Skinner won't run in Jersey City's Ward E; Levin unveils two running mates

With Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop set on seeking reelection to his Ward E seat instead of running for mayor, his ally Shelley Skinner today officially dropped her own candidacy. 

"I have made the decision not to seek a position on the Jersey City Council in 2009 and instead support Councilman Fulop's re-election,” said Skinner, a local community activist.  “While I still have an interest in running for public office one day, I realize that this year is not the best time.” 



DeAngelo prepares for battle in the 14th

DeAngelo prepares for battle in the 14th
Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton)

PHILADELPHIA - A lot of the talk on the train is what to do with the infusion of cash the state will get from the federal government if President Barack Obama's stimulus package clears the U.S. Senate, and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton), working a battleground district this year, says the money needs to go to the improvement of infrastructure.

"Fifteen to 20 percent of your work force is made up of blue collar workers, and if you take that money and commit it to sewer and utility projects, roads and infrastructure, bridges, you're going in the direction of economic recovery," says DeAngelo, a union leader in Hamilton.

He concedes he's in a fight this year.

"I'm walking around with a target on my forehead," he says. "I'm their number one target."

Assemblyman David Rible (R-Wall) laughs.

The Associated Press reported that Neptune Township Mayor Randy Bishop will challenge Rible and running mate Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean), but it's not the high profile contest that most insiders predict will result when DeAngelo defends his seat this year. 

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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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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

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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

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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