Democrats back Mayer for Gloucester Township mayor

Former Assemblyman David Mayer won the endorsement of the Gloucester Township Democrats to be their candidate for Mayor against Republican incumbent Cindy Rau-Hatton. 

Mayer, 41, was elected to the State Assembly in 2001 and re-elected in 2003 and 2005. He did not seek re-election to a fourth term in 2007.  A former Chief of Staff to the Camden County Clerk and District Director for U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, Mayer served as a Gloucester Township Councilman in 2002 and 2003.

Incumbent Councilmen Daniel Hutchison and Frank Schmidt will run on the Democratic ticket.  A third candidate has not yet been selected.  Hutchison was elected on a ticket with Rau-Hatton two years ago.

Rau-Hatton was elected in 2006, winning a May non-partisan election.  Voters subsequently approved a referendum that made Gloucester Township municipal elections partisan, so the mayoral post is now up in November 2009, instead of May 2010.

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Balut gets in the governor's race

Balut gets in the governor's race

Promising to run a feisty grassroots campaign against Gov. Jon Corzine, Perth Amboy Councilman Ken Balut released a crossing-the-Rubicon email this morning requesting support in gathering signatures and small dollar donations for his Democratic Primary showdown with the vastly better-known and better-financed incumbent. 

Balut said others may be afraid of trying to stand up to the millionaire governor, but he won’t be intimidated. 

“I do not believe Mr. Corzine’s obscene wealth, nor his flagrant use of that Wall Street money to buy the support of special interests and power brokers, should be a primary topic of this campaign,” wrote Balut, a retired police officer and former president of PBA Local 13.  

“What New Jersey needs to know is how we turn around the economy for millions of middle-class working people; when we are going to do the right thing by fully funding public education; and who has the courage to stand up against organized crime and power brokers that have intruded on our public resources and robbed our tax dollars,” the candidate added.

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If Rothman ever moves up, he would do so with Kasparian's support, says new chair

If Rothman ever moves up, he would do so with Kasparian's support, says new chair
U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn)

HACKENSACK - New Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) Chairman Michael Kasparian said he would support U.S. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) should Rothman at some time in the future see an opportunity to pursue a run for a vacant U.S. Senate seat. 

"If he ever ran for Senate, he would have my support," Kasparian told "I am all about Bergen."

The remark came to a question within the context of some statewide intra-party wrangling that goes back to last year's U.S. Senate primary.

When then-BCDO Chairman Joe Ferriero appeared poised to endorse U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights), Rothman moved quickly.

Rather than conspiring with South Jersey to topple U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park), Rothman believed the Bergen County party chairman should refrain from endorsing until a vacancy occured. 

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N.J. company faces lawsuit, criminal charges in death of teen

The mother of a Utah teenager who died after a month in a wilderness boot camp is suing the West Caldwell-based Community Education Centers, Inc., (CEC) alleging that the staff at their facility in Colorado ignored signs of what turned out to be a staph infection.  The company is also facing a Colorado criminal trial in March.

CEC operates treatment facilities for criminal defendants in twenty states and manages a prison in Delaware, according to the Associated Press.  The Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Public Affairs for the company is William Palatucci, who is also a top advisor to Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie.  Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci,, the law firm where Palatucci and Christie were partners, represented CEC for fifteen years before Palatucci joined the firm full time.

The 15-year-old, Caleb Jensen, had been sentenced to sixty days at a "rigorous boot camp," according to an Associated Press Report.  He was "forced to take long hikes in the Colorado backcountry without water. He was dragged by arm and wrist restraints when he stumbled in pain by counselors who believed he was faking an illness."

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Happy Birthday, Senator Lautenberg

Happy Birthday, Senator Lautenberg
Credit: Getty Images Photo
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, 85, with President Barack Obama, 47

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg is 85-years-old today.   Born on January 23, 1924 in Paterson, Lautenberg founded Automated Data Processing (ADP) and served as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey before winning election to the U.S. Senate in 1982.  He was re-elected in 1988 and 1994, and again in 2002 and 2008. 

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Buttressed by Jersey power structure, 'unpretentious' Healy runs on his record

Buttressed by Jersey power structure, 'unpretentious' Healy runs on his record
Jersey City Mayor Jerry Healy, flanked by Gov. Jon Corzine, left, and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York).

JERSEY CITY - Professing to be an agent of "change you can see," Mayor Jerry Healy launched his bid for a second term tonight in the politically muscle bound company of Gov. Jon Corzine, Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), State Party Chairman Joe Cryan, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and no fewer than three congressmen.  

The apparent backing of longtime local foe, Councilman Steve Fulop, drew some bewildered gasps from the crowd here at the Culinary Arts Institute, and one of Healy's three challengers, former Assemblyman Lou Manzo (D-Jersey City), later admitted of the councilman's presence at the event, "I'm surpirsed." 

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Kasparian assumes leadership of BCDO, and pledges independent organizational audit

Kasparian assumes leadership of BCDO, and pledges independent organizational audit
BCDO Chairman Michael Kasparian

HACKENSACK - Paramus-based developer Michael Kasparian of Hohokus became the new chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) tonight with well over 500 county committee votes cast in his favor at a special convention held in the Hackensack Middle School.

In a process supervised by BCDO attorney Joseph Mariniello, Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney nominated Kasparian, and Kasparian ran unopposed.  

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 22nd

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell Fight of the Week Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)     Paramus mayor's race: Candidates in closely-divided Bergen borough spar over taxes, towing issues PARAMUS - When voters go to the polls in November...

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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 >


(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 »
(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... 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

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