Secaucus Democrat runs against the establishment

Secaucus Public Defender Pete Weiner, who’s running in the Democratic primary against Mayor Dennis Elwell, plans to announce his slate of council candidates on Sunday.

Elwell has the support of the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization, making Weiner, 61, the automatic underdog in the primary contest.  Elwell’s forces, for their part, are more concentrated on defending the mayor against independent Councilman Michael Gonnelli, who may run in the general election.  But Weiner is confident that his campaign has momentum.

“I have a very good base of people that I’ve been talking with and who have known me for many years.  I’m not just Johnny on the spot. I’ve been involved here with 30 years in town,” he said, adding that he is also president of the community service organization UNICO.

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Christie on federal stimulus package: 'focus should be on tax cuts'

Christie on federal stimulus package: 'focus should be on tax cuts'
GOP candidate Chris Christie

NEWARK – The GOP crowd has cleared out of here, leaving all but reporters to face the newly declared gubernatorial candidate, and here comes Chris Christie to stand in front of the podium and answer questions. 

He won’t discuss specific cuts to the state budget. Not yet. He promises a detailed four-year plan in the coming weeks.  

“We can do it responsibly,” he says. “We will discuss our priorities. I’m not going to get into specifics about percentages.” 

A reporter asks him how he thinks he can convince New Jerseyans that he will be able to get his mind around the enormous economic issues confronting the state.

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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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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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Op-Ed

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 >

Contributors

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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