Crowley parties with delegation on the Mississippi River while Christie forces stay underground

Crowley parties with delegation on the Mississippi River while Christie forces stay underground

John Crowley is interviewed on the Mississippi river boat by NJN's Jim Hooker.: Politicker photoJohn Crowley is interviewed on the Mississippi river boat by NJN's Jim Hooker.: Politicker photo

MINNEAPOLIS - It started like a scene in a movie where guests receive a mysterious invitation from a powerful benefactor. On the bus trip out to the Mississippi River, a lot of Republicans were wondering, "Who is John Crowley?"

There was another less flashy, more intimate New Jersey political meeting going on simultaneously in another corner of the sprawling Minnesota town where Republicans had converged for their national convention, but for the moment this boat covered with red, white and blue bunting was a captivating focal point for the New Jersey GOP procession answering their invitations to see Crowley.

Crowley. Princeton businessman. Owner of a biotech company engaged in finding a cure for a disease Crowley’s children have fought since birth. Millionaire. Navy intelligence officer. Presumptive GOP political star.

Republicans knew the lineaments of the story; still, everyone was speaking the name without knowing the why beyond the boat trip and the vague possibility that Crowley would challenge Gov. Jon Corzine for governor next year.

Coming off the bus, former Gov. Thomas Kean led the way down the gangplank as the jug band started in on a tune and a paranoid Jersey guy told the governor, "As long as you’re here, I know I’m not too far from home."

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Ferguson praises Lance's campaign to succeed him

Fresh from vacation with his family and sporting a new goatee, retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson said State Sen. Leonard Lance is doing a “super” job trying to succeed him.

“He’s got a tremendous track record, legislative and politically. He’s a very strong campaigner, and he’s got a great record to talk about, particularly in contrast to someone we all know well has been raising taxes in our state for 15 or 20 years,” he said.

“When you look at the fiscal problems facing our state today, its’ because of people like Linda Stender who have been raising our taxes, increasing borrowing, increasing spending.  That’s a really positive contrast for him, and I think as the campaign plays out over the next couple months the voters are going to learn that.”

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Zimmer reflects on conventions past

U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer walked into the convention hall today and found something unusual: delegates were sitting relatively quietly.

“I’ve been to a lot of conventions, but this one is unlike any of the others. For one thing, we don’t know what’s going to happen day to day, and we’ve gotten a reality check,” said Zimmer. “There’s a world of politics, and there’s a world of real Americans who all of us are thinking of first right now.”

It was also the first time Zimmer encountered such a subdued mood the many conventions he’s attended. His first was in 1968 when Zimmer, then a law student who managed to get on the floor, watched as Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller and Ronald Reagan jostled for the nomination. During that convention, some lesser-known candidates put their names in as well – including New Jersey Sen. Clifford P. Case.

“Here is something Wally Edge might know,” said Zimmer. “You know who made the nominating speech for Case? It was C. Douglas Dillon, who was in Kennedy’s cabinet.”

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Puharic hopes for Bush visit

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- While many pundits say President Bush’s absence from the Republican National Convention is a political blessing, former Monmouth County Republican Chairman Adam Puharic remains hopeful that he’ll still make an appearance.

“I was born into leadership under George W. Bush.  His presidency invigorated me,” said Puharic, a 37-year-old insurance broker who describes himself as the “youngest senior stateman in Monmouth County. 

“I hope he stops by,” he said.

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GOP continue to make case for Palin but Dems say she's no Jersey girl

MINNEAPOLIS - Stunned by Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) headline-snatching announcement last Friday that he selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, N.J. Democrats this week re-set after taking a three-day hard look at Palin.

So far, they’re having a difficult time squaring an obscure Alaskan with New Jersey’s hard-edged, ethnically diverse environs, despite Republicans’ best efforts - in the words of State GOP Chairman Tom Wilson - to make a case for why "New Jersey will love Sarah Palin."

"They have Eskimos in Alaska," former Summit Councilwoman Kelly Hatfield said to the suggestion that Palin may not have experience relating to the kinds of ethnic groups whose myriad cultures saturate New Jersey.

As for the fact that Palin’s a woman - a younger, slimmer verison of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) with an attitude to tempt backlash voters over to the GOP after Clinton’s primary loss - Democrats remain unimpressed.

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McHose: Palin has chutzpah

Allison Littell McHose, a 43-year-old conservative Assemblywoman from Sussex County, thinks that Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old conservative Governor of Alaska, is a great choice for Vice President.

Much of the delegation has talked about Palin’s record on ethical reform resonating with New Jersey voters.  McHose, however, focused on her fiscal conservatism.

“She is a reformer, she has cut spending in the state of Alaska, and the refund she was able to give the people from oil is something that will resonate in the state of new jersey,” she said.  “We like someone who has chutzpah like she does.” 

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Wilson will be 'sickened' if NRCC doesn't spend money in District 3

Wilson will be 'sickened' if NRCC doesn't spend money in District 3

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- By law, retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton can’t tell the National Republican Congressional Committee what to do with the $400,000 he just donated to them.

But Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson has a good idea of where the money should go: to the cash strapped Chris Myers, who’s running as Saxton’s choice to fill his 3rd Congressional District seat. Myers is running against Democratic State Sen. John Adler, who as of the last filing period had about 10 times Myers’s cash-on-hand.

So far, the NRCC hasn’t made any public commitments to the district. When asked if he would be disappointed if the NRCC didn’t commit any resources to the 3rd District, Wilson was candid.

“If they don’t, I’ll be more than disappointed. I’ll be sickened, and I’ll be pissed,” he said. “I can tell them to. They don’t have to listen to me. Once the money is in their treasury it’s theirs to do what they will with, but hopefully his colleagues will be respectful of his commitment to the caucus and make sure that his seat stays in Republican hands.”

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The Back Room

Bonnie and the Lonny Factor

Rolled out this week as the finance chair of Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman's (D-15) 12th District Congressional Campaign, Trenton attorney Lionel "Lonnie" Kaplan arrives with an unusual asterisk alongside his public endorsement record for someone burnished as a Democratic Primary weapon.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >


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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop



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