Chris Collins Dilemma in Western NY is Deja Vu for NJ

Since election laws severely limit the ability to replace candidates close to Election Day, Western New York Republicans are searching for a way to replace three-term Congressman Chris Collins, who has suddenly dropped out of the 2018 campaign due to his indictment on insider trading charges.

Although the circumstances are not identical, the situation reminds me of the way New Jersey Democrats managed to add Frank Lautenberg to the ballot for U.S. Senate in 2002 after Sen. Robert Torricelli dropped out of the race on Sept. 30 amid formal Senate ethics charges that that threatened to derail his re-election chances.

New Jersey Republicans challenged the late addition, but the state Supreme Court rejected their argument. Lautenberg remained on the ballot and won the election by 10 percentage points.

Although Republicans were unsuccessful at the ballot box, they did produce a memorable campaign ad, cleverly poking fun at Lautenberg‘s late entry into the race.


Handel & Hendrix: A Musical Odd Couple Share a Museum in London

Handel & HendrixLONDON, UK – Classical composer Handel and rock icon Jimi Hendrix usually are not mentioned in the same sentence, but the two musical geniuses are linked together at a small museum in London. Continue reading

In England, a Familiar Source Provides Bona Students with a Lesson on the Beatles

lauta petersonOXFORD, UK — A visit to England provides a great way to learn about the Beatles, but for a group of American college students studying in Great Britain this summer, their best lesson about the Fab Four came from a familiar source – one of their professors from the states. Continue reading

A Dissenting Voice on Coverage of Politicians’ Families

I may be in the minority, but I generally disagree with the unspoken rule that politicians’ family members are off-limits to the press.

If politicians use warm and fuzzy images of family members to score points with voters, they can’t cry foul when the media subjects them to scrutiny – as is the case with today’s story about the legal troubles of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s son Joshua.

According to the story, the younger Murphy “actively campaigned for his father, appearing on his behalf on college campuses and in television commercials with his family.”

By virtue of his father’s office and his public role in the gubernatorial campaign, Joshua Murphy is a public figure, and his troubles with the law are legitimate news.


Understanding the Tough Times at The Buffalo News Can Lead to Brighter Future for the Newspaper

Given the fiscal state of the news industry, the changes underway at The Buffalo News are not unique. To offset revenue losses, newspapers across the nation have bid farewell to longtime reporters, eliminated once-popular sections and removed jobs that involved covering important beats, such as education, the environment and transportation.

What makes the situation at The Buffalo News different is timing. Continue reading–

Are Kelly Riddell and the media actually on the same page?

Both Democrats and Republicans have condemned White House staffer Kelly Riddell’s suggestion that Sen. John McCain’s opposition to a Trump nominee did not matter because McCain was dying.

Riddell’s comments were inappropriate and insensitive, but she may have really just verbalized a sentiment that extends beyond politics: When people grow old, their value to businesses and organizations diminishes, so there is little incentive or need to gain their support. Continue reading

How would ‘The Boss’ fare as a political candidate?

30689258_10216563108814814_7529971465467199488_nBruce Springsteen has sold millions of albums and performed to capacity crowds at stadiums that seat tens of thousands of fans.

But how would “The Boss” fare as a political candidate?

I will explore that question on Saturday in a presentation at Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town: An International Symposium. The four-day conference will begin Thursday and run through Sunday at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J. more

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