Corzine makes staff moves

Corzine makes staff moves
Gov. Jon Corzine picked Edward McBride as his new Chief of Staff to replace Lisa Jackson, who will become the new EPA Administrator.

Governor Jon Corzine today announced a series of staff changes triggered by the appointment of Lisa Jackson as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Edward McBride was named Chief of Staff and William Castner will replace McBride as Chief Counsel.

Corzine also picked Diane Legreide, a former Casino Control Commissioner and state Motor Vehicles Director, as his new Deputy Chief of Staff.  She will replace Maggie Moran, who is expected to leave in a few weeks to run the Governor’s re-election campaign.  Albert Alvarez, who has served as Cabinet Liaison, will also serve as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Jaimee Gilmartin, the Governor’s Director of Appointments, has been promoted to Director of Operations.  She will replace Jose Lozano, who will move to the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.  Josh Zeitz, who was the Democratic candidate for Congress against U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith this year, is joining Corzine’s staff as a Senior Policy Advisor.

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Durkin on Durkin

Durkin on Durkin
Ray Durkin, right, with Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-Montclair): both former State Democratic Party chairmen.

The following text is reprinted courtesy of Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, who delivered these remarks Saturday to introduce his father, Ray Durkin, at the Annual Christmas Award Luncheon by the St. Patrick's Guard of Honor of New Jersey. A former State Democratic Party Chairman, Ray Durkin received the Guard of Honor's "Irishman of the Year" award.

It is an honor to have this opportunity to introduce my father...my best friend. 

My father was born and raised in Vailsburg. The "Burg" as he would call it. And growing up I would hear stories of this fantasy neigborhood come to life.

When I was a little boy my father took me to the funeral of a legendary Irish politician. The funeral was at Sacred Heart Church in Vailsburg on South Orange Avenue. As we were sitting in the pew the priest rose to eulogize this man. He pointed down and said there lies a great politician and an honest man. I tugged on my father's suit jacket looked up at him and said, "how can they fit two people in such a small coffin?"

I don't want to talk about Ray Durkin as Politician. I would like to talk about Ray Durkin as father. My father has 5 children who idolize and love him. And growing up in our household my parents had different jobs around the house.

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Obama picks Jackson as EPA Administrator

Obama picks Jackson as EPA Administrator
Credit: Getty Images
President-elect Barack Obama today picked Lisa Jackson, the Chief of Staff to Gov. Jon Corzine, as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

President-elect Barack Obama this afternoon formally introduced his environmental team, which includes New Jerseyan Lisa Jackson as director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

In front of a press corps eager to talk about the phone call flubs of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who’s facing federal corruption charges for trying to sell Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, Obama celebrated Jackson’s “lifetime in public service.”

 

“She helped make her state a leader in fighting global warming and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said the president-elect. “She shares my commitment to protecting our air, water and abundant natural resources.”

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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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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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