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New Jersey Senate race could make history in ‘David vs. Goliath’ style matchup

This ad was sponsored by the American Commitment Action Fund. Newark officials and residents have a dim opinion of Mayor Booker. The ad was created by Ben Howe [@BenHowe].

New Jersey senatorial candidate Steve Lonegan could make history in the state in more ways than one.

For starters, illustrating the astounding lock of a single party on the populace, New Jersey hasn’t elected a Republican for the U.S. Senate in 41 years. That lock stood despite recurring scandals and ethics controversies plaguing Democrats like former governor Jon Corzine and former senator Robert Torricelli. Another Dem senator was convicted on bribery and other charges as part of the ABSCAM operation in the 1980s.

The other way Lonegan might make history evokes the Biblical tale of David vs. Goliath.

Lonegan, as of July, had raised around $320,000.

Frame grab from Lonegan campaign video.Lonegan’s opponent, Democrat Cory Booker, mayor of the troubled, crime saddled city of Newark, had raised a whopping $9 million. Booker had a great deal of assistance from high profile celebrities who basically function as political groupies for Democrats across the land.

Despite that sharp difference in funds, Lonegan shaved a large gap between his opponent and himself to 12 points.

The state party in New Jersey is rightfully focused on the reelection of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. However, the Senate race is important in another way—nationally.

Should New Jersey elect a Republican for that seat, the breakdown by party would be Dems-52, GOP-46, and Independent-2. At present the heavy-handed management style Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) exerts in attempting leadership often results in skirting the Constitution to pass bills like the unpopular and costly Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act widely known as Obamacare.

Booker’s critics have said he would be a “rubber stamp” for the Obama agenda. Unfortunately that obsession with furthering the goals of the executive office, rather than goals that would benefit people back home is a problem at present and adding a Democrat would make that worse, not better. The Senate is not supposed to be a hand puppet for the executive branch of government.

Lonegan would also be a voice of fiscal restraint at a time when the U.S. is in critical need of common sense about how taxpayer funds are spent, considering the waste and corruption revealed time after time in recent years. For instance, even before Obamacare has been fully implemented, $67 million has gone missing from the fund IRS relied on to get the tax side of the bill up and running.

Special elections like the Oct. 16 race between Lonegan and Booker usually depend on turnout. If Republican, libertarian and conservative grassroots groups assist Lonegan, Booker’s whopping money pile might be neutralized.

It goes without saying that Lonegan could benefit from even small donations, considering the political machine he is up against.

Much rides on the New Jersey Senate race, and however it works out, one thing is certain. Lonegan has already performed a miracle, rising in the polls with a modest treasure chest compared to the glitzy piles of dough Booker has raised with help from his Hollywood fans.

Personally, I’d love to see Lonegan win this race. It would give me confidence that Americans are beginning to actually think for themselves and acting in their own best interests.

Find more about Lonegan on his Facebook page, or at his campaign site.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 30, 2013)

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