Rice reserves judgment in Irvington case

Rice reserves judgment in Irvington case
Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex)

TRENTON- Challenged by Mayor Wayne Smith and Team Irvington in his squeak-out, off-the-line re-election victory last year, state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) said he hopes Smith did not authorize Keith Reid to accept a $5,000 bribe on his behalf – which is what Reid told a jury in Newark earlier today.

“Wayne is a real hard working mayor, always has been, and he’s committed to his township,” said Rice, who in 2007 fended off a challenge by Smith ally Councilman L. Bilal Beasely after Smith himself expressed a desire to go up against Rice.

“Hopefully that’s not the case,” Rice added of the under-oath statement by Reid, former chief of staff of Newark City Council President Mildred Crump.

Read More >

Sarlo non-lawyer status doesn't worry fellow Judiciary Committee members

Sarlo non-lawyer status doesn't worry fellow Judiciary Committee members
Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth)

TRENTON – Members of the state Senate Judiciary Committee this evening responded favorably to news that state Sen. President Richard Codey (D-Essex) is poised to name state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) as committee chairman.

No one expressed any concern that Sarlo, an engineer by trade – lacks legal training.

“Paul’s an able guy and he’s been in the senate several years now,” said state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “He will bring a non-attorney’s perspective, which I think will be refreshing to many. I would urge Paul to take our institutional responsibility seriously, that we should not be and the people expect us not to be, a rubber stamp for the executive branch, despite the fact that governor and majority party are the same party.”

In terms of Sarlo’s close relationship with Codey, whom critics of the senate president regard as a control freak, Kyrillos said, “That’s not news.”

Read More >

Senate signs off on six bills in bigger Corzine economic stimulus package

Senate signs off on six bills in bigger Corzine economic stimulus package
Gov. Jon Corzine

TRENTON - Emerging from passing six bills, part of a larger, nine-bill $245 million economic recovery plan championed by Gov. Jon Corzine - senators in both parties agreed that the work today represents only a small part of what’s required. 

Predictably, Democrats and some dissenting Republicans diverged starkly on fundamentals, with key GOP reps doubtful about enabling government to work as a problem solver, and Democrats digging in to take another big crack at the problem with that all-purpose tool: government.

“I think today New Jersey took a step in the right direction,” said state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), whose EDA Main Street Assistance bill dishes $50 million to help jumpstart small businesses. “We recognize this needs to be solved on the national level. But although a lot of Republicans talked, many of them came with us in the end.”

Read More >

Doherty and Karrow look for support in each others' counties

As the battle to replace outgoing state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) takes shape, the two declared candidates are beginning to make incursions outside of their home bases.

Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Township), a Warren County legislator who began his campaign a day after he learned that Lance was moving up to Congress, feels encouraged by the response he’s received from the Hunterdon County committee men and women he’s met on the campaign trail so far. But some insiders argue that Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington), a Hunterdon County native who just made her candidacy official last week, should not be counted out among the Warren County committee members, despite local contentions that the county will be in lock-step behind Doherty.

A third candidate, Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt, appears to be ready to run, and will formally announce his bid either next week or the week after.

The county committee members from Hunterdon and Warren Counties will meet in either January or early February to decide who gets to be Lance’s interim replacement in the state senate. In June, a primary will be held to determine who gets to remain on the ballot for the November general election, when voters will select a candidate to fill the two remaining years of Lance’s term in this safely Republican district.

This race is more complicated than a regional battle between the Hunterdon and Warren County Republican organizations.

Read More >

Monmouth GOP sources bemoan mistakes in freeholder race

GOP sources in Monmouth County are complaining about party campaign tactics in the Monmouth County Freeholder race in which Democrat Amy Mallet of Fair Haven narrowly defeated Republican John Curley of Middletown.

One source cited two fundamental problems with the Republican campaign of Freeholder Director Lillian Burry (who won) and her unsuccessful running mate, Curley – neither of which involved the candidates.

Critics believe Curley should have won and could have with a more focused Republican strategy, and highlight real blunders they say undermined his chances.

First, fearful of upping her name ID, Republicans intentionally resisted attacking Mallet, the beneficiary with her running mate of $2 million in face time over the course of last year’s District 12 Assembly race.

Read More >

Kramer: diversification of pension funds prevented further losses

Kramer: diversification of pension funds prevented further losses
New Jersey State Investment Council Chairman Orin Kramer

Hedge fund manager Orin Kramer, who heads the New Jersey Investment Council, wants to set the record straight: the state pension fund’s losses would have been worse if he hadn’t begun diversifying its portfolio six years ago.

Kramer disputed a report that appeared on PolitickerNJ.com last week that contended he presided over the loss of $25 billion from New Jersey’s pension fund.  Upon taking the post in 2002, Kramer said that he recognized the need to for the state’s multi-billion dollar fund to diversify its holdings.  New Jersey, he said, stood alone in the proportion of stocks to other assets that its pension fund held.

“The reason that I joined the council is because New Jersey had the most undiversified, equity-heavy portfolio of any major comparable institutional fund in the country,” said Kramer.  “Compared to every major endowment, corporate pension fund and public pension fund, New Jersey was uniquely undiversified and heavily dependent on equities.”

Read More >

Lyons to Smith: 'If it's true, go'

Lyons to Smith: 'If it's true, go'
North Ward Councilman David Lyons

IRVINGTON - North Ward Councilman David Lyons, a likely 2010 mayoral candidate, has long been the nemesis of Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith, for whom Keith Reid at his trial today said he accepted a $5,000 bribe.

“Number one, if that’s true,” said Lyons, “Wayne needs to resign. He should do the honorable thing and resign.”

Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office indicted Reid and ten other officials throughout New Jersey for accepting bribes from representatives of Coastal Solutions, LLC., an FBI operation posing as an insurance brokerage business offering services to municipalities. The indictment accused Reid of accepting $10,000 bribes from a cooperating witness in exchange for his assurance that he would influence Newark City Council President Mildred Crump and other public officials in Newark and Irvington to help secure insurance brokerage contracts.

Read More >

Reid pleads guilty to bribery, names Smith as 'Irvington official number one' in trial

Reid pleads guilty to bribery, names Smith as 'Irvington official number one' in trial
Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith

NEWARK – The last member of Operation Broken Boards in his trial today implicated Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith as someone for whom he took a bribe. 

Keith Reid admitted that he accepted cash bribes totaling $10,000 in exchange for his influence with public officials in Newark, Irvington and elsewhere.

The former chief of staff to Newark Council President Mildred Crump, Reid, 49, of Carteret, agreed during his guilty plea to forfeit a total of $15,500, representing the entire amount of bribes he took as described in the indictment on which he was being tried in federal court, according to a release issued by U.S. Attorney Spokesman Michael Drewniak.

Read More >

The Back Room

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...

Sign up for the Wake Up Call

Get the latest New Jersey politics headlines delivered right to your inbox, every morning. Sign up for the PolitickerNJ Wake Up Call.

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

"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

Poll

Which contest are you most focused on this coming season?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources