Cohen indicted for child porn

Cohen indicted for child porn

Former Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Roselle) was indicted today by the State Attorney General’s office for possession of child pornography and official misconduct, months after two of his fellow legislators turned him in after finding suspicious images on his office computer.

“We charge that Mr. Cohen used the computer equipment in his taxpayer-funded legislative office to view child pornography, printing out copies which were accessible to others in the office,” said Attorney General Milgram. “In doing so, he abused his office and, like all who seek out child pornography, he supported the suppliers who exploit and sexually abuse children. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our child pornography laws as part of our broader efforts to combat predatory behavior against children.”

In July, State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) and Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union) notified state police after a staffer found what appeared to be pornographic images involving minors on a computer in the legislative office that they shared with Cohen.

Cohen, a 16-year veteran Democrat from the Assembly, resigned shortly after the allegations surfaced and checked into an undisclosed mental health institution. Aside from a one-sentence letter tendering his resignation, Cohen has not been heard from since.

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Lance's golden endorsement

Lance's golden endorsement
Credit: Hunterdon County Web site
Peterson being sworn in by Lance, his political mentor

In an otherwise tough year for Republicans, Congressman-elect Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) gave the party a much-needed victory in the Garden State.  Now, a year after being ousted from his post as state Senate minority leader, Lance has built up considerable political capital.

Which is good for Hunterdon County Freeholder Director Erik Peterson, a personal friend of Lance’s who’s considering running for the Assembly seat in the 23rd Legislative District.

“Leonard Lance is wildly popular in his district.  His big win in the congressional race was due largely to overwhelming support in the part of that congressional district that’s in his legislative district in Hunterdon County.  The Lance name is a force to reckoned with in Hunterdon County going back more than a century,” said Monmouth University professor and pollster Patrick Murray.  “That’s going to carry a lot of weight, particularly in Hunterdon County….  In the Hunterdon County part that’s the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

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Hughes recovering well from heart attack

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes expects to leave the hospital within the next couple days after suffering a heart attack over the weekend, according to his half brother, Michael Murphy.

“I think he’s getting out in a day or two.  He was anxious to get out and cooler medical heads prevailed.  They said give yourself a little extra time,” said Murphy, a lobbyist and former gubernatorial candidate who chaired Rob Andrews’s U.S. senate primary run.

Hughes, the son of former Gov. Richard J. Hughes, was walking his family’s dog outside of his Princeton home on Sunday afternoon when he fell ill.  A neighbor saw him and called an ambulance, which then took him to the University Medical Center at Princeton, where he’s been recuperating since then. 

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Karrow touts Warren County support

In the 23rd Legislative District’s battle of endorsements, assemblywoman and state senate candidate Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington) today announced the support of nine mayors from Warren County municipalities.

Karrow is competing with fellow Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) and Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt for the state senate seat being vacated by Congressman-elect Leonard Lance (R-Clinton).

The mayors are Robert Resker (Allamuchy Township), Bonnie Butler (Franklin Township), Thomas Charles (Frelinghuysen Township), Kevin Duffy (Township of Hardwick), Robert Giordano (Independence Township), John Inscho (Liberty Township), Ellen Nerback (Township of Mansfield), Harry Wyant, Jr. (Phillipsburg) and Marianne Van Deursen (Borough of Washington).

There are 22 municipalities in Warren County, 16 of which have partisan-elected Republican mayors.

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Hayden takes his name out of U.S. Attorney mix

Hayden takes his name out of U.S. Attorney mix
Defense attorney Joseph Hayden says he won't seek appointment as the U.S. Attorney from New Jersey

Joe Hayden, a prominent defense lawyer whose name has surfaced in legal and political circles as a potential pick for U.S. Attorney, took his own name out of the mix today.

“It is an honor that people within the legal community suggested that my name be considered as a candidate for the next United States Attorney,” said Hayden in response to an inquiry from PolitickerNJ.com.  “I have reflected upon it, but I am convinced that I have longstanding commitments to clients -- a half dozen clients -- that would not make this possibility feasible.”

Hayden represents Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero, who was indicted in September on eight corruption counts.  He also represents former Nets star Jayson Williams, who faces a retrial for manslaughter over the shooting of his limo driver in 2002. 

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Cresitello won't run for governor, and remains undecided on mayoral reelection bid

Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello would love to run for governor.

Specifically, he’d like to take on Gov. Jon Corzine, a man who arrived in office with some flashy business credentials but whom Cresitello doesn’t think has done a good job. 

The governor’s suggestion of a pension holiday for towns and counties represents the governor’s latest gaffe, in the view of the mayor who earlier this year ran aground in his primary challenge of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park), when he finished behind Lautenberg and U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights)  with 10 percent of the vote. 

“We wanted exposure,” Cresitello admitted today in a telephone interview. “Andrews took away my opportunity. We couldn’t raise the money once Andrews got in there. If he hadn’t gotten in the race, we could’ve raised the $5 million he raised.”

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Allies Sweeney and DiVincenzo assume divergent positions on pension deferral

Allies Sweeney and DiVincenzo assume divergent positions on pension deferral
Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester)

Although they represent different parts of the state, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and state Sen. Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney with a few exceptions – the sales tax fight two years ago comes to mind - usually end up on the same side.  

This time, however, it’s not looking as though the two men are going to get eyeball to eyeball on the state pension deferral, which Sweeney opposes and DiVincenzo supports.   

It’s one of those moments when two politicians whose careers have run along parallel lines suddenly veer into each other’s path and create an unmistakable flashpoint.   

 

DiVincenzo desperately wants the legislature to sign off on Gov. Jon Corzine’s brainchild bill enabling counties, municipalities, and school boards during an economic downturn to defer their state pension payments by 50 percent over a three-year period, which would total $1.3 billion.

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The Back Room

Stung in NY, Astorino says Christie should think about stepping down as RGA chair

Dissed by Gov. Chris Christie, New York Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Christie should consider stepping down from his post as chairman of the Republican Governors Assocation.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 22nd

  Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich has died Union County today mourns the loss of the longest-serving sheriff in New Jersey history, who died last night at the age of 83. (Editor/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/77506/union-county-sheriff-ralph-froehlich-has-died     Cryan serving as acting Union County sheriff, poised to run in November ...

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Op-Ed

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 >

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Quote of the Day

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