Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, January 10, 2008:
Just a quick check-in here at the blog. I have been digging most of the day and came up sorely lacking in finds. I did field a cellphone call from Congressman Saxton’s office regarding his solid endorsement of fellow Republican Chris Meyers, Deputy Mayor of Medford.
As many of you know, the filling of Jim’s vacated Congressional seat will have a monstrous impact on LBI and all things associated with the Ocean County Shore vicinity, including fishing and beach replenishment. The Congressional district runs roughly from Mount Holly to here. One of the best views of the expansiveness of this district can be seen at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey's_3rd_congressional_district
The RFA has endorsed Cherry Hill Democrat and Harvard College/Law School graduate John Adler, based on Adler’s pro-angling efforts at the state level. Adler, from Cherry Hill (in a small section of Camden County in the NJ’s 3rd Congressional District), has been a state senator for 5 terms and was instrumental in getting the state’s anti-smoking legislation passed. He is very opposed to the war in Iraq.
RFA’s support for Adler is all fine and good but there is much that doesn’t bode well for a democrat making a power move in an often overwhelmingly republican district. I fear the anglers’ votes could fall to the not-a-prayer wayside. What’s more, many of Saxton’s enormous gains have been achieved from a republican angle in D.C. To have a frosh democratic step in and try to keep the ball rolling on things like beach replenishment, fishing issues, military base upgrading and such would be fully impossible, even if Adler talks the good outdoorsman talk.
Believe me this is not a condemnation of Adler, just a note that a candidate has to offer far more than a willingness to accommodate angling issues.
As for Chris Myers, all I know is he’s a Cornell graduate and a lifelong summer resident of LBI. He held a Navy command during Desert Storm – part of 6 years of service with the Navy. He is very familiar with coastal issues. He is only 43 years old.
(Youth is mandatory for a Congressperson since it takes a solid tens years just to gain the power and respect needed for important committee seats.)
The other major player is Republican Freeholder and former Eagleswood mayor Jack Kelly, 56, who will be getting a lot of airplay locally. His lifelong affiliation with Ocean County offers a great deal of insider knowledge of the needs of the Shore. I have talked with Jack and he asks that folks give him a listen in coming weeks as he offers his philosophy and insights into the district, gleaned from years as county freeholder.
It should be remembered that there is this abiding undercurrent of Republican in-fighting within the 3rd District. It centers on county affiliations, marked by Kelly representing the interests of Ocean County versus Myers favoring Burlington County. Even though the party has tried its hardest to hush this contention, it’s real. Somewhat oddly, Adler comes from a small section of Camden County that falls within the district.
Saxton did an amazing job of consolidating the district. I don’t see any of these candidates politically sharp enough to pull that off -- at first. In the long run, though?
If you are a voter in the 3rd District please (!) watch this race carefully. Do some serious researching. Remember, Congresspersons are in it for the long run, often holding a seat for many terms in succession. You have to pick very carefully from the get-go. This choice will surely affect LBI for possibly decades to come. Even if you’re not from this Congressional voting district, if you have ties to the Shore you’ll want to watch this race for Jim’s seat, even to the point of trying to persuade 3rd District voters on which way to vote. Yes, that's kosher.
Now and again, I will offer insights into the candidates. No, I won’t pollute this site with tons of politics, just enough to help in looking out for our fishing and outdoor interests.