Frelinghuysen takes it one election at a time

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- At 62, Rodney Frelinghuysen is already three years older than his father, Peter Hood Ballantine Frelinghuysen, Jr., was when he retired from Congress in 1975.

Frelinghuysen said his father left office in 1975 – when he was in his late 50s -- to spend more time with his family.

“I think it was in large part that he had five children, and I think he wanted time with family,” he said. “I grew up for 22 years of my life with my father as a member of congress, and I’m not singling out myself, but I don’t remember my father ever coming to a game or any sporting event.”

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Donovan circumspect on Ferriero

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Almost immediately after Bergen County Clerk Kathleen Donovan returns home, her reelection campaign will kick into high gear.
Donovan, a Republican delegate from the 9th Congressional District, has four events lined up for Saturday related to her reelection campaign against Democratic challenger Diane Testa.

But you won’t hear Donovan use the same kind of rhetoric about Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero, who’s under investigation, as the freeholder candidates beneath her on the Republican ticket. Donovan won’t comment on Ferriero, but she said that’s not because she’s still hoping that her allies will find an opportunity to appoint her to a judgeship, she said.

“We run together but we have different issues. That’s the best way I can explain that,” said Donovan, who after 20 years in office remains the last Republican county-wide officeholder in the once solidly GOP county. “I don’t comment on any kind of investigation. I’m not involved in anything in my capacity as county clerk, so I don’t talk about that at all.”

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CWA Local 1040's election committee reviews Bruno's petitions

MINNEAPOLIS - Challenging the sitting president of CWA Local 1040, Tom Bruno says he is confident that the local’s election committee will rule in his favor either today or tomorrow in a case concerning the validity of his petition signatures.

The local requires 200 signatures to get on the ballot. On Tuesday, self-styled reform candidate Bruno turned in his petitions to challenge long-serving President Carolyn Wade.

Three of his petitions don’t have dates on them, and the committee is presently reviewing the situation.

"I’ve been with the union 27 years and I’ve never known about the date requirement," said Bruno. "I’d be glad to add the requirement to the bylaws, but at present our bylaws don’t require a date. The bottom line is that any change to the bylaws requires a vote by the delegates."

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Fenton not disturbed by sea of white

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Much has been made of just how white the New Jersey Republican delegation is. But Burlington County Freeholder Aubrey Fenton, who sticks out as one of only two black New Jersey Republicans who have traveled to the Twin Cities to attend the Republican National Convention, said the party is on the right track in recruiting a diverse base.

“It’s improving, and as you see more and more examples of the inclusion it will continue to advance. I’ve been surprised with the percentage of minorities and women that I’ve seen at the national convention at large,” he said. “I think it’s a lot better than it was, and it will be a lot better than it is.”

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Hatfield says Lance understands the importance of Union County

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Former 7th District Republican Congressional candidate P. Kelly Hatfield said that State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) understands that if he wants to beat Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood), he can’t ignore Union County.

Stender, a microbiologist and former Summit Council president, said she’s seen Lance a lot in her home county, and that he’s studied how Stender managed to get so close to winning in her 2006 campaign.

“He has to win Union County. A lot of the Republican towns went for Linda Stender in 2006, and Leonard knows this. He knows he has to win Summit, Clark and Westfield,” she said.

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Wall Street would have made him rich, but public service prevailed, says Andrews

U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights): Politicker file photoU.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights): Politicker file photo 

MINNEAPOLIS - In a conference call with reporters, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) said he turned down wealth for public service, abandoned a lucrative Wall Street offer for a chance to stay in South Jersey.

"I had negotiations with Goldman Sachs," Andrews said. "I was tremendously impressed with Goldman Sachs. But I realized it’s not what my heart told me I want to do."

The congressman described his decision to return - after repeatedly going on the record with a firm declaration of his retirement - as "personal and perplexing," admitting that he has "fences to mend" with the New Jersey delegation.

"I had no intention of ever going back," insisted the 18-year congressional veteran, who gave up his seat earlier this year to challenge U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park). "I heard from scores of people who asked me to go back. They said very kind and humbling things."

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Murphy convinced Palin speech changes the game

MINNEAPOLIS - John Murphy walks up onto the stage. He’s pumped from the Palin speech.

"If Michelle Obama was watching last night, it’s probably the second time in her adult life that she’s proud to be an American," says Murphy, a reference to remarks by the Democratic presidential nominee’s that her husband’s Iowa victory provided her with her first moment of pride in country in her adult life.

"In my adult life," the Morris County freeholder says, "I’ve always been proud to be an American."

The crowd claps.

Murphy stays with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

"Our rock star tells jokes and has experience," he says. "The turning point for the general election was last night. Those independents and even a boatload of Democrats who were Hillary supporters know we have two candidates who are the real deal."

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On McCain's day, Frelinghuysen faces the troops

MINNEAPOLIS - The breakfast gathering welcomes U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding) to the podium as a friend of military veterans and longtime supporter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Frelinghuysen stands between the flags of the Untied States and New Jersey and exhorts the small crowd to support congressional candidates Medford Mayor Chris Myers in the 3rd District and state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) in the 7th.

"We need to keep Republicans in the House from New Jersey," he says. "These are tough races. Democrats in those races have raised a considerable amount of money. ...We need to work toward a Republican majority in both the House and Senate."


Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s speech last night is still bringing smiles to the faces of those in this room, and the congressman seizes on the mood.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 22, 2014

Newark mayor's race: pro-Jeffries independent expenditure group shows donations of $1.3 million, Wall Street ties in ELEC reportNEWARK - Newark First, the independent expenditure group that supports Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries in the run-up to the May 13 municipal election, has been on the attack lately against Jeffries'...

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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 >


(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 »
(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... 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

"You know what? I'm still Vinny Prieto. I'm still the same guy. This is always a great event — to see people, to talk about business, to hear about issues and concerns." - Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32).

- The Star-Ledger


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