Pro-Perez forces mobilize against Smith

Martin Perez’s allies have mobilized a campaign against Senator Bob Smith (D-17), who continues to use “senatorial courtesy” to block Gov. Chris Christie’s nomination of Perez, head of the Latino Leadership alliance of NJ, to the Board of Governors of Rutgers.

The pro-Perez coalition is calling for a community meeting today at Smith’s Piscataway office.

“Historically, there has been only one previous Latino member of the Board, Ruben Cardona, who was appointed by Governor Whitman. Since the expiration of Mr. Cardona’s term a succession of Governors have been asked to ensure diversity on the Board, to no avail. Finally, we have this appointment and Senator Smith has erected himself as a roadblock for the last 18 months,” said Maria Teresa Feliciano, spokeswoman for the coalition.

The pro-Perez group has launched a protest communication campaign that includes two weeks of continuous emails and phone calls; and two community meetings at Smith’s office to demand he sign off on the appointment.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton