by John Hawkins | September 30, 2002 9:24 pm
Losing By Taking The Low Road With Torricelli: The Democrats made their own bed with Robert Torricelli in New Jersey and now they’re going to have to lie in it. When Torricelli got busted taking bribes the Democrats should have drummed him right out of the race and picked a new candidate then. But New Jersey leans left and is famously tolerant of corrupt politicians so the Democrats whitewashed Torricelli’s ethics violations and hoped they could keep things under wraps until after the election. Rush Limbaugh’s theory (which I agree with) was that the Democrats were hoping that Torricelli would win the election. Then, sometime early next year, they’d claim that “new information” had come forth in the Toricelli bribery case. Because of that, they’d force “the Torch” to resign and they’d stick a new, less embarrassing candidate in his seat to serve out the remainder of his term.
But unfortunately for the Dems, Torricellis’ lack of ethics caught up to him before the election, not after. A poll I linked yesterday showed that Torricelli is now down 4 points (some polls had him down 13 points) to his opponent Doug Forrester after having been up 14 points.That prompted lefty pollster John Zogby to opine, “Torricelli looks like toast.” That’s huge because as Marshall Wittmann of the Hudson Institute said, “New Jersey is the key. This is an unexpected ‘gimme’ for the Republicans. If the GOP can win there, it is likely that Republicans will regain the Senate.”So today (undoubtably after a lot of behind the scenes arm twisting), Torricelli decided to pull out of the race so the Democrats could replace him with a new candidate.
However, there are three problems for the Democrats. One, they haven’t even decided on who their candidate is going to be. Two, with only 36 days left in the race it’s probably going to be an uphill battle for their new candidate to win although in a left-leaning state like New Jersey it wouldn’t be unthinkable for a new candidate to win. But third and most importantly, it’s ILLEGAL for the Democrats to change candidates at this point. According to Tim Russert, “New Jersey law says you must make a change 51 days before the election. We’re only 35 days away. They’re going to have to petition the court.” But just like in Florida after the 2000 election, Democrats are hoping that partisan judges will ignore the law in an attempt to help their party acquire power. Again, from Tim Russert,
“Ironically, the New Jersey Supreme Court used to have three Republicans, three Democrats, one independent until three weeks ago, when the Democratic governor appointed a longtime Democratic ally, now giving them four Democrats on that court. The governor is a Democrat, as is the attorney general. When a state controls that kind of election machinery, they sometimes get what they want done.”
Democrats willing to do anything, even subvert the law in the naked pursuit of power? No way, not the party of Al Gore. Despite the shenanigans that the Democrats have been pulling in the New Jersey race, they have an uphill road to travel that is entirely of their own making with the US Senate on the line. Let’s hope that they don’t make it….
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