Tramontana won't run in the 14th

Republicans in the 14th  Legislative District will have to pull together a slate of challengers without former Mercer County GOP Chair Cathy Tramontana, the niece of former Hamilton Mayor Jack Rafferty. 

“I’m absolutely not running for the Assembly,” Tramontana, the Director of Health and Recreation in Hamilton Township,  told PolitickerNJ.com

Hamilton Township Councilman Tom Goodwin and Ewing businessman Adam Bushman have already said they don’t intend to run again against Assemblyman Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton).

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BCDO counsel says county committee can vote on Ferriero's removal

BCDO counsel says county committee can vote on Ferriero's removal
Joseph Ferriero, indicted on federal corruption charges, is on a leave of absence as the Bergen County Democratic Chairman.

In a memorandum to members of the Bergen County Democratic Organization’s Executive Committee, the party’s general counsel legally opined that a special meeting can be called for committee members to vote on whether to remove indicted Chairman Joe Ferriero.

This issue has been the subject of much debate within the party, as its own by-laws do not provide for removing a sitting chairman before his term is up, even if he has been indicted. Last week, the executive committee voted for a resolution calling on Ferriero to resign by January 15 if he was not exonerated on all eight corruption counts before then, although members were not sure how to enforce the deadline.

Kaufman’s opinion aims to provide for that enforcement.

“The BCDO By-Laws do not restrict the members from replacing its chairman at any time and do not require that cause be demonstrated,” wrote Kaufman, who in September became general counsel to replace Dennis Oury, who was indicted along with Ferriero.

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Two women mayors run from different vantage points in Plainfield and Hillside

In Plainfield and Hillside, sources say two African-American women will be running for reelection to the mayor’s race next year, one with the backing of the Democratic Party and the other in opposition to the machine.    

First, in Hillside, sources say incumbent Mayor Karen McCoy Oliver and Union County Democratic Chair Charlotte DiFilippo will likely not make peace before next year’s May election.   

They’re both dug in on this one.    

 

DiFilippo lives in Hillside and has served as municipal party chair for 36 years. Oliver would be pursuing her third term in office.

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Christie works the phones

Christie works the phones
Former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie is expected to seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2009.

On reports from local party chairs that U.S. Attorney Chris Christie has been aggressively working the phones this week, Christie's friend, Bill Palatucci, said the prospective Republican candidate for governor is indeed making the rounds. 

 

“Chris is just doing what he said he would do upon leaving office - talk to people,” Palatucci said. “He's talking to a wide range of people - inside and outside of politics - in order to gauge what his options and opportunities are.  I think this is a natural part of the process for any person in his position.”

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Cohen indicted for child porn

Cohen indicted for child porn

Former Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Roselle) was indicted today by the State Attorney General’s office for possession of child pornography and official misconduct, months after two of his fellow legislators turned him in after finding suspicious images on his office computer.

“We charge that Mr. Cohen used the computer equipment in his taxpayer-funded legislative office to view child pornography, printing out copies which were accessible to others in the office,” said Attorney General Milgram. “In doing so, he abused his office and, like all who seek out child pornography, he supported the suppliers who exploit and sexually abuse children. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our child pornography laws as part of our broader efforts to combat predatory behavior against children.”

In July, State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) and Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union) notified state police after a staffer found what appeared to be pornographic images involving minors on a computer in the legislative office that they shared with Cohen.

Cohen, a 16-year veteran Democrat from the Assembly, resigned shortly after the allegations surfaced and checked into an undisclosed mental health institution. Aside from a one-sentence letter tendering his resignation, Cohen has not been heard from since.

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Lance's golden endorsement

Lance's golden endorsement
Credit: Hunterdon County Web site
Peterson being sworn in by Lance, his political mentor

In an otherwise tough year for Republicans, Congressman-elect Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) gave the party a much-needed victory in the Garden State.  Now, a year after being ousted from his post as state Senate minority leader, Lance has built up considerable political capital.

Which is good for Hunterdon County Freeholder Director Erik Peterson, a personal friend of Lance’s who’s considering running for the Assembly seat in the 23rd Legislative District.

“Leonard Lance is wildly popular in his district.  His big win in the congressional race was due largely to overwhelming support in the part of that congressional district that’s in his legislative district in Hunterdon County.  The Lance name is a force to reckoned with in Hunterdon County going back more than a century,” said Monmouth University professor and pollster Patrick Murray.  “That’s going to carry a lot of weight, particularly in Hunterdon County….  In the Hunterdon County part that’s the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

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Hughes recovering well from heart attack

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes expects to leave the hospital within the next couple days after suffering a heart attack over the weekend, according to his half brother, Michael Murphy.

“I think he’s getting out in a day or two.  He was anxious to get out and cooler medical heads prevailed.  They said give yourself a little extra time,” said Murphy, a lobbyist and former gubernatorial candidate who chaired Rob Andrews’s U.S. senate primary run.

Hughes, the son of former Gov. Richard J. Hughes, was walking his family’s dog outside of his Princeton home on Sunday afternoon when he fell ill.  A neighbor saw him and called an ambulance, which then took him to the University Medical Center at Princeton, where he’s been recuperating since then. 

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The Back Room

Conservative group slams Christie in TV ad

As Gov. Chris Christie's heads to New Hampshire tomorrow, a conservative group wants to welcome him with a television commercial critical of his record on judicial nominations.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 30th

  With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is calling the legislature into special session Thursday to address recent bail reform legislation before a looming deadline next week, according to a letter from the governor’s office today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)...

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Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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