Lesniak wins human rights competition

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) has won the Memorial de Caen International Human Rights Competition, where lawyers from the United States France, Belgium, Guinea, Senegal, and Switzerland competed with speech topics ranging from governmental to military abuses of human rights. Lesniak's speech, "The Road to Justice and Peace," won the acclaim of a panel of elite international judges.

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Beck to receive Millicent Fenwick Award

Beck to receive Millicent Fenwick Award
State Sen. Jen Beck (D-Monmouth)

BRANCHBURG - State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) will receive this year's Millicent Fenwick Award from the Somerset County Federation of Republican Women, the organization's president, Janice Fields, told a breakfast gathering this morning.

Fields said the women's group would bestow the public service award on the Monmouth County senator in honor of the late congresswoman from Bernardsville at a ceremony on March 26, with details forthcoming.

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Lonegan: 'I raised $25,000 yesterday'

Lonegan: 'I raised $25,000 yesterday'
Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan

BRANCHBURG - Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan today boasted of his fundraising efforts over the course of the last 24 hours.

"I raised $25,000 yesterday," he told PolitickerNJ.com at the Somerset County Federation of Republican Women candidates' forum.

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GOP gubernatorial candidates meet for the first time at Somerset women's forum

GOP gubernatorial candidates meet for the first time at Somerset women's forum
From left to right: Steve Lonegan, Chris Christie, Brian D. Levine, Richard Merkt.

BRANCHBURG – The Lonegan forces tried to bill this event as “the Thrilla in Branchburg.”

But it proved no Ali-Frazier III this morning, and probably rated little better than the Republican gubernatorial primary of 1985 in terms of give and take, as four 2009 Republican candidates for governor assembled for the first time at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Somerset County Federation of Republican Women at the Fox Hollow Golf Club.

Amid rumors that former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan planned to set a confrontational tone, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, the presumptive frontrunner, gave Lonegan and/or anyone else little room to generate drama.

After arriving moments before the event began, speedily working the room and delivering a five-minute set of remarks, Christie told the crowd of 150 people that he had to attend his son’s basketball game and hoped they understood.

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Christie on chamber trip: 'I make my own decisions'

Christie on chamber trip: 'I make my own decisions'
Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie receives a Somerset County welcome from state Sen. Kip Bateman (R-Somerset), center, and Christopher Erd, vice-chair of Branchburg's GOP Municipal Committee.

BRANCHBURG – Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie today defended his decision not to attend the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s Walk to Washington event, arguing that it was obvious how the annual chamber trip has become a symbol of what is wrong with state politics.

To the point that key Republican allies and GOP leaders were on the train and did not appear to consider their condition morally compromised, the Republican candidate for governor said, “I make my own decisions.”

Christie was here in Branchburg this morning to participate in a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Somerset County Federation of Republican Women.

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Obama taps ex-Holt aide for White House post

Joshua DuBois, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell), will run the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The 26-year-old Minister, who completed graduate school at Princeton University, directed the religious outreach program for the Obama campaign during the 2008 cycle.

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Democrats won't take Middlesex for granted

Democrats won't take Middlesex for granted
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), left, and Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parisipanny-Troy Hills), come into each other's wheel house on the chamber train.

NEW BRUNSWICK - Intent on reviving the Reagan legacy during last year’s presidential election, Republicans established their campaign base camp in the Woodbridge area and jumped on the telephones in search of suburban white voters who might identify with the patriotic and moderate elements of U.S. Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) candidacy.

If President Barack Obama stumbled in his bid, the GOP wanted to be in a position to rev up the diner and bowling pin and VFW Hall crowds, but it never happened.

With Obama in cruise control and the game changed when McCain moved rightward with his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, Middlesex County finally went heavily for the Illinois senator: 60 to 38.5% - a margin not as wide as Essex (76 to 23%); or Hudson (73 to 26%), and right around the percentages registered by neighboring Union County (64 to 35%).

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Sources: party at Bramnick home should bet Christie $60k

Sources: party at Bramnick home should bet Christie $60k
Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) is a possible candidate for Lt. Governor if Chris Christie wins the GOP nomination for Governor.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – There’s Assembly Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) at Union Station and someone on the move cries out to him, “Hey, it’s the lieutenant governor,” and Bramnick grins and waves, playing along with GOP buzz that he’s short list candidate for the number two spot on a gubernatorial ticket topped by former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

“I’m well trained for the job,” Bramnick cracks to a gaggle of reporters wiaiting to catch the Chamber of Commerce train back to New Jersey. “I tell people I’m from District 21 and they look right through me. Then I tell them it’s Tom Kean’s district and suddenly they warm up.”

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 28th

Chris Christie's Jekyll & Hyde complex We all know the story: An amiable, even-keeled doctor, in an effort to separate the good from his darker impulses, concocts and consumes a secret potion that, momentarily, induces a metamorphosis of physical and mental being and turns him into a monstrous and...

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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

"He was a focal point for the disturbance." - former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne (the Essex County Prosecutor in July 1967), of former Newark Mayor Hugh Addonizio

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