The show ends

A riverboat welcome.: Politicker photoA riverboat welcome.: Politicker photo 

MINNEAPOLIS - If the Democratic National Convention provided a simple conflict-resolution storyline, the Republican counterpart took the shape of a Quentin Tarentino script in comparison, with a hurricane threatening to throw everything off and the New Jersey delegation heading out on a river boat cruise anyway and doing relief work in the morning, and protest actions punctuating the streets.

All against the backdrop of McCain/Palin.

Despite a gaffe-filled Tuesday production, with Jo Ann Davidson, co chair of the Republican National Committee, referring to Alaska Gov. Sarah "Pawlenty," and a trio of gray or white-haired prime time speech-makers, including an unpopular sitting president and a former Democrat, hardly igniting the New Jersey delegates.

Tear gas cartridges hit the pavement outside the Xcel Center

"The protesters are all in here fighting with police," said the cabby on the way out of the downtown.

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Minneapolis/St. Paul GOP chronicle

Former Gov. Thomas Kean and Scott Morrison of Camden County at the Hilton: Politicker photoFormer Gov. Thomas Kean and Scott Morrison of Camden County at the Hilton: Politicker photo

MINNEAPOLIS - From Hurricaine Gustav, to the Labor Day late night cruise with the Crowleys, to Bush cringe, to the Sarah Palin story, to the Blue Grille Bar in the Hilton, to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) and back to the Blue Grille, and back to the East, New Jersey Republicans led by State Chairman Tom Wilson forged a convention of small but diehard members. 

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Torricelli on the Republican National Convention

There's something missing from the Republican Convention. There is a need for a camera behind the curtain where speakers greet friends and family after they speak. Then we could discover if some of the Republican speakers can actually keep a straight face after their remarks.

It's a fair question. Mitt Romney assailed the Democrats for the growth in government spending. I assume that he is aware that there's been a Republican President for the last eight years who governed during most of that time with a Republican Congress. He expressed outrage at the mounting federal debt. Everyone in the convention hall must know that Bill Clinton balanced the budget and was reducing the debt until the  Bush Administration added more debt than any President in history.

My favorite was the assault on Democrats over national security and the continuous praise of American soldiers. I can't be the only one who remembers George Bush sending young Americans into combat without flak vests and in unprotected Humvees. Wouldn't protecting these soldiers be a better sign of devotion?

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Spadea: Crowley's right hand man

When biotech executive John Crowley was thinking about running for Senate, it was Bill Spadea who notified party leaders and started laying the groundwork for a campaign.

And when Crowley decided that he couldn’t run for Senate, it was again Spadea who notified party leaders and started disassembling the groundwork for a campaign.

Now, Crowley is starting up the Building a New Majority PAC in a joint brain-trust with Spadea, who’s the group’s president.

“We’re lacking as a party a couple things. One, we’re lacking an organized process of identifying candidates and supporting those candidates. It’s got to be ground up instead of top down. The Republican Party has taken the approach for years that if we just have somebody strong at the top, you can pull all these local seats up,” said Spadea. “So we almost have to take a page out of the Democratic book, which is start at the school board, city council, mayor’s office, and build it up. That’s what we do.”

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Baroni won't call it vindication

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- On Friday, State Sen. Bill Baroni flew in to Minneapolis/St. Paul, knowing that a Hurricane was bearing down on a town 1,000 miles south.  And through the convention, he’s been not only the point man, but the official face of New Jersey.

Last night, Baroni, perhaps McCain’s most visible backer in New Jersey, had the cast the state’s votes for John McCain.

“This has been a nine year journey with the McCain campaign.  Nine years ago I was doing advance events in Michigan and California for Sen. McCain.  Nine years later I had the opportunity to stand and cast our votes for John McCain. That’s an extraordinarily humbling moment,” he said.

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While celebrating father's influence, Bucco says 'people will see that I'm my own man'

MINNEAPOLIS - The names stand out from recent years - Connors and Littell - Republican families who fielded a father and son, or father and daughter, in the same legislative district.

Now the Buccos hope to join that crowd, as 46-year old Tony, Jr., son of Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) announced this week his intentions to pursue the 25th legislative seat, which Assemblyman Richard Merkt (D-Randolph) will vacate next year when he retires to run for governor.

Bucco will have to go through at least one fellow Republican, Morris County Freeholder Doug Cabana, who also announced that he will run for the same seat next year.

For his part, Bucco’s eager early to get around the nepotism charge.

"I’ve always been my own person," said Bucco, Jr., who for 20 years has served as an attorney representing local governments.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 23, 2014

Colorado politicians invite Christie to experience 'Rocky Mountain High'Colorado politicians slapped back at Gov. Chris Christie after he questioned their Rocky Mountain quality of life under the rule of legalized marijuana.“Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime,"  Sen....

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How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

“The good news of tonight is that these problems are fixable.” - Gov. Chris Christie



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