Thomas Kean Jr. on Government Reform

Republican challenger


No in-person early voting

Excerpts from legislation: S 536 Requires availability of early voting. This bill establishes an in-person early voting procedure to allow voters to cast their votes starting on the 15th day before the general election. A voter who participates in early voting would not be permitted to vote by mail-in ballot or in person on election day.

Excerpts from veto message:New Jersey voters have been able to vote early in person in every election since 2009, via "Vote by Mail." I support responsible and cost-efficient election reform that increases voter participation because democracy works best when the most people vote. But this bill risks the integrity and orderly administration of our elections by introducing a new voting method and process, and would cost $25 million.

Legislative outcome:Kean voted NAY; Bill S.536 passed Senate 21-15-3; House equivalent S.2364 passed House 46-31-3; vetoed by Gov. Christie; veto sustained.

Source: New Jersey legislative voting records: S 536 , Dec 1, 2014

Keep the Senate filibuster rules, to encourage negotiation

Q: Do you think there should be a change in the Senate rules governing the filibuster?

KEAN: No. Negotiation and compromise under the current rules are the best means to success and promotes bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges.

MENENDEZ: Under Bush, Washington has become too partisan and divided. Senate rules are meant to overcome that by encouraging debate and compromise. They should be preserved.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate , Sep 24, 2006

Disallow dual-office holding for politicians

Q: Should public officials in New Jersey be allowed to hold more than one public office?

KEAN: I sponsored legislation to prohibit dual-office holding. It undermines the integrity and honesty of government. Regrettably, Bob Menendez was a dual-office holder.

MENENDEZ: Voters have the final say in who represents them in government. If the electorate votes you into office, that is the will of the electorate.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate , Sep 24, 2006

Ban pay-to-play practices to reform Congressional lobbying

The entrenched political cultures of both Trenton and Washington, DC stand in the way of meaningful reform for the citizens of New Jersey. Enacting ethics reform is critical to Tom’s vision for a better tomorrow in New Jersey. On a state level Tom has lead the fight to ban pay to play practices. In Washington, powerful lobbyists and special interests are buying up political favors and corrupting the business of government. Half measures will not curb the overwhelming influence of money in politics.
Source: Press release, “Clean Up Congress” , Aug 15, 2006

Menendez should give back dirty money

Tom Kean Jr. called on Bob Menendez to give back corruption tainted money from the likes of convicted felon Charlie Kushner, convicted felon Joe Barry, convicted felon Jack Abramoff and a host of other Menendez contributors who are now behind bars. “Bob Menendez has based his entire political machine on his ability to curry favors for his cronies. Convicted felons like Charlie Kushner and others have made millions off of their cozy relationship with Bob Menendez during his fourteen years in Washington. My reform plan would take the for sale sign off of New Jersey’s U.S. Senate office. It’s time that we send someone down to Washington who will work to fix a broken system - not embrace it.“
Source: Herb Jackson, Bergen Record , May 1, 2006

Campaign-finance reform is signature issue in legislature

Kean lost the 2000 primary for a US Congress seat, but he pursued a campaign-finance complaint against [an advocacy group which targeted him] until federal officials found in his favor. That was last month. “It’s taken me five years,” Kean said. “But the principle involved was important.” Campaign-finance reform would become Kean’s signature issue in the state Legislature.

Kean’s last day in the Assembly featured a dramatic standoff with Democratic Assembly Speaker Albio Sires, who blocked a final effort to bring his campaign-finance reform bill up for a vote. In the aftermath, Kean came off as a young crusader, while Sires accused him of grandstanding in preparation for a statewide run. Since then, the reforms Kean was advocating have become mainstream fare, promised by both of this year’s candidates for governor.

Source: Josh Gohlke in the Bergen Record and Herald News , Dec 19, 2005

2021-22 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Government Reform: Thomas Kean Jr. on other issues:
NJ Gubernatorial:
Barbara Buono
Chris Christie
Cory Booker
Doug Steinhardt
Hirsh Singh
Jack Ciattarelli
Joe Rullo
John Wisniewski
Kim Guadagno
Phil Murphy
Seth Kaper-Dale
NJ Senatorial:
Bob Hugin
Cory Booker
Hirsh Singh
Jeff Chiesa
Murray Sabrin
Rich Pezzullo
Rik Mehta
Robert Menendez
Stuart Meissner
Open Seats / Turnovers 2022:
AL-5: Mo Brooks (R) running for AL Senator
CA-37: Karen Bass (D) running for mayor of Los Angeles
FL-10: Val Demings (D) running for FL Senator
FL-13: Charlie Crist (D) running for FL governor
HI-2: Kai Kahele (D) running for MD governor
MD-4: Anthony G. Brown (D) running for attorney general of Maryland
MO-4: Vicky Hartzler (R) running for MO Senator
MO-7: Billy Long (R) running for MO Senator
NY-1: Lee Zeldin (R) running for NY governor
NY-3: Thomas Suozzi (D) running for NY governor
NC-8: Ted Budd (R) running for NC Senator
NC-11: Madison Cawthorn (R) Incumbent lost renomination
OH-13: Tim Ryan (D) running for OH Senator
OK-2: Markwayne Mullin (R) running for OK Senator
OR-5: Kurt Schrader (D) Incumbent lost renomination
PA-17: Conor Lamb (D) running for PA Senator
SC-7: Tom Rice (R) Incumbent lost renomination
TX-1: Louie Gohmert (R) running for attorney general of Texas
VT-0: Peter Welch (D) running for VT Senator

Special Elections 2021:
LA-2: Troy Carter (R, April 2021)
LA-5: Julia Letlow (R, March 2021)
NM-1: Melanie Stansbury (D, June 2021)
OH-11: Shontel Brown (D, Nov. 2021)
OH-15: Mike Carey (R, Nov. 2021)
TX-6: Jake Ellzey (R, July 2021)
Hot Races 2022:
CA-27: Christy Smith (D) vs. Mike Garcia (R)
FL 27: Annette Taddeo (D) vs. Maria Elvira Salazar (R)
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) lost redistricting race to Lucy McBath (D)
GA-10: Vernon Jones(R) vs. Paul Broun (R,lost May 24 primary) to replace Jody Hice (R) running for Secretary of GA
ME-2: Bruce Poliquin (R) rematch against Jared Golden (D)
MI-10: John James (R) - running for newly redistricted seat
MI-11: Andy Levin (D) redistricted to face Haley Stevens (D)
MT 1: Ryan Zinke (R) - running for newly created seat
MT-2: Al Olszewski(R) vs. Sam Rankin(Libertarian) vs. Matt Rosendale(R)
NJ-7: Thomas Kean Jr. (R) challenging Tom Malinowski (R)
NY-10: Bill de Blasio (D) challenging Mondaire Jones (D)
NY-11: Max Rose (D) challenging Nicole Malliotakis (R)
NY 12: Carolyn Maloney (D) redistricted to face Jerry Nadler (D)
RI-2: Seth Magaziner (D) vs. Allan Fung (R)
RI-1: Allen Waters (R) vs. David Cicilline (D)
TX-34: Mayra Flores (R) - Elected SPEL June 2022; general election Nov. 2022 against Vicente Gonzalez (D)
WA-4: Brad Klippert (R) challenging Dan Newhouse (R)
WV-2: David McKinley lost a redistricting race to fellow incumbent Alex Mooney

Special Elections 2022:
AK-0: Sarah Palin (R) vs. Al Gross (Independent)
CA-22: Connie Conway (R) replaced Devin Nunes on June 7.
FL-20: Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D) replaced Alcee Hastings on Jan. 11.
MN-1: vacancy left by Jim Hagedorn (R), deceased Feb. 17; SPEL on August 9.
NE-1: Jeffrey Fortenberry (R) Resigned on March 31, after being convicted; Mike Flood (R) in SPEL on June 28.
NY-19: Marc Molinaro (R) running for SPEL Aug. 23 for seat vacated by Antonio Delgado (D), now Lt.Gov.
TX-34: Mayra Flores (R) SPEL June 14 for seat vacated by Filemon Vela Jr. (D)
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