Merkt questions three-year delay in Corzine ethics overhaul

Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) and Mendham Committeewoman Jane Tiger.: Politicker file photoAssemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) and Mendham Committeewoman Jane Tiger.: Politicker file photoOn the occasion of Gov. Jon Corzine’s release today of wide-ranging ethics reform, GOP gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), criticized Corzine for dragging his heels.

"The Governor acknowledged from his first day in office that there was a need for a change in the culture of corruption enveloping Trenton," said Merkt, who launched an exploratory committee for a 2009 bid in late summer. "That being the case, it is hard to understand why it took him three years to propose ethics reforms that he could have demanded on his first day in office. In the meantime, dozens of public officials have been indicted and millions of taxpayer dollars have been squandered as these corrupt practices continued without any meaningful opposition by the administration.

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Myers appears with cranberry farmers, while Adler rips him for Bush ties

Medford Mayor Chris Myers: Politicker file photoMedford Mayor Chris Myers: Politicker file photoThe National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today officially endorsed 3rd Congressional District candidate Medford Mayor Chris Myers, even as the Republican’s opponent, state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden), continued to lash out at Myers’s fundraising connections.

Standing with fifth generation cranberry farmers Joe Darlington and wife, Brenda Conner, on their Pemberton property today, Myers said, "Small business owners have always been the engine that makes the American economy go and will be on the forefront of helping to lead us out of this current economic crisis."

He took a shot at Adler.State Sen. John Adler (D-Camden): Politicker file photoState Sen. John Adler (D-Camden): Politicker file photo

"Thanks to career Trenton politician John Adler, small business owners in New Jersey are consistently being barraged with higher taxes and excessive regulation that kill job creation and hurt middle class families struggling to make ends meet," Myers said.

NFIB promotes and protects the right of its members to own, operate and grow their businesses, according to its website.

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Pallone and Zeitz tag team in highlighting the cost of war

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) and 4th District Congressional District candidate Josh Zeitz want America to pull the plug on the war in Iraq.

Speaking on a conference call this afternoon, they tallied the $4.5 billion total cost of the six-year old war to the 4th and 6th districts, according to Obama presidential campaign spokesman Andrew Poag, and tied those numbers to the record and campaign rhetoric of GOP presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

"We can’t afford another president who will continue George W. Bush’s failed foreign policies," said Pallone, one of four New Jersey congressmen who voted against the initial resolution authorizing Bush to go into Iraq. 

"Senator Barack Obama (who at the outset opposed the war in a speech he gave in 2002) has proposed a safe and responsible plan to bring our troops home, but John McCain has no plan to end the war," Pallone added.

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Shulman ad hammers on what they see as Garrett's 'Karcher problem'

Dennis Shulman in Denver last month.: Politicker photoDennis Shulman in Denver last month.: Politicker photo 

They say there are about two or three enduring storylines in world literature, and over the last year there have proved to be two or three storylines in New Jersey politics..

In the U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett/Dennis Shulman Fifth Congressional District contest, the Shulman campaign argues that it’s the Ellen Karcher story all over again, with Garrett receiving a $41,000 tax break on a piece of land that yields approximately $700 per year in income.

In a television ad that went up today on Channel 5 in the district, Shulman charges that by enjoying the tax loophole, Garrett proves he is just another "corrupt politician."

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Corzine to propose sweeping campaign finance reforms

Corzine to propose sweeping campaign finance reforms

Gov. Jon Corzine, left, with one of his potential 2009 Republican opponents, biotech millionaire John CrowleyGov. Jon Corzine, left, with one of his potential 2009 Republican opponents, biotech millionaire John Crowley
Gov. Jon Corzine will announce a highly aggressive anti-wheeling campaign finance reform package that will reduce contribution limits to county and local party organizations and legislative leadership committees. The Governor has scheduled a 2:30 PM news conference.

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Fernandez defiant as rumors dog Garcia candidacy

Councilman Gerardo Fernandez: Politicker photoCouncilman Gerardo Fernandez: Politicker photo 

PASSAIC - The arrest last week of Passaic City Councilman Gerardo Fernandez on corruption charges dredged up the Sammy Rivera era again in the middle of a mayor’s election.

A candidate for mayor, Councilman Joe Garcia was on the governing body when the now disgraced and jailed Rivera told an FBI plant that he could deliver four votes on the City Council in favor of a dummy insurance contract.

Garcia defenders say Councilman/mayoral candidate Garcia was not one of Rivera’s four sure bet votes, but rumors persist.

An indictment already identified Councilman Marcellus Jackson as one of the council people implicated in the failed Rivera scheme. Former Councilman Jonathan Soto was also implicated.

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The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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Op-Ed

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 >

Contributors

(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(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

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.

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