Scotch Plains, Totowa and Clifton where Republicans areeither dominant or in a very competitive position. Instead of true elections, contests inthe gerrymandered 22nd, 28th, and 34th Districts became coronations for Democrats.Interestingly in the 28th and 34th, two Caucasian Democratic warhorses were electedlate in the cycle to represent the white bases in the northern parts of their districts, butthe new representatives voted more like inner-city legislators than suburban voterswhile diluting minority representation. In reality, the election of Tom Giblin and RalphCaputo was simply to appease an ongoing culture and factional war within the EssexCounty Democratic Party.The policy failures of a decade of left-of-center Democratic rule are clear andobvious. Huge tax increases, too many concessions to public workers, and economicstagnation. Even with Governor Christie, the hyper-partisan Democratic vote in bothhouses of the legislature necessitated more pain fall on GOP strongholds than
Democratic bastions in order to balance the state’s awful budget scenario.
The Republican Party should have more strongly contested certain districtswhere they were electable under this map, primarily the 36th and 38th where whiteethnics dominate the voter rolls in a time when Republicans often win their votes.However, the placement of swing and Republican towns in districts where they weredwarfed by ironclad Democratic cities has hurt both the Republican Party and the stateas a whole.As Tea Party members, we back fiscally conservative, pro-growth candidates.Certainly most of the time we back Republicans, but it would also be nice if Democratsdo win that they face competitive general and primary races in districts where the socialwelfare left does not hold power. Ralph Caputo could lose every vote in his hometownof Belleville and neighboring Bloomfield over his left-of-center voting record and still winon the basis of a vote in Newark and Irvington where the GOP is a non-factor in thecurrent 28th District. It would be nice to see some Democratic legislators have to moveto the center, particularly on economic and tax issues. In turn, Republicans would beforced to be more consistently conservative. This in turn will mean pro-business, anti-tax and anti-welfare policies which will truly end the lag in our state.The new districts are designe
d to reflect North Jersey’s true political character.
The strong minority Democratic strongholds remain in the new 27th, 29th, 30th, 31stand 35th districts, while the 33rd and 37th will almost certainly remain Democratic. The32nd and 36th Districts will most likely go to Democrats but possibly of a moreconservative variety and also open the door to an anomalous Republican in a strongyear. The 38th District is a true toss-up, grouping working-and-middle class areas inBergen, Hudson and Essex County full of right-of center Democrats that often end upon the right side of the ballot. The 21st, 28th, 34th, 39th and 40th will lean stronglytowards the GOP and provide a true northeastern New Jersey caucus to the Party.Thus New Jerseyans may finally get a legislature that reflects the political character ofthe state.All the following districts comply with the requirements of being within 10% of the 2009Estimates for the US Census as well as being contiguous communities:District 40 (Franklin Lakes, Mahwah, Oakland, Midland Park, Ridgewood, Wyckoff,Allendale, Glen Rock, Ramsey, Saddle River, Fair Lawn, Paramus, Saddle Brook,Oradell, Rochelle Park): (Incumbents, Senator Bob Gordon D-Paramus,Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, D-Paramus Assemblyman David Russo, R-Ridgewood) Population: 217,886 RATING: LIKELY GOP Chris Christie took almost57% of the two-party vote here, as only Fair Lawn supported Jon Corzine by anunimpressive margin. Senator Gordon and Assemblywoman Wagner have been hyper-partisan and no longer have a Democratic machine or a district to support them.Democrats only hope here would be to nominate more conservative Democrat (andformerly Republican) Fair Lawn Mayor Joseph Tedeschi as their candidate to replaceGordon. Most likely, a team of Freeholder Robert Hermansen of Mahwah, MauraDeNicola of Franklin Lakes, or John Driscoll of Paramus, with Fair Lawn CouncilwomanJeanne Baratta, and a Ramsey or Paramus candidate could obliterate the Democrats.David Russo is a longtime GOP incumbent,.
District 39: (Alpine, Closter, Creskill, Demarest, Dumont, Englewood Cliffs, HarringtonPark, Haworth, Hillsdale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Montvale, Northvale, Norwood, Park Ridge, NewMilford, River Edge, River Vale, Tenafly, Old Tappan, Washington Twp, Westwood,Woodcliff Lake, Bergenfield, Waldwick, Emerson, Rockleigh): (Incumbents, SenatorGerald Cardinale, R-Demarest Assemblymembers Robert Schroeder and CharlotteVandervalk, R-Washington and Westwood). Population: 223,717 RATING: LIKELYGOPThe 39th has been, since the 19
80’s, a reliably GOP district encompassing some of Bergen County’s affluent Republican suburbs as well as a few swing towns nearer to
Route 4. Senator Cardinale has been in office for nearly 30 years, and AssemblywomanVandervalk is also long serving. Rising star Robert Schroeder fills the third seat. Toaccomodate a new Republican 40th, the district moves further south to absorbmarginally Democratic Bergenfield, more Democratic but small Tenafly, and GOP-leaning Englewood Cliffs. This also allows the 37th to take left-
leaning “CondoCommunities” in SE Bergen. The district still remains a 54% Christie district, and in the
current state of affairs Democrats would not waste their money here. A deep GOPbench of council-people and freeholders will sustain the district if Cardinale andVandervalk retire.District 38: (BERGEN COUNTY: Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Rutherford, North Arlington,Lyndhurst, Wood-Ridge, Hasbrouck Hts, Moonachie, South Hackensack ESSEXCOUNTY: Belleville, Bloomfield, Nutley. HUDSON COUNTY: Kearny) (IncumbentLegislators Senator Paul Sarlo, D-Woodridge, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Belleville) Population: 230,729 RATING: TOSS-UPThis district would feature a majority of Reagan Democrat constituents who mightregister as Democrats on the books but easily vote Republican. Jon Corzine got 51% ofthe two-party vote here but the margin of victory would have been reversed with better
targeting. Democrats Sarlo and Caputo would be forced to move right here, Caputo’s
record on the racetrack is strong, but any Trenton Democrat who served in the Corzine
era is ripe for attack. Christie’s recent stay of execution for the East Rutherford
racetrack scuttles a possible Democratic campaign issue. Democrats could add NorthArlington Mayor Peter Massa, Bergen Freeholder Bernadette McPherson or KearnyMayor Alberto Santos to their ticket. Right now there is sheer gridlock in trying toreplace departed popular Democratic Assemblyman Fred Scalera of Nutley. TheRepublican Senate candidate would likely be former Assembly leader Paul DiGaetano,but another Nutley or Bergen official could take that spot. There would be good choicesfor Assembly from all three counties.DISTRICT 37 (BERGEN COUNTY: Teaneck, Hackensack, Englewood, Bogota,Cliffside Park, Fort Lee, Leonia, Maywood, Palisades Park, Ridgefield Park)(Incumbents Senator Loretta Weinberg D-Teaneck, Assemblymembers GordonJohnson D-Englewood, Valerie Vanieri Huttle D-Englewood and Joan Voss D-Fort Lee)Population: 227,719 RATING: SAFE DEMOCRATIC

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