Willie Brown dies at 68; served 12 terms as Assemblyman

Former Assembly Minority Leader Willie Brown passed away on Monday.    He was 68.  Brown spent 24 years representing Newark in the State Assembly.

First elected in 1973, at age 33, he was a member of a freshman Essex Assembly delegation that included Richard Codey.  He was re-elected eleven times.  He was the Assembly Minority Leader in 1988 and 1989.  When Democrats took control of the Assembly in 1989, the caucus picked Joseph Doria for Speaker and Wayne Bryant for Majority Leader; Brown became the Speaker Pro Tempore.

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Potential mayoral battle looms in Secaucus

Secaucus can seem a little out of place in Hudson County.

Despite the looming New York City skyline, the Meadowlands-buffered town of about 16,000 is far more suburban than most of its county counterparts and seems to share more in common with neighboring South Bergen towns than Jersey City.

But just because everybody knows everybody doesn’t mean politics here are polite, and a race with the potential to get ugly is already shaping up.

Mayor Dennis Elwell, a Democrat who’s serving out the end of his third term, plans to run again. He has the support of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, and isn’t expected to face much of a challenge in the primary, though local attorney Peter Weiner has told at least one Hudson County official that he intends to run for the party’s nomination. And Republican Frank MacCormack, the octogenarian who ran a long-shot campaign against Elwell in 2005, is so disenchanted with the county’s Republican organization that he does not plan to run again. The real challenge for Elwell will be if Councilman Michael Gonnelli runs.

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Bush taps three New Jerseyans as last minute appointees

President Bush made some last minute appointments that included three New Jerseyans: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and GOP fundraiser Cheryl Halpern were appointed to five-year terms on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. And the general manager of the New York Mets, Omar Minaya, was named to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

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Between Newark and Elizabeth, the election year forces of Hillside begin to mobilize

Between Newark and Elizabeth, the election year forces of Hillside begin to mobilize
Hillside At-large Councilman Jerome Jewell prepares for Tuesday evening's council meeting.

HILLSIDE – Crammed between highways in an industrial terrain just beyond the grip of two oxygen-hoarding metropolises to north and south, Hillside has that forgotten city feeling, as if residing within its limits between Newark and Elizabeth were actually the ultimate New Jersey emblem of honor, where the ironic allusion to being disrespected comes with a special appreciation of big and rough edges.  

Indeed, if Newark can claim to be the triumphant birthplace of Red Badge of Courage author Stephen Crane, Hillside was handed the unhappy task of burying the 28-year old wunderkind in the local cemetery. 

Peruse the names of native silver screen personalities, and Hillside fares no better.  Newarkers can brag of living in the birthplace of tough guys like Ray Liota and Joe Pesci while Hillside provided the early stomping grounds for the brilliant if largely unknown actor Michael Gazzo, whose claim to fame was getting bumped off in the Godfather II.

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U.S. Rep. Adler assumes seat on financial services committee

U.S. Rep. Adler assumes seat on financial services committee
U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill)

Sworn in to the 111th Congress today, U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) announced his appointment to the House Financial Services Committee. 

 

The committee oversees housing and financial services sectors including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. 

 

Adler becomes the only Democratic Party member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to serve on the committee. 

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Succeeding Crabiel: Barrett sworn in with Rios, Scott; Dalina becomes director

Succeeding Crabiel: Barrett sworn in with Rios, Scott; Dalina becomes director
Freeholders-elect, Carol Barrett (left) and Mildred Scott, await their swearing-in Tuesday.

EDISON - Carol Barrett assumed the oath of office here in a packed auditorium at Middlesex County Community College while her son and the widow of long-serving Freeholder David Crabiel and the Crabiel’s daughter stood by her side.

Judge Todd Mayo, chief judge of the East Brunswick Municipal Court, held Crabiel’s personal Bible where Barrett placed her hand. 

Later, Stephen J. “Pete” Dalina, a 20-year veteran of the board and Crabiel’s ally, received the board’s unanimous support for freeholder direct on a motion by Freeholder H. James Polos, seconded by Freeholder Christopher Rafano.

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Doherty announces support of three Warren County mayors

Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) today laid down another barrage of local endorsements for his state senate run in the 23rd District, where he hopes to succeed newly sworn-in U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton).

Doherty’s trying to defeat Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan Twp.), whose home base of Hunterdon is the bigger of the two counties sharing the 23rd District. 

To that end, he burnished the support of three Warren County mayors: Michael Lavery of Hacketstown, Douglas Steinhardt of Lopatcong, and Samir Elbassiouny of Washington Township. Each gave Doherty an unequivocal thumbs up.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

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Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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