Marlboro team trounces COAH in resolution

Marlboro team trounces COAH in resolution
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik

MARLBORO – The self-professed good government tag team of Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik and GOP rising star turned Democratic Party Hornik-backer Councilman Jeffrey Cantor amped up their anti-Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) effort at last Thursday night’s meeting. 

Just days after Cantor scrapped the local Republican Party as a band of naysayers and became a Democrat, the Marlboro Township Council on Thursday night voted unanimously in favor of a resolution calling on Democratic Party leadership in Trenton to step up and abolish the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH).

The governing body undertook the resolution at the request of Hornik, widely seen as a Democratic Party rock star and potential opponent for state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) in 2011. 

“We should be focused on keeping taxes stable. To overlay the social demand of COAH at this time is irresponsible,” said Hornik. “When something’s broken, it’s time to revisit the whole structure, and I think in the case of COAH, it’s time to start at square one. I think we’re at that point right now.”

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Bridgeton Councilwoman will get Fisher Assembly seat

Bridgeton Council President Celeste Marie Riley is expected to replace Douglas Fisher in the State Assembly next month, according to a Gloucester County Times report.

Fisher was appointed to Gov. Jon Corzine’s cabinet as Secretary of Agriculture.  He will be resigning from the Legislature over the next few weeks, causing Democratic County Committee members in the third district to hold a special election convention to fill the remaining ten months of his term.

Riley, 49, is a fourth grade teacher in Greenwich and was elected Councilwoman in May 2006.  She has a B.A. in Music from LaSalle University.

Because she has the support of the other third district legislators, Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford) and Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Paulsboro), Riley is expected to face few obstacles to win Fisher’s unexpired term, and to be the Democratic nominee for a full term in the 2009 general election.

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Senators back Fishman for U.S. Attorney

Senators back Fishman for U.S. Attorney

Paul Fishman is likely to become New Jersey's next United States Attorney after receiving the endorsements of New Jersey's two U.S. Senators today.

In a joint letter to President Obama, Frank R. Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) and Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) are recommending the appointment of Fishman, a former federal prosecutor and Justice Department official.  

The post has been vacant since Republican Christopher J. Christie resigned on December 1.  Ralph Marra, Jr. is now the Acting U.S. Attorney.

"With so many critical issues facing our state, Paul Fishman will be a terrific U.S. Attorney.  He has the knowledge, expertise and judgment to protect the people of New Jersey in the years ahead," said Lautenberg, who has been advocating Fishman's appointment since last fall.

Menendez said that "New Jersey families deserve a U.S. Attorney who makes protecting them from economic crimes, the spreading gang activity, as well as gun and drug trafficking a priority of the office."

"I am confident that Paul Fishman will work with integrity and effectiveness to do just that," Menendez said.

Lautenberg pushed hard for Fishman to get the U.S. Attorney post when Faith Hochberg was nominated to a federal judgeship in 1999.  But Fishman got in the middle of a rather extraordinary public feud between Lautenberg and U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli.  The Clinton administration sided with Torricelli, and when Hochberg resigned to take her seat on the bench (after a lengthy delay in the confirmation process), Attorney General Janet Reno elevated Torricelli's preferred choice, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cleary, as New Jersey's interim federal prosecutor.  

The 52-year-old Fishman, a Princeton University graduate and editor of the Harvard Law Review, worked in the U.S. Attorney's office as Chief of the Criminal Division and as First Assistant before going to Washington as a senior advisor to Reno and as a Deputy U.S. Attorney General.  Fishman is a partner at Friedman, Kaplan, Seiler and Adelman, where he specializes in white collar criminal matters.  Fishman has represented several public officials prosecuted by Christie, and is currently an attorney for former CWA Local 1034 President Carla Katz, who is seeking to keep her e-mail correspondence with Governor Jon Corzine private.

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Carpenter gets out front early

Carpenter gets out front early
Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter

BRIDGEWATER – When Somerset County Freeholder Director Rick Fontana this week told party members he wouldn’t pursue reelection, Bernards Township Committeeman John Carpenter got out in front of the pack first.

At least as of last night, he remained the only person who has officially made his interest in the Fontana seat known to County GOP Chairman Dale Florio, while the party prepares for an April 2nd county committee screening to size-up any and all contenders for the position.

“I’ve got a great record of cutting taxes and cutting spending,” said Carpenter, 51, a Bayer Healthcare sales manager now in his second term in office, who last year served as mayor of Bernards.  “We’ve cut the municipal tax levy three years running. Our residents paid less last year than in 2005.”

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Lautenberg says he won't read stimulus bill before vote

Lautenberg says he won't read stimulus bill before vote

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) says that United States Senators won’t “have the chance” to read the final version of the $790 billion economic stimulus bill before they vote on it, according to a published report.

“No, I don’t think anyone will have the chance to [read the entire bill],” Lautenberg told conservative website of the 1,071 page bill.

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Morning News Digest: February 13, 2009

Lonegan and Merkt work Hackensack while Levine welcomes Christie to Franklin

Lonegan and Merkt work Hackensack while Levine welcomes Christie to Franklin
Former U.S. Attorney Chris Chrisie, left, confers with Assembly Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield)

FRANKLIN – Guerilla sniping sounded from the Lonegan camp even as the four Republican candidates for governor split up on the trail tonight to chart an otherwise sedate course to one of two prime Lincoln Day Dinner events.

Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan attended the Bergen County Republican Organization confab in Hackensack, and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie and Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine mixed at the Somerset County Republican Organization’s annual dinner at the Imperia in Franklin.

Levine played host in his hometown, while Christie the star former U.S. Attorney dominated interest among a crowd here in Franklin that included state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union), Assembly Minority Conference Leader Pete Biondi (R-Hillsborough), Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), Assemblyman Eric Munoz (R-Summit), and Assemblywoman Denise Coyle (R-Bernards). 

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Whitman eyes freeholder seat

Whitman eyes freeholder seat
Kate Whitman

FRANKLIN - Kate Whitman, Republican Party municipal chair from Peapack-Gladstone and a veteran of last year's Republican Primary in the 7th Congressional District, is mulling a bid for Somerset County Freeholder, she told tonight at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the Imperia Banquet Hall. 

Whitman, who last year ran a hard-charging campaign in losing to eventual general election winner U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton), would vie to replace retiring Freeholder Director Rick Fontana of Bridgewater Township.

But she hasn't yet discussed the issue with her husband, and she will do that before either talking to Chairman Dale Florio or deciding against another run.

"It would mean three screenings in three years," said Whitman, who had tried to land a freeholder seat in 2007 when Denise Coyle moved up to run successfully for the Assembly.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 22nd

Winners and Losers: Week of September 15th WINNERS Chris Christie NBC News reported Thursday evening that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has determined after a nine-month investigation that there is 'no evidence" so far that the governor had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures...

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Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


Sports and politics do mix: Welcome the next NFL Commissioner, Condi Rice          There are many sports fans who insist on believing that old bromide that sports and politics do... more »
(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"In many ways, Fulop has embraced McGreevey’s granular-level approach to retail politics, racing around the state to raise money for congressional candidates in South Jersey one night, showing up at a Morris County Democratic Party function the next. His administration has also awarded legal work to Weiner Lesniak, the Parsippany-based firm run by state Sen. Ray Lesniak, the Union County Democratic Party power broker." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record


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