Obama leads McCain by 8 points in new Monmouth University/Gannett poll

Barack Obama leads John McCain by 8 points in a new Monmouth University/Gannett pollBarack Obama leads John McCain by 8 points in a new Monmouth University/Gannett poll
Barack Obama leads John McCain in New Jersey by eight percentage points, 49%-41%, according to a new Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll released today.  

“McCain has made some gains in New Jersey, which should not really be a surprise to anyone who has followed election polling in this state,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.  “Republican candidates often see some positive movement in September polling, but have had problems maintaining that momentum.  Only once in the past ten years – the 2000 U.S. Senate race – has the Republican candidate continued to narrow the gap through election day.  We’ll have to wait and see if this is really a trend.”

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Hackett sentencing set for Oct. 1

Originally scheduled for Monday, Sept. 15, the sentencing of former Orange Mayor Mims Hackett has been re-scheduled for Oct. 1, according to Michael Drewniak, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

One of 11 public officials netted last year in a statewide federal corruption probe, Hackett in May pleaded guilty in federal court to attempted extortion.

Hackett also served as assemblyman in the 27th District, a post he resigned after his arrest last fall.

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In assessing financial crisis, Lautenberg and Zimmer both invoke change theme

 Both employing the language of change, U.S. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park): Politicker file photoU.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park): Politicker file photoSen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) and his Republican rival, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer, today issued finger-pointing statements in response to investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and Merrill Lynch & Co. agreeing to be acquired by Bank of America..

Zimmer in part blamed Lautenberg for the crisis, while Lautenberg blamed President George W. Bush.

"For 24 years, Senator Lautenberg has been sitting idly by as New Jersey taxpayers have faced an energy crisis, an affordability crisis and now a financial crisis," Zimmer said in part of his statement. "His policies of high taxes, corporate welfare and pork-barrel spending are hurting New Jersey taxpayers.

"It’s time for a change," added the Republican senate candidate. "I have a strong record of putting taxpayers first and advocating for fiscal responsibility. As your senator, I will work to bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street and Washington so we can work to avoid these economic difficulties in the future."

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Allen won't take herself out of GOP lieutenant governor mix

State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington): Politicker photoState Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington): Politicker photo 

TRENTON - Happy to be back in the action after being hospitalized for pneumonia, state Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) says now's not the time for a gubernatorial run.

She ran for U.S. Senate once and learned then that failing enormous personal wealth and machine connections - the former out of reach in her case, and the latter tantamount to giving up her independent brand - a statewide run is a long shot at best. 

But she won't take her name out of contention for lieutenant governor.

"I don't think there's anybody who would say, if asked, if it would help the party, that he or she wouldn't run (for lieutenant governor)," said Allen. 

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Nest makes it official: no decision on Ferriero until after the election

Bergen County Democratic Vice Chair Kay Nest, who’s filling in while indicted Chairman Joe Ferriero takes a leave of absence, said tonight that the party will not make any decision on its permanent leadership until after the November 4th election. 

That decision was the product of a  discordant meeting of the Bergen County Executive Committee members that took place this morning. 

“The Executive Committee of the Bergen County Democratic Organization met today regarding the future of the party.  Though there were clearly differing opinions on a variety of topics, all in attendance agreed to move forward as one united party.  A unanimous vote was taken, and all in attendance agreed to postpone any discussion regarding the change in leadership and focus on electing Democrats in the upcoming November election.  I am humbled by the confidence the Executive Committee has shown in me, and I will not let them down,” said Nest in a prepared statement. “I have no doubt, that a united Democratic Party will be successful in November, from the bottom to the top of the ticket.”

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The Bush factor

TRENTON - The Republicans argue that their presidential candidate is named McCain, not Bush.

"The last time I looked, George Bush was not on the ticket," said Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington), a common refrain among Republicans eager to put the pedal down and get distance between themselves - and the sitting president. 

"I think if John McCain had been elected, we would be in a very different position," said Karrow, who’s supported McCain going all the way back to his 2000 presidential campaign. 

But apparently the GOP can’t extricate themselves from the president, as evidenced by State Democratic Chairman Joseph Cryan's delight in the fact that a week from now, Bush will be in Colts Neck, raising money at a private fundraiser for congressional candidates, Medford Mayor Chris Myers in the 3rd District, and state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) in the 7th.

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Will Ferriero's indictment affect '08 candidates?

On her way to a meeting of the Bergen County Democratic Organization’s executive committee this morning, State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) said she was worried that the power vacuum in the party couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“This is a time of a little bit of confusion and anarchy at a very bad time, because we’re in the midst of a campaign,” she said.  “Now I, among other things, have been quite besieged by telephone calls from very average constituents who want to work for the Obama campaign, and I don’t even know where that’s being operated out of in Bergen County.  So there are many issues that need to be discussed and sorted out that are of import to the people we elect come November 4th, and therefore of import to the people we represent.  It’s a time of confusion and a very bad and inopportune time.”

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 23, 2014

Colorado politicians invite Christie to experience 'Rocky Mountain High'Colorado politicians slapped back at Gov. Chris Christie after he questioned their Rocky Mountain quality of life under the rule of legalized marijuana.“Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime,"  Sen....

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How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

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Quote of the day

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