Following election after election of embarrassment, running non-entities (with the possible exception of when David Kurkowski ran for Congress) against our entrenched Congressman Frank LoBiondo, 2nd District Democrats have united behind Ventnor resident Cassandra Shober as their candidate for the 2012 election.
As the executive director of the Coalition for Peace and Justice, which is a non-partisan, grassroots peace and justice organization, and which does not endorse candidates, I, too, do not endorse candidates for office in this column, even when a member of Coalition for Peace and Justice is running. However, I do endorse competitive elections in which the critical issues of the day are debated and discussed, giving the voters a clear choice in November.
The Democratic Party in the 2nd Congressional District had abrogated that responsibility, giving Congressman LoBiondo a free ride back to
Here are some of my thoughts (free advice) on how Ms. Shober could put a scare into Congressman LoBiondo and his supporters:
(1.) The "coat tail effect" of President Obama and Sen. Menendez in a state where both are very popular, could result in higher turnout in areas that are traditionally the Democratic base. Thus, focusing her campaign on
(2.) Raising money: Shober should declare that she will only accept donations of $100 or less and challenge Congressman LoBiondo to do the same.
(3.) Focusing on women voters: The Democrats should attempt to tie Congressman LoBiondo to the national Republican "war on women." Since Mitt Romney is losing in the polling on this issue, it can't hurt to try.
(4.) There are basically about 25 weeks left in the campaign already. Challenge LoBiondo to debate in every county of the 2nd Congressional District over the course of the campaign. Don't let Frank hide behind his incumbency, where he speaks to selected groups like the Chamber of Commerce.
(5.) New constituencies: The demographics of
(6.) Mitt Romney: This could be 1964 all over again. If he is as bad a candidate as he has been so far, look out.
There's more, of course. If she is serious, Shober needs a staff that can do policy research, a social media/website coordinator and a campaign manager (a candidate is her own worst campaign manager). She needs Menendez and Obama or his surrogate to get down here and appear with her in a series of high-powered campaign events. The Democratic base, which has resigned itself to losing, has to get enthusiastic over Shober and the chance to make a real contest this time.
Congressman LoBiondo, as I've stated before, is a good Congressman when it comes to retail politics, to "bringing home the pork," like new fire engines that would somehow help our homeland security on Route 49. But if the Republican Congress is one of the main problems why so much of President Obama's programs were stalled, if the Republican "Do Nothings" are the problem, then Congressman LoBiondo is part of that problem. And the only answer to change Congress's behavior is to change who is sitting in those seats supposedly working for us.
At the very least, voters in southern
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