Fulop to run as an independent

After turning down multiple overtures to join a mayoral ticket, Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop will run for reelection to his Ward E seat independently.  

“I had the opportunity to go on the (Mayor Jerramiah) Healy, (Former Assemblyman Lou) Manzo, (Assemblyman L. Harvey) Smith ticket, and at the end of the day, based on who else is on the ticket and the landscape, I thought this was the best route for me,” said Fulop.  

Shelley Skinner, a community and education activist who flirted with a run in Ward E while Fulop was considering a mayoral bid, will be Fulop’s campaign manager. 

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In Newark kickoff, Christie promises bold leadership

In Newark kickoff, Christie promises bold leadership
GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie enters to prolonged applause.

NEWARK – In the city of his birth, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie launched his campaign for governor this morning, vowing if elected to wage an aggressive battle against wasteful and parochial politicians, special interests and bloated state spending. 

“I have the experience and the determination and the will to make the tough decisions that are necessary to make the right decisions,” Christie told a room packed with enthusiastic Republican supporters here at the New Jersey Center for the Performing Arts. 

Christie said he would restore trust in government, make use of the line item veto, relentlessly market New Jersey to forge a new jobs base, and budget “like you do at home.” 

“Our government taxes too much, borrows too much and spends too much,” said Christie. “We have a government that refuses to be held accountable for how they spend our money."

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Menendez, Pallone to join Obama for bill signing

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) will join President Obama at the White House today for the signing of legislation reauthorizing and expanding state children’s health insurance programs. 

Pallone, the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, was the lead sponsor of the bill in the House.   Menendez, who is now a member of the Senate Finance Committee, was a leading proponent of the bill.

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McSorley acknowledges interest in running for assembly

McSorley acknowledges interest in running for assembly
Republicans have not yet settled on candidates to challenge Democratic incumbents Linda Greenstein and Wayne DeAngelo for the State Assembly in the politically competitive 14th district.

Former Mercer County sheriff candidate Jim McSorley acknowledged today that he is considering running for assembly in the 14th District.

“I’m thinking about it, to tell you the truth.  I haven’t made any decisions one way or the other,” said McSorley, a Hamilton resident and former State Police captain.  

The 14th is expected to be one of the prime battleground districts this year, with Republicans specifically targeting freshman Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton), a labor leader.  DeAngelo’s running mate, Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro), is a five-term incumbent.

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Quinnipiac: Christie takes the lead in race for Governor as Corzine disapproval rating dips to 50%

Quinnipiac: Christie takes the lead in race for Governor as Corzine disapproval rating dips to 50%

Republican Christopher Christie leads Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine by six percentage points, 44%-38%, in the race for Governor, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released early this morning. 

Corzine's approval ratings have dropped to an upside-down 41%-50%, and his favorable are upside-down at 41%-49%.

"Corzine suddenly has become the underdog in this race and history will surely repeat itself in New Jersey in 2009.  The big question is whether Corzine will come back like Democratic Gov. Brendan Byrne did in 1977 or go down to defeat like Jim Florio in 1993," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

In a Republican primary, Christie, the former U.S. Attorney, leads former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan 44%-17%, with Franklin Mayor Brian Levine at 5% and Assemblyman Rick Merkt (R-Mendham) at 2%. 

More than half of New Jersey voters, 54%-33%, say that Corzine does not deserve to be re-elected to a second term.   Just 23% of independent voters want Corzine for another four years, 64% do not.  Christie leads Corzine among independents by a 49%-24% margin.
Most New Jerseyans still don't know Christie (61%) or Lonegan (78%).  Christie has a 31%-7% favorable rating.

In a head-to-head general election matchup, Corzine leads Lonegan 42%-36%.  Lonegan leads among independents by 12 points, 40%-28%, and has a 15%-6% favorable rating.

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Jewell poised to formally enter Hillside mayor's race

Jewell poised to formally enter Hillside mayor's race
Councilman Jerome Jewell

HILLSIDE – Here it comes – a Hillside free-for-all. 

Sources close to Councilman Jerome Jewell say he will formally enter the race for mayor sometime in the next two weeks. The long-serving Newark detective will run with the backing of the local Democratic Party organization. 

But there’s still political oxygen out there that at least two other candidates are trying to gobble up in the apparent aftermath of the troubled tenure of Mayor Karen McCoy-Oliver, niece of the late Assemblyman Willie Brown, who has not publicly declared her intentions regarding reelection.  

Whatever she does, McCoy-Oliver’s well-publicized head-butting episodes with powerful local party leader Charlotte DeFilippo have made the mayor an off-the-line contender at best now as Jewel commands the organization’s backing.

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In Newark, Oprah's $500,000 little pieces

In Newark, Oprah's $500,000 little pieces
North Ward Democratic Party leader Steve Adubato

Essex County insiders said all along that North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato, Sr.’s incessant political jockeying to the determent of Newark Mayor Cory Booker could come to a standstill with one ring-kissing session. 

That might have come this weekend albeit not in a formal ceremony, as The Star-Ledger reported that Adubato, Sr.’s celebrated North Ward Center received a $500,000 gift courtesy of Booker’s pal Oprah Winfrey, part of $1.5 million the television star gave to nonprofit organizations in the city. 

Adubato told the Ledger the money will be used "to provide scholarships to graduates of the center's charter school, the Robert Treat Academy," which consistently graduates high achieving urban students.

It’s not a given that the gift will grind to a halt the Booker-prodding political machinations of the North Ward mastermind, but insiders say Adubato is certainly less likely to mount a serious challenge to Booker when the mayor runs for reelection in 2010.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 22nd

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell Fight of the Week Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/79736/fight-week-donovan-v-pascrell     Paramus mayor's race: Candidates in closely-divided Bergen borough spar over taxes, towing issues PARAMUS - When voters go to the polls in November...

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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 >


(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 »
(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... 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 »

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