Sensing opportunity, Schaffer tears into Somerset

Sensing opportunity, Schaffer tears into Somerset
Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer, local races

MARTINSVILLE – It looks like a joke at first or at least an appropriate back burner relegation for the Somerset County Democratic Party, which sits under a pizza parlor facing away from the road.

They don’t dominate here, haven’t for years, and that’s an understatement, but the little storefront plastered over with Democratic Party campaign signs belies the internal workings of what new party chair Peg Schaffer sees as a movement.

“I forgot how to practice law,” says Schaffer, sporting a “McBush” button and gulping coffee as she surveys headquarters where two dozen campaign workers stay on the phones.

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Lance: the proof is on the ballot

Lance: the proof is on the ballot

KENILWORTH – Yesterday, Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan challenged a room full of Linda Stender supporters to name a legislative accomplishment by Leonard Lance, and called the state Senator “as partisan as they come. Independent my ass!”

Responding to Cryan before his own, more low key rally tonight, Lance named a recent legislative accomplishment he said was also bipartisan: putting the “Lance Amendment” on Tuesday’s ballot.

“It couldn’t have gotten through the legislature without Democratic support,” he said. “It has been endorsed by Governor Corzine, and it’s one of my proudest accomplishments in the legislature. Number one it’s an accomplishment, and number two it’s a bipartisan accomplishment.”

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Somerset GOP digs in to defend territory

Somerset GOP digs in to defend territory
Somerset County GOP Chairman Dale Florio

SOMERSET – Field general Dale Florio goes over the numbers again in Somerset County Republican Party headquarters.  He doesn’t appear overly confident but he believes his party can comfortably fend off the other side, which is making a big play here in a presidential year when their national ticket has a double digit lead in New Jersey.

In the next room, three volunteers work the phones as pedestrians blow in from Main Street and pick up handfuls of “McCain-Palin” lawn signs.

“I’ve been pleased with the energy level – that energy surge close to Election Day,” says Florio, Republican Party county chair, looking up from his desk. “You’d have figured with the war, the economy and the last eight years that we’d have less excitement, but McCain is his own man. Quite frankly, with the Obama campaign’s focus elsewhere, it’s taken the Democrats’ focus away from New Jersey.”

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Ruiz one of several 'excellent' Lt. Governor possibilities, says Menendez

Ruiz one of several 'excellent' Lt. Governor possibilities, says Menendez
State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex)

JERSEY CITY - Asked about state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) as a potential candidate for lieutenant governor, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Hoboken) said he liked the idea.

"She is one of several people in our party who would be an excellent candidate," Menendez told at an Obama rally on Saturday. "It's the governor's decision ultimately, of course, and I do not envy him, because there are numerous qualified people."

Other potential lieutenant governor candidates among the Democrats include Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).

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Allen will vote straight Republican

Much has been made of State Sen. Diane Allen’s (R-Burlington) lack of involvement in the tight 3rd Congressional race, where Republican Medford Mayor Chris Myers is running against State Sen. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill).

But while Allen is much more committed to State Sen. Leonard Lance’s (R-Flemington) Congressional race, which is far outside of her district, she said today that she’s still voting for Myers, and even personally donated $250 to him within the last week or two.

“I have sat down with [Myers] and any time he asked me any questions on strategy and along those lines I gave him my best bit of information,” she said.

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Codey to campaign with Shulman in Hoboken

Codey to campaign with Shulman in Hoboken
Senate President Dick Codey (D-Essex)

The campaign of 5th District Congressional candidate Dennis Shulman is bringing in state Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) to campaign on Monday during evening rush hour in Hoboken.

Codey and Shulman will work the platforms of those trains bound for 5th District destinations, according to Shulman spokesman Jeffrey Hauser.

"NJ-5 lacks a lot of the prototypical retail opportunities, that's why we're big on football games, soccer tourneys and Halloween parades," Hauser said.

Shulman is running against U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage).

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Rone works the Central Ward streets with underdog mother

Rone works the Central Ward streets with underdog mother
Mary, left, and former Councilwoman Dana Rone

 NEWARK – Spackled over with “Fight the Power” signs, the sedan cruises up 14th Avenue, and Georgia Maye Ransome’s voice sounds on the intercom, urging residents to get out there for the Rone ticket on Election Day. 

At the wheel of the car sits candidate Mary Rone, longtime community activist and mother of former Councilwoman Dana Rone, whom an assignment judge stripped of her Central Ward Council seat in August after concluding that Rone used her office to try to obstruct justice in a Dec. 2006 traffic incident.

Fifteen people, including her mother, vie to replace Dana Rone in a special election come Tuesday. There were originally 16 candidates but city job counselor Marcell Robinson dropped out of the race and now backs Rone.  

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The Back Room

As in Connecticut, Christie to visit Colorado 'often'

Travelling in Colorado today, Gov. Chris Christie, head of the Republican Governors Association, called Colorado's governor's race "winnable for Republicans" and pledged to visit the state often in support of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 23rd

Between RGA gigs, Christie doesn't skip a beat bashing Trenton Dems at seaside LGI town hall LONG BEACH ISLAND – Gov. Chris Christie squeezed LBI between trips to IowaNew HampshireConnecticut and – tomorrow – Colorado – just long enough to puncture his favorite Trenton-based targets in front of a...

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Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups.  But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >


 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“We lived up to our end of the bargain. He didn’t live up to his end of the deal.” - Ed Connolly, president of the New Jersey Firemen’s Benevolent Association.

- The Bergen Record


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