As first reported here, Democrats ( Let me say the word again – Democrats ) believe they had the support of four Republicans in the state Senate to vote in favor of the gay marriage bill.
Enter Steve Lonegan. the former Gubernatorial candidate has a list of 75,000 supporters in New Jersey. People on that list were contacted and urged to let the four undecided Republicans know that they should vote “no” on gay marriage.
And they heard, alright. Hundreds of calls and emails have been pouring into those legislative district offices of the four. One staffer described it to me this way, “we got killed.”
There have also been robo-calls to voters in those four districts, and starting next week there will likely be radio ads.
Kip Bateman who had been on the fence is now leaning toward “no.” Jen Beck issued a statement today ( which sounded like it was equipped with daggers aimed a certain unnamed blogger, ahem ) saying that she is still undecided. And we haven’t heard from Sean Kean or Bill Baroni.
And here is something else we are going to be hearing about soon. It’s a new group called the Conservative Republican Leadership Committee. They call themselves a “good government group.” It was formed after the election in response to Republicans only picking up one seat in the Assembly. The head of this new organization is Ginny Littel who told me today that it’s not really about the gay marriage issue per se. They just believe that gay marriage should not bee ram-rodded through during lame duck and that there should be a “full airing.”
I am also told that people close to Chris Christie have been trying to tamp down the flames. They have been discouraging the gay marriage opponents from “aggressively lobbying” the Republican four.
Let’s say this for now. The gay marriage bill is not on the agenda for next week’s first meeting of the Senate Judiciary committee during lame duck.