Monmouth GOP sources bemoan mistakes in freeholder race

GOP sources in Monmouth County are complaining about party campaign tactics in the Monmouth County Freeholder race in which Democrat Amy Mallet of Fair Haven narrowly defeated Republican John Curley of Middletown.

One source cited two fundamental problems with the Republican campaign of Freeholder Director Lillian Burry (who won) and her unsuccessful running mate, Curley – neither of which involved the candidates.

Critics believe Curley should have won and could have with a more focused Republican strategy, and highlight real blunders they say undermined his chances.

First, fearful of upping her name ID, Republicans intentionally resisted attacking Mallet, the beneficiary with her running mate of $2 million in face time over the course of last year’s District 12 Assembly race.

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Kramer: diversification of pension funds prevented further losses

Kramer: diversification of pension funds prevented further losses
New Jersey State Investment Council Chairman Orin Kramer

Hedge fund manager Orin Kramer, who heads the New Jersey Investment Council, wants to set the record straight: the state pension fund’s losses would have been worse if he hadn’t begun diversifying its portfolio six years ago.

Kramer disputed a report that appeared on PolitickerNJ.com last week that contended he presided over the loss of $25 billion from New Jersey’s pension fund.  Upon taking the post in 2002, Kramer said that he recognized the need to for the state’s multi-billion dollar fund to diversify its holdings.  New Jersey, he said, stood alone in the proportion of stocks to other assets that its pension fund held.

“The reason that I joined the council is because New Jersey had the most undiversified, equity-heavy portfolio of any major comparable institutional fund in the country,” said Kramer.  “Compared to every major endowment, corporate pension fund and public pension fund, New Jersey was uniquely undiversified and heavily dependent on equities.”

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Lyons to Smith: 'If it's true, go'

Lyons to Smith: 'If it's true, go'
North Ward Councilman David Lyons

IRVINGTON - North Ward Councilman David Lyons, a likely 2010 mayoral candidate, has long been the nemesis of Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith, for whom Keith Reid at his trial today said he accepted a $5,000 bribe.

“Number one, if that’s true,” said Lyons, “Wayne needs to resign. He should do the honorable thing and resign.”

Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office indicted Reid and ten other officials throughout New Jersey for accepting bribes from representatives of Coastal Solutions, LLC., an FBI operation posing as an insurance brokerage business offering services to municipalities. The indictment accused Reid of accepting $10,000 bribes from a cooperating witness in exchange for his assurance that he would influence Newark City Council President Mildred Crump and other public officials in Newark and Irvington to help secure insurance brokerage contracts.

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Reid pleads guilty to bribery, names Smith as 'Irvington official number one' in trial

Reid pleads guilty to bribery, names Smith as 'Irvington official number one' in trial
Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith

NEWARK – The last member of Operation Broken Boards in his trial today implicated Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith as someone for whom he took a bribe. 

Keith Reid admitted that he accepted cash bribes totaling $10,000 in exchange for his influence with public officials in Newark, Irvington and elsewhere.

The former chief of staff to Newark Council President Mildred Crump, Reid, 49, of Carteret, agreed during his guilty plea to forfeit a total of $15,500, representing the entire amount of bribes he took as described in the indictment on which he was being tried in federal court, according to a release issued by U.S. Attorney Spokesman Michael Drewniak.

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Bucco officially launches campaign Dec. 9, while Cabana looks to rev up next year

Bucco officially launches campaign Dec. 9, while Cabana looks to rev up next year
Tony Bucco kicks off campaign next month.

The announcement that attorney Tony Bucco means to officially kick-off his District 25 Assembly campaign on Dec. 9th contrasts with his primary opponent and fellow attorney, Morris County Freeholder Douglas Cabana, who’s waiting to make his formal announcement in the new year.  

“It’s time to be spending time with family and friends,” said Cabana. “I know where I have support, and it is unsolicited support.”

Bucco, son of state Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Morris), declared during the Republican National Convention that he would run for the seat vacated by Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), who’s retiring to run for governor.

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Arango takes Christie's joke in stride

Hudson County Republican Chairman Jose Arango doesn’t want to see any member of his party indicted, but he did not take offense at U.S. Attorney Chris Christie’s recent joke at the expense of the Hudson County Republicans. 

Shortly after announcing his December resignation, Christie joked in a radio interview  that “a Hudson County Republican would love to be indicted.  It would show they were relevant.”

Maybe a more sensitive Republican county chair would take offense at a joke that calls his or her party irrelevant, but Arango has heard similar jokes before. 

“It doesn’t bother me.  It’s something that’s a reality. It’s a tough deal to be a Republican in Hudson County,” said Arango. 

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Garrett endorses Doherty

Garrett endorses Doherty
From right: Garrett, Doherty and U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-Warren Township) (source: njtrl.org)

Assemblyman and state senate candidate Michael Doherty (R-Washington Township) continued to shore up his conservative credentials today, rolling out the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage.)

“I have worked with Mike for many years, first in the state legislature and now as a Congressman, and he has consistently fought for smaller government, less regulation and lower taxes,” said Garrett, who recently fended off a well-funded challenge to win reelection by a slightly greater margin than in 2006. “Mike is a strong supporter of the Constitution, and he has been consistently endorsed by pro-business groups as a result of his record in the state legislature.”

Doherty is running to replace state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton), who will join Garrett in New Jersey’s Republican congressional delegation in January. Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington) is also running, and Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt is considering a bid.

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In gubernatorial bid, Merkt literally runs in all 21 counties - and keeps running

In gubernatorial bid, Merkt literally runs in all 21 counties - and keeps running

Lacing on the sneakers and hitting the pavement, Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) started literally running for governor in early September. Today the Republican announced that his campaign has achieved a milestone as he has jogged in 118 communities located in all 21 counties of New Jersey since kicking off the plan in September.

“I have run in more than 20 percent of New Jersey’s municipalities and in every county throughout the state,” said Merkt. “It’s taken quite a bit of effort, but the feedback on issues I have received from local residents while doing it has been outstanding.

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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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