October 1, 2002
SHUFFLING DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC:Democrats Seek Torricelli Replacement After Pallone Declines (THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 1, 2002)
Democratic leaders scrambling to replace Senator Robert G. Torricelli on the Nov. 5 ballot asked Representative Frank E. Pallone today to be that stand-in, but Mr. Pallone declined, according to a party official involved in the negotiations.
The official, who asked not be identified by name or affiliation, said Mr. Pallone, a seven-term member of the House of Representatives, was offered the slot during a meeting this afternoon with Gov. James E. McGreevey. But after briefly mulling it over, Mr. Pallone, who is seeking re-election to the House, could not overcome concerns about whether he would have enough money to successfully fend off the Republican candidate - Douglas Forrester, a millionaire businessman who has financed much of his campaign - and whether the party could find a replacement to protect his House seat for the party.
Earlier in the day, one of the Democrats' leading choices to fill the Torricelli slot, Representative Robert Menendez, removed himself from consideration, saying he wanted to remain in the House to fight to regain a Democratic majority. And former Senator Bill Bradley, another potential stand-in who was favored by Democratic leaders in Washington, reportedly rejected the idea, too.
A senior party official said leaders were now trying to pave the way for former Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, who retired in 2000 after serving three terms, to step in. But Democratic leaders said Mr. Torricelli was adamantly opposed to the party's turning to Mr. Lautenberg, with whom he frequently clashed when they were in the Senate together.
Mind you, this the same Democratic Party that is going to stand up in court tomorrow and insist that the state will be done a great injustice if some person, they have no idea whom, isn't placed on the ballot illegally.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 1, 2002 8:49 PM