Senate

Senator Frank Lautenberg Dies, Special Election Likely in November

Chris Christie expected to appoint a replacement

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on a bus
Talk Radio News Service/Foter.com

New Jersey's Senator Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the legislative body and its last World War 2 veteran, died today at 89. The Democrat was first elected to the Senate in 1982 after spending three decades as CEO of Automatic Data Processing. He retired from the Senate in 2000 (and was succeeded by Jon Corzine) but ran again for the other Senate seat in 2002 as a last-minute replacement for the scandal-ridden Robert Torricelli, becoming the junior senator until Jon Corzine left the Senate to assume the governorship of New Jersey in 2005. Lautenberg had been ill most of the year, and missed several votes before coming back to vote on gun control in April. The aggressive gun control advocate was last toying with the idea of requiring background checks for gunpowder.

Last year, Governor Chris Christie (who beat Corzine in 2009) called Lautenberg an "embarrassment to the state" for his questioning of a port authority official in a Senate hearing about toll increases. As a former port authority commissioner, Lautenberg didn't have to pay the tolls. Lautenberg finally decided not to run for re-election in 2014 in February, a month after Newark mayor Cory Booker filed to run in the Democratic primary.  Booker, a Democrat, was previously considered a potential challenger to Chris Christie later this year. Christie, a Republican, is now expected to appoint a replacement, who will have to run for the remainder of the term in a special election concurrent to the gubernatorial election this November. 

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  1. The man felt the only vote worth coming off sick leave to make was one to restrict my liberty.

  2. Chris Christie later this year. Christie, a Republican, is now expected to appoint a replacement, who will have to run for the remainder of the term in a special election concurrent to the gubernatorial election this November.

    Well, that assumes that the replacement wants to hold on to the seat. Sure, most people would, but not everybody.

    Also, this would have been a good opportunity for Christie were he not already running for re-election as governor. Not a fan, but just saying.

  3. As a former port authority commissioner, Lautenberg didn’t have to pay the tolls.

    What the fuck?

    1. It’s the world of Top Men and the priveleges they grant each other.

      1. The amount of outright, shameless sliminess in the mid-Atlantic is just revolting.

      2. Evidently I cannot spell “privilege” properly.

        1. The least of your many crimes against the language, I’m sure.

  4. New Jersey US Senators are either crooks or corpses.

    1. I’m glad or doesn’t logically preclude and, because those reanimated legislators are pretty crooked to me.

  5. So, if I’m not supposed to speak ill of the dead, I got nothing.

    But, hey, it’s H&R. Fuck Lautenberg. Here’s a guy who thought being accused of a crime was sufficient reason to strip you of your rights. In a decent democracy, he would have been ridden out of office on a rail for that bullshit.

    Also, he wrote the bill raising the drinking age to 21. So much for being an adult!

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    1. thus ends the lawless 2nd go round of the Laut.

      He was never eligible to run for this seat. He stepped in after Toricelli dropped out. He was allowed to stand for election despite not being on the ballot in time. Of course the NJ voters did what they were told by the dem machine and voted him in.

      His tombstone should read “Lawless”.

  6. New Jersey US Senators are either crooks or corpses.

    “One foot in the grave, and both hands in the till.”

  7. alav ha-shalom Senator Lautenberg, now on to the point of the matter

    Who might Governor Christie appoint?

    He is presumably having a relatively easy time of his reelection campaign. Does this allow him more flexibility in choosing who the seat might go to?

    In order to maintain his high favorability ratings (which is bolstered from Democratic voters) might be appoint a Democrat (the voters of New Jersey did elect a Democrat after all)

    A Republican placeholder who would only hold the seat until November? Perhaps Governor Kean or Whitman?

    Is there a Republican at all in the State of New Jersey that could keep the seat against a Cory Booker candidacy ?

    1. Appoint a democrat that will give Booker a tough primary campaign

  8. It’s rare for a week to get off to such a great start like this!

  9. That 2002 ballot switch still annoys me. AFAIK it was totally against state law, but hey, the need for a Democrat to not lose an election was more important.

    1. Yeah, completely crooked. I hate that shit. It’s more important to have somebody from the two major parties on the ballot than it is to follow the rules.

  10. Was old Frank at a wedding last night?

  11. Well this week is off to a good start.

    I don’t agree with the sentiment that we shouldn’t ever celebrate or otherwise be glad that someone is dead.

    Lautenberg was a scumbag through-and-through and his death may be a good thing for the nation as a whole.

  12. Last year, Governor Chris Christie (who beat Corzine in 2009) called Lautenberg an “embarrassment to the state”

    Pot, kettle.

  13. Hey if Jersey can elect Corzine maybe Tony Soprano for the seat??? Fogetta Bout it.

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