Chamber trip more subdued than past years as governor leads delegation to D.C.

Chamber trip more subdued than past years as governor leads delegation to D.C.
Gov. Jon Corzine on today's Chamber of Commerce trip.

NORTHEAST CORRIDOR – The Chamber of Commerce “Walk to Washington” train lurches out of the station and it isn’t even past Newark before some of the old-timers are predicting – with a degree of sadness - that no one’s going to get thrown off the train.

There’s a sense among the Democrats that if they let it all hang out with booze and bad behavior in an economic downturn and gubernatorial election year, they will appear crass and out-of-touch.

The establishment Republicans who are here probably have in their minds a preposition-ending statement issued yesterday by the gubernatorial campaign of Republican frontrunner Chris Christie: "Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie wants to bring real change to Trenton and that comes with ending politics as usual, which this trip has become a symbol of," said spokesman Bill Stepien.

So they too are restrained as the 14-car train clears the South Ward and this rolling world of business and politics collides in happy but measured ceremony with the gubernatorial election and the economy hovering at the edges of every close-quarters conversation as the train heads for Washington, D.C.

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All GOP candidates accept invitation to speak at Somerset forum

The four Republican gubernatorial candidates will speak at a forum - not a debate -- sponsored by the Somerset County Federation of Republican Women on Saturday in Branchburg.  News 12's Laura Jones will moderate the event, which organizers say will be attended by former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, Franklin Mayor Brian Levine, former Bogota Mayor Steven Lonegan, and Assemblyman Rick Merkt (R-Mendham).

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Caruso says he's 99% there on Rumana primary challenge

Republican fundraiser Joseph Caruso said today that he's "99 percent" sure he's going to mount a primary campaign for a 40th District assembly seat, although pushback from Republican leaders has frustrated his time table.

Caruso said that it's most likely a go if he can get $50,000 on hand by the middle of February, and plans a cocktail reception at his Wayne home this weekend to help meet that goal.

"I'm still doing what I was doing before - seeing how much money I can raise, how much support I can get on the ground, and just really digging through the numbers and making sure it's feasible," he said.  " I'm pretty much there.  I thought I would have more time than I have.

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Lipski officially not running for reelection

Lipski officially not running for reelection
Jersey City Councilman Steve Lipski, facing charges of public urination, won't seek re-election in May.

Jersey City Ward C Councilman Steve Lipski, who in November made international headlines for allegedly urinating on Washington, DC concertgoers from a balcony, this week formally announced in a letter to the Jersey Journal that he will not seek reelection to his council seat. 

"I need to step back because I did not manage my life well. I let alcohol, at times, become a fix for the stress I was experiencing, and my poor judgment resulted in numerous problems and indescribable embarrassment to the position I hold and to me personally,” he wrote to the paper.  “I am stepping back to deal with these issues.” 

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36th District: the GOP underground

36th District: the GOP underground
State Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-Cedar Grove)

Insiders lay out several battlefields this year, and Republican or Democrat, it’s not two or three gulps of beer into a conversation before they spill the strategic terrain of the coming legislative contests.

The Democrats will put money into 1 to defend their incumbents there, and they will try to take down the Republican incumbents in 2. They’ll play in 8 again largely as a diversionary tactic, defend in 14 and – and this is big - heavily fortify 36, where the GOP last time came within 2,400 votes of stripping the Dems of a seat.

Representatives in both parties usually mention the last of these prospective showdowns as the most meaningful, a potential north Jersey version of the 12th District Karcher-Beck war in 2007, where both parties will likely lay down their heaviest barrage.

For the moment, Democrats feel they have some GOP civil war drama on their side, and are gleefully inclined to let the Republican body count mount at this fractious tri-county, multi-ego crossroads of Passaic, Bergen and Essex, before they get in and scrap in earnest to protect Assemblyman Fred Scalera (D-Nutley) and Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic).

Better to let the other side give itself a good going over before taking casualties. That’s the attitude.

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Among New Jersey Congressman, stimulus plan approved 8-5

The New Jersey House delegation voted along party lines in support of President Barack Obama’s $89 billion economic stimulus package.  New Jersey’s eight Democratic Congressmen voted yes, while the five Republicans voted no.


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Bernard Rodgers, former Mayor and congressional candidates, dies at 86

Bernard Rodgers, former Mayor and congressional candidates, dies at 86
Former Dunellen Mayor Bernard Rodgers lost races for Congress in 1962 and 1964.

Bernard Rodgers, a former Mayor of Dunellen who made two unsuccessful bids for Congress in the early 1960's, passed away on Monday.  He was 86.  

New Jersey gained a fifteenth congressional seat after the 1960 census and in 1962 the Legislature created a new district that was based in Middlesex County.  Rodgers ran unopposed for the Republican nomination and faced Democrat Edward Patten, a former New Jersey Secretary of State, Middlesex County Clerk and Mayor of Perth Amboy.  Patten had defeated Middlesex County Freeholder George Otlowski in the Democratic primary.   

In the general election, Rodgers attacked Patten for being a tool of Middlesex County Democratic boss David Wilentz.  Patten beat Rodgers by 20,509 votes, a 56%-43% margin.  He ran against Patten again in 1964 and in the Democratic landslide of that year, he lost 63%-37%.

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The Back Room

Report: Christie campaigns for Hutchinson

No real news out of Arkansas this evening as a local report documents Republican Governors Association Chairman Chris Christie stumping in Arkansas on behaf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 27th

One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide CLIFTON – It was the typical crowd with black yarmulkes and leopard-patterned hijab sprinkled among uncovered bald heads – Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish – Spanish Flamenco-style hair pulled back and framed by loop earrings and at...

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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 >


(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 »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... 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

“Israelis don’t want peace more than the Palestinians, Palestinians don’t want peace more than the Israelis, but I do know one thing: Hamas is a terrorist organization.” - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), Paterson.

- PolitickerNJ


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