Morning News Digest: March 24, 2009

Caliguire ends freeholder candidacy

Caliguire ends freeholder candidacy
Montgomery Township Committeeman Mark Caliguire

BRIDGEWATER - Montgomery Township Committeeman Mark Caliguire has dropped his freeholder bid, according to Somerset County GOP sources.

Caliguire had hoped to secure his party's backing to run for a seat vacated by retiring Freeholder Director Rick Fontana, but he told Somerset County Republican Chairman Dale Florio tonight that he does not intend to stay in the contest. 

That leaves the following candidates to screen before the GOP County Committee on April 2: Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter, former prosecutor Tom Roughneen, and Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione. 

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Christie wins 94% at Ocean GOP convention

Christie wins 94% at Ocean GOP convention
Chris Christie this evening in Toms River.

TOMS RIVER – After receiving the backing of the screening committee here, fomer U.S. Attorney Chris Christie beat former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan at the Holiday Inn to formally win the endorsement of the Ocean County Republican Organization.

The vote tally was 135 votes for Christie and 8 votes for Lonegan.

"I heard the governor said yesterday in Atlantic County that he needs four more years to get the job done," said Republican frontrunner Christie. "I think he's done enough of a job on us already."

State Sen. Christopher Connors (R-Forked River) nominated Christie as “an individual who stands for all of the middle class taxpayers in the State of New Jersey, who’s already nine points ahead.”

Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher seconded the nomination.

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Milgram indicts Cohen's campaign treasurer

Attorney General Anne Milgram today charged former Assemblyman Neil Cohen’s campaign treasurer with stealing money from his election fund to use for personal expenses.

Milgram indicted Rosemary McClave, 66, a Hillside Democratic activist who works as the Borough of Teterboro’s (population 18 as of the 2000 census) chief financial officer, for allegedly writing $5,562.54 in checks to herself  (payable to American Express) that were purportedly meant to reimburse campaign expenses.  But Milgram charged that McClave never put any campaign expenses on the credit card, instead using it to buy clothing from QVC and toys.  

Cohen, for his part, was indicted by Milgram in December on child pornography charges.  He resigned last summer after his the legislators he shares an office with, state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union) reported him to the Attorney General’s after a staffer found pornographic images of what appeared to be an underage girl printed out from his legislative office computer.  

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Ricigliano wins party backing in Edison, while Spicuzzo keeps out of primary fray

Ricigliano wins party backing in Edison, while Spicuzzo keeps out of primary fray
Edison Councilwoman Toni Ricigliano

EDISON – Considering his decision not to screen before local pooh-bahs, Mayor Jun Choi absorbed without emotion the news that the Edison Democratic Party endorsed his primary opponent last Thursday.

Councilwoman Toni Ricigliano will run with the support of former state Sen. Thomas Paterniti’s organization, even as the mayor hopes not only to win reelection running as an independent Democrat, but to recast the party with an army of local committee people also positioned on the June ballot.

“We have built an organization of grassroots citizens who are public-minded, said Choi. “There are no offers of jobs or contracts. We use idealism as the primary reason to serve on the committee, and we are setting up an issues-based organization. We are fundamentally changing the culture of politics in Edison, as an overwhelming number of our members are not municipal employees, and we do not accept contributions from municipal employees. Zero.”

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Diaz pledges 'zero tolerance' for corruption

Diaz pledges 'zero tolerance' for corruption

Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz reacted to the news today that Jeffrey D. Gumbs, former director of human services and recreation super under former Mayor Joseph Vas, admitted submitting fraudulent invoices to the city to pay for personal expenses for both himself and Vas.

“My administration has zero tolerance for anyone in city government who violates the trust and confidence of the people that we are here to serve,” Diaz said in a statement. As we have stated previously, we have been cooperating fully with law enforcement authorities throughout their investigations and will continue to do so."

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Milgram charges worker from 2007 Ruiz campaign with election fraud

The State Attorney General’s office today charged a worker for the 2007 campaign of state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark) with election fraud for allegedly changing three absentee ballot votes meant for a rival slate to votes for Ruiz’s slate.

Attorney General Anne Milgram charged that 58-year-old Newark resident Antonio Santana, whose responsibilities included soliciting absentee ballots, collected three from one family that were marked for Ruiz opponent Luis Quintana and assembly candidates Bessie Walker and Carolotta Hall.  Santana allegedly unsealed the ballots, erased the family’s votes and changed them in favor of Ruiz and her running mates, Grace Spencer (D-Newark) and Albert Coutinho (D-Newark). 

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WolfBlock disbands

WolfBlock LLP, a large Philadelphia law firm with a major presence in New Jersey, is dissolving, according to a report in the Philadelphia Business Journal. named Wolf Block the 12th most powerful law firm in New Jersey in its 2008 list of the state’s politically connected firms last year.

Among the prominent New Jerseyans who are members of the firm is Hersh Kozlov, a Republican fundraiser.  

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The Back Room

The Norcross State Senate Seat: two names in the game, sources say

Democratic Party sources say the party organization has not positioned the successor to state Sen. Donald Norcross (D-5), who's running to succeed U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-1) - but there are at least two names circulating as possible choices.

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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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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 >


(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

quote of the day

"I see Loretta Weinberg in the back of the room. Loretta, you have my eternal admiration for what you did to rid the Democratic Party of a certain political boss. However, not everyone shares that distinction." - Bergen County Republican Freeholder candidate Robert Avery

- PolitickerNJ


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