Kerry Challenges GOP Where it Lives

More news out of New Jersey, of the Kerry rallies for Jon Corzine on Saturday…

Kerry challenges GOP where it lives
Ex-presidential hopeful holds Morris rally
BY Rob Seman- Daily Record

MORRISTOWN — Former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., told a few hundred of Morris County’s outnumbered Democrats that their votes would take a larger role in the state and nation by electing Sen. Jon Corzine as New Jersey’s governor.

The roughly two-hour rally at Jimmy’s Haunt provided something of a temporary oasis for the Democratic faithful in Republican-rich Morris County, which Kerry lost to President Bush by a wide margin in 2004.

But Kerry told his decidedly outnumbered constituents — with a little humor — that their efforts in the presidential election were appreciated.

“You all did everything humanly possible,” Kerry said. “You did everything except move to Ohio.”

Kerry’s appearance in Morristown was part of a day’s worth of appearances across New Jersey, including stops in Paramus, Wayne, Edison and Lawrenceville. Corzine, who appeared at the other stops, did not attend the Morris County event because he had another engagement.

Working class

Kerry told the Morris County crowd that Corzine would better represent the needs and desires of working-class New Jersey than Republican Doug Forrester. He also said Corzine would put the state in a better position to counter what he referred to as failures by the Bush administration to address the needs of the working class.

“You have a chance to put a person with real vision in office in two months,” Kerry said.

Although they are in a Republican stronghold, Kerry told the members of his audience that their votes for Corzine would have a larger role in the state and in the nation.

“Don’t think about any poll,” Kerry said.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s ahead or behind. All that matters is what you do between now and November.”

Kerry criticized the Bush administration on several occasions during his speech, saying other Americans struggle economically while the wealthy have thrived. Kerry also expressed outrage over the response to Hurricane Katrina.

“I think we ought to put intelligent design into Iraq, into FEMA and into the policies of this country,” Kerry said.

A who’s who

The crowd that assembled at Jimmy’s Haunt included a who’s who of Morris County Democrats in or seeking office.

Among the county’s Democratic officials were Parsippany Mayor Mimi Letts, Mount Olive Mayor Richard De La Roche and Morristown council members Michelle Harris-King, Raline Smith-Reid and Tim Dougherty.

“I thought he was really able to speak to the crowd about the issues they really care about,” De La Roche said.

There also were several Democratic candidates at the event, including Thom Jackson and Janice Schindler, who are running for Assembly in the 25th District, as well as Morristown council candidate John Cryan.

Jackson and Schindler said Kerry’s presence meant that the state Democratic committee is supporting Democratic efforts in Morris County.

“They are taking us very seriously, as they should,” Schindler said.

Dana Wefer, who is running for a seat on Morris County’s all-GOP board of freeholders, spoke before Kerry, saying that local Democrats were beginning to make strides.

“Never again will Morris County Republicans feel that they can wait until Labor Day to start campaigning. Never again will they think they can shirk their democratic duty to debate,” Wefer said.

“Never again will they think that, just because they align themselves with the party in power, that they are guaranteed re-election.”

The numbers

According to the Morris County board of elections, as of Friday, there were 97,574 registered Republicans, 41,339 registered Democrats and 1,297 independents. Unaffiliated voters account for 155,176 of the county’s 295,464 voters.

Morris County was one of nine New Jersey counties that Kerry lost in 2004. Kerry received 90,476 votes while Bush received 126,761 votes, according to USA Today.

Yet Kerry’s presence emboldened many of the Democrats at Saturday’s event.

They included Chris Gargano of Morris Plains, who this year helped to resurrect the borough’s Democratic committee, which he said had been “dead” for years.

Gargano will attempt to put Democrats on the six-seat borough council and in the mayor’s office, all currently filled by Republicans.

“In order to initiate change on the national level, you have to start on the local level,” Gargano said.

The excitement, coupled with temperatures in the mid-80s, proved to be too much for Brenda Deming of Randolph. Deming arrived early and held her place about six feet from the podium to hear Kerry speak.

“I didn’t want to lose it to get shade and sit down,” Deming said on Saturday.

Became dehydrated

Deming, however, became dehydrated and fainted. She was taken to an ambulance and missed Kerry’s speech. She asked a paramedic to take a few pictures of the former presidential hopeful for her. Instead, he returned with Kerry himself.

“If I had felt better, it would have been the best moment of my life,” Deming said.

Though his peers erupted in applause and cheers throughout the speech, Kerry was reminded of the county’s Republican strength, as some people outside the patio area held up signs deriding both him and Corzine.

One of the signs read, “It’s the corruption, stupid: Stop Corzine,” while another asked, “Didn’t Kerry Lose?”

While the event was meant to promote Corzine’s gubernatorial run and recruit volunteers for the November election campaigns, many said Kerry was the reason they came.

“I don’t think we’ll get many chances to hear John Kerry speak in our lifetime,”said Doug Cloninger, 17, who came with classmates from Morristown High School.

“If he wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be here.”

Related Posts:
Kerry Bashes Bush at Corzine Rally
John Kerry Stumps for Corzine in NJ

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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10 Responses to Kerry Challenges GOP Where it Lives

  1. Keith says:

    The piece is incorrect on one fact. Senator Corzine only made it to the first of the three public stops by Senator Kerry.

    Senator Corzine was ONLY present at the Bergen County stop – the IBEW Local Headquarters in Paramus.

    The second of the the three stops was at William Paterson University and unattended by Senator Corzine. Senator Kerry was introduced at that site by Congressman Bill Pascrell..

  2. Keith says:

    The piece is incorrect on one fact. Senator Corzine only made it to the first of the three public stops by Senator Kerry.

    Senator Corzine was ONLY present at the Bergen County stop – the IBEW Local Headquarters in Paramus.

    The second of the the three stops was at William Paterson University and unattended by Senator Corzine. Senator Kerry was introduced at that site by Congressman Bill Pascrell..

    Leave it to The Record to blow their facts.

  3. jr says:

    If you will all pardon my frankness, Kerry is full of crap and cowardice as usual. He stated at one of these events that the performance of the current administration in handling Katrina “bordered on criminal negligence.” Bordered? If he had any balls whatsoever, he’d use the correct prosecutorial term: negligent homicide.

    The votes in Ohio remain uncounted. Kerry’s cowardly exit from the 2004 election before it was over left all American voters disenfranchised, not to mention fleeced out of millions of dollars in contributions. He has failed to challenge the legality of the Ohio presidential election despite reams of testimony, given under oath, that provide more than enough probable cause for a full and official investigation.

    I worked diligently to dislodge the Bush regime last year, and followed up by going to Ohio to work on the recount. I personally observed and reported numerous violations of Ohio statutes in the conduct of the recount. Kerry has only offered minimal arms-length support of this effort. I can understand the desire of the Bush regime to protect its position at all costs, including disenfranchising every voter in this country through fraud. What I cannot comprehend is why John Kerry would purposefully participate in this massive crime spree.

    I will say, though, that he has some brass to get up in front of the public, continue to solicit funds for various whine-fests, campaigns and petition drives. Nobody holds him accountable for his behavior, and they still stand outside in the heat and the cold and the rain to adore him. Kerry, as it turns out, is everything the Swift-boaters said he was in terms of his character and ability to lead. It makes me want to weep to say that, but the sooner we accept this and MOVE ON, the better off we will be.

    We have one year – 365 short days – to sweep this entire Congress out of office. We have one year to locate candidates with the ethics, character, courage, and ability to lead the American people to their long overdue day of reckoning. Stop slobbering over the very people who have sold us out in the most insidious manner imaginable. Demand accountability from ALL in power, not just the Republican Party. If you are not personally prepared to lead, then learn how to be a good follower. Or prepare to suffer a fate similar to those in the Gulf Coast. We are all drowning right now.

  4. kj says:

    jr, I applaud your activitism in Ohio. The first campaign I worked on was in 1968… I was a mere lass working for RFK. Haven’t stopped since then, and I’m pretty clear-eyed about who I support and why I support them.

    John Kerry is an honorable man. Those of us here on this blog have supported him over the years and continue to do so… so, if you think posting here in the negative is going to change anyone’s mind, you probably need a re-think. We’ve all done our research here. However, there are others on the internet who think as you do, and I’m sure a google search will put you in touch with them.

    Namecalling a candidate doesn’t work with me, although I understand, namecalling, for some, is currency on the internet(s).

  5. JR

    If you will pardon my frankness, you evidently don’t have a clue that you are talking about. Kerry is still involved in proving fraud in Ohio. I understand that SOME people would have preferred he stomp his feet and claim he won the election even with a 3 MILLION vote margin. But with out solid proof, he would have been no better than Bush in 2000.

    That’s it in a nutshell, he is an honorable man, who understands the letter of the law. Fraud is a very difficult thing to prove. So, now we have Kerry working his tail off in the Senate to do what he can to make a difference, while his legal team is working to prove fraud in Ohio using those “fleeced donations), and traveling around the country working to get Democrats elected in 2006.

    You’re free to move on, there’s Kerry supporters all across the internet who don’t spend their days handwringing on the internet and who don’t buy into Rovian memes. Those people will continue to support John Kerry because they know the truth.

  6. Keith,

    Thanks for pointing this out. We know the MSM doesn’t always get the stories straight.

  7. Ron Chusid says:

    Kerry certainly did not concede in Ohio early. He delayed conceding an additional day, even when it was clear he lost the vote, and despite considerable criticism in the mainstream media.

    Kerry waited until it was clear that there were not enough provisional and absentee balllots to mathematically change the result before conceding. He continued to have his lawyers investigating for possible fraud. If any fraud could be proven before the electoral votes were assigned, Kerry’s concession would have no legal meaning.

    The Ohio vote continued to be investigated well after the election and there has been absolutely no proof of any of the theories claiming that Kerry won. If there was fraud, it was so well hidden that it has still not been proven and there was no way to prove it before the electoral college votes were counted.

    There are always outstanding votes whenever a concession is given in any election. Waiting for every last vote to be counted would be desruptive to the electoral process and there is no point as long as it could be determined that there are not enough outstanding votes to change the result.

  8. Thanks you again Ron… our resident voice of reason.

  9. BlueWashington says:

    Wow jr!

    Are you some sort of repub mole? A Deaniac? Clueless?

    There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism, but REALLY! Did you have any faith in Kerry in the first place? It doesn’t sound like it. Bush didn’t win the election, Bush’s Brain won the election. Give credit where credit is due. Bush’s Brain threw slim (Swift Boater’s), scared the crap out of people (used 9/11 until he thought it was his name, then tried tying it to Iraq) and finally divided people with social issues (ie – anti gay marriage amendments to various state constitutions, Missouri and Ohio were key states that come to mind) and abortion.

    It was ingenious, bordering on diabolical. It’s like herding cats, but Bush’s Brain got enough of them in the right direction to win.

    Is Bush an idiot – yes. But watch his Brain, that’s where the action lies (pun intended). Get past your indignation and watch how the GOPers operate. LEARN!

    Give Kerry credit, he made some mistakes in the election, but he’s LEARNING!

    Another thought, blame Kerry all you want – what happened in Congress?! If Kerry wasn’t the ‘Real Deal’ what about all those Dems running for seats in Congress? Did they blow, too? I don’t think so. Bush’s Brain had a stratagy of scaring the electorate; BTW who should up in the nick of time to top it off? OSAMA BIN LADIN!!! They couldn’t have planned it better!

    No. OBL was not in cahoots – but he’s no one’s dummy either. He didn’t want Kerry in the WH. Kerry would wreck his operations. The ‘crusade’ would end. OBL plays Bush like a fiddle – but alas, I’m wondering off topic.

  10. Indie Liberal says:

    I smell somebody scurred. Hee, hee! 🙂