GOP launches Somerset phone banking effort

Thomas Roughneen in GOP HQ Tuesday: Politicker photoThomas Roughneen in GOP HQ Tuesday: Politicker photo 

SOMERVILLE - Led by Iraq War veteran Thomas Roughneen, Republicans kicked off a concentrated nightly phone-banking effort here today on behalf of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

"Every night for 18 nights we will have people from a different town in Somerset County in here making calls for Sen. McCain, supplemented by women making targeted calls on Wednesdays and veterans calling people on Tuesdays," said Roughneen, who serves as the McCain campaign’s coordinator for Somerset County.

Roughneen, a Watchung lawyer who ran for Congress unsuccessfully in the 7th District earlier this year, is a longtime McCain supporter.

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Two polls show Obama up in New Jersey

Two polls show Obama up in New Jersey

Barack Obama leads John McCain by nine points in New Jersey, according to a Strategic Vision poll set to be released tomorrow. 

That poll comes on the heels of today’s Survey USA poll that showed Obama leading McCain 52% to 42%. 

Survey USA also polled the U.S. Senate race, going as far as to pronounce incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg the winner in its headline, though probably not intentionally.   

Lautenberg leads Zimmer 51% to 38% in the Garden State.

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Menendez: ‘Doing nothing is not an option’

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken)Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) 

On the floor of the United States Senate this afternoon, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) addressed the ongoing financial crisis, tried to ascertain its real world impact, and argued for why Congress needs to act decisively.

"What’s not making the headlines is what this economic crisis means for people in our hometowns," said Menendez, who acknowledged a Star-Ledger editorial, which criticized elected officials for not making a cogent argument for why the package is necessary. The $700 billion Wall Street bailout failed yesterday.

Simultaneously, the Dow lost $1 trillion, $200 billion in value.

"The problem is we see no stability, so losses are real," said Menendez, a member of the Senate Banking Committee. "...Each member of the Senate, each member of the House needs to find the courage to act on something that isn't very popular."

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Record VP: Pillets not under investigation

North Jersey Media Group Vice-President and General Counsel Jennifer Borg said that, to her knowledge, Bergen Record reporter Jeff Pillets is not under investigation by anyone -- period.

“I am unaware of any investigation being conducted by the state or any other authority.  And to overstate it, nobody at North Jersey media group is aware of any investigation by the state or any other authority.  So there’s nothing for me to respond to,” said Borg. “We have not been contacted by any state or authority, and Jeff has not been contacted by any state or authority.  It’s a non-issue.  And if the state is indeed investigating Jeff, I wish someone would tell us about it.” 

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Congressmen justify their bailout votes

The New Jersey delegation's vote on the bailout bill was close, and did not occur along party lines.

But while there were some odd vote combinations, with liberal Congressmen like U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) voting the same way as his conservative neighbor, Scott Garrett (R-Wantage), they tended to cite different reasons.

Ultimately, New Jersey Congressmen voted against the bill by a 7-6 margin. None, however, enthusiastically supported it. Nor did any of its detractors express glee at its downfall, and some expressed more openness to voting for a new compromise package than others.

By far the most vociferous opponent of the bailout was Garrett, who yesterday took to the floor and excoriated his colleagues who supported it.

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Updated: Hackett sentencing postponed

Updated: A sentencing hearing for former Assemblyman/Orange Mayor Mims Hackett will be postponed until October 21, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.  U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares made the scheduling change.  Hackett was expected to be sentenced tomorrow.

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Conaghan and Smith dominant on the streets of Bayonne

[img_assist|nid=24027|title=Retired municipal Judge Pat Conaghan walks the streets on Monday evening.|desc=Politicker photo|link=none|align=left|width=217|height=145]BAYONNE - The bands of men move through the streets on separate ends of Avenue C, claiming city blocks as territory for their respective campaigns.

There are other men running for mayor in Bayonne, but Police Director Mark Smith and retired Municipal Judge Pat Conaghan remain the most dogged public competitors, and their followers the most intense.

The signs stare out from everywhere as evidence: Conaghan for Mayor, or Smith for Mayor.

Across the river, Wall Street’s tanking. Worst day in its history. [img_assist|nid=24026|title=Police Director Mark Smith outside his Broadway campaign headquarters on Monday evening|desc=Politicker photo|link=none|align=right|width=217|height=145]

But Bayonne’s been feeling pain for years. They have a history of pain, of course. Not for nothing the local boy who once challenged Mohammed Ali for the heavyweight crown, Chuck Wepner, still walks Broadway Avenue and goes by the nickname "Bayonne Bleeder" in boxing circles.

Here they prefer to call him the "Bayonne Battler."

The former title may be more appropriate, for now the city faces a $22 million budget deficit. A mixed use project slated for the closed down Navy yard once was supposed to save this maritime blue collar capital at the bottom end of Hudson County, yet at this point, even that project’s champions say they need to reexamine the harbor.

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Healy says "no way in hell" to resignation rumors

Over the course of the last month, the Hudson County rumor mill has been rife with talk that Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who’s facing a lawsuit that seeks to remove him from office, is preparing to resign.  

Last night, Healy sought to squelch that talk.   

“I’m not resigning.  Not only am I not resigning, but no way in hell am I resigning because Lou Manzo has brought an absurd application addressed to the Monmouth County prosecutor’s office to remove an elected Hudson county official,” said Healy in a phone interview with PolitickerNJ.  “I’m not only not resigning, I am running for mayor again in seven months.”

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The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop



Was Frank X. Graves of Paterson New Jersey's best mayor?:


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