Levine to formally enter governor's race

Levine to formally enter governor's race
Franklin Twp. Mayor Brian D. Levine (left) poses with Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham)

FRANKLIN TWP. – Good government Mayor Brian D. Levine tonight told PolitickerNJ.com he will formally enter the Republican gubernatorial primary before the end of the month and probably next week. 

Levine’s challenge for the right to face incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine officially makes it a four-man contest among Levine, Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.  

“I believe in bottom up rather than top down politics and I will be running my usual grassroots campaign, which is how I have run and won two elections as mayor of Franklin,” said Levine, a certified public accountant and pro-choice fiscal conservative who promises a shoe leather campaign in search of small dollar donations.

Levine’s entrance into the race appears on its face to create a case of two against two.

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Lonegan says he won't use Christie's ties to Bush as a point of attack in GOP primary

Lonegan says he won't use Christie's ties to Bush as a point of attack in GOP primary
Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan

On their way to tomorrow’s inauguration, Democrats are running past the Bush presidency as if it were the forgotten carcass of Commodus at the end of “Gladiator,” but they mean to at least sufficiently resuscitate what they see as the wreckage of the Bush years in order to make it an issue for former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, should he land the GOP nomination for governor. 

In the meantime, don’t expect Bush’s name to come up much in attack dog primary ads.  

“His 21% approval is actually up five points from just before the election, a difference reflected in the fact that half of Republicans (50%) now approve of the president, while about a third disapprove (36%),” said Fairleigh Dickinson University pollster Peter Woolley.  “Before the November election the numbers were reversed: half of Republicans disapproved of Bush and about a third approved (37%)."

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Frank MacCormack, Hudson Republican who challenged Sacco and Elwell, dies at 85

Frank MacCormack, a Hudson County Republican who waged numerous campaigns for public office over the last six decades, passed away on Sunday evening.  He was 85 and suffered a heart attack while having dinner.

MacCormack made three unsuccessful bids for Mayor of Secaucus and lost races for Councilman.  He won election to the Board of Education and served as School Board President in the 1960’s.  He later served as Secaucus Republican Municipal Chairman.

In 2001, at age 78, he became a candidate for State Senator in the Hudson-based District 32, which includes a small part of Bergen County.  Running as a support of then-gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler, MacCormack defeated North Bergen’s John Pluchino in the GOP primary with 73% of the vote.   He lost the general election to incumbent Nicholas Sacco by a wide margin.

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A transition of power

A transition of power
Mayor Cory Booker, center, with Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, left, and jazz pianist Eric Lewis

NEWARK – On the city’s 21st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, 72 hours before Obama’s presidential inaugural, Newarkers at Grace Episcopal Church rejoiced in a ceremony of blended Obama-MILK symbolism that apparently left no room or reason for last minute retaliatory elbows thrown at the outgoing Bush administration. 

In short, the most joyfully considered and relevant transition of power here was from King to Obama. 

“I’m a child of the 1960s. There are still a few of us around, right, Mildred?” said Gov. Jon Corzine, finding Council President Mildred Crump’s smiling face in the crowd. “King defined our aspirations, and what we could seek to find. When he was killed in Memphis he was talking about a living wage. We have a long way to go, but at this moment, when Barack Obama is sworn in, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream will become a reality. 

“God bless the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the presidency of Barack Obama,” added Corzine, and moments later, Crump cried, “That’s my governor,” as people in the crowd lurched to their feet.

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Booker confirms reports he doesn't want LG job

Booker confirms reports he doesn't want LG job
Mayor Cory Booker, right, and Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker, who keynoted a Newark event honoring MLK today.

NEWARK - When Barack Obama won the presidential election, politicos saw instant inner circle implications for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a vociferous Obama supporter and "rising star" in Obama's words, who nonetheless had insisted back in Denver that even if Vice Presidential Joe Biden dropped out and Chicago called him, he was committed to running for reelection as mayor.

When Obama made his cabinet appointments and the mayor remained local and not primed to fill the ambassadorship to the Court of St. James or some other ceremonial post, the back chatter decibel level started rising about Booker and lieutenant governor.

No, he probably wouldn't take the second banana job outright, said sources, but maybe he would bite at the properly framed offer to be Gov. Jon Corzine's running mate.

Seventy-two hours before Obama's swearing-in ceremony at a "Sing in Praise of Martin Luther King, Jr." event at the Grace Episcopal Church on Broad Street, Booker said for the record it won't happen.

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Lonegan energizes the room in Freehold, says rivals' plan is to hide Christie

Lonegan energizes the room in Freehold, says rivals' plan is to hide Christie
GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan in Freehold on Thursday night.

FREEHOLD – A guy in a plaid shirt arrives late to the packed Elks Lodge meeting for Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan. Oversized boots. Laces untied. You can picture the four-by-four parked out front as he tugs off work gloves to get thickset fingers around a glossy “Dump Corzine, Elect Lonegan” bumper sticker. 

Lonegan’s up at the front of the room, going all out. 

“There are two races in the country this year, governor’s races in Virginia and in New Jersey,” says the former Bogota mayor, leader of the state’s conservative movement. “Virginia’s kind of mellow. That means all eyes are going to be on New Jersey. New Jersey’s the number one race. If we don’t stand and fight for conservative Republican principles, we’ll be sent off to political Siberia for the next 20 years.” 

He promises the Battle of Trenton all over again, with big government Democrats and their schemes for affordable housing mandates in the role of high-hatted Hessian strongmen and Lonegan troops the tough guy Continentals who tramped across Jersey to Pennsylvania then came back over the river again to blow out the imperial forces.  

In a two-revolution metaphorical stroke of compacted New Jersey history, Lonegan suggests, too, that his anti-government battle on the Delaware will reclaim the state’s industrial jobs base that once prompted state fathers to declare unequivocally, “Trenton makes, the world takes.”  

“More men died here in the American Revolution than in any other state,” says Lonegan. “It’s only appropriate that it comes back to New Jersey, where (Democratic Gov.) Jon Corzine is so much better equipped, better financed. But let me tell you, by the time I’m done with Jon Corzine, he’s going to have to move into one of those government COAH (Council on Affordable Housing) units.”

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The Back Room

Sources: Why Fox?

With the support of Gov. Chris Christie, Jamie Fox is on the fast track to get back to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The question is why?

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...

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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 >


(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... 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

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ


Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':


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