Lonegan column to go on hiatus during gubernatorial campaign; PolitickerNJ.com welcomes Sabrin

Lonegan column to go on hiatus during gubernatorial campaign; PolitickerNJ.com welcomes Sabrin
Dr. Murray Sabrin is a new PolitickerNJ.com contributor

Steve Lonegan has been an unpaid PolitickerNJ.com columnist since March 2007.  As he begins his campaign for the 2009 Republican nomination for Governor, his column will go on hiatus.  We are grateful for his willingness to use PolitickerNJ.com as a forum to express his views and for his contribution to the political debate in New Jersey.  We look forward to Mayor Lonegan's return next year, win or lose.

Joining our list of contributors today is Ramapo College Professor Murray Sabrin, a former candidate for Governor and U.S. Senator.  We welcome Dr. Sabrin and look forward to hearing his views.

CLICK HERE TO READ DR. SABRIN'S FIRST COLUMN

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Goodwin leaves the door open to another assembly run; Wittman downplays the possibility

Goodwin leaves the door open to another assembly run; Wittman downplays the possibility

Hamilton Councilman Tom Goodwin, having narrowly lost his assembly race last year to Democrat Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton), has not ruled out another run next year.

“I would have to sit down and analyze the situation now and going forward. I haven’t made up my mind yes or no,” said Goodwin. “I have to sit down and think about it. So right now I don’t have any decision.”

District 14, which encompasses the Trenton suburbs and is dominated by the working-class swing town of Hamilton, is one of the few split districts in the state, with Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton) in the state senate and DeAngelo and Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) in the assembly. It is likely to be one of the top Republican targets in next year’s assembly election, although Greenstein, a long-time incumbent, appears a lot less vulnerable than the first-term DeAngelo.

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Menendez officially appointed DSCC chairman

Menendez officially appointed DSCC chairman
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), right, with his predecessor as Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

It’s official.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this morning turned over the reigns of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to New Jersey’s Bob Menendez, the group’s vice-chair (D-Hoboken). 

“Our Caucus will be well-served by Bob Menendez, whose mastery of policy is matched only by his mastery of politics,” said Reid in a statement.

Schumer departs with a successful track record, presiding over the Democrats’ takeover of the Senate in 2006 and further gains this year.  Menendez said he hopes to build on that. 

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Rice reserves judgment in Irvington case

Rice reserves judgment in Irvington case
Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex)

TRENTON- Challenged by Mayor Wayne Smith and Team Irvington in his squeak-out, off-the-line re-election victory last year, state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) said he hopes Smith did not authorize Keith Reid to accept a $5,000 bribe on his behalf – which is what Reid told a jury in Newark earlier today.

“Wayne is a real hard working mayor, always has been, and he’s committed to his township,” said Rice, who in 2007 fended off a challenge by Smith ally Councilman L. Bilal Beasely after Smith himself expressed a desire to go up against Rice.

“Hopefully that’s not the case,” Rice added of the under-oath statement by Reid, former chief of staff of Newark City Council President Mildred Crump.

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Sarlo non-lawyer status doesn't worry fellow Judiciary Committee members

Sarlo non-lawyer status doesn't worry fellow Judiciary Committee members
Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth)

TRENTON – Members of the state Senate Judiciary Committee this evening responded favorably to news that state Sen. President Richard Codey (D-Essex) is poised to name state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) as committee chairman.

No one expressed any concern that Sarlo, an engineer by trade – lacks legal training.

“Paul’s an able guy and he’s been in the senate several years now,” said state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “He will bring a non-attorney’s perspective, which I think will be refreshing to many. I would urge Paul to take our institutional responsibility seriously, that we should not be and the people expect us not to be, a rubber stamp for the executive branch, despite the fact that governor and majority party are the same party.”

In terms of Sarlo’s close relationship with Codey, whom critics of the senate president regard as a control freak, Kyrillos said, “That’s not news.”

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Senate signs off on six bills in bigger Corzine economic stimulus package

Senate signs off on six bills in bigger Corzine economic stimulus package
Gov. Jon Corzine

TRENTON - Emerging from passing six bills, part of a larger, nine-bill $245 million economic recovery plan championed by Gov. Jon Corzine - senators in both parties agreed that the work today represents only a small part of what’s required. 

Predictably, Democrats and some dissenting Republicans diverged starkly on fundamentals, with key GOP reps doubtful about enabling government to work as a problem solver, and Democrats digging in to take another big crack at the problem with that all-purpose tool: government.

“I think today New Jersey took a step in the right direction,” said state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), whose EDA Main Street Assistance bill dishes $50 million to help jumpstart small businesses. “We recognize this needs to be solved on the national level. But although a lot of Republicans talked, many of them came with us in the end.”

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Doherty and Karrow look for support in each others' counties

As the battle to replace outgoing state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) takes shape, the two declared candidates are beginning to make incursions outside of their home bases.

Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Township), a Warren County legislator who began his campaign a day after he learned that Lance was moving up to Congress, feels encouraged by the response he’s received from the Hunterdon County committee men and women he’s met on the campaign trail so far. But some insiders argue that Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington), a Hunterdon County native who just made her candidacy official last week, should not be counted out among the Warren County committee members, despite local contentions that the county will be in lock-step behind Doherty.

A third candidate, Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt, appears to be ready to run, and will formally announce his bid either next week or the week after.

The county committee members from Hunterdon and Warren Counties will meet in either January or early February to decide who gets to be Lance’s interim replacement in the state senate. In June, a primary will be held to determine who gets to remain on the ballot for the November general election, when voters will select a candidate to fill the two remaining years of Lance’s term in this safely Republican district.

This race is more complicated than a regional battle between the Hunterdon and Warren County Republican organizations.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

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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

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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