Morning News Digest: February 5, 2009

Obama enjoys huge approvals in N.J.

Obama enjoys huge approvals in N.J.
Credit: Getty Images Photo
Barack Obama campaigning in Jersey City last year.

President Barack Obama has a 65%-16% approval rating in New Jersey, with 59% saying they like the way he's handled the economy so far, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this morning.  New Jerseyans back Obama's economic stimulus package 53%-36%, although 67% of voters believe the plan won't help them personally.

"The bottom line is that a majority of New Jersey voters say their personal financial situation is poor or not so good and two thirds do not expect their personal finances to get any better because of President Obama's Economic Stimulus Package being debated in Washington," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  "Voters give the new President a strong 65 percent job approval rating, but nearly three quarters say it will take more than a year for the stimulus program to work.  One voter in five says it will not work at all."

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Obama signs Pallone SCHIP bill

Obama signs Pallone SCHIP bill
Credit: Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Barack Obama, surrounded by members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), far left, finishes signing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation. The SCHIP legislation extends health coverage to 4 million uninsured children from low income homes at a cost of $32.8 billion through 2013.

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New Lonegan radio ad burnishes his conservative cred

New Lonegan radio ad burnishes his conservative cred
GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan

Gulping at the last bit of oxygen left in the political news cycle after former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie formally entered the governor’s race and remained mostly coy about his positions on economic and social issues, Steve Lonegan’s campaign today released a new radio ad positioning their candidate as the true conservative champion in the contest.

“Only Lonegan” exalts the former Bogota mayor’s record as a tax cutter who kept taxes below the rate of inflation, and led back-to-back charges against former Gov. Jim McGreevey’s gas tax hike and Gov. Jon Corzine’s toll monetization plan.

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In wake of Obama email apology, Bencivengo won't move to oust Lacy

HAMILTON – Mayor John Bencivengo said he does not have the ability to rescind the appointment of Jack Lacy to the Township Library Board of Trustees and the Redevelopment Agency. 

In any case, the mayor said he is satisfied by Lacy’s apology for broadcasting an e-mail comparing the inauguration of President Barack Obama to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which local Democrats have denounced as racist.  

After reading Lacy’s Jan. 30th email, Hamilton Township Democratic Chair John F. Kroschwitz called on Bencivengo and the Town Council to ditch Lacy, a former Republican councilman.

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GOP frontrunner hobnobs in Hamilton

GOP frontrunner hobnobs in Hamilton
GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, left, is greeted in the Golden Dawn by owner Chris Kurnellas.

HAMILTON – The floorboards of the Golden Dawn Diner are worn with the scuffling soles of many a politician on the move in Mercer County, and some of them are here today as a black bus with the words “Strong Leadership Now” emblazoned on its side, pulls into the parking lot and GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie descends to street level amid a wave of cheers. 

“He’s the right man at the right time,” Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo says in the glass-enclosed entranceway. “He’s tough, and he knows government.” 

Christie has his family with him as he plunges into a hoard of cameras and reporters intermingled with well-wishers and he drags them all with him as he trots up the diner’s front steps hearing the other cries come louder now from the sign-shaking Laborers International Union of North America protesters on Mercerville-Whitehorse Road: “Christie equals Bush! Christie equals Bush! Christie equals Bush!”

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Weinberg takes a wait and see approach on Ariyan

Weinberg takes a wait and see approach on Ariyan
State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) with former Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero in 2007. Weinberg says she's willing to give Ferriero's successor, Michael Kasparian, a chance to succeed.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) said that she’s taking a wait and see approach on whether newly elected Bergen County Democratic Chairman Michael Kasparian’s selection of Joe Ariyan as the party’s general counsel – his first and so far only appointment – sets a unifying tone for the party.

“I am waiting to see what’s going to happen with all the other appointments.  I’m waiting to see when he’s going to convene the meetings of elected officials and the executive board.  And I’m waiting to see what kind of bylaws changes Mr. Ariyan is interested in leading us toward.  Then I’ll make judgment,” she said.

Weinberg heads up a reform faction that has traditionally feuded with party leadership under indicted former Chairman Joe Ferriero, who let Kasparian, his preferred successor, inherit his post last month. 

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Secaucus Democrat runs against the establishment

Secaucus Public Defender Pete Weiner, who’s running in the Democratic primary against Mayor Dennis Elwell, plans to announce his slate of council candidates on Sunday.

Elwell has the support of the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization, making Weiner, 61, the automatic underdog in the primary contest.  Elwell’s forces, for their part, are more concentrated on defending the mayor against independent Councilman Michael Gonnelli, who may run in the general election.  But Weiner is confident that his campaign has momentum.

“I have a very good base of people that I’ve been talking with and who have known me for many years.  I’m not just Johnny on the spot. I’ve been involved here with 30 years in town,” he said, adding that he is also president of the community service organization UNICO.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: October 1st

Bergen County Freeholder forum mostly convivial, but at times confrontational TEANECK - The Bergen County freeholder forum on Tuesday night was a relatively collegial affair until the final two minutes on the 90-minute event. Republican freeholder candidate Robert Avery, flanked by fellow GOP freeholder candidate Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh, referred to...

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Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


(10-1-14) Mayor Fulop’s Working Family Rebellion Spreads - What began as a commitment between Mayor Steve Fulop and the people of Jersey City is fast becoming a movement spreading... more »
In tribute to John Sheridan, a good and great man     I first learned late last night from television news that John P. Sheridan, Jr. and his wife, Joyce had... more »
(Trenton, NJ) --  On September 23, 2015 I shall dig this up and eat whatever crow I've got coming, but in the meantime only a listicle... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"I see Loretta Weinberg in the back of the room. Loretta, you have my eternal admiration for what you did to rid the Democratic Party of a certain political boss. However, not everyone shares that distinction." - Bergen County Republican Freeholder candidate Robert Avery

- PolitickerNJ


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