With Sarlo and Dressel out, Kasparian appears to have clear path to chairmanship; Ferriero fires BCDO attorney

With Sarlo and Dressel out, Kasparian appears to have clear path to chairmanship; Ferriero fires BCDO attorney

News tonight from Bergen County that labor leader Richard "Buzzy" Dressel has retreated from his bid to succeed indicted Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) Chairman Joe Ferriero came as no surprise to leaders on both sides of a fight who know Dressel can't win.

Dressel's intentions followed reports that members of a county committee built by Ferriero favor his hand-picked successor, Democratic Party fundraiser Michael Kasparian, in the lead-up to a Jan. 22 convention.

When party leaders tried to offer state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) as a compromise to the Kasparian forces on the one side and Dressel and key ally state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) on the other, Dressel backed down.

But Ferriero's people dug in with Kasparian, whose candidacy galled Weinberg's forces as the outgoing party boss personally called supporters seeking Kasparian support using the latter's office telephone.

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Yudin endorses Rumana and Russo

At a packed meeting of the county committee tonight in the Franklin Lakes Firehouse, Bergen County Republican Party Chairman Bob Yudin endorsed incumbent District 40 Assemblymen Scott Rumana and David C. Russo.

Earlier today, Yudin told PolitickerNJ.com that prior to Feb. 2nd he would make a decision about whether he would back the incumbents or candidates backed by former chair Peter Murphy, an ally of former Assembly Majority Leader Paul DiGaetano (R-Passaic).

Tonight, Yudin announced that decision in what was a victory for current Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany-Troy Hills), who had feared a primary battle fueled by Yudin's support of candidates other than Rumana and Russo.

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Brizzi, Pio Costa emerge as GOP contenders in 36th against troubled 40th backdrop

In a tortured political terrain, Republican power players in the 36th  legislative district appear to be slowly coalescing around East Rutherford Councilman/businessman Joel Brizzi and Nutley businessman Carmen Pio Costa as their best chance ticket this year. 

It’s not yet set – in this geographically jagged district encompassing battle weary portions of Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties – nothing is ever really set, and there are candidate screening opportunities, after all; but there remain real factors immediately outside the district threatening party implosion. 

Sensing opportunity after coming close to victory two years ago, the party – and this goes all the way up to the top of the hierarchy - wants to stay focused here in the 36th despite the flailing fortunes of divided Republicans in the neighboring 40th.  

Toward that end, local leaders will sit down tonight at the Franklin Lakes Firehouse and try to re-establish in their sights the deeply fractured Bergen Democrats as their enemies and Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) and Assemblyman Fred Scalera (D-Nutley) as statehouse targets one and two.

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N.J. Senators introduces Jackson at Senate confirmation hearing

U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez today introduced New Jerseyan  Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. 

“She will not only be the first African-American Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, I believe she will be the best Environmental Protection Agency Administrator we have seen in this history of that department,” said Menendez.

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Wilson threatens to appeal if governor does not release Katz emails within ten days

Wilson threatens to appeal if governor does not release Katz emails within ten days
GOP State Chairman Tom Wilson is offering Gov. Jon Corzine a deal: release his e-mails with Carla Katz and he won't take his case to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Supported by newspaper editorials concurring with his opinion that Gov. Jon Corzine should release emails he exchanged with former union leader Carla Katz despite an appellate court ruling Monday that Corzine isn’t legally obligated to do so, GOP Chairman Tom Wilson fired off a letter to the governor today. 

In the four paragraph communication, Wilson renewed the same offer he made to Corzine after Superior Court Judge Paul Innes’ issued his initial ruling in May of last year:  release the e-mails to the public under the provisions of the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). 

Do that, the GOP chairman said today, and “I will agree to forego an appeal to the Supreme Court."

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Convention date set for Doherty-Karrow showdown

Convention date set for Doherty-Karrow showdown
Republicans will meet on Jan. 24 to fill Leonard Lance's seat in the State Senate.

The joint Republican County Committees of Warren and Hunterdon Counties will convene a convention on Saturday, January 24 to decide whether Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) or Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan Twp.) will succeed former state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) in the 23rd  District.

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Schluter endorses Holt in 23rd District Assembly race

A GOP candidate for the Assembly in the 23rd District, Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt this week announced endorsements from former state Sen. Bill Schluter, former Hunterdon County Clerk Dottie Tirpok, and former Warren County Clerk Terry Lee. 

"I know the Trenton scene and what it takes to be an effective Legislator,” Schluter, who served as senator of the district for 13 years, wrote in a letter to Hunterdon/Warren County Republican Committee members.

“Matt will not let partisan gridlock prevent him from seeking responsible bipartisan solutions for the public good.  He is not flamboyant -- he works quietly and efficiently with constituents including farmers, environmentalists, and citizen advocacy groups. He will perform his Legislative duties in a fair and responsible manner while protecting the interest of the 23rd district, earning both your respect, as well as the respect of his fellow legislators."

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 20th

Bergen County Exec's race: Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich sees Bridgegate investigations as potential election catalyst FORT LEE - Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was the emcee of Tuesday's meet-and-greet event at the Richard A. Nest Adult Activity Center in his Bergen County borough, introducing U.S. Sen. Cory Booker...

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Simplify Pay-to-Play with one state law

By Jeff Brindle A lone PAC contribution to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson’s campaign highlights the need for pay-to-play reform in New Jersey. During the recent mayoralty election in Trenton, newly elected Mayor Eric Jackson received an $8,200 campaign... Read 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 »
(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 »

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