Chertoff returns to Union County roots

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff will reflect on his time in office and discuss the nation’s preparedness at a special 9 a.m. appearance on Thursday, Dec. 4, at Kean University in Union. 

A former U.S. Attorney in New Jersey and Elizabeth native, Chertoff has served as the country’s chief security officer since 2005.

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), a friend of Chertoff’s, arranged the speaking event with the college.

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Republican splinter group calls for Rumana's resignation as Passaic chairman

A splinter group of Republicans in Passaic County has asked the county’s GOP committee members to encourage Chairman Scott Rumana to resign by January 1.

GOP Strong, which counts former Passaic County Republican Chairmen Mike Mecca and Peter Murphy among its leaders, issued a letter today to county committee members and “concerned Republicans” arguing that Rumana, who’s also an assemblyman, has failed to revive the beleaguered party.

“Nowhere are the failings of the Republican Party more evident than in Passaic County, where the party chairman Scott Rumana has presided over a string of electoral failures that are disheartening and disappointing,” read the letter, which is signed by Mecca.

Mecca said that after presiding over three straight election losses as a county chairman, he resigned, realizing that it was difficult to balance being an elected official and party chairman at the same time.

I knew that when I lost three elections in arrow, it was time for a change. And Mr. Rumana has lost every county-wide election as chairman including freeholder, county clerk and sheriff races,” he said. 

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Merkt covers a lot of roadway as his campaign tries to gain traction

Merkt covers a lot of roadway as his campaign tries to gain traction
Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham)

When Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) officially kicked off his gubernatorial campaign on Oct. 22, it proved no awesome headline-grabbing event just days before an historic presidential election.

But the 12-year veteran of the Assembly and long-shot candidate for the Republican nomination for governor said he made his declaration when he did because he was steamed over news about the way Democrats during the Codey administration managed a state fund supposedly dedicated to property tax relief.

 Merkt believes that his money notwithstanding, millionaire Gov. Jon Corzine will present Republicans with a soft target next year.

 “Let’s face it, he wanted to be Secretary of Treasury and didn’t get it,” said Merkt. “He’s running for governor as a consolation prize. And his wealth can be turned against him. I think you point out to the people that here’s a guy who spent $65 million to run for the U.S. Senate and $40 million to run for governor, and for that we got three years of misery and suffering and a declining economy.”

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Weinberg picked for judiciary committee

State Senate President Dick Codey (D-West Orange) today appointed state Sen. Loretta Weinberg to fill a vacant seat on the Judiciary Committee.

“Loretta Weinberg is an ideal choice for the Senate Judiciary Committee,” said Senator Codey in a statement. “Few members rival her passion and commitment to justice and equality. She brings with her an independent spirit and nuanced approach to government that will help ensure a thorough vetting of all gubernatorial nominees, particularly judicial candidates.”

The seat opens up as state Sen. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) prepares to resign after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Codey earlier tapped state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) to chair the committee.

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Juliano not interested in top BCDO job

Fairview Public Works Superintendent Paul Juliano today took his name out of the running to succeed Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero.

“I don’t have an interest in serving as the chairman. I’m sure my name surfaced in different circles, but I’ve never had an interest in being the chairman. It was actually a shock to me,” said Juliano, who saw his own name raised in a Bergen Record article on Sunday.

“I’m definitely flattered that my name, however it got there, was thrown into contention.”

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Holt declares state senate candidacy

Holt declares state senate candidacy
Holt being sworn in as freeholder by state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton), who he now hopes to succeed

Calling himself as a fiscal conservative and social moderate in the mold of state Sen. Leonard Lance and former state Sen. Bill Schluter, Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt formally declared his candidacy for state senate in the 23rd district today to local municipal chairs and elected officials.

“It is time that the traditional Republican principles of low taxes, responsible government, transparency and impeccable integrity become the hallmarks of New Jersey governance,” wrote Holt in a letter to Republican county committee members from Hunterdon and Warren that's set to widely distributed tomorrow. “As your State Senator, I will pledge total commitment to these principles.”

Holt, the grandson of former U.S. Sen. Clifford P. Case, joins Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) of Warren County and Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington), a fellow Hunterdon County resident, in the race to succeed state Sen. Leonard Lance, who was just elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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In gubernatorial quest, Merkt unveils some local endorsements

On a week in which U.S. Attorney Chris Christie resigned from office and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan officially announced his decision to run for governor, yet another Republican statewide prospect burnished some modest local support.

Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) said his campaign for governor has so far picked up the endorsements of more than 50 elected officials in his home county of Morris.  

“We have only just begun making telephone calls to elected leaders in Morris County, but already the response has been heartening,” said Merkt, a six-term state legislator. “The gratifying part is that most of the support comes unasked from local elected officials – people with whom I have worked closely over the past dozen years and who know me better than anyone.”

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Haines will vote for Anuzis for RNC Chairman; Norcross undecided

Haines will vote for Anuzis for RNC Chairman; Norcross undecided
Saul Anuzis has two of New Jersey's three votes in his bid to become the Republican National Chairman. He is the Michigan GOP State Chairman.

Republican National Commiteewoman Virginia Haines plans to vote for Saul Anuzis, The Michigan State Republican Chairman, to lead the Republican National Committee.

“I just think he’s someone who has always been on top of the issues, he’s always kept the committee people abreast – I’m not saying that the present chairman didn’t, don't get me wrong,” said Haines.

Haines joins New Jersey Republican Chairman Tom Wilson in supporting Anuzis for the post – giving two of New Jersey’s three votes to him. Republican National Committeeman David Norcross, however, said that it’s “very premature” to decide who he wants to lead the party.

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The Back Room

Christie takes state helicopter to campaign in Connecticut

Gov. Chris Christie took the "upper level" -- helicoptering over the George Washington Bridge -- to beat rush hour traffic from his home state to a recent GOP fundraiser with Connecticut gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, according to a Hearst Media report.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

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NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >


 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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