Emboldened by fellow women and Obama, Ruiz targets the GOP

State Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, and Obama Campaign senior advisor Mark Alexander: Politicker photoState Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, and Obama Campaign senior advisor Mark Alexander: Politicker photo 

DENVER - There persists a quiet agony among Hillary Clinton supporters who sit at the DNC events but pick at their food and squirm with a perpetual sense of loss, as thoughts of a Clinton coronation still dance vainly in their heads.

Don’t count Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) among that crowd, insists the 30-something Latina, who represents the City of Newark.

Schooled as a precinct captain in the North Ward before launching her own career as an elected official in 2007, Ruiz supported Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in the Democratic Primary.

But Ruiz is very clear about her long-term pride in the candidacy of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).

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Gordon Johnson will leave Englewood council post

With a primary challenge from Joe Ferriero’s Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) always looming for Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, he announced earlier this week that he would resign from the Englewood City Council in March.

Although Johnson belongs to a slate of Democrats that has protested the practice of dual office-holding and voted to ban it, he has held an Englewood City Council since defeating a Ferriero ally, Rev. Vernon Walton, in a primary in 2006 (Walton is now a freeholder).

Ferriero allies have called Johnson’s hold on two offices hypocrisy, even if Johnson pledged not to seek another term.

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Jackson wants to start hearing some fightin' words

The Rev. Reginald Jackson: Politicker file photoThe Rev. Reginald Jackson: Politicker file photo 

DENVER -The Rev. Reginald Jackson of Orange doesn’t want to hear about psychodramas and intra-party traumas. He wants the Bush third term attack unleashed now on Sen. Jon McCain (R-AZ).

"We’ve got to define McCain and you’ve got to deal with Bush and the Bush record of nonperformance," said Jackson, who was a core member of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) New Jersey fundraising team and is here in Denver in support of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il) presidential campaign.

Jackson wants to feel a little more fighting pluck among his fellow Democrats, and some in- your-face chutzpah in anticipation of the GOP attack machine.

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O'Brien's happy predicament

Danny O’Brien, who was just hired as Sen. Bob Menendez’s new chief of staff in May, faces a happy predicament.

O’Brien, a native of southern California with deep political roots in New Jersey, spent three-and-a-half years as Sen. Joe Biden’s chief of staff before moving on to Menendez. Before Biden, he was chief of staff for former Senator Robert Toricelli, and worked on former Gov. Jim McGreevey’s 2001 gubernatorial campaign.

Now, having just started his job with Menendez, it’s easy to see him being recruited to the executive branch if Barack Obama and Joe Biden win the general election. But as of right now, he has no plans to change jobs.

“I have no plans to make any changes right now. I’m lucky to be working for Senator Menendez,” he said.

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McGrath's Kennedy connection

State Democratic Committee spokesman Richard McGrath: Politicker photoState Democratic Committee spokesman Richard McGrath: Politicker photo 

DENVER - The appearance at the Democratic National Convention last night of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) had more than a few of the members of New Jersey’s delegation swallowing hard and wiping away tears.

One was Richard McGrath, spokesman of the State Democratic Committee, who watched Kennedy’s short, but almost full-circle speech in the Spotted Dog bar in the basement of the Inverness Hotel.

It was a little personal for the Democratic Party operative, who shared his family’s own Kennedy story.

"My dad grew up in the same congressional district as Kennedy, only on the other side of the tracks," said McGrath.

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From one woman politician to another, Weinberg praises Clinton

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen): Politicker photoState Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen): Politicker photo

DENVER - Hours before Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) delivers her runner-up address to the Democratic National Convention, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) praised the former first lady, whose politics Weinberg questioned on the campaign trail last year.

A hardcore Obama backer, Weinberg’s chief complaint about Clinton on the presidential primary campaign trail was regarding her record. Clinton essentially stayed under the radar during the Bush years, in Weinberg’s judgment.

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Myers slams Adler, DCCC

DCCC mailer #1 (back)DCCC mailer #1 (back)


The campaign of 3rd Congressional District candidate Chris Myers (R-Medford) slammed state Sen. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) today, charging that the content in mailers from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee amounts to "lying" and includes a doctored photo of Myers.

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Kominsky is all for Obama

DENVER -- No matter how Democrats handle the roll call vote question, Hillary Clinton’s former New Jersey campaign director says she knows who she’s voting for.

“I’m voting for Senator Obama on the first ballot,” said Karen Kominsky, who headed up Clinton’s successful New Jersey primary campaign.

Kominsky has actually been volunteering for Obama for the last several months. She even ran a door-to-door Obama operation from her house in Lambertville.

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The Back Room

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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The future of NJ Politics should not be politicians investigating politicians

By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >


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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

- PolitickerNJ.com


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