Officials in Hudson County tried to cheat progressive Democrat Lisa McCormick by awarding Senator Bob Menendez a better position on the ballot without following procedures outlined in a law that required the county clerk to hold a random drawing.
Progressive Lisa McCormick, who supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and came close to winning the 2010 Democratic primary as part of a reform movement in Union County, says she caught the Menendez camp cheating after her rights were violated.
According to McCormick, Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado refused to hold the drawing to select ballot position for candidates, so her lawyers will go to court Monday to find out why the Democratic woman was denied her right to equal treatment.
She also raised the prospect that the slight could result in criminal charges.
“The Hudson County Clerk broke the law by refusing to hold a random drawing because he thought he could get away with cheating to help his friend, US Senator Bob Menendez,” said McCormick. “Senator Menendez is not going to get away with cheating and his friend, Hudson County Clerk Junior Maldonado, should be looking at official misconduct charges.”
McCormick said the law, NJSA 19:23-24, is “crystal clear” about requiring clerks to conduct a random drawing to determine ballot position for primary candidates.
“A government official failing to do his job in order to benefit a friend defines the second degree crime of official misconduct,” said McCormick. “This nonsense explains why I am running. Stunts like this suggest a lot of elected officials should be fired.”
Aaron Fraser, a Democratic congressional candidate challenging Donald Payne Jr., confirmed that he was at the Hudson County Clerk’s office at 3 p.m. on Friday, when the drawing should have been conducted. An aide to Maldonado also confirmed that no drawing was held at the office.
McCormick says she is not surprised that Menendez would try to cheat her, despite his $7 million fundraising advantage, superior name recognition and broad support among party bosses and power brokers.
“Senator Menendez has a habit of sleazy behavior, such as cheating, stealing and taking advantage of his high office for personal gain,” said McCormick. “His disregard for human life and the harm that has befalled working families during his 25 years in Congress are manifestly evident.”
“If New Jersey voters want to restore any vestige of integrity that government might hold in the era of Donald Trump, they cannot return to the US Senate someone who is unfit for public office,” said McCormick.
“We can do better, but it is up to voters to select the next US Senator, so I understand I might get a shellacking,” said McCormick, adding: “if citizens do their job and make democracy work in New Jersey, then they need an alternative to vote for, so I volunteered and put my name on the ballot.”
“While it is slow going, I have gotten a great reception from people eager to pick someone other than the incumbent,” said McCormick. “I support Medicare for All, expanded Social Security, tuition-free college and higher taxes on corporations because middle class Americans are being slaughtered by the wealthy.”
“Once, Americans could complete a course of free public education that prepared one to get a 40-hour per week job that paid enough to have a really good life and retire at 60,” said McCormick “That is gone now, as people struggle to make ends meet with two or three jobs, and that is what Bob Menendez did in Congress for 25 years.”
“It has been documented by journalists and the FBI that Menendez has been serving himself, as he tried to stop a federal investigation after accepting lavish gifts from a wealthy campaign donor,” said McCormick. “Meanwhile people working 60 hours cannot put food on the table and pay rent, half our nation is one paycheck away from disaster and millions still lack health care as a result of his 25 years in Congress.”
Menendez is severely weakened after surviving a two-and-a-half-month bribery and corruption trial, stemming from an indictment handed down during the Obama administration.
He received a low 28 percent approval rating among registered voters, while 35 percent had a negative view and 37 percent expressed no opinion of him after the longtime lawmaker in a poll was compared as a Democrat to a Republican.
Most voters (76%) are aware that Menendez was recently on trial for bribery and misuse of office, which ultimately ended in a mistrial. Just over half (51%) say this situation makes them less likely to vote for Menendez while 42% say it has no impact on their vote. The poll showed 38 percent of Democrats said they were less likely to vote for the senator.
Jonathan Tannen, Ph.D., a Director at Econsult Solutions, Inc (ESI), conducted a study that concluded ballot position effects votes a lot.
McCormick is only Democrat challenging Menendez, whose advantages in fundraising, name recognition and establishment support.
McCormick said that stupid mistakes by Menendez could elevate the profile of the contest and ignite a firestorm that illuminates the incumbent’s glaring vulnerabilities.
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