Author: max

WNY: Munoz says Menendez should stay clear of Roque

WNY: Munoz says Menendez should stay clear of Roque

Newly returned from vacation, lame duck Hudson County Freeholder Jose Munoz surveyed the waterfront from afar as a raft-load of Democratic Party establishment insiders feasted on high-end finger food in the company of incumbent Mayor Felix Roque.

Having lost the Democratic Primary to Commissioner Caridad Rodriguez in June amid rumors of self-resuscitation in time for the 2015 municipal race, Munoz won’t yet discuss his plans.

“At this point I’m considering what I’m going to do,” he said. “I talked to Count Wiley, who had done a tremendous job in West New York as a commissioner and kept Roque on his feet, but I haven’t made my decision yet.”

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Fight of the Week: Christie versus Shumlin

Fight of the Week: Christie versus Shumlin

Republican Governors Association Chairman Chris Christie versus Democratic Governors Association Chairman Peter Shumlin

It was hard to escape the optics: Christie zooming down to Arkansas for another campaign event, while Shumlin soaked up victory in his own low-key, low-turnout primary election.

The Combatants

Chris Christie

He won re-election last year with over 60% of the vote, got mangled by Bridgegate and now appears unwilling to let the scandal inhibit his brand as he ravenously campaigns countrywide. Chair of the Republican Governors Association (RGA) and a prospective 2016 presidential contender, Christie’s breakneck pace through the summer months has taken him to places like Colorado, Illinois, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, and (today) Arkansas. Occasionally he comes back to New Jersey to stick a boardwalk landing.

Peter Shumlin

For those who don’t know him he’s the governor of Vermont, which, for people who don’t know, is a state located north of New Jersey in the United States, which is the country where both New Jersey and Vermont are located, which gives them something in common. A political animal (by Vermont’s standards), Shumlin was in Montpelier yesterday to celebrate his Democratic Primary win in the Vermont Governor’s race, but says he does not intend to begin campaigning until after Labor Day.

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One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide

One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide

CLIFTON – It was the typical crowd with black yarmulkes and leopard-patterned hijab sprinkled among uncovered bald heads – Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish – Spanish Flamenco-style hair pulled back and framed by loop earrings and at least one tricorn hat: a Great Falls-sized confluence of humanity crammed into Town Hall here where U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) stood at the front of the room straddling the most obvious divide.

“Israelis don’t want peace more than the Palestinians, Palestinians don’t want peace more than the Israelis, but I do know one thing: Hamas is a terrorist organization,” said Pascrell.

It’s a delicate balance with war in the Middle East: strikes in Libya, President Barack Obama authorizing surveillance flights over Syria and an American journalist executed by ISIS last week.

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'The Midas Man': regardless of what Munoz does, Wiley in rev-up mode ahead of 2015 West New York Mayor's race

'The Midas Man': regardless of what Munoz does, Wiley in rev-up mode ahead of 2015 West New York Mayor's race

“Freedom, freedom, freedom.” It was one of those inspiring, uniquely American campaign trail moments - that soured irrecoverably right after the election.

We’re talking about the relationship between Mayor Felix Roque and Commissioner Count Wiley, forged on the streets of WNY during an unsuccessful recall effort five years ago, then fumbled into political oblivion soon after both men won the 2011 election on the same ticket.

By Wiley’s count, it took all of three months, when the mayor – a local pain doctor – tried to monkey with public workers’ workman’s compensation carrier, he says.

Now, as Roque seeks a second term in office after one of the most turbulent local one-term tenures in Hudson history, the man once visible in photos as his 60th Street renegade right arm, is pawing at the turf, eager to storm Town Hall and displace the sitting mayor.

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Lakewood, Singer, assisting Sofer family in search for missing student

Lakewood, Singer, assisting Sofer family in search for missing student

The Ocean County town of Lakewood is in a state of heightened expectation right now as the family of Aaron Sofer makes contact with Israeli authorities to try to determine the whereabouts of the missing 23-year old student.

“When an American is missing abroad, we as a country take this as a very important matter,” said state Sen. Bob Singer (R-30), who first talked to Sofer’s uncle on Saturday night.

The Sofer Family is well-known and well-respected in Sofer’s hometown of Lakewood.

Last Friday, “Aaron was hiking with a friend and took a different route to the top, there was an 8-hour delay before he was reported,” said the veteran Singer, who hails from Lakewood.

To date, no terrorist group has laid claim to being responsible for Sofer’s disappearance.

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In AC, Guardian readies for impact stage next month as three casinos close

In AC, Guardian readies for impact stage next month as three casinos close

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian didn’t try to paint a rosy picture, but insisted the city’s doing everything it can to capitalize on the structures still standing – and open – in his embattled home town.

Guardian’s losing three casinos next month: the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino (August 31, 2014), Revel (September 2, 2014) and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (September 16, 2014), all belly-up victims of a confluence of factors, including greater regional competition and a recession.

 In a teleconference call this morning with reporters, Guardian, along with Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Executive Director John Palmieri and Atlantic City Alliance President Liza Cartmell, and Mark Giannantonio, President and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel, today acknowledged that the coming weeks will be difficult for the employees and for the resort destination.

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Trenton Councilwoman Caldwell-Wilson going to her native Scotland to vote in referendum election

Trenton Councilwoman Caldwell-Wilson going to her native Scotland to vote in referendum election

Scottish-born Trenton Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson has a dual citizenship, and she’s watching with considerable interest those political events unfolding in the country of her birth in the lead up to a September 18th referendum election on independence.

Now in her second term on the city council, Caldwell-Wilson, a retired CWA labor leader, plans to go to Scotland for the vote and the aftermath, and to celebrate that country’s separation from England.

“The big conversation going on right now is about revenues from North Sea oil, which would be a big loss to the UK,” said the councilwoman.

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Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell

Fight of the Week

Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9)

The most-watched race of the season after Labor Day will be Donovan versus Bergen County Freeholder (and former Paramus Mayor) James Tedesco. Republicans are confident that Donovan’s mix of money and name ID and Obama backlash will blunt the Democrats’ attack. But Dems are trying to take advantage of the fact that the popular Pascrell will be on the ticket for the first time in a Bergen County executive’s race and in position to fight house to house in Donovan’s home portion of the sprawling county.

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Bar Notes Hudson: an operative's developing back story

Bar Notes Hudson: an operative's developing back story

WEST NEW YORK – The Saccoites in the vicinity of Cosmo Cirillo tensed up at the sight of the familiar grim reaper figure in the doorway with the Ivan Drago expression on his face otherwise known as Mark Albiez, veteran political confidant of Union City Mayor/Senator Brian P. Stack.

But before anyone reached for a bottle to break over the bar in Son Cubano, Joey Muniz and other cooler heads prevailed, reminding their fellow Sacco heavies that Albiez no longer works for Stack.

He is, in fact, an aide to Hudson’s young prince, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.

Cirillo and those other operatives long schooled in the cloak and dagger escapades of North Bergen versus Union City summoned their most sociable grins as Albiez joined the party.

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'We believe in redemption': Roque heads into 2015 with full backing of the HCDO

'We believe in redemption': Roque heads into 2015 with full backing of the HCDO

WEST NEW YORK – When local pain specialist Dr. Felix Roque delivered U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) from discomfort and restored him to the golf course, the congressman in return indulged the political fancies of his friend, which wound up causing Roque a world of hurt.

But that was then, this is now, and those same insiders high-fiving one another at the sight of Roque in leg iron agony last year, tonight showed up in respectful reappraisal of West New York’s mayor eight months before his scheduled re-election.

“He’s a good guy,” leered a face at the bar in Son Cubano, and one could almost hear the nasal narration of Ray Liotta expounding on that point.

“He’s a good fella.”

One half expected Paul Sorvino to show up and tousle Roque’s hair.

“You can only do it by earning it,” sized up U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who acknowledged that he and Roque started their relationship on rocky terms, made most shockingly manifest when the mayor backed the incumbent senator's Republican opponent in the 2012 U.S. Senate race.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 12th

Stockton Poll: Christie approval rating at 53% in NJ; Obama's at 44% Gov. Chris Christie’s approval ratings in New Jersey crack 50%, while fewer voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, according to a Stockton Polling Institute poll released today. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/81166/stockton-poll-christie-approval-rating-53-nj-obamas-44     NJ...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

(9-10-14) Chief Justice Rabner Faces Funding Challenges as Top Court Administrator - Escalating legal fees for litigation is an unintended consequence of underfunding the Court System. ... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"The Republican Governors Association raised $130,000 from tobacco companies during Christie’s stint as the group’s chairman, according to the most recent filings in June. The veto allows Christie to keep the peace with tobacco companies — and may very well prevent them from investing heavily in a presidential campaign for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, whose operatives could use the cash to finance attack ads against Christie in a tight primary contest." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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