Allen welcomes a fellow reform Republican who took on her own party

After hearing the news that John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) said that she was proud of how far women have come in politics.

She related a story of a recent trip to the Adirondaks with her seven year old grandson, Jackson. The two met a local woman State Senator named Betty Little. Jackson, knowing his grandmother was also a state senator, turned to Allen with a question.

“He looked at me with big eyes and said ‘Grandy, can boys ever be Senators?,” she said. “I thought women around the world have been waiting for this question.”

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Baroni says Alaskan Gov will put New Jersey in play

State Sen. Bill Baroni said that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is an “extraordinary choice” who will put New Jersey in play.

News reports this morning say McCain has tapped Palin, 44, as his running mate.

“Now with an 8 week campaign, we’ve got a great ticket that for New Jersey that obviously appeals to the blue collar voters,” said Baroni, the chairman of McCain’s New Jersey campaign. “Now we’re adding a conservative choice in Sarah Palin who appeals to New Jersey’s conservative and independent voters, men and women.”

And while Palin couldn’t come from a state more different than New Jersey, Baroni said that her ethics-based gubernatorial campaign and spats with Rep. Don Young (R-Ala.) will resonate with Garden State voters.

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With Obama's help, party resolves itself

U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark): Politicker photoU.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark): Politicker photo

DENVER - It was coming to an end in an Irish bar, only it wouldn’t actually end there. It would in another bar, a few blocks removed.

Two bars separated by one speech.

"It should be a walkover, of course," said U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark). "These guys - Obama and McCain - are neck and neck. I think it’s perhaps the trepidation about race that makes it that way, but we'll see."

In a few hours, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) would take the stage and accept his party’s nomination.

Payne, and his elder brother former Assemblyman Bill Payne, mingled among a respectably large crowd of guests in this, the last big, pre-Obama speech bash in downtown Denver at the Celtic Tavern, thrown by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson).

The Celtic Tavern is located near the light rail line, and soon the delegates and superdelegates and other guests would pile aboard and head out to Invesco Field to see and hear Obama.

In the meantime, the hosts brought Speaker Joe Cryan up onto the stage with the folk band to take a bow. Just as they were stepping over the microphone cords and getting ready to launch into the Irish songs, the bar door swung open and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy walked in, prompting Pascrell to make a special introduction.

It almost looked staged, as if a staffer had sent Healy a text message. Healy's a good Irish tenor with a rich, well-modulated voice.

But the mayor’s stride-in would astoundingly prove a premature entrance to the main event, for on this afternoon, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Union City) went to the front of the room.

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Corzine's convention

Gov. Jon Corzine at the convention.: Politicker photoGov. Jon Corzine at the convention.: Politicker photo 

DENVER - As he partied the night away at a downtown bar following Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) acceptance speech and the end of the Democratic National Convention, Gov. Jon. Corzine radiated happiness to everyone around him.

"I feel like a kid again," said a tie-less, beaming Corzine, inviting guests in to his celebration.

Energetic all week, getting up at 5 in the morning Rocky Mountain time for interviews, and all day networking, fundraising, speech-making and morale -boosting, the governor appeared more dynamic with each passing day, culminating with his appearance at this event.

The conflict-resolution New Jersey storyline of this convention involved whether or not the delegation could harness the undercurrent of hurt and anger among Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) holdouts and channel it to Obama.

By Thursday afternoon, after a week of parties and politics, most of the members of the delegation appeared to be significantly slowed. People’s answers to questions about speeches usually contained references to feelings of being tired.

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Convention Sketchpad, day four: Coming off the mountain top

Check back next week to view my Convention Sketchpads from the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

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Cid Wilson leaning towards District 37 Assembly bid

DENVER -- Former Assembly candidate Cid Wilson, who ran and aborted a primary campaign against District 37 Assembly members Gordon Johnson and Valerie Vainieri-Huttle, said today that he may run again.

“The answer is that I’m exploring all my options, and I very much believe that regardless of what I decide to do, I’m going to be an active leader in Bergen County, because I’ve always cared about the issues affecting Bergen County,” he said.  “I’m giving it a very strong look, and I am leaning towards running.”

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The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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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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How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

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



Was Frank X. Graves of Paterson New Jersey's best mayor?:


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