ELEC takes no action, a win for Lonegan

ELEC takes no action, a win for Lonegan
Former Bogota Mayor Steven Lonegan won't lose public financing for his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission will not seek to deny public financing to Republican gubernatorial candidate Steven Lonegan, but will not make a public statement today regarding a private meeting today to discuss an unspecified issue that was believed to be related to the Lonegan campaign.

"If we were issuing a compaint in this matter we would be going public," ELEC Executive Director Frederick Herrmann told PolitickerNJ.com.  ELEC has not confirmed that they discussed Lonegan today.

The Lonegan campaign says they expect to receive an additional $139,640 in matching funds soon.

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Morning News Digest: March 5, 2009

Scaglione enters race for Somerset Freeholder

Scaglione enters race for Somerset Freeholder
Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione says he'll seek the Republican nomination for Somerset County Freeholder.

BRIDGEWATER – Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione earlier today talked to Dale Florio and notified the Somerset County Republican chair of his intentions to pursue a seat on the Freeholder Board.

“I’m a 12-year council veteran and I’m in the race,” Scaglione told PolitickerNJ.com tonight, at a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Bridgewater Republican Committee, where Scaglione and his fellow competitors made their respective cases.

Montgomery Township Committeeman Mark Caliguire, Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter and former prosecutor Thomas Roughneen are also vying for the seat being vacated by retiring Freeholder Director Rick Fontana.

“The Democrats have made such a mess of the state budget, that our budgets are really hurting,” said Caliguire, who pledged if elected to examine greater shared and regional services.

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Middlesex backs Christie with 83%

In the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, Christopher Christie won the backing of the Middlesex County Republican Screening Committee tonight, defeating Steve Lonegan 57-9.  Rick Merkt received two votes, and Brian Levine won one vote.

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Hsing loses party support for his Bridgewater council seat

Hsing loses party support for his Bridgewater council seat
Michael Hsing

BRIDGEWATER – It was hard not to see the result here as party payback.

In a special local GOP committee election tonight at the senior center, two-term Bridgewater Councilman Michael Hsing lost party support for his seat in a four-way contest for three seats.

The contestants signed an agreement beforehand agreeing to refrain from challenging tonight's GOP winners in municipal elections. The committee gave incumbent Councilman Howard Norgalis 48 votes, local activist Dan Hayes 47 votes, and former Councilman Alan Kurdyla 47 votes.

In a losing effort, Hsing received 20 votes.

The councilman ran for Congress last year in the 7th District as an independent Republican after failing to secure the party line in his home county here.

"I ended up getting 9% of the vote in Somerset County and 6% overall," said Hsing, of his quixotic, independent challenge of U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance and Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) in a general election contest ultimately won by Lance. 

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In District 1, it's Donohue and Conrad

In District 1, it's Donohue and Conrad
Michael Donohue, who came within 2,000 votes of winning a State Assembly seat in 2007, will run again this year in the politically competitive 1st district.

It looks like there will not be a battle for the Republican organization endorsements in the 1st Legislative District.  

Vineland businessman Sam Fiocchi today withdrew his name from the race and endorsed  attorney Michael Donohue and Upper Township Committeeman Frank Conrad, who are both from Cape May County.  Fiocchi will serve as their Cumberland County campaign chairman.

“We are all united behind the Donohue-Conrad ticket,” said Fiocchi.  “I got involved because I believe Cumberland County is critical for our success this year.  Mike and Frank understand that too.  I intend to do everything I can to help them win in Vineland, Millville and Maurice River Township.”

Fiocchi’s withdrawal coincides with the Cape May County Regular Republican Organization’s endorsement of Donohue and Conrad.

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Flyer backfires on Bergen GOP candidate

Flyer backfires on Bergen GOP candidate

Bergen County freeholder candidate Chris Calabrese, who was considered a favorite to win the Bergen County Republican Organization's (BCRO) endorsement, has suddenly found his candidacy in jeopardy over a flyer he distributed to county committee members.

Calabrese lost his freeholder race last year by a relatively narrow margin, but he was the top vote getter of the three Republican candidates for those positions.  He highlighted that fact in the flyer by comparing his vote totals to those of the party's other freeholder candidates over several past election cycles.

The controversy over the flyer centers on its lack of context -- that it failed to take into account the much higher turnout in 2008 than in years when the other candidates ran.

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Cryan: 'Republicans screwed up the economy, and we're dealing with it'

Cryan: 'Republicans screwed up the economy, and we're dealing with it'
Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan, left, blames the national economy for New Jersey's fiscal woes. But GOP strategist Mike DuHaime, right, believes New Jersey's economic downturn began under the Democrats in 2002.

Today's Fairleigh Dickinson University poll showed Governor Corzine's approval ratings taking a nosedive, but Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan argues, as he has over the last several months, that the public will come to realize that effective leadership requires making difficult and sometimes unpopular choices.

"My comment is the same: we're making tough choices.  Republicans screwed up the economy, and we're dealing with it," said Cryan, a Democratic Assemblyman from Union County.  "This is George Bush's fallout."

Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Christopher Christie, the former U.S. Attorney who was a Bush fundraiser in 2000, tried to cancel that argument out at a press conference last week, arguing that a comparison with neighboring states before the economy tanked demonstrated that New Jersey's economic woes were the result of seven years of Democratic leadership, not the global economic recession.  Public jobs, he argued, provided the vast majority of job growth in New Jersey.

Cryan scoffed at that argument, saying that New Jersey had a lower unemployment rate than its neighbors and is the best positioned for recovery once the economy turns around.

"Herbert Hoover Bush and his pal Chris Christie.  Let's knock it off.  You're responsible for it," he said.  "You would hope that a candidate for governor who was so aligned with Bush would at least have the stones to say it's Bush's economic legacy that we're all dealing with."

Christie consultant Michael DuHaime countered that New Jersey's recession started well before the national one.

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Morning Digest Sponsored by Auto Alliance: September 16th

Bergen County Executive's Race: Tedesco goes up on cable TV with introductory ad James Tedesco, Democratic candidate for Bergen County Executive, goes up on cable television Tuesday for the first time this season. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/81501/bergen-county-executives-race-tedesco-goes-cable-tv-introductory-ad       Stockton Poll: Belgard and MacArthur tied in CD3 In New Jersey’s key...

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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 >


(9-10-14) Chief Justice Rabner Faces Funding Challenges as Top Court Administrator - Escalating legal fees for litigation is an unintended consequence of underfunding the Court System. ... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... 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

"[Lyndon] Johnson understood that so far as a man was a political animal (and therefore not searching for some private truth which might be independent of politics) he was then, if deprived of his properties, close to being a dead man." - Norman Mailer

- Miami and the Siege of Chicago


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