Lance and Myers hit opponents on Rangel

He’s a powerful Congressman from a different state, but House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Chares Rangel (D-N.Y.) is the issue du jour in New Jersey’s two competitive House races.

Rangel helped raise a lot of money for Democrats Linda Stender and John Adler with a fundraiser and PAC donations. Now that he’s under fire for several allegedly unethical practices, cash strapped Republicans Leonard Lance and Chris Myers think their more well-off Democratic counterparts should give the Rangel-related money back.

This isn’t the first time that Republicans have raised Rangel as a campaign issue. But the recent editorial by the New York Times calling for Rangel to step down from his committee chairmanship has made it relevant once again to the Myers and Lance campaigns.

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Pindell Report boosts Myers, Lance

The Pindell Report, an independent analysis of state and federal races edited by's James W. Pindell, today upgraded the 3rd district House race from “Likely Democratic” to “Leans Democratic,” and said that the contest in the 7th district has become more competitive.

The ranking corresponds with more optimistic national prospects for Republicans, with presidential candidate John McCain surging in the two weeks since the Republican National Convention began.  In New Jersey, recent polls put McCain within three points of Barack Obama. 

“These are two longtime Republican seats.  Democrats haven't won the 3rd since 1882 and the 7th since 1956.  Republicans are getting over heated primaries, while Democrats had cleared the field for John Adler and Linda Stender,” said Pindell.  “While the Democrats have much more money, internal polls show this race to be getting a little closer.  If John McCain is getting the base behind him as polls suggest then Lance and Myers might have a shot after all.”

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Bergen Republicans try to get Shulman on the record on Ferriero

The Joe Ferriero indictment has spilled over into the 5th District Congressional race.

Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin today asked Democrat Dennis Shulman, who’s challenging U.S. Rep. E. Scott Garrett in the Bergen-dominated district, to call on Ferriero – who was indicted last week on eight corruption counts along with former BCDO general counsel Dennis Oury – to permanently resign from his chairmanship.

“If Mr. Shulman is to seriously demonstrate his commitment to the people of the Fifth District and to clean government, why then has he not called for the resignation of a corrupt party boss?” said Yudin. “At a time when Democratic leaders such as Gov. Jon Corzine and Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan have already asked for Ferriero to step aside, I question why Mr. Shulman has not followed suit?”

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Publisher says Star-Ledger could be sold or closed by January

Publisher says Star-Ledger could be sold or closed by January

The Star-Ledger could be sold or closed by January if the Newspaper and Mail Deliverers Union doesn't ratify a labor agreement by October 8, according to an internal e-mail from publisher George Arwady.  Arwady says that the contract with the union, which represents about 90 drivers, is one of three conditions Advance Publications, the owner of the Star-Ledger, has established to keep the state's largest newspaper in operation.

In July, Arwady said the Star-Ledger is on "life support" and that the paper could be sold if 200 employees don’t agree to buyouts by October 1, and if the paper doesn’t reach agreements with labor unions.  Last week, Editor & Publisher said that Arwady told reporter Ron Marsico that the paper has not yet received the 100 news staff buyouts they need.  Marsico is expected to take the buyout, and has reportedly accepted a job with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which he has covered since 1982.

Read the Arwady e-mail:

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Labor leader gets 27 months in jail

Peter Strannemar, the former president of Local 825 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for conspiring with others to demand and
receive labor $112,000 in bribes from construction contractors.  Strannemar pleaded guilty last May that he took bribes from construction contractors at the Goldman Sachs project in Jersey City. Strannemar also pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

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Straten wages long-shot bid against Pascrell

In ten years, Roland Straten went from being Bill Pascrell's contributor to his opponentIn ten years, Roland Straten went from being Bill Pascrell's contributor to his opponent
When news broke that Republican Roland Straten would run for the 8th  Congressional District seat, Straten got a call from his old acquaintance and new opponent, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson).

According to Straten’s recollection, the exchange went something like this:

Pascrell: “Rollie, are you mad at me?”

Straten: “Bill, no.”

Pascrell: “Why are you running against me?”

Straten: “I don’t agree with your votes and your policies.’

Pascrell: “Then I’m going to beat your tail.” 

If Straten’s campaign turns out like those of Pascrell’s five previous challengers, then Pascrell probably will beat his tail. Since Pascrell narrowly unseated Republican Bill Martini in 1996, no Republican has gotten more than 35 percent of the vote against him.  Last year, Republican Jose Sandoval only got 28 percent to Pascrell’s 71 percent.

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Andrews mum on Zimmer's debate challenges to Lautenberg

Debates were the cornerstone of Rob Andrews' Senate campaign, but he's not running for the Senate nowDebates were the cornerstone of Rob Andrews' Senate campaign, but he's not running for the Senate now
Those who followed the Democratic U.S. Senate primary heard it again and again: U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews complaining that incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg wouldn’t engage him in enough debates.

He got two – both shortly before election day. 

Now, Republican Senate candidate Dick Zimmer is sounding a similar theme, complaining that Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) won’t live up to the standard he set in 1982, when he wanted to debate Republican rival Millicent Fenwick in all 21 counties.

But don’t expect Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) to back up Zimmer on this one. 

“The Congressman supports Senator Lautenberg and has no further comment on the campaign,” said Andrews Chief of Staff Bill Caruso.

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New poll on Corzine approvals, Lautenberg vs. Zimmer, to be released by Quinnipiac on Wednesday

Jon Corzine's approval ratings in an August Quinnipiac poll were upside-down: Getty Images PhotoJon Corzine's approval ratings in an August Quinnipiac poll were upside-down: Getty Images Photo
Quinnipiac University will release results of a new poll tomorrow with head to head numbers in the race for U.S. Senate, and Gov. Jon Corzine's approval rating.  

Last month, Corzine's approvals were upside-down, 42%-48%, and he was in a statistical dead heat with U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie in a 2009 gubernatorial poll.  In the Senate race, Quinnipiac had Democratic incumbent Frank Lautenberg with a seven point lead, 48%-41%, over Republican Dick Zimmer.  Independent polls over the last week from The Record, Marist College, and Fairleigh Dickinson University have shown Lautenberg with double-digit leads in his bid for re-election to a fifth term.

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The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >


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Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop



Was Frank X. Graves of Paterson New Jersey's best mayor?:


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