Obama to take oath at noon

Obama to take oath at noon

Thousands of New Jerseyans are in Washington, D.C. today to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States at noon today.  Obama becomes the nation's first black president, and the first Democrat to occupy the White House in eight years.

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Levine to formally enter governor's race

Levine to formally enter governor's race
Franklin Twp. Mayor Brian D. Levine (left) poses with Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham)

FRANKLIN TWP. – Good government Mayor Brian D. Levine tonight told PolitickerNJ.com he will formally enter the Republican gubernatorial primary before the end of the month and probably next week. 

Levine’s challenge for the right to face incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine officially makes it a four-man contest among Levine, Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.  

“I believe in bottom up rather than top down politics and I will be running my usual grassroots campaign, which is how I have run and won two elections as mayor of Franklin,” said Levine, a certified public accountant and pro-choice fiscal conservative who promises a shoe leather campaign in search of small dollar donations.

Levine’s entrance into the race appears on its face to create a case of two against two.

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Lonegan says he won't use Christie's ties to Bush as a point of attack in GOP primary

Lonegan says he won't use Christie's ties to Bush as a point of attack in GOP primary
Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan

On their way to tomorrow’s inauguration, Democrats are running past the Bush presidency as if it were the forgotten carcass of Commodus at the end of “Gladiator,” but they mean to at least sufficiently resuscitate what they see as the wreckage of the Bush years in order to make it an issue for former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, should he land the GOP nomination for governor. 

In the meantime, don’t expect Bush’s name to come up much in attack dog primary ads.  

“His 21% approval is actually up five points from just before the election, a difference reflected in the fact that half of Republicans (50%) now approve of the president, while about a third disapprove (36%),” said Fairleigh Dickinson University pollster Peter Woolley.  “Before the November election the numbers were reversed: half of Republicans disapproved of Bush and about a third approved (37%)."

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Frank MacCormack, Hudson Republican who challenged Sacco and Elwell, dies at 85

Frank MacCormack, a Hudson County Republican who waged numerous campaigns for public office over the last six decades, passed away on Sunday evening.  He was 85 and suffered a heart attack while having dinner.

MacCormack made three unsuccessful bids for Mayor of Secaucus and lost races for Councilman.  He won election to the Board of Education and served as School Board President in the 1960’s.  He later served as Secaucus Republican Municipal Chairman.

In 2001, at age 78, he became a candidate for State Senator in the Hudson-based District 32, which includes a small part of Bergen County.  Running as a support of then-gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler, MacCormack defeated North Bergen’s John Pluchino in the GOP primary with 73% of the vote.   He lost the general election to incumbent Nicholas Sacco by a wide margin.

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A transition of power

A transition of power
Mayor Cory Booker, center, with Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, left, and jazz pianist Eric Lewis

NEWARK – On the city’s 21st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, 72 hours before Obama’s presidential inaugural, Newarkers at Grace Episcopal Church rejoiced in a ceremony of blended Obama-MILK symbolism that apparently left no room or reason for last minute retaliatory elbows thrown at the outgoing Bush administration. 

In short, the most joyfully considered and relevant transition of power here was from King to Obama. 

“I’m a child of the 1960s. There are still a few of us around, right, Mildred?” said Gov. Jon Corzine, finding Council President Mildred Crump’s smiling face in the crowd. “King defined our aspirations, and what we could seek to find. When he was killed in Memphis he was talking about a living wage. We have a long way to go, but at this moment, when Barack Obama is sworn in, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream will become a reality. 

“God bless the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the presidency of Barack Obama,” added Corzine, and moments later, Crump cried, “That’s my governor,” as people in the crowd lurched to their feet.

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Booker confirms reports he doesn't want LG job

Booker confirms reports he doesn't want LG job
Mayor Cory Booker, right, and Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker, who keynoted a Newark event honoring MLK today.

NEWARK - When Barack Obama won the presidential election, politicos saw instant inner circle implications for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a vociferous Obama supporter and "rising star" in Obama's words, who nonetheless had insisted back in Denver that even if Vice Presidential Joe Biden dropped out and Chicago called him, he was committed to running for reelection as mayor.

When Obama made his cabinet appointments and the mayor remained local and not primed to fill the ambassadorship to the Court of St. James or some other ceremonial post, the back chatter decibel level started rising about Booker and lieutenant governor.

No, he probably wouldn't take the second banana job outright, said sources, but maybe he would bite at the properly framed offer to be Gov. Jon Corzine's running mate.

Seventy-two hours before Obama's swearing-in ceremony at a "Sing in Praise of Martin Luther King, Jr." event at the Grace Episcopal Church on Broad Street, Booker said for the record it won't happen.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

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Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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