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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Still no timeline for Crowley

There's still no indication whether biotech executive John Crowley is going to run for governor, but political confidante Bill Spadea said that the buzz surrounding several Republican candidates is healthy.

“When you think about how this state has been so dominated by the Democrats for so many years, and how the economic situation continues to worsen under the Democratic watch, it is no surprise to me that people are very energized about the Republican Party,” Spadea said.  “It tells me the voters are energized for change and the Republican Party is shaping up to be that vehicle for change.” 

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Report: Jackson close to being named EPA administrator

Report: Jackson close to being named EPA administrator
Credit: garrett.house.gov
Lisa Jackson as DEP Commissioner

Politico reports that Gov. Corzine’s chief of staff, Lisa Jackson, may be the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

A source tells the online news site that the appointment of Jackson is “close to a done deal.”

Jackson was sworn in as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 2006. She was named as Corzine’s chief of staff in October, and was tapped to be on Barack Obama’s transition team last month.

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Rible troubled by possibility of divisive GOP primary

UNION – As former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie publicly mulls a run for governor, Assemblyman David Rible (R-Wall) says he believes the Republican Party should rally around one candidate for governor before the June primary.

“We have to get unified,” said Rible, who didn’t discount the value of a GOP Primary fight, but also doesn’t want to see a bloodletting that could leave his party sapped by the time a candidate squares of with the muscle-bound war chest of incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine.

Of Christie, the former Wall Township police officer turned legislator, said, “He has a tremendous resume and good name ID. He’s not a far right conservative, and that’s good. I’m not sure New Jersey is looking for someone from the party’s far right.”

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Sheriff's officer admits stealing drugs from evidence locker

 

A suspended detective-sergeant of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department and former Haledon Borough council member pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute cocaine and some heroin he stole from the evidence vault at the Sheriff’s Department, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr.

Alan Souto, 40, admitted before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares that he received at least $250,000 from the sale of the drugs, which he told the judge was at least 43 kilograms (94.6 pounds) of cocaine and 700 grams of heroin.

Marra said Souto pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information, charging him with conspiracy to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine.

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The Back Room

CNN Poll: Christie leads Republican contenders by one percentage point

A new CNN poll places Gov. Chris Christie at the top of the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls eyeing the 2016 party nomination, garnering 13 percent of support-- a five percentage point jump from his standing in last month's poll. 

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 29th

  Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership JERSEY CITY – And then there were three. That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve...

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Op-Ed

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 >

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

"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."

- The New York Times

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