Dublin to give up freeholder chairmanship

Hudson County Freeholder Jeff Dublin will relinquish his chairmanship to Freeholder Doreen DiDomenico at the board’s reorganization meeting tonight, Dublin said today.

The chairmanship has rotated among the freeholders each year since Silverio “Sal” Vega, who was chairman for eight years, left the board in 2006.  Dublin, who held the post in 2008, was hoping to hold on to it for at least another year.

“The freeholders are going to meet amongst ourselves today and stick with this one year rotation for now,” said Dublin, who added that the board would consider instituting a three year term as chairman starting in 2012. 

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Corzine visits troops in Iraq

Corzine visits troops in Iraq
Gov. Jon Corzine

Gov. Jon Corzine made a surprise visit to Iraq today and plans to give a noon conference call detailing his acivities.

Following his arrival today in the Middle Eastern country, the governor visited U.S. troops at Camp Bucca, a prison camp maintained by the U.S. military, according to sources.

The AP reports that Corzine is traveling with Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Chris Gregoire of Washington.

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Lonegan camp says they qualify for matching funds

Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan has raised enough campaign cash to receive matching funds from the state, according to his strategist, Rick Shaftan.

Shaftan didn’t have the exact numbers, but he said that Lonegan has raised over $340,000 – the threshold to receive two dollars for every dollar he raises beyond the $109,000 deductible.

If the contributions are verified, Lonegan will start out with about $802,000.

“The last six to eight weeks has been all fundraising,” said Shaftan.

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Holt decides to run for assembly instead of state senate

Holt decides to run for assembly instead of state senate
Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt will run for the assembly, not the state senate

The three way race for senate in the 23rd Legislative District has been narrowed down to two.

Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt, who had already declared his candidacy for state senate, has opted instead to run for one of the two possible assembly seats that will soon open up.  Both incumbents, Assembly members Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington) and Mike Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) are running to replace Congressman-elect Leonard Lance in the state Senate. 

"My mission to represent the 23rd District in the Legislature will not change.  I repeat my pledge to run a campaign based on issues, and to be a unifying force that all Republicans can rally around to further the goals of the party,” said Holt in a statement.  “Low taxes, responsible government, transparency, and impeccable integrity can be the hallmarks of New Jersey governance.  I continue my total commitment to these principles.” 

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Rule him out of District 36 Assembly run, says Scarpelli

Rule him out of District 36 Assembly run, says Scarpelli
Nutley Commissioner Joe Scarpelli

In a legislative district where some Republicans sense opportunity, Nutley Commissioner Joseph Scarpelli says he does not intend to run for the Assembly this year in the 36th.

“You can rule it out, I’m not interested,” the Republican commissioner told PolitickerNJ.com. “I’m happy doing what I’m doing.

Scarpelli earned a seat on the commission last year, taking over for his father, former Mayor Peter Scarpelli, who retired from elected office.

Sources say Nutley Mayor Joanne Cocchiola likewise does not intend to pursue a run for the Assembly, while Nutley businessman Carmen Pio Costa remains interested but has not yet formally declared his intentions.

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Pennacchio accuses Treasury Department of stonewalling

State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) is not satisfied with the response to his OPRA requests to the Treasury Department, claiming that any substantive discussion about why the state invested in the troubled Lehman Brothers financial firm was blacked out in the documents provided to him. 

Pennacchio is investigating how the government lost hundreds of millions in pension funds by investing in Lehman Brothers before its collapse.  He had previously complained that his requests were ignored. 

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Kyrillos: 'We need a leader like Chris Christie'

Kyrillos: 'We need a leader like Chris Christie'
State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth)

An old ally today sent up a trumpet blast of support for former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie. 

State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), who swore Christie into office when he served as a Morris County Freeholder, says Christie looks and sounds like a Republican candidate for governor. 

“I spent time over the weekend with my good friend… and I am very encouraged by what I heard,” Kyrillos said in an email he sent today to friends. 

“Chris is being urged to run for governor by Republicans, Independents, and even some prominent Democrats,” Kyrillos wrote. “They've read what the newspapers wrote about what Chris achieved as our state's U.S. Attorney, and they're telling Chris that he can provide the leadership and make the tough decisions needed to fix our broken state."

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The Back Room

Christie v. Astorino in Aspen

Dismissed by Republican Governors' Association (RGA) Chairman Chris Christie, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino plans to confront his tormentor tonight at a GOP fundraiser in Aspen.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 23rd

Between RGA gigs, Christie doesn't skip a beat bashing Trenton Dems at seaside LGI town hall LONG BEACH ISLAND – Gov. Chris Christie squeezed LBI between trips to IowaNew HampshireConnecticut and – tomorrow – Colorado – just long enough to puncture his favorite Trenton-based targets in front of a...

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Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups.  But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >


 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“We lived up to our end of the bargain. He didn’t live up to his end of the deal.” - Ed Connolly, president of the New Jersey Firemen’s Benevolent Association.

- The Bergen Record


Who's right on the death penalty?:


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