Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin today asked that funds for Assemblyman Neil Cohen’s reelection campaign be frozen, along with a joint campaign account Cohen held with Assemblyman and Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan.
“As the investigation of child pornography allegations apparently continues against former Assemblyman Neil Cohen and election laws mandate that a special election be held this November as a result of the legislative vacancy, the Union County Republicans are calling for both his individual and joint legislative campaign accounts with Assemblyman Cryan to be frozen until the investigation is complete,” said Morin in a statement.
If the allegations against Cohen prove true, Morin said, he Cohen and Cryan should contribute the funds to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.Read More >
The Senate and Assembly both passed laws disbanding and reforming the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards earlier this year. But so far, only two of the new committee’s eight seats have been filled.
That’s because it’s hard to find people interested or eligible to serve, according to Rick Wright, executive director of the Assembly Republicans.
“We are going to make appointments, but like everyone else we’re having a hard time finding people,” he said.
The Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards has been widely considered a joke for most of its existence. It averaged one sanction against a legislator every 10 years during its nearly four decade lifespan. Meanwhile, filing toothless complaints with the committee became standard fare during the legislative campaign season, when candidates or their allies would file a complaint against an opponent and then issue press releases trumpeting it.Read More >
NJN announced today that Senior Political Correspondent Michael Aron will serve as the network’s Interim Director of News and Public Affairs.
Aron takes over for Bill Jobes, who’s retiring after holding the post for 21 years.
In addition to appearing on NJN’s newscasts, Aron hosts and produces Reporters Roundtable. He often hosts and co-produces On the Record.Read More >
NEWARK - U.S. Attorney Chris Christie rejoiced following the federal sentencing of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James today, but also acknowledged that a U.S. District Judge’s decision fell far short of what Christie and his prosecution team had sought.
He strove to focus on the positive.
"In seven weeks, Sharpe James will report to federal prison for one reason and one reason only: he is a criminal," Christie told reporters. "He is a federal felon."
Then he turned to U.S. District Judge William Martini’s imposition of a 27-month sentence on James instead of federal prosecutors’ suggestions of a 15-20 year penalty.Read More >
NEWARK - Citing violation of the public trust but noting the former mayor's overall effectiveness while in office, District Court Judge William J. Martini sentenced Sharpe James today to 27 months in prison, and a fine of $100,000.
His former girlfriend, Tamika Riley, received 15 months for her role in the corruption case.
In his sum-up, the judge reproved the prosecution for taking a heavy-handed and "inflammatory" approach to James's penalty, saying his imposition of what they hoped would be a maximum sentence of 15-20 years would be an "extreme injustice."
"It disappoints me and it shocks me that government would seek 10-20 year sentencing," Martini said. "I know in the zeal of prosecution, things sometimes get distorted. ...If the intent was to advocate for a big sentence to put this court on the spot, I'm not concerned with that, nor was it effective.
"It makes me question some of the perspectives here," added Martini, who also described as "unhelpful" letters he had received calling for the maximum penalty.
He said he struck the proper balance on a "sad day."Read More >
Update: Lance campaign response now included.
The Bridgewater Courier-News recently got wind of an overlooked story.
Bridgewater Councilman Michael Hsing, who cast his lot in with many other candidates in the 7th District Republican congressional primary, is running in the general election as an independent. And as of the last Federal Election Commission filing, he had more cash-on-hand than the Republican nominee, State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington).
Hsing, who’s served on the Bridgewater council for seven years, failed to make a dent in the primary, and decided to forego the nominating convention of his home county of Somerset. Lance, now the Republican nominee, won. Back then, PolitickerNJ’s Max Pizarro reported on rumors swirling about an independent Hsing bid, since he refused to endorse any of the other candidates. At the time, Hsing said “that will be determined and disclosed later."Read More >
After weeks of speculation, the direction of the Newark mayoral race may take an important turn today as prominent members of the Payne political family gather at Newark's Robert Treat Hotel at 11:30 a.m.
The campaign of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries has called a press conference at which both U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10) and Essex County deputy chief of staff and former state Assemblyman William D. Payne will be present.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
Bridget Anne Kelly’s attorney says lawmakers rushed to judgement An attorney for former top Gov. Chris Christie administration official Bridget Anne Kelly filed paperwork arguing his client shouldn’t have to comply with a legislative subpoena. The documents, filed by Kelly attorney Michael Critchley, argues lawmakers rushed to judgment...
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By Suzanne M. Walters When unions representing local police and firefighters cannot agree to new contract terms with local governments, State law mandates that the parties submit to binding arbitration. A third-party referee, then, sets the... Read More >
"The governor has allowed political cronyism to continue and even flourish, rather than stamp it out, with some of his closest confidants enriching themselves through millions of dollars in state contracts, and legal and lobbying fees, an Asbury Park Press review of thousands of pages of campaign, lobbying and contracting documents found."- The Asbury Park Press
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