Report: Menendez to meet with Kennedy

Report: Menendez to meet with Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy, who owns a home in Somerset County, is a possible candidate for Hillary Rodham Clinton's soon-to-be-vacant seat in the United States Senate.

The New York Observer is reporting that Robert Menendez, the Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, "has reached out to Caroline Kennedy to gauge her interest in filling the empty seat Hillary Clinton will leave when she joins the Obama administration as secretary of state."  CLICK HERE TO READ.

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Levine to take next step toward running for governor

Still sizing up a run for the GOP nomination for governor, Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine edged closer today, as he plans to go to Trenton on Monday to file paperwork with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

"I'm going to file with ELEC now as the time frame is getting short," said Levine, who plans to take a final exploratory round in the area of fundraising before making an announcement in the coming days about whether he's running.

He watched former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan's gubernatorial kickoff on NJN earlier this week.

"He was good, he laid out some specifics, and he's been a mayor like I am so he can relate to issues impacting local government," Levine said.

The prospective candidate, a GOP moderate, said he intends to deliver his own economic policy speech on Monday, Dec. 15.

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Lonegan strategist predicts Christie won't run

Lonegan strategist predicts Christie won't run
Chris Christie resigned as U.S. Attorney on Monday, but says he hasn't decided if he'll run for Governor next year.

Rick Shaftan, the political point man for gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan, is convinced: the much heralded announcement that former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie is running for governor will never come.

"He's absolutely not running," said Shaftan.

That is, of course, coming from the chief strategist for Lonegan, the  conservative former mayor of Bogota and anti-tax advocate who entered the race on Monday. But Shaftan said that since resigning from his post as U.S. Attorney on Monday, Christie has not acted like a candidate.

"Don't you think Todd Christie would say he's absolutely in this race, 100 percent? On December 2nd the operation starts going. That's what these guys expected," said Shaftan, referring to the former U.S. Attorney's brother and the Republican county chairmen who are hoping Christie enters the race.

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This weekend on TV: Chris Christie

NJN’s Michael Aron will host former U.S. Attorney (and future gubernatorial candidate?) Chris Christie on On the Record this weekend.  The show airs Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00am, and again on Monday at 6:30am. 

On Reporters Roundtable, watch Nick Acocella of Politifax, Cynthia Burton of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Charles Stile of the Bergen Record and yours truly, Matt Friedman.  The show is hosted by NJN Reporter Zachary Fink, and we’ll discuss Steve Lonegan’s gubernatorial run, Chris Christie’s gubernatorial prospects, Rocco Riccio and the Governors’ summit with Obama.  Catch it at 7:00 this evening, or at 10:00am Sunday.

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Andrews praises departing Chertoff

On the day Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff came back to his hometown to address students at Kean University in the waning days of his term of service with the Bush administration, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) took a moment to access his legacy.

“We were fortunate to have a person of Secretary Chertoff's abilities and level of commitment serving our country,” said Andrews said in a statement. “He served well at a difficult time.”

In his speech at Kean, the Union County-born secretary expressed frustration with the traditional committee system in Congress.

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LivPAC goes 36-16-1 in congressional elections

The Committee for a Livable Future, headed by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) boasted an impressive win-loss record in races that the Portland congressman steered money toward, and in some cases, helped campaign for.

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Political or apolitical, Homeland Security secretary returns to his hometown

Political or apolitical, Homeland Security secretary returns to his hometown
Michael Chertoff with President George W. Bush in a 2005 White House photograph.

UNION – Talk to people in New Jersey’s legal profession and no one denies that what Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff perhaps lacks in charisma or courtroom presence, he compensates for with something more fundamental:  profound powers of reason. 

“Going back 20 years, he was a great lawyer, a brilliant lawyer – hard but fair,” said attorney Ted Wells.

His friends in the New Jersey political world say Chertoff’s a creature of hard analysis not politics.  “This is one of the brilliant legal minds of the country,” said Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), who introduced Chertoff today at Kean University, where the Homeland Security Secretary and author of the USA Patriot Act reflected on his three-year term in the Bush administration.

His tenure included his grim mea culpa in front of Congress following what he acknowledged was his department’s 2005 failure to respond effectively to Hurricane Katrina. 

But Katrina didn’t come up today as a cross-section of audience members in friendly fashion mostly picked the Elizabeth native’s brain about general public policy during the question and answer portion of his presentation.

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The Back Room

Christie v. Astorino in Aspen

Dismissed by Republican Governors' Association (RGA) Chairman Chris Christie, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino plans to confront his tormentor tonight at a GOP fundraiser in Aspen.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 24th

  Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups.  But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... 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

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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