Biden won't change Van Drew's mind about running

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew says he won't change his mind and challenge U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, even with Joe Biden on the ticketState Sen. Jeff Van Drew says he won't change his mind and challenge U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, even with Joe Biden on the ticket
DENVER – While State Senator and almost Congressional candidate Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) thinks Barack Obama’s selection of Joe Biden will help Democrats down-ballot in South Jersey, he is still standing behind the Democrats’ current candidate in District 2: David Kurkowski.

“Biden has a real connect to South Jersey. There are parts of South Jersey that are closer to Delaware than they are to New York and North Jersey,” said Van Drew.

Van Drew, a Democrat with moderate appeal, was national Democrats’ hope to run a third ultra-competitive race in New Jersey, against incumbent Frank LoBiondo (R-Vineland). Van Drew acknowledged interest in running, but he would have faced criticism as an office-climber, having just moved up to the state Senate from the Assembly in a tough race last year. So he didn’t, and national Democrats but aside their interest in the seat temporarily.

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Codey and Roberts come out swinging with 'us' versus 'them' battle cry

DENVER - New Jersey’s Trenton triumvirate pumped up the delegation here a few hours before the Monday night main event, with Gov. Jon Corzine paying tribute to his legislative legmen: Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) and Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts (D-Camden).

The presidential campaign will come down to who can reach out and grab those undecided voters, said Codey, who showed up here today with a big green pin on his lapel that says "O’bama."

First, the Democrats have to be buzzed.

"We’ve got to elect Obama," Codey cried to a packed house at the Inverness Hotel. "Come on you know it and I know it! You know, the press keeps asking, "Are you united? I mean, come on. Come on! Yes!"

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Stender decries GOP charges

Congressional candidate Linda Stender criticized a Republican attack on her record of paying taxes Monday, saying the state GOP and her opponent took a cheap shot at her family's finances.

Earlier Monday, New Jersey Republican chairman Tom Wilson said Stender had a record of voting to raise taxes, but neglected to pay taxes due on her family business.

In a statement released Monday, Stender said she had no hand in the day-to-day operations of and received no income from the business in question, which she said was run by her mother and sister. She accused Republicans of resorting to cheap tactics to make her and her family look bad.

"This is truly a new low for the Republican attack machine, and especially disappointing Leonard Lance would stoop to such levels to avoid talking about the real issues that matter in this election," Stender said. 

"How dare they pursue personal attacks on my mother and sister who are trying to get by in the face of horrific economic conditions, thanks to the failed policies of President Bush and Republicans like Leonard Lance who support him. Leonard Lance owes my mother an apology and should tell the Republican Party in New Jersey to end these disgusting attacks," Stender added.

Stender is competing with Lance for the7th Congressional District seat of U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson, who is not seeking reelection.

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Menendez would be a great boost as convention speaker, Rothman says

Menendez would be a great boost as convention speaker, Rothman says

U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn): Politicker file photoU.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn): Politicker file photo

DENVER - It's not in his hands now, but U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) would love to see Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Union city) receive a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention.

"It would be great for Obama, great for New Jersey and great for the party," said Rothman, Obama's Northeast Regional campaign co-chair, who is in attendance at a party in the Inverness Hotel in honor of Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden).

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For Torres, the streets of Paterson lead to Denver

Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres: Politicker file photoPaterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres: Politicker file photo 

DENVER - If he felt any angst about his first choice not landing a place on the Democrats’ presidential ticket, Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres didn’t show it as he landed in the lobby of the Inverness Hotel on Monday, and turned his attention on the Republicans.

"We are fighting a war in our cities, but we are not putting the resources in to fight those wars internally," said Torres, who noted the fall-off in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding during the Bush years.

Failing in a 2005 fight to terminate the program that administers urban aid, the Bush administration sought unprecedented cuts - up to 20%, the highest percentage proposed cuts since the program’s inception in 1982.

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Passaic ready to go big for Obama, says Currie

Party Chairman John Currie and Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-Paterson): Politicker photoParty Chairman John Currie and Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-Paterson): Politicker photo 

DENVER - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) romped in Passaic County in the Democratic Primary, essentially blowing up the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.) there with a 59-38% victory.

"He didn’t win a single town in Passaic," said Democratic Party Chairman John Currie, and that includes the county’s biggest city.

"In my ward, he lost handily," recalled Sixth Ward Paterson Councilman Andre Sayegh, a longtime Obama supporter. "A lot of Latinos in my ward told me, ‘We’ll vote for you, but not Obama.’ It wasn’t a landslide, but he lost Paterson, and got trounced in my ward."

Now old school Democrat Currie, a onetime Clinton backer, wants to mobilize his troops behind Obama for the general election, where Democrats number 47,807 to the Republicans 38,662 registered voters.

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Tom Byrne is not sitting on a $1 million campaign account for nothing

Former Gov. Brendan Byrne, right, and Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.  Byrne may do what Tom Kean and Dick Hughes could not: elect their son GovernorFormer Gov. Brendan Byrne, right, and Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Byrne may do what Tom Kean and Dick Hughes could not: elect their son Governor
DENVER – There are surely other father and son duos here in Denver, but perhaps none as recognizable as former Governor Brendan Byrne and his son Tom.

And Tom Byrne, the former Democratic State Chairman who currently works as a financial advisor, admits that having another Governor Byrne in the future is a possibility, though perhaps vague and distant.

Like U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and State Sen. Stephen Sweeney, Byrne admits that he would weigh running for Governor in the unlikely event that Gov. Corzine was offered and accepted a position in an Obama administration.

Byrne said he’s interested, but warned not to read into it too much.

“I think probably every third person in here is [interested],” he said

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Frank Lautenberg introduces his son to the delegation

When Sen. Frank Lautenberg seemed parched a few minutes into his speech to the New Jersey delegation today, a man, as if on cue, walked up from the audience with a glass of water.

“This is my son Josh. This is what he does for a living,” said Lautenberg.

Lautenberg’s son Josh, 40, lives here in Colorado – in Vail, to be exact – the same town where his father was originally sworn in for his first term in office in 1982.

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The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


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(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.



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