One year into Trout's term, tensions boil over

One year into Trout's term, tensions boil over
Hunterson County Sheriff Deborah Tout, a Republican in office since January 2008, is being pushed to resign by at the all-Republican Hunterdon County Board of Freeholders.

After a year of feuding with the freeholder board over budget issues and hiring practices, Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout thought she was starting to make progress.

She had met with Freeholder Will Mennen one-on-one several times, and he was helping her iron out the differences. So it came as a surprise to her and the rest of the board two weeks ago when Freeholder George Melick introduced a resolution calling on Trout, who is only one year into her first term, to resign.

"Things are settling down, everyone is happy, getting what they want: peace," Trout said. "And, then when that came out, I said ‘Where is this coming from? We're finally getting things done.'"

The non-binding resolution contained a litany of complaints mostly focused on the argument that Trout failed to fulfill - or even attempt to accomplish -- her main campaign promises. Unprepared for such a drastic statement, the board put off its decision for a week, instead adopting a slightly watered down version by a vote of 3-2, which called on Trout to resign if she did not immediately begin fulfilling every one of her campaign promises.

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Quiet Schundler fuels buzz

Quiet Schundler fuels buzz
Bret Schundler, who served as Mayor of Jersey City from 1992 to 2001, is mulling a comeback bid next May.

While the Jersey City mayoral race is starting to gain momentum, former mayor Bret Schundler, who has not formally kicked off his campaign but has already said that he intends to run, has been relatively quiet. 

That has led to speculation that Schundler has had trouble raising money and filling out a full council slate and that he has begun to rethink whether he can pull off the same kind of upset in 2008 as he did in 1992.  Some say Schundler’s feet are beginning to get cold.

Reached for comment today, Schundler said he would like to hold off on interviews until January 15th.  Asked if he would rebut or clarify rumors about having a tough time campaigning, he said “I don’t want to clarify anything.”

But attorney Sean Connelly, a close Schundler ally who ran all three of his mayoral campaigns and served as Jersey City Corporation Counsel during his administration, dismissed the rumors.

“The last time I spoke to Bret was last Monday, and of course we send emails all the time. But nothing gave me any kind of concern,” he said. “I’m very pleased with the fundraising.”

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Weinberg loses life savings in Madoff Ponzi scheme

Weinberg loses life savings in Madoff Ponzi scheme
Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen)

The Wall Street Journal reports that state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) lost her life savings in Bernard L. Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

According to the Journal, Weinberg had her savings, about $1.3 million, invested with Stanley Chais, a Los Angeles money manager and one of Madoff’s victims.

"Irwin had a saying, 'If you made a dollar and a half, you put 75 cents into a savings account and you lived on the other 75 cents,' " the Journal quotes Weinberg, speaking of her late husband, who had his own business building and designing retail stores. "That's how we lived."

On Monday, the senator described her husband as a hard-working child of the Depression and said of the news, “This is another road in one’s life that one must traverse. I’m a lot better off than a lot of other people who were affected by this.”

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Report: Jury reaches guilty verdict in Fort Dix case

The Cherry Hill Post reports that jurors in the Fort Dix trial this afternoon found the five defendants guilty of plotting to attack and kill soldiers at the military base.

The case became a campaign issue in the 2007 legislative race when Republicans questioned Democratic candidate Tracy Riley’s defense attorney husband’s decision to take the case.

To arguments that the five foreign-born defendants lacked the will to carry out their attack on the base, the Cherry Hill Post quotes Deputy U.S. Defense Attorney William Fitzpatrick saying such "was an obvious attempt to divert your attention" from the defendants' recorded words "that cry out for guilty verdicts."

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Marsh won't run for Hoboken mayor if Zimmer runs

Marsh won't run for Hoboken mayor if Zimmer runs
Former Hoboke Councilwoman Carol Marsh with her 2007 running mate, West New York Mayor Sal Vega

HOBOKEN - As elected officials here in the face of public discontent try to make their various arguments for why the state has assumed control of the municipal budget, at least one former elected official is watching from the perimeter.

Talk to locals about the mayor's race next year and most of them factor former Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Carol Marsh's name into a mix that includes Councilman Peter Cammarano, Councilwoman Beth Mason, Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer, Councilman Michael Russo and Mayor David Roberts.

In a phone conversation today with PolitickerNJ.com, Marsh said she was unlikely to run for mayor in 2009, and in one scenario would absolutely rule out the possibility.

"I'm 100 percent in support of Dawn if she runs," said Marsh, who ran unsuccessfully for the Assembly last year in the 33rd District on a ticket with West New York Mayor Sal Vega and Nicole Garcia of Union City.

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Capuana campaign to file ELEC report tomorrow, says treasurer

Capuana campaign to file ELEC report tomorrow, says treasurer
School Board President Vincent Capuana

PASSAIC – The campaign season never ends in Passaic, or at least it feels that way as newly elected Mayor Alex Blanco will likely have to face at least two challengers he already vanquished in the November special election to succeed the disgraced Sammy Rivera. 

Both city supervisor/School Board President Vincent Capuana and real estate developer Jose Sandoval show no signs of loosening the reins on their respective campaigns. 

Next year the contest will be for a full, four year term. It was in the spirit then of ongoing rivalry that Blanco’s people wondered why Capuana never filed a final 2008 report with the New Jersey Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

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L. Harvey Smith to run for mayor of Jersey City

L. Harvey Smith to run for mayor of Jersey City

Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith declared his candidacy for Jersey City mayor to the Jersey Journal’s Political Insider” column over the weekend.

"This should be a great city and I think I can help make it happen," he told the paper.

Smith, the former city council president, served as Acting Mayor for about six months in 2004, after the sudden death of Mayor Glenn Cunningham, and served a few months as a state senator. He lost the following special election to fill the remainder of Cunningham's term.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 21st

'We believe in redemption': Roque heads into 2015 with full backing of the HCDO WEST NEW YORK – When local pain specialist Dr. Felix Roque delivered U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) from discomfort and restored him to the golf course, the congressman in return indulged the political fancies of...

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Op-Ed

Five ideas for strengthening the state's political parties

By Jeff Brindle An August 15, 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler reaffirmed the place of political parties in the State’s electoral system. By rejecting arguments that unaffiliated voters should have a right to vote in... Read More >

Contributors

(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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 »

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