Monmouth County GOP standout changes parties

Monmouth County GOP standout changes parties

MARLBORO – The Iraq War vet who once exhorted a crowd of Monmouth Republicans to "cowboy-up" in the cause of his campaign, has donned the dreaded black hat of the opposition.  

Councilman Jeff Cantor, a 2007 Republican candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder who nearly won, has changed parties and become a Democrat, according to a press release issued by the Marlboro Democratic Party.

Once seen as a rising GOP star, Cantor came within a heartbreaking handful of votes of winning his bid for freeholder against John D’Amico. 

Locally, he appeared to be the best-positioned Marlboro Republican to take on new Mayor Jonathan Hornik, a Democrat who in 2007 defeated Robert Kleinberg. 

But he’s happy with Hornik’s work, he said, and noted that “the Democrats are making the needed changes to move our community forward.”

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Morning News Digest: February 10, 2009

Booker defends Corzine's urban record

Booker defends Corzine's urban record
Newark Mayor Cory Booker

NEWARK – If Chris Christie wants to get in Gov. Jon Corzine’s face on the issue of urban renewal, he will have to first get through Mayor Cory Booker, who claimed bragging rights to New Jersey's incumbent governor tonight in his annual state of the city address.

“We stand with you, Jon Corzine, because Jon Corzine stands with Newark,” said Booker, waiting while the packed audience here at historic Symphony Hall, first slowly, then nearly uniformly, stood to applaud the unpopular governor who faces reelection this year and the prospect of battling GOP frontrunner Christie.

The latter’s from Newark originally, and last week he launched his campaign for governor at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center downtown with the promise that he would create tax incentives in New Jersey’s largest urban center as a means of enticing businesses.

While conceding that the times aren’t the best nationally – even globally – Booker adopted a been-there-done-that Democratic response to the energized former U.S. Attorney.

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Vitale: Christie should say if he'll ask Bush or Ashcroft for help

Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie should say if he will ask former President George Bush or former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to campaign for him or raise money for his campaign, says State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge). 

Appearing on a Fox morning show today, Christie said he would not ask former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to campaign for him, but sidestepped questions about Bush or Ashcroft. 

"He should answer the question," said Vitale, the Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

Christie was a top fundraiser for Bush's 2000 presidential campaign before being named U.S. Attorney in 2001.  After leaving the Justice Department, Ashcroft received a federal monitor contract from Christie that could net the ex-Attorney General more than $50 million in fees.

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The guru, the star, and Oprah

The guru, the star, and Oprah
Newark Mayor Cory Booker

NEWARK – Television star Oprah Winfrey’s decision this month to drop a $500,000 gift on Steve Adubato’s North Ward Center effectively stamps out the fuse on a standoff between the North Ward Democratic leader and Winfrey confidante Mayor Cory Booker, in a resolution that underscores the political strengths of the two main combatants.

If Adubato, native Newarker and a grizzled guru now in his seventies, proved his relevance by waging a war in the streets and alleys he has known since childhood, Booker the Bergen County outsider turned Newark activist and statewide star, proved his manna from Heaven connections. 

And the community won in the end, according to sources from both camps, as Adubato’s Blue Ribbon charter school, the Robert Treat Academy - whose students consistently rate higher math and science test scores than students in schools in all of urban New Jersey and all of Essex County - stands to get an unprecedented infusion of funds.

The contribution came with a back story.  

For almost as long as Booker’s been in office, Adubato poked, prodded, cajoled, and chest-thumped in the face of the young star’s particular power, and now sources close to the North Ward leader say he intends to endorse the first term mayor for reelection next year.

It’s been an odd relationship.

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Kuhl will back DiMaio in primary, regardless of convention outcome

FLEMINGTON – Fighting criticism that he’s operating behind the scenes to weaken the chances of two home county candidates in order to protect state Sen. Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan Twp.), Hunterdon County GOP Chairman Henry Kuhl says he simply wants to keep the balance struck between those two counties that contribute to the 23rd Legislative District.

To that end he told Hunterdon County freeholders Matt Holt and Erik Peterson Friday that regardless of who wins the special convention on Feb 21st, he agreed with Warren County GOP chairman Doug Steinhardt to give a third Assembly candidate, Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio, the organization line in the June Republican Primary.

“The premise is to preserve bi-county representation, if possible,” affirmed Steinhardt.

But the move by the two GOP chairmen has generated some blowback as less than two weeks before the convention, DiMaio, Holt and Peterson vie for the Assembly seat Karrow officially vacated today to claim the Senate seat in the 23rd  District with both Kuhl and Steinhart by her side in the Senate chamber.

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With $500k, Christie camp says it qualifies for matching funds

Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie’s gubernatorial campaign announced today that they’ve raised over half a million dollars in three weeks – more than enough to qualify for matching funds from the state.

If the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) verifies the donations, Christie will be the second Republican to meet the $340,000 matching funds threshold.  Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, who kicked off his campaign early, secured matching funds last month and has already begun a $500,000 ad blitz.

When a candidate meets the matching funds requirement, he or she will receive two dollars for every one they raise for up to $3.1 million in the primary, minus a $109,000 deductible.  Christie has already said he intends to seek matching funds. 

“The support with which donors have been backing Chris has been unmatched,” said Campaign Finance Chairman Jon F. Hanson in a statement.  “It’s clear that Chris’s vision for New Jersey is resonating with the people of our state.”

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Christie says he doesn't want Gonzales to campaign for him

Former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor, told Fox's Good Morning New York today that he doesn't want his ex-boss, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, to campaign for him.

"I wouldn't be comfortable with Alberto Gonzales coming and campaigning for me," said Christie.  "I had some serious disagreements with the attorney general about the way things were run when he was attorney general and so I would not ask and wouldn't want him to come and campaign for me because we just had some serious philosophical disagreements with each other."

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The Back Room

Report: Christie campaigns for Hutchinson

No real news out of Arkansas this evening as a local report documents Republican Governors Association Chairman Chris Christie stumping in Arkansas on behaf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson.

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LOL

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 27th

One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide CLIFTON – It was the typical crowd with black yarmulkes and leopard-patterned hijab sprinkled among uncovered bald heads – Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish – Spanish Flamenco-style hair pulled back and framed by loop earrings and at...

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Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... 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 »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

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“Israelis don’t want peace more than the Palestinians, Palestinians don’t want peace more than the Israelis, but I do know one thing: Hamas is a terrorist organization.” - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), Paterson.

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