Ex-Justice Daniel O'Hern dies at 78

Ex-Justice Daniel O'Hern dies at 78
Daniel O'Hern served as Chief Counsel to Gov. Brendan Byrne before his appointment to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Daniel O’Hern, who served as an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1981 to 2000, passed away tonight.  He was 78.

O’Hern started out in politics with his election as a Red Bank Councilman in 1962, and was elected Mayor in 1969.  He served as Commissioner of Environmental Protection from 1978 to 1979 and as Counsel to Gov. Brendan Byrne from 1979 to 1981.  Byrne appointed him to the Supreme Court that year.

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Pallone backs Beson for Monmouth Freeholder

Calling him an "outstanding choice to serve the Jersey Shore families," U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) today endorsed former Neptune Mayor Mike Beson for the Democratic nomination for Monmouth County Freeholder. 

Beson and Middletown Committeeman Sean Byrnes will face off at a Democratic convention on Saturday for the chance to run for the Freeholder seat currently held by Democrat Barbara McMorrow.  McMorrow is not seeking re-election to a second term, and Democrats must hold her seat to retain control of the Board of Freeholders.

"Throughout almost 20 years that I have known Mike, he has demonstrated constant dedication and commitment to protecting and defending the public interest," said Pallone, the senior Democrat in the New Jersey congressional delegation.  "In recent years, Mike has become a local small business owner who sees first-hand the struggles that hard-working families face in this economic climate.  He will undoubtedly combine his decades of public service with his experience in private sector businesses to be a strong representative for Monmouth County."

Beson was Pallone's district director from 1990 to 2000.  After serving a Mayor of Neptune, he moved to Ocean Township and now serves on the Board of Education.  He is also a prominent Democratic operative, and ran Howard Dean's New Jersey campaign in 2004.  He was the PolitickerNJ.com Politician of the Year in 2003 after Dean locked up the endorsements of most of New Jersey's Democratic establishment.

"It is an honor to have the support of Congressman Pallone not only as a candidate but as a friend for many years.  His leadership and tenacity to represent our state in Washington has served us well in fighting for quality health care, preserving and cleaning up our waterways and open space, and advocating for working families," said Beson.  

"While we are well represented in Congress, it is important that we have strong countywide representatives that will be independent in pushing for our residents and ensuring that our voices are heard," Beson said.  "Every day, I see the frustration felt by residents given the challenges facing our state and nation.  I will work as hard as they do to make the choices necessary to move our County forward."

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Vitale to Kean: cut arts before cutting health care, education and public safety

The chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee says former Gov. Thomas Kean would be better off raising private sector funds to fund state arts programs than threaten a lawsuit to force taxpayers to pay for it in tough economic times.

State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge), who served on the Senate Appropriations Committee, says that while the arts are important, “the ability to appreciate the arts is going to come as little consolation to a child who doesn’t receive adequate health coverage, doesn’t have a safe place to grow up, or doesn’t get a proper education.”

“Funding for our State’s priorities must be bottom-up, and we must fulfill our promise to keep kids safe and healthy before we can restore arts funding,” said Vitale.  “During this global economic crisis, we have to recognize that New Jersey cannot afford to fund every worthy cause, and must prioritize its funding.”

Vitale noted that Gov. Jon Corzine has proposed funding arts at a level that’s roughly $3 million less than last year, while still keeping $25 million in funding for projects in the proposed budget.

“Meanwhile, we’re struggling to fund every state priority, from health care to public safety to education,” said the Middlesex County Democrat.

“Governor Kean’s disappointment in the cut to arts funding is understandable, but ultimately, it’s a symptom of the stark fiscal times, not Governor Corzine’s performance.  If anything, the current Governor has done his best to preserve our priorities, and help alleviate the pain of cuts in other places of the budget,” Vitale said.  “While it might be easier to criticize from the sidelines, it’s much harder to govern when facing the economic realities that this Governor has had to face.

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Stanley to kick off 28th District campaign tomorrow in Payne family push-back

Stanley to kick off 28th District campaign tomorrow in Payne family push-back
U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark), left, and Councilman Donald Payne, Jr.

NEWARK – In what is more than a one-man crusade, even if its most significant political implication may be a test of the fighting shape of a respected political dynasty, and the future of an aging congressman, former 28th District Assemblyman Craig A. Stanley intends to launch his off-the-line election campaign tomorrow at noon at the corner of South Orange Avenue near the Garden State Parkway.

The nephew of U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark), Stanley served for six consecutive terms before the alliance of Mayor Cory Booker and North Ward Democratic Party leader Steve Adubato backed an alternative district slate that included Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Belleville) and Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark), both of whom are now seeking reelection with Booker’s and Adubato’s backing.

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Vas pleads not guilty

Assemblyman Joseph Vas (D-Perth Amboy) pleaded not guilty today to charges the state filed against him last month, according to reports from the Star-Ledger and Gannett.

Vas, who appeared today at Superior Court in New Brunswick is charged with stealing about $5,000 in goods and services from the city of Perth Amboy during his time as mayor and rigging an affordable housing lottery in favor of his personal driver, Anthony Jones, who also pleaded not guilty today.  

Vas’s bail was set as $25,000, but he was allowed to post 10 percent.

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Salem GOP withholds endorsement in 3rd district Assembly race

Salem County Republican Chairman Paul Reed was surprised yesterday when Republican State Committeeman Ernest Tark rose and recommended that the party abstain from endorsing legislative candidates in the 3rd District.

"It was totally unexpected. I did not see it coming," said Reed, who had earlier sent a letter to committee members endorsing former Cumberland County surrogate Arthur Marchand for an assembly seat, but stayed neutral as to the other two candidates, Greenwich Township Mayor George Shivery and Robert Villare, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

The committee put the motion to a voice vote, and the ayes had it.

"There was a division in the room, but the ayes were louder, let's put it that way," said Reed.  "I probably should have pushed the issue of a show of hands, because with a voice vote you really don't know who's voting because there were people ineligible to vote [at the convention]."

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Hillside mayor's race intensifies as Menza takes ballot drawing debacle to court

Hillside mayor's race intensifies as Menza takes ballot drawing debacle to court
Joe Menza

UPDATED*** 

HILLSIDE - Outraged that the township clerk is preventing him from appearing with his running mates on the May 12th ballot and citing the handiwork of Union County Democratic Party Chairwoman Charlotte DeFilippo as the reason, Hillside mayoral candidate Joe Menza has sued the Township of Hillside.

Absorbing the news today, an unimpressed DeFilippo hit back at the real estate developer candidate, charging him with having a “cavalier attitude” about the law, in a fast-unfolding skirmish between the independent brand Menza and the Democratic Party, scheduled to spill into Union County Judge William Wertheimer’s courtroom this Friday for a summary judgment hearing. 

“The clerk’s office, under the direction of the political boss Charlotte DeFilippo, is attempting to thwart the electoral process,” seethed Menza, who said Clerk Janet S. Vlaisavljevic broke up his slates on orders from above. “We must go to the courts to have our team together on the ballot because of technical knit-picking.  This tactic is straight out of the DeFilippo playbook.”

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Bristling over 'Philistine' comment, Buono chides Kean, defends Corzine

Bristling over 'Philistine' comment, Buono chides Kean, defends Corzine

In a warm-up act response to what many insiders believe will be her role as Corzine Defender Number 1 on the campaign trail as New Jersey’s first candidate for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) defended the governor today against former Republican Gov. Thomas Kean.

Referring to a Star-Ledger article, Buono took issue with Kean’s reference to Corzine as a “Philistine governor” because Corzine proposes to cut arts funding below the statutory level.

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The Back Room

Armstead has to pay ELEC fine

Charged with a late filing going back to his 2011 local election, Linden Councilman Derek Armstead has to pay $1,550.80 in fines, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: October 1st

Bergen County Freeholder forum mostly convivial, but at times confrontational TEANECK - The Bergen County freeholder forum on Tuesday night was a relatively collegial affair until the final two minutes on the 90-minute event. Republican freeholder candidate Robert Avery, flanked by fellow GOP freeholder candidate Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh, referred to...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

(10-1-14) Mayor Fulop’s Working Family Rebellion Spreads - What began as a commitment between Mayor Steve Fulop and the people of Jersey City is fast becoming a movement spreading... more »
In tribute to John Sheridan, a good and great man     I first learned late last night from television news that John P. Sheridan, Jr. and his wife, Joyce had... more »
(Trenton, NJ) --  On September 23, 2015 I shall dig this up and eat whatever crow I've got coming, but in the meantime only a listicle... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

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