Garcia, the crowd, and the questions

Garcia, the crowd, and the questions

Councilman Jose "Joe" Garcia: Politicker file photoCouncilman Jose "Joe" Garcia: Politicker file photo 

PASSAIC - The streets throb with Mariachi rhythms as the floats and red, white and green-draped cars move slowly through Passaic and the public men and women wave to the crowds that spill finally into the yard of Public School Number 11 in the 2nd Ward: a confluence of food, flags, bodies and music.

All pay homage to Mexican independence.

The lead singer dances on stage and sing about Mexico and women, and arms in the crowd sway to the horns and guitars and in the background in the middle of supporters wearing red shirts with his name printed on them stands a subdued man in a gray suit.

Councilman Jose "Joe" Garcia shakes hands with a lot of people who pass. They know him. He has nine children, and has served on the School Board for 12 years, and as councilman for the last seven years.

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Tornoe's Toons: Corzine responds to the economic crisis

Tornoe's Toons: Corzine responds to the economic crisis

To view more cartoons by editorial cartoonist Rob Tornoe, click here.

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Fulop says Corzine's reform package would strengthen his own

Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop just saw his own municipal pay-to-play ordinance signed into law by the city council on Tuesday.  The next day, Gov. Corzine outlined a sweeping ethics reform package that, if passed, Fulop thinks will strengthen the one that Jersey City just enacted. 

The Governor’s plan covers banning contributions to municipal officials from redevelopers.  That, Fulop said, was part of his original plan, but he was advised that it wouldn’t pass muster in a legal challenge because of state laws favoring redevelopers– so he dropped it. 

“For us in Jersey City, I think the Governor’s would certainly be stricter because it would affect redevelopment, which would give us more stringent pay-to-play laws,” said Fulop.

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Zimmer to search for Lautenberg

Former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer would like to find his way to the U.S. Senate.  But first, he wants to find incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Frustrated at the Senior Senator’s refusal to engage him in any debates just yet, Zimmer has decided to embark on a diner tour where he’ll ask patrons if they’ve seen or heard from Lautenberg, and to give out some tongue-in-cheek campaign literature. 

“A number of newspaper editorials have asked, ‘Where is Senator Lautenberg hiding?’  I intend to help find our missing Senator by handing out missing-person flyers at diners throughout New Jersey,” said Zimmer. 

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Winners & Losers of the Week

This week's Winners & Losers: Click Here

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Christie specter looms over ethics package

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie: Politicker file photoU.S. Attorney Chris Christie: Politicker file photoSubpoena activity in Paterson on the day Gov. Jon Corzine pulled the cape off of a sweeping new piece of ethics reform provided an ample reminder of another presence on the political landscape.

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

As some Democratic Party strongmen fume quietly about Corzine’s efforts to weaken the fundraising capacities of leadership committees in the third year of his gubernatorial tour of duty, his potential Republican opponent in 2009 is going through his own "anything you can do, I can do better" ritual, to hear the back-chatter in the state right now.

At worst, Corzine’s ethics package is a quick prep phase for what Democrats are certain will be another autumn appearance by Christie, who last year in early September decimated a statewide corruption ring and left the Democrats in a shambles trying to defend their recent ethics legislation. Gov. Jon Corzine: Politicker file photoGov. Jon Corzine: Politicker file photo

At best - to the most cynical - the newest ethics package signals what state Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-Hudson) calls some "better political thinking," which he would like to see practiced by the Corzine administration.

After all, Christie’s record suggests he’s coming with something.

The question is whether this time the U.S. attorney’s quarry will be the remnants of Operation Broken Boards, which felled 11 officials, but left some loose ends that many observers feel Christie will now resolve in short order - prior to the Nov. 4th election.

Or will it be bigger, on the order of more big fish reel-ins in Bergen County, for example?

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 23, 2014

Colorado politicians invite Christie to experience 'Rocky Mountain High'Colorado politicians slapped back at Gov. Chris Christie after he questioned their Rocky Mountain quality of life under the rule of legalized marijuana.“Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime,"  Sen....

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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 >


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(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... 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 »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

“The good news of tonight is that these problems are fixable.” - Gov. Chris Christie



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