New Jerseyans feel the economic pinch

A Quinnipiac poll released this morning paints a bleak picture of New Jerseyans’ economic status, though a majority see hope under a Barack Obama administration. 

Fifty-nine percent of New Jersey voters say that they are financially worse off than last year, but 66 percent believe the economy will get better under Obama.

"While only about a quarter think things will be better next year, there is broad optimism the Obama administration will be able to fix the nation's economic problems,” said pollster Clay Richards.

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Karrow says she'll take one shot at the convention, and that's it

Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington) will run for state senate at the special convention held early next year, but she will not run in a primary if she loses that initial battle.

“I believe in representative democracy. That’s what we are as a republic both in the United States and in New Jersey, and the county committee is the representative democracy in our district. I will abide by their decision,” said Karrow. “I don’t think this district needs to see a bloody primary. If that’s what [Assemblyman Michael Doherty] needs to do that’s his choice.”

That also means that Karrow will have the option to run again for her assembly seat if she does not prevail in the joint county convention, although other ambitious local politicos may see an opening there as well.

“I represent small town, rural New Jersey. I feel I’m giving a voice that they didn’t really have before, and by all means I intend to stay in government as an elected representative,” she said.

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Obama bundler says he lost $25 billion of N.J. pension funds

Obama bundler says he lost $25 billion of N.J. pension funds
Hedge Fund millionaire Orin Kramer and Obama national finance director Julianna Smoot. A state pension fund headed by Kramer says they have lost $25 billion since July

A New Jersey pension fund run by one of Barack Obama’s earliest and biggest campaign fundraisers/bundlers has lost $25 billion -- including $9 billion in October, according to a report issued today by a state panel.  The New Jersey Investment Council, chaired by hedge fund manager Orin Kramer, says that the value of the state pension fund has shrunk from $82 billion in July to $57 billion.

Kramer, 63, a former White House aide in the Carter administration and a partner at Boston Provident, was named to head the state retirement benefits panel by then-Gov. James E. McGreevey in 2003.  The state Division of Investment is one of the ten largest public fund managers in the U.S., with a market value at of $70.7 billion as of the end of September, according to the Treasury Department website.  The fund provides retirement benefits for more than 700,000 current and future retirees.

U.S. News and World Report ranked Kramer as Obama's #3 bundler last August, just behind Lehman Brothers' Christine Forester.

CLICK HERE TO READ KRAMER'S SIDE

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Karrow's decision does not put the brakes on Holt

Karrow's decision does not put the brakes on Holt
Likely opponents: Holt and Karrow at an event in 2007 (source: central.hcrhs.k12.nj.us)

Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt said today that Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow’s (R-Flemington) decision to run for the seat of outgoing state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) will not deter his own ambition.

Holt, who announced that he was setting up an exploratory committee last week, told PolitickerNJ.com today that he is likely to run for the seat as well.

“If anything, it energizes me even further,” said Holt. “Since the press release and my sort of formal announcement of my intent to move forward, I have just had an extremely large number of supporters both on a financial end as well as the working end of the campaign.”

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Doherty sees his conservative record as his ticket to the state senate

Doherty sees his conservative record as his ticket to the state senate
Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Township) speaks at a pro-life rally in 2004 (Source: njtrl.org)

It is still not clear exactly how many candidates are running to succeed state Sen. Leonard Lance, but battle lines are already being drawn on two fronts: geography and ideology.

Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Township), 45, is going to campaign on the latter. He’s from Warren County, which initially puts him at a slight disadvantage in a county committee race, since it has about 40 fewer members than Hunterdon County, home of his opponent, Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington). But he’s one of the most conservative members of the legislature, and plans to use that to siphon off Hunterdon’s most staunchly conservative county committee men and women.

“I see it as a real bellwether of what type of Republican leadership we’re going to have,” said Doherty, who’s a patent lawyer by trade. “If you ask people across the state who are among the most conservative Republican legislators, I would be among the first or second people named. That’s going to enure to my benefit.”

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Karrow announces state senate bid

Karrow announces state senate bid
Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington)

Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington) announced this morning that she will run for the state Senate seat in the 23rd Legislative District.

"I have been very effective in the Assembly, even while in the Republican minority. In plain and simple terms, I am running for the this seat because I believe that I can be even more effective in the Senate,” she said in a statement this morning. “My fiscal conservatism and my common-sense approach to problem solving are important skills upon which I have built my political career. Now, more than ever, I believe my ability to build relationships and reach across the aisle to find common ground, while maintaining my core commitment to Republic principles - smaller government and lower taxes -- is critical.”

Karrow’s decision to vie for the seat sets up what will almost certainly be a hotly contested race between her and Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Township), a conservative from neighboring Warren County.

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After running as a local Obama, Hawkins runs early into the hard edge of Orange

After running as a local Obama, Hawkins runs early into the hard edge of Orange
Eldridge Hawkins at the opening of Obama HQ in Newark, with Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith (background, left).

ORANGE – In the city a little over a year, young Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., ran as the Obama of Orange – a new messenger intent on change in the wake of another public man’s wreckage.

As he observed his older opponent on Election Day, Hawkins brazenly likened the campaign of At-Large Councilman Donald Page to a shopworn Hillary Clinton, and compared his own to that of the hard-charging, inspirational Barack Obama.

But more than five months into his term of office as mayor, Hawkins’s critics object to what they call the 29-year old executive’s early failure to deliver the city convincingly from the era of Mims Hackett, who’s soon to be serving time in a federal pen for corruption.

A proposed $57.2 million budget is up $3.6 million from last year’s, and residents face a significant tax increase. Meanwhile, even new furnishings at City Hall can’t camouflage an entrenched cast of old regime characters. 

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The Back Room

Monmouth Shore Local Newspaper, The Two River Times, Gets New Owner

The Two River Times, a weekly local newspaper covering affluent towns on along the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers, was sold earlier this month. On July 11, Domenic M. DiPiero III of Rumson, bought the quirky community newspaper from its previous owner, Michael "Mickey" Gooch.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 31st

  Christie to Newark hecklers: 'I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else' BELMAR - Gov. Chris Christie's got nothing but love for The Brick City, or so he says. In response to a Newark school student here today -- a 17-year-old president of the Newark Student Union...

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Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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

"Go to Mayor [Cory] Booker and ask him if he thinks in the years that he was mayor if I ignored Newark. The fact is I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else." - Gov. Chris Christie

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Poll

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