HOBOKEN - Councilwoman Beth Mason tabled her proposed salary and benefits ordinances at tonight’s council meeting, a move that likely did nothing to diminish the prolonged stare-down from now until next year’s mayoral election between Mason and her opponents.
Broken into two reform pieces, the freshman councilwoman’s proposed ordinances would scrap benefits and limit to $1 the council salaries of council people who hold more than one public job.
She sent them to committee tonight, but not before rousing her opposition.
Mason’s antagonists see the prospective mayoral candidate’s measures (backed up by Councilman Peter Cunningham) as an attempt to bait At-Large Councilman Peter Cammarano and humiliate Assemblyman/At-Large Councilman Ruben Ramos, the governing body’s lone dual elected office holder.
Cammarano was out of town. Ramos fought back.Read More >
A Democratic National Committeewoman who was one of the first superdelegates to switch from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama was defeated for re-election tonight. The New Jersey Democratic State Committee replaced Christine "Roz" Samuels with Stephanie Bush-Baskette, a former Assemblywoman from Essex County.
A Democratic official says that Samuels' defeat was unrelated to her defection to Obama in a state where most of the party leadership lined up behind Clinton. Sources say that the DNC seat traditionally goes to Essex, and Democratic County Chairman Phil Thigpen decided today to replace Samuels with Bush-Baskette.
Citing comments former President Bill Clinton made about Obama, Samuels dropped her support of Clinton just after she won the February 5 New Jersey primary. A week later, she endorsed Obama. Samuels, a state NAACP Executive Board member, is a former Newark Teachers' Union, Local 481 official.
Another Clinton supporter, attorney Joseph DeCotiis, did not seek reelection as a National Committeeman. He was replaced by Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), who had endorsed Clinton. Two other incumbents who backed Clinton, June Fisher and Tonio Burgos, were re-elected.Read More >
GREEN BROOK -- The idea has dogged State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) since he started his congressional campaign in the 7th District: that he's well respected as a policy wonk, but doesn't have the political wherewithal to run a federal race in a fiercely competitive district.
Lance's critics found evidence of that claim when they saw that he had only $80,000 cash on hand at the end of the last reporting period to rival Linda Stender's (D-Fanwood) $1.2 million.
Today, Lance acknowledged that some of his supporters were taken aback by the anemic war chest, but noted that he's raised a lot of money since the June 30th filing deadline - which occurred just 26 days after Lance blew his war chest against a well-funded primary campaign by Kate Whitman and five other candidates.
Lance said that he doesn't know how much he's raised since then, but that he's certain it's "more than $100,000." He also has six fundraisers scheduled over the coming months, and will stay home to campaign and raise money during the Republican National Convention in September.Read More >
Although Jersey City Municipal Clerk Robert Byrne has sided with the city against one of Councilman Steve Fulop’s ballot initiatives, the signatures for his anti-pay-to-play intiative were certified today.
But that initiative might not make it on the ballot after all if Mayor Jerramiah Healy has his way, depriving Fulop of a chance to make his case directly to the voters of Jersey City.
Healy wrote a letter today to Byrne, members of the city council and Fulop’s legal team proposing an amendment to Fulop’s pay-to-play initiative.Read More >
A move by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg to repay his own campaign debts has drawn the ire of his opponent, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer.
Lautenberg attorney Marc Erik Elias penned a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) last month arguing that, since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the “Millionaire’s Amendment,” a provision of the law that any personal loans over $250,000 not repaid before the election should be considered nonrefundable – meaning that Lautenberg would be unable to raise funds to repay his own debt after that period.
Lautenberg loaned himself $1.65 million during his June primary campaign against U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews.Read More >
HOBOKEN - Councilman Michael Russo won’t vote for Councilwoman Beth Mason’s salary ordinance at the Hoboken Council meeting tonight unless Mason amends the ordinance.
Patterned on Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop’s reform initiative, Mason’s ordinance would restrict to $1 the salary of any councilperson who already draws a public salary.
"I would vote for it if it only pertained to restricting elected officials from receiving two or more salaries, absolutely," said Russo. "But I would never say a person who’s a janitor or policeman shouldn’t receive an additional salary as a councilperson.
"Let’s take a janitor," Russo said. "Maybe he makes $25,000. You think I’m going to restrict him from making another $25,000 as a councilman? No, I’m sorry, I couldn’t do that."Read More >
Former Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera is set to be sentenced in federal court on Friday morning.
Rivera pleaded guilty to extortion on May 9th, after he was netted in a high profile arrest of 10 public officials last September. The sentencing will occur at 11 a.m. and will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson.
Rivera faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.Read More >
In the battle of the ballot initiatives, Jersey City Municipal Clerk Robert Byrne ruled against Councilman Steve Fulop today, deciding that a petition for an ordinance he wanted to put before voters in November that would bar council members from accepting more than one public salary did not have enough signatures to get on the ballot.
Fulop said today that he intends to challenge the decision in front of a judge.
“We’re going to fight. We think we have a strong standing on this, and we’re going to go to court,” he said.Read More >
Mocked by Bridget Ann Kelly and David Wildstein last year in a text message exchange, Democratic Party/Latino activist Cid Wilson is now the butt of a joke on the Conan Show.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
Bridget Anne Kelly’s attorney says lawmakers rushed to judgement An attorney for former top Gov. Chris Christie administration official Bridget Anne Kelly filed paperwork arguing his client shouldn’t have to comply with a legislative subpoena. The documents, filed by Kelly attorney Michael Critchley, argues lawmakers rushed to judgment...
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By Suzanne M. Walters When unions representing local police and firefighters cannot agree to new contract terms with local governments, State law mandates that the parties submit to binding arbitration. A third-party referee, then, sets the... Read More >
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