Morning News Digest: March 19, 2009

Spicuzzo mourns Otlowski, wonders about Vas

Spicuzzo mourns Otlowski, wonders about Vas
Chairman Joe Spicuzzo congratulates his Distrct 19 ticket: Aassemblyman John Wisniewski, left, and South Amboy Mayor John T. O'Leary

EDISON – One Perth Amboy mayor received homage, a second stands accused of state corruption charges and stayed away, and a third was in the house tonight here at the Pines Manor at the Middlesex County Democratic Organization’s convention. 

“He’s disappeared,” Chairman Joe Spicuzzo said of former Perth Amboy Mayor Joe Vas, indicted last week on bid-rigging and theft charges. “I’ve tried calling him but haven’t heard from him. He must be with his lawyer.” 

Ousted as mayor last year by Wilda Diaz, Vas had originally intended to pursue his assembly seat again at a special March 25th convention, but backed down after absorbing the state charges last Wednesday.

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Smith builds up Buono for LG

Smith builds up Buono for LG
State Sen. Bob Smith (D-Piscataway)

EDISON – At the Middlesex County Democratic Organization’s (MCDO) annual convention at the Pines Manor here tonight there was palpable frontrunner fever for Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) as the state’s first Democratic Party candidate for lieutenant governor.

“No one but (Gov.) Jon Corzine can make that choice, but Barbara Buono would be a magnificent lieutenant governor,” veteran state Sen. Bob Smith (D-Piscataway) told “I think her chairmanship of the budget committee gives her a unique perspective, and she’s very well liked in Middlesex.”

In his introduction of the governor to the convention, Smith billed Buono as a fierce Corzine ally.

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Republicans see opportunity in Gloucester, but must get past leadership fight first

Normally, state Republicans probably wouldn’t worry about a leadership spat in Gloucester County, where the local GOP hasn’t exactly been relevant in recent years.
But with a political climate that Republicans think makes two of the county’s Democrat-controlled legislative districts competitive, Republicans hope that opportunity isn’t squandered by a squabble.

Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson has stepped in to try to mediate the split between Gloucester County Republican Chairwoman Loran Oglesby and a group of party activists, while the campaign of gubernatorial frontrunner Chris Christie has yet to commit to screen in Gloucester County Oglesby names the members of her party’s screening committee.

The problem stems from an ongoing fight between Oglesby and a group of detractors led by former freeholder candidate Phyllis Scapellato and Franklin Township Municipal Chairman Bill Fey, who hopes to unseat Oglesby in June.  Despite her critics’ best efforts to convince Oglesby to step down before picking the party’s candidates, she has already begun the process.

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Corzine: 'I am glad this is all over'

Governor Corzine today expressed relief that the question of whether he will be forced to reveal his email correspondence with ex-girlfriend/former union leader Carla Katz has been resolved by the State Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson’s case.

“I am glad this is all over. I think we had a political fishing trip by folks that has gone on far too long.  I think that the things that we are working on here today, things of real substance, are what public life is supposed to be all about,” said Corzine in a statement.

Wilson argued that the emails should be aired so the public can judge whether Corzine and Katz engaged in back-channel negotiations during contract talks with Katz’s former union, CWA Local 1034.  

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Fulop hits Healy for campaign use of city vehicle

Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop lashed out at Mayor Jerramiah Healy today for using city vehicles as campaign props.

Fulop, who is running for reelection to his Ward E council seat, said that the Healy camp draped a rented incinerator authority truck with campaign banners during the local St. Patrick’s Day parade.  While technically legal, Fulop doubted that city vehicles would be made available for anyone else to rent for campaign purposes.  

“While it has been clarified that this is a long practice in Jersey City and the Mayor’s campaign acted within city policy set years ago, the renting of city vehicles in the future needs to stop immediately. Renting of city property is not only in bad taste but it sets a bad precedent” Fulop said in a statement. “Can anyone rent city vehicles to use for advertising or for fun? Would the Mayor support any and all candidates running for any office the opportunity to rent city vehicles for campaign purposes?”

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Wilson says now that Corzine has made his point, he should turn over Katz emails

With no legal options remaining to force Governor Corzine to turn over emails between himself and ex-girlfriend Carla Katz, a former public employee union leader, Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson said today Corzine should release the emails on his own volition.  

“With the legal question now answered, all that is left is for Jon Corzine to answer the real question. Did his backchannel communications with Carla Katz, away from the bargaining table, influence his actions on the state worker contract?  The only way for people to know the answer is for Corzine to now release the e-mails,” wrote Wilson in his formal response to the State Supreme Court’s decision not to hear his legal challenge to Corzine today.

Corzine claimed executive privilege in keeping the emails out of view and said last year that the public would find most of the content “extraordinarily boring.”

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Report: Top court won't hear Corzine e-mail case

The Associated Press is reporting that the New Jersey Supreme Court has decided against hearing a case seeking the release of Gov. Jon Corzine's e-mails with his former girlfriend, labor leader Carla Katz.  The case had been filed by Tom Wilson, the Republican State Chairman.

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The Back Room

Armstead has to pay ELEC fine

Charged with a late filing going back to his 2011 local election, Linden Councilman Derek Armstead has to pay $1,550.80 in fines, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

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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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