In Edison, Massaro backs Ricigliano's mayoral bid

In Edison, Massaro backs Ricigliano's mayoral bid
Councilman Tony Massaro

EDISON – Beaten by Jun Choi in 2005, two long-warring factions in town– old school Democrats and the People’s Choice Party – decided to get together to take down the incumbent mayor this year. 

First they wanted to determine which of two candidates - Councilman Tony Massaro, an establishment Democrat, or Councilwoman Toni Ricigliano of the People’s Choice – would be the stronger candidate.

Apparently surprising Massaro, Ricigliano jumped out and declared her candidacy last month.

Now the councilman plans to endorse her at an Edison Democratic Party meeting tomorrow evening at the Pines, officially aligning onetime antagonists whom Choi’s shoe leather reform school organizing has driven into the same camp.

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Daggett unconvinced Christie, Lonegan can 'marshal resources' to solve budget crisis

Daggett unconvinced Christie, Lonegan can 'marshal resources' to solve budget crisis
Christopher J. Daggett

The early centerpiece of Christopher J. Daggett’s independent gubernatorial campaign appears to be his record as a facts-based consensus builder who can get tough if the situation requires, evidenced by his work as regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Ronald Reagan, and his chairmanship of the 24-member DEP Efficiency Review Task Force under Gov. Jon Corzine.

“I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I have the experience of working effectively with different, often opposing groups,” the underdog Daggett told

In 1984, Reagan appointed Daggett to run the EPA here in the midst of a squabble over a Manhattan development project ranging along the West Side Highway, a 250-acre fill-job that would have buried enormous amounts of striped bass spawning grounds.

Despite pressure from unions that wanted the jobs, New York politicians like U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato, editorial boards, and even President Reagan, who made a grip-and-grin appearance as he handed over a mock check for the development, Daggett denied the project based on scientific evidence that it would crush the area’s striped bass population.

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Seeking first win since '77, Democrats refuse to give up on 39th

Republicans have not yet settled on who they're going to run for assembly in the 39th  legislative district, but two Democrats are eager to take on whoever is on the Republican ticket. 

John Shahdanian, a labor attorney and Democratic municipal chairman from Old Tappan, and Michael McCarthy, the political director of a stage hands' union, have both filed to run for the party line in the District 39 convention. 

The district, a Republican stronghold where Democrats haven't won since 1977 despite their dominance in the rest of the county, saw a well-funded but unsuccessful challenge two years ago by Democrats, who spent millions on the state senate campaign of attorney Joseph Ariyan and the assembly campaigns of River Edge Councilwoman Esther Fletcher and Dumont Councilman Carl Manna.  Despite the effort, state Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) and assembly incumbents John Rooney (R-Northvale) and Charlotte Vandervalk (R-Montvale) all won by comfortable margins.

"They got the wheels in motion. I think the tide is turning, and we can do really well," said Shahdanian. 

One Bergen County Democratic insider who worked on the 2007 campaign called it "our Vietnam" and doubted that the local party, let alone the state party, would again pour significant resources into the district - especially when it is still reeling by the indictment of its former chairman, Joe Ferriero.  And it's not yet officially known if Rooney, who last time around was considered the most vulnerable incumbent, will run again.  Republican sources say he won't.

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Corzine not interested in commerce secretary position

Corzine not interested in commerce secretary position

Although he helped sell the stimulus package by appearing on national television on behalf of President Obama, Governor Corzine said today has not been approached about the open Commerce Secretary position in the Obama Administration, and today nipped in the bud any speculation that he might be interested in it. 

“No one has spoken to me about it, and I’m going to say the same thing I said when we had the flurry of conversation about the Treasury,” said Corzine, who was vetted for Secretary of Treasury by then-President Elect Obama’s transition team.  “I like what I’m doing.  We have enormous challenges in New Jersey and I’m working on trying to serve the people of New Jersey as best as I can as we go through these economic times. We need consistent on focus o that, and I have no interest in the commerce secretary position."

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Corzine: Obama insists on transparency in state distribution of federal stimulus dollars

Corzine: Obama insists on transparency in state distribution of federal stimulus dollars

President Barack Obama wants transparency of how money from the federal stimulus package is distributed to the public, Gov. Jon Corzine told reporters this afternoon after meeting with the president and other governors in Washington, D.C. earlier today.

“The president was very clear that his expectations are for us to be particularly attendant to doing things in a transparent way, that the American people know we are doing everything we can to stabilize the economy,” said Corzine, who noted that Vice President Joe Biden will be in charge of implementing the economic recovery program.

As part of the national stimulus package, Medicaid is slated for a $15 billion infusion on Wednesday. Ninety-five percent of Americans will receive tax cuts on April 1, said the governor.

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Tom Russo to retire from Atlantic County freeholder board

Tom Russo to retire from Atlantic County freeholder board
Atlantic County Freeholder Tom Russo says he won't seek re-election in 2009.
Atlantic County Freeholder Tom Russo announced today that he will not seek reelection to a seventh term.  

Russo, a Republican and former president of the Atlantic City Council, has been on the freeholder board since 1991.  

“I am proud to have been a part of the finest run county government in the State of New Jersey,” said  Russo in a statement.  “Now is the time for new leadership to join the Freeholder Board to meet the challenges which lie ahead.” Read More >

Announcement time arrives for Camden's Faison

Announcement time arrives for Camden's Faison
Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison with Speaker Joe Roberts, left, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison is scheduled to announce her intentions regarding the mayor’s race this evening at a forum on state management in the city’s Fairview section.

Heading toward a June primary election, much of the Democratic Party apparatus stands behind state Sen. Dana Redd’s mayoral candidacy, political heft underscored by the stage presence of some of Redd’s backers at her formal declaration earlier this month. 

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken), U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights), Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts (D-Camden), and Newark Mayor Cory Booker among others, all endorsed the 40-year old freshman state senator.

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Bergmanson calls Corzine property tax rebate plan a tax hike

Bergmanson calls Corzine property tax rebate plan a tax hike
Former Glen Ridge Mayor Carl Bergmanson is challenging Gov. Jon Corzine in the June Democratic primary.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Carl Bergmanson says he will welcome the reduction or elimination of New Jersey's property tax rebates as long as the sales tax we dropped back to 6%.

"Let's face it - The Property Tax Rebates are nothing more than a thinly-disguised vote-buying scam" said Bergmanson, the former Mayor of Glen Ridge.  "If the Governor wants to eliminate them, I would support that, so long as the sales-tax increase that was used to fund them is also eliminated. Dropping the sales tax would be a great way to stimulate New Jersey's economy - just like increasing the sales tax was a great way to wreck it. But since this proposal by the Governor keeps the sales tax increase and just eliminates the rebates, that's nothing but a $1.7 Billion tax increase."

"It should be clear to anyone that increasing taxes, especially in our current fiscal environment, is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline," Bergmanson said.  "We need to cut State Spending, not Taxpayer Spending. With his almost non-stop bungling of New Jersey's finances, Jon Corzine makes it painfully clear to the taxpayers of New Jersey why he was run out of Goldman-Sachs, and why they need to run him out of the Governor's Mansion."

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The Back Room

POLITICO: GOP on track to expand House majority by 5 or 6 seats

Tepid fundraising, underperforming candidates and a lousy party brand are threatening to deprive House Republicans of the sweeping 2014 gains that some top party officials have been predicting this year, according to Politicker alum Alex Isenstadt, now of Politico.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 2nd

Campaign season now under way in Bergen County Politics is practiced year-round in Bergen County, and street-level campaigning has been going on quietly all summer. But both Republicans and Democrats say the Rutherford Street Fair on Labor Day signals a more intense phase of electioneering. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record)  ...

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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 >


My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... 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

"Governor Christie ripped President Obama this summer for failing to carve out some time during a Texas fundraising swing to visit the Mexican border, where the unprecedented flood of immigrant children from Central America had reached a crisis point. ...Yet Christie is not squeezing in a tour of the troubled border during his own three-day trade and diplomatic mission to Mexico, which is set to begin on Wednesday. The governor is planning a series of meetings with Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto and the finance and energy ministers." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record


Governor Chris Christie's trip to Mexico...:


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