Lonegan and Merkt seize on Christie's COAH statement

Lonegan and Merkt seize on Christie's COAH statement
Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham)

MOUNTAIN LAKES – Intent on keeping gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie pinned down in a Republican primary,  the rightward flanking duo of former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan and Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham)  claimed credit – and victory - this evening for having budged Christie to his current stance on the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). 

On Thursday, Christie told a Monmouth County crowd that he would “gut COAH and put an end to it,” evidently the first time on the campaign trail that he has spoken of outright scrapping the agency, which mandates low and moderate income housing in all of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities. 

Merkt and Lonegan applauded Christie for appearing to adopt their position, but also read the GOP frontrunner’s change-up as a sign that he’s not tough enough on the issue, and worry that he could be susceptible to equivocation on what they see as other core conservative positions. 

“Four years ago during the gubernatorial primary, I put out a tabloid attacking Jon Corzine’s COAH plan of 100,000 units of affordable housing,” Lonegan said.

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Healy unveils mayoral slate

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who’s seeking reelection this May, is revealing his council slate tonight at the Casino in the Park.  

All but three of the council’s incumbents will run with Healy.

In Ward E – the only seat held by a non-Healy ally, Steven Fulop – the Mayor is putting up Guy Catrillo, a Republican who works for the city’s planning division and has run for legislative office several times.  Catrillo is president of the Dante Alighieri Society and the Historic Preservation Commission.

In Ward C, where incumbent Steve Lipski decided against seeking reelection after being arrested for allegedly urinating on a concert crowd from a balcony, businesswoman and community activist Nidia Rivera Lopez – the wife of former Councilman Benjamin Lopez -- will run on Healy’s ticket

In Ward B, Phil Kenny, an ally of Freeholder Bill O’Dea who works as the , Office Operations Coordinator for the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, replaces Mary Spinello. 

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Christie all but drives a stake through COAH in Monmouth County remarks

Christie all but drives a stake through COAH in Monmouth County remarks
State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), left, introduces former U.S. Attorney Chris Chrisite, with wife Mary Pat.

LINCROFT – On the second day of his two-day campaign kickoff, Chris Christie has sharpened his Wednesday speech into a few short bursts, and in front of a packed house at the Lincroft Inn in this one-time horse farm country turned box store sprawl zone, he toughens his anti-COAH (Council on Affordable Housing) rhetoric.

“If I am governor, I will gut COAH and I will put an end to it,” says Christie, an edited version of underdog gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Richard Merkt’s (R-Mendham) “If I am governor, I will drive a stake into COAH’s heart, bury it, and make sure it never rises again” mantra.  

The comment gets a raise-the-roof response. 

“You just won the election,” Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry tells the candidate.  

She’s standing behind him and facing the crowd along with other Republican elected officials, including state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Middletown), state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank), state Sen. Sean Kean (R-Wall), Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno, and Middletown Mayor Pam Brightbill.

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Lacy resigns Hamilton posts

Former Hamilton Council President Jack Lacy has resigned two local posts after facing criticism for an e-mail that compared President Barack Obama's inauguration to the evacuation of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.  "I'm confused," Lacy wrote. "How can two million blacks get into Washington, D.C., in sub zero (temperatures) in one day when 200,000 couldn't get out of New Orleans at 85 degrees with four days notice?"

In an e-mail to PolitickerNJ.com, Lacy called his resignation letter "my final commentary on this subject."

 "I am now totally and completely a private citizen and do not care to engage in further discussion on this matter," Lacy said.

The full text of his letter of resignation follows:

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North Arlington mayor wants McGuire's job

With speculation that Bergen County Sheriff Leo McGuire may be appointed U.S. Marshall, North Arlington Mayor Peter Massa today floated his own name for McGuire’s current job.  

Massa, a former police and sheriff’s officer , issued a press release stating that he’s “very interesting in exploring this option should Sheriff McGuire resign” and outlining his qualifications.

“I've earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration as well as attended law school. I've worked in the Sheriff's office as well as the North Arlington Police Department where I retired as sergeant and I'm currently employed with a major bi-state agency with the rank of captain. I've served on both sides of the table in a collective bargaining capacity as PBA president as well as the head of a school board and municipality,” he wrote.  “I believe my professional, educational and political credentials make my candidacy one that's tough to beat come election day.” 

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Corzine backs up Obama on stimulus package, while doubling up on his base

Corzine backs up Obama on stimulus package, while doubling up on his base
Gov. Jon Corzine signs today's executive order.

TRENTON – Republicans opposing President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package either don’t want to grasp the impact of the presidential election that Obama won on Nov. 4th or cannot resist remaining obstinately political, Gov. Jon Corzine said at a press conference today.

“The President has the support of the American people,” said Corzine, “but as is easily observed, we don’t seem to be living in post-partisan America.” 

Republicans, said the governor, “are trying to rehash an election the President won by a substantial margin.” 

The governor invoked the last election even as the cycle begins to crank up on his own reelection a day after former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie formally entered the governor’s race and a Quinnipiac University poll showed Christie leading Corzine, 44% to 38%.

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Farmer advocacy group endorses Karrow

State Senator-elect Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan) was today endorsed for reelection by the New Jersey Farm Bureau.

"Senator Karrow is exactly the type of leader we need working with us in the Senate," said Richard Nieuwenhuis, the president of the group. "She understands the farming industry and has a genuine passion for preserving agriculture in New Jersey.” 

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Donohue announces assembly run in 1st District

Attorney Michael Donohue announced today that he’s trying again for an assembly seat in the 1st District, which is expected to be one of the major legislative battlegrounds this year.  

Donohue ran unsuccessfully with Norris Clark in 2007 against Democrats Nelson Albano (D- Vineland) and Matt Milam (D-Vineland).  He came within 2,000 votes of Milam in this traditionally Republican district– a sweep that many observers attributed to the coattails of state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May), the most conservative Democrat in the state Senate. 

“Ronald Reagan said nearly three decades ago that government is not the solution to our problems, government IS the problem,” said Donohue, a Cape May County resident, in a statement.   “What we are faced with now is the need for the radical restructuring of state government in order to have some hope for prosperity in New Jersey in the future.   If companies that have been in existence for a hundred years realize that only through eliminating divisions and downsizing can they survive, then our state government better wake up to the same reality immediately.”

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

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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 >


My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(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 »
 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

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast


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