Reverberations from Lehman investment continue

Reverberations from Lehman investment continue

Thee wrangling over the aftermath of the state’s decision to invest $178 million in Lehman Brothers stock before the company collapsed took a messy turn today.

A complaint about a perceived lack of response to an OPRA request filed on behalf of state Sen. Joe Pennacchio turned into a debate on whether Pennacchio was putting the diversity of the State Investment Council in jeopardy.

In a press release, Pennacchio accused the Treasury Department of stonewalling a Republican staffer’s OPRA request, saying that it was ironic that the department was more concerned about collecting $79.50 in OPRA-related costs than investigating why it invested millions in a troubled company.

“It is obvious that we are being stonewalled,” said Pennacchio. “New Jersey’s citizens have a right to know why and how the Investment Council lost $115 of $178 million invested in a short period of time this summer prior to the sub-prime market collapse. The Lehman’s investment had huge risks and there were obvious personal ties to the New Jersey Investment Council when this failed decision was made. I wish the Treasury was as concerned with the $178 million investment as they are with getting $79.50 from an elected official doing his job.”

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Lonegan endorses Doherty

Republican gubernatorial candidate Steven Lonegan today endorsed fellow conservative Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.), an assemblyman, for the state senate.

"Mike Doherty is a man of principle, and a true champion of the taxpayers. As I have traveled the State of New Jersey to support various conservative issues, Mike has always been by my side to fight for smaller government and lower taxes,” said Lonegan. “As an elected official, Mike has never voted for a new tax. He knows that the solution to our problems is cutting spending, not increasing taxes.”

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Still probing a run for governor, Levine files with ELEC

He’s not yet in officially, but he’s moving forward.

Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine, a moderate Republican interested in pursuing a run for governor, this week inched closer to his goal.

“Yesterday, I filed a form with New Jersey ELEC to set up a campaign name and register and start to put an organization,” said Levine. “Monday I’m slated to give my first economic talk.” 

A CPA by trade and grassroots candidate who won election and re-election in Democratically-controlled Franklin, Levine says he’s used to going door-to-door and generating old fashioned face to face political support.

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Small gears up for mayoral run in Atlantic City

Small gears up for mayoral run in Atlantic City
Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small on his way to Wednesday evening's council meeting in City Hall.

ATLANTIC CITY – Local basketball and baseball star turned 2nd Ward City Councilman Marty Small wants to be mayor of Atlantic City, and says he intends to win the Democratic nomination next year.

“I’m running,” Small told PolitickerNJ.com on his way to Wednesday evening’s council meeting in City Hall on Bacharach Blvd. 

Atlantic County insiders say Small has a good shot. He’s well-known in his hometown and was a vigorous backer of President-elect Barack Obama. 

As the incumbent, Mayor Lorenzo Langford is regarded as the favorite in a mayoral contest. But if Council President William “Speedy” Marsh gets in the race, Small could seize the advantage.

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Tittel delighted by Obama's selection of Jackson at EPA

Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, lavishes praise on Lisa Jackson, former director of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to head the national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

“I think it’s a great appointment,” said Tittel. “She’s young, dynamic, well-spoken and has very strong, core environmental beliefs.”

Calling the 46-year old Jackson “Corzine’s star,” Tittel credited her with convincing the governor to support the state’s global warming initiative and for strengthening the alternative energy focus of the state’s energy plan.

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With 'business-friendly' message, Bucco says GOP can take back governor's office

With 'business-friendly' message, Bucco says GOP can take back governor's office
State Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Morris)

BOONTON – State Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) said he has not yet committed to a gubernatorial candidate to challenge Gov. .Jon Corzine, but said he thinks whoever runs has a good chance of beating the incumbent Democrat – particularly if that person runs on an aggressive smaller government message. 

“I like Christie,” Bucco said of former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who hasn’t yet entered the Republican Primary, but whom many establishment Republicans favor as the best choice to square off against Corzine. 

“But I haven’t committed to anyone,” added the veteran senator, who attended his son’s formal campaign kickoff for the Assembly in District 25.

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Environment NJ praises Obama's choice of Jackson to head EPA

Environment New Jersey today issued a release praising President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of Lisa Jackson to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

"It represents a 180 degree turnaround for the United States on the environment," spokesman Matt Elliot said of the former dircector of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. "While President Bush has stifled new environmental protections and unraveled old ones, Lisa Jackson has for the past three years been working to make New Jersey a national leader on some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time."

Elliot cited Jackson's work on the Global Warming Response Act and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. 

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As political jockeying continues in Atlantic, Ward stays in the mix

As political jockeying continues in Atlantic, Ward stays in the mix
Atlantic City Councilman Bruce Ward at Wednesday night's council meeting.

ATLANTIC CITY – Ward 1 Councilman Bruce Ward says he is not ready to announce which office he intends to seek next year: mayor or assembly. 

He may not pursue either, but Atlantic sources don’t think that’s likely. Given his recent advocacy at the local level of anti-handgun violence championed by Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) and other stepped-up efforts that have a particular statewide focus, some observers suggest that Ward is preparing for an Assembly run.

For now, he won’t say. 

“If an opportunity came for me to represent my county at the state level I would give it consideration,” said Ward, a lawyer who has represented the First Ward since 2006. “I’m open to serving in a capacity where I can provide public service.”

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 2nd

Campaign season now under way in Bergen County Politics is practiced year-round in Bergen County, and street-level campaigning has been going on quietly all summer. But both Republicans and Democrats say the Rutherford Street Fair on Labor Day signals a more intense phase of electioneering. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record) http://www.northjersey.com/news/campaign-season-now-under-way-in-bergen-county-1.1079080  ...

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Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... 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

"Governor Christie ripped President Obama this summer for failing to carve out some time during a Texas fundraising swing to visit the Mexican border, where the unprecedented flood of immigrant children from Central America had reached a crisis point. ...Yet Christie is not squeezing in a tour of the troubled border during his own three-day trade and diplomatic mission to Mexico, which is set to begin on Wednesday. The governor is planning a series of meetings with Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto and the finance and energy ministers." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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Governor Chris Christie's trip to Mexico...:

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