Levine issues bullet points for his economic recovery plan

Already registered with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) to run for governor, Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine today unveiled a portion of his economic plan, essentially a macro model based on some of the things he’s done at the local level.  

The Republican’s plan focuses on growing a manufacturing economy, eliminating the 2.5 percent tax on new business construction, incentivizing jobs growth through loan guarantees and tax credits to build business and give priorities to New Jersey college graduates, and using federal assistance to obtain and develop foreclosed properties as affordable housing.

“The U.S. and New Jersey have been losing manufacturing jobs but the town in which I am mayor, Franklin, has been growing manufacturing and warehouse jobs,” said Levine.

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The Irish honor one of their own: former Democratic Party Chairman Ray Durkin

The Irish honor one of their own: former Democratic Party Chairman Ray Durkin
Fomer New Jersey and Essex County Democratic Party Chairman Ray Durkin, and his son, Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin

At Mayfair Farms Restaurant in West Orange on Saturday, the St. Patrick’s Guard of Honor of New Jersey hailed Ray Durkin, or the chairman, as they call him here in a nod of respect to his many years of service to the Democratic Party. 

Full-blooded and hybrid and old and new country Irish fathers and their sons - Giblin, Byrne, Stack, Barrett, McCarthy, Baroni, Mac Donald, O’Toole and Codey – for one afternoon absorbed any and all of New Jersey’s other ethnic groups into the arms of Durkin’s Irish-America.  

Durkin, who led the Essex County Democratic Organization from 1980 to 1992 in addition to serving as chair of the state party from 1985 to 1989, was the 68th St. Patrick’s Guard of Honor on a list going back to 1940 that includes President John F. Kennedy, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., and governors Richard J. Hughes, Brendan Byrne and Richard Codey.  

In accepting the award, the former Newark City Firefighter and head of the West Ward Young Democrats who has been lowkey politically over the course of the past 12 years, said he was most proud of his wife and five sons, including Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, who introduced his father on Saturday.

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As Dems seek changes, Merkt wants to abolish Council on Affordable Housing

As Dems seek changes, Merkt wants to abolish Council on Affordable Housing
Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham)

In the state Senate today, Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) plans to introduce a bill that would suspend for 12 months a 2.5 percent tax on commercial development designed to create funds for affordable housing development. 

But the two Republican candidates officially in the race for governor both believe the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) shouldn’t be tweaked so such as simply scrapped. 

To that end, Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) intends to introduce his own bill on the floor that would do just that, even as the Legislature with Lesniak’s proposal will consider fine-tuning COAH, the State agency responsible for establishing and monitoring municipal affordable housing obligations in New Jersey. 

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Crowley won't run for governor in 2009

Crowley won't run for governor in 2009
John Crowley, right, with Gov. Jon Corzine

Biotech Republican millionaire John Crowley of Princeton will not run for governor in 2009, according to his spokesman, Bill Spadea.

“What happened in the last few weeks is speculation that has gone beyond reality,” said Spadea. “It is certainly an honor for John to be considered a top-tier candidate but he does not intend to run at this time. Both John and myself will be focused on Building the New Majority (a grassroots organization Crowley and Spadea founded) and working to elect local and Assembly candidates in 2009.”

Crowley almost ran for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate earlier this year, even fielding a phone call from U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to get in the race, but he decided against it, citing the demands of his biotech business in Cranbury. 

Over the summer, Crowley and Spadea formed Building the New Majority and stepped up their outreach to party members, an effort that for Crowley included playing the host of a Mississippi boat ride at the Republican National Convention. 

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District 11 lawmakers endorse Christie for governor

As former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie tries to make up his mind about whether or not to run for governor, state Sen. Sean Kean (R-Monmouth) and Assembly members Dave Rible (R-Wall) and Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean) are trying to nudge him into the race against incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine.

“Having served in the Legislature for six years, I have seen firsthand the urgent need for reform in New Jersey government,” said Kean in a release. “Chris Christie has demonstrated that he will not hesitate to take on the system that has made New Jersey increasingly unaffordable.”  Kean and his running mates pledged their support for Christie. 

“New Jersey is clearly headed in the wrong direction and that is why tens of thousands of people move out every year,” said Rible. “We need someone like Chris Christie in Trenton to lead the fight to make New Jersey more affordable and less corrupt.”

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Goodwin rules out a 2009 Assembly race to focus on re-election in Hamilton

Hamilton Township Councilman Tom Goodwin sent out a release today announcing he intends to seek re-election to the Hamilton Township Council in 2009, and therefore will not pursue another run for the Assembly in the 14th Legislative District. 

 

“It has been both flattering and humbling to have received sincere encouragement from present and former elected officials, state political leaders and so many friends and colleagues,” said Goodwin. “But four years ago we set out on a mission to improve Hamilton government and restore stability in our municipal business and that job is not yet completed. 

 

Goodwin ran on a Republican Assembly ticket with Jamesburg software engineer Adam Goodwin. Both men lost to the Democratic team of Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Monroe) and former Hamilton Councilman Wayne DeAngelo. At the top of the ticket, Goodwin and Bushman’s running mate, state Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Mercer) defeated former ratepayer advocate Seema Singh. 

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Edison Mayor Choi prepares to withstand united front in Democratic Party Primary

Edison Mayor Choi prepares to withstand united front in Democratic Party Primary
Edison Mayor Jun Choi outside one of his favorite haunts in his hometown.

EDISON – His town’s paved over compared to some of the more quaint rural reaches of the Garden State, but Mayor Jun Choi of Edison never had the luxury of acting like a politician who can stand on an unbreakable political foundation. 

He’s running for re-election next year, and this one will be no give-me for the first-term mayor who ran as an underdog the first time and despite the advantage he enjoys as an incumbent, can probably still claim the underdog brand as he squares off against a regenerated opposition. 

There are three council members up for re-election in 2009, and they are all prospective mayoral candidates: Council President Robert Diehl, Councilwoman Antonia Ricigliano, and Councilman Anthony Massaro.  

If it sounds like an easy divide and conquer opportunity for an incumbent with especially good name ID and blue collar celebrity status whose change-time election three years ago made the national magazine circuit, it’s actually not. 

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The Back Room

Names on the LD7 GOP bench

In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

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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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