Cunningham still mum on mayoral prospects

DENVER -- State Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham still hasn’t made a decision about whether she’ll run for mayor of Jersey City.  And that’s as much as she’ll say on the subject.

“I don’t know yet,” she said.  “I’d rather not answer any of the stuff relating to that right now.”

Although Cunningham is staying in the same hotel as incumbent Mayor Jerramiah Healy, both said that they had not discussed anything about the mayor’s race during their time at the convention or, for that matter, ever (whether people close to them are talking about it is a different matter). 

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Congressman says Karl Rove is going to hell

Congressman says Karl Rove is going to hell

A New Jersey Congressman says that former White House advisor Karl Rove is going to hell: Getty Images PhotoA New Jersey Congressman says that former White House advisor Karl Rove is going to hell: Getty Images Photo
DENVER -- Speaking in front of the New Jersey delegation this morning, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) said that former White House official Karl Rove – for years President Bush’s closest advisor – is going to hell.

Pascrell said that the last eight years have been full of squandered opportunities and missteps, both domestically and internationally, and pinned the blame squarely on the Bush Administration.

“We might have missed the last eight years because folks did not tell us the truth,” he said. “Dante’s Inferno laid out very specifically the very levels receding into hell. And the hottest place is reserved for those who distort the truth, who manipulate our minds, or who attempt to do it, anyway. So I don’t think Bush and Cheney will be at the hottest point in the inferno, but I sure as hell know that Karl Rove will be.”

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Pallone: Obama's an opportunity to build party's future

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch): Politicker file photoU.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch): Politicker file photo 

DENVER - Seniors should vote for Obama given the GOP’s designs on healthcare and social security, said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), but the real strength for Democrats this year will break the Republicans, in his view.

It’s the youth vote, and Obama plays into it in a way that will not only mean victory now - but maybe for years, in the congressman’s estimation.

"We will capture a generation of new voters (with an Obama victory)," Pallone said. "We could be the majority in the Senate and House of Representatives for the next 40 years if we were to accomplish that. We believe in the promise of America, and Obama makes such a change from what we have now in that regard."

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Gay rights advocates lobby for gay marriage

Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein is a Clinton delegate from New JerseyGarden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein is a Clinton delegate from New JerseyDENVER -- With a captive audience, leadership of the LGBT advocacy organization Garden State Equality made a push this morning for legislation that would legalize gay marriage in New Jersey.

The group even opened the floor to ask for new legislative co-sponsors to the current bill. Assembly members Gordon Johnson, Joan Quigley, Pamela Lampitt and Nellie Pou all signed on, as did State Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham.

Chair Steven Goldstein lead the group’s efforts, detailing a recent poll that the group conducted on the issue and several state races and drawing their attention to Speaker Joseph Roberts’s support of gay marriage. But Goldstein made his most powerful appeal by telling a personal story.

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Get ready to go Old Testament, Florio tells Dems

DENVER - Addressing the New Jersey delegation this morning, former Gov. Jim Florio told his fellow Democrats that they need to brush up on the harder-edged passages of the Hebrew Scriptures to get toned for what’s coming.

"We can’t afford to have this as a New Testament campaign," Florio told the crowd. "This is not turning the other cheek. This has got to be an Old testament campaign."

The way the Republicans demolished John Kerry four years ago, twisting a war hero, in Florio’s words, into a coward, should provide sufficient preview for GOP campaign tactics. But the Democrats have to huddle up and get ready to fight back with the obvious arguments.

"This president has to slither in and out of a foreign country before anyone knows he’s there, because he’s shredded our relations with the world," Florio said of President George W. Bush. "It’s an embarrassment."

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On morning of big speech, Obama mentor makes his pitch to Jersey

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, right, with Sens. Bob Menendez, Frank Lautenberg and Barack Obama in 2006: Getty Images PhotoSenate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, right, with Sens. Bob Menendez, Frank Lautenberg and Barack Obama in 2006: Getty Images Photo
DENVER - The affable salesman from the Midwest landed on the outskirts of town here with a bright smile and anecdote-laden speaking style that even the most bleary-eyed early morning Democrats responded to through the haze.

If the junior senator from his home state is the glamorous superstar, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) can claim the mantle of progressive, happy warrior work horse, and he kicked off his breakfast address to the New Jersey delegation today by noting how much he liked the deli cuisine that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Ill.) introduced him to when Menendez hosted Durbin one day in Hoboken.

He would get a standing ovation here, this politician who looks like an actor who would insist on playing Willie Loman as the guy who plays out a happy ending, in what amounted to a nearly perfect set-up when Gov. Jon Corzine prepped the crowd for his onetime Senate colleague.

"If you want to know how we get through healthcare, it’s going to be through the leadership of Dick Durbin," Corzine said of Durbin. "If you want to know how we’re going to change our foreign policy, it’s going to be through the leadership of the majority whip."

Obama calls Durbin his mentor and the older legislator responds publicly in the role of witness to what he sells as American excellence. Tonight he will introduce his friend and the Democrats’ presidential nominee at Invesco Field.

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Andrews to address his future next week

Andrews to address his future next week

DENVER -- United States Rep. Rob Andrews made it to the convention yesterday, and while there are clearly still some frayed relations between himself and members of the party who were loyal to incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg, he said he’s been received warmly.

“It’s really been very positive, very heartwarming, very good,” he said. “I feel very comfortable here.”

This morning he ducked out of the delegation’s breakfast during Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Illinois) address to pick up his credentials. There he ran into his recent campaign chairman, Michel Murphy.

Andrews has been the topic of much discussion among members of the New Jersey delegation. Despite the report that he’s negotiating for a job at Goldman Sachs, many say he’s still weighing returning to Congress. When asked today why people were still speculating about it, Andrews didn’t issue the blanket denials about returning to his house seat that he’s used since he entered the primary against Lautenberg.

“I’ll have something to say about that next week. This is a week to talk about the convention, not about me.”

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Convention Sketchpad, day three: Saying good-bye to the Clintons

Check back tomorrow morning to view my sketchpad for day three of the Democratic National Convention, and go to my national blog to follow convention coverage by cartoonists from around the country.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 22, 2014

Newark mayor's race: pro-Jeffries independent expenditure group shows donations of $1.3 million, Wall Street ties in ELEC reportNEWARK - Newark First, the independent expenditure group that supports Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries in the run-up to the May 13 municipal election, has been on the attack lately against Jeffries'...

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Op-Ed

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 >

Contributors

(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... 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 »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"You know what? I'm still Vinny Prieto. I'm still the same guy. This is always a great event — to see people, to talk about business, to hear about issues and concerns." - Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32).

- The Star-Ledger

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