Bell builds support in the Central Ward

NEWARK - Former Councilman Charles Bell is generating considerable support in the Central Ward as Newarkers continue to jockey for position in the event that former Councilwoman Dana Rone loses her appeals and does not return to the governing body.

"I did pick up the petitions and I had more than enough as of last night's gathering," Bell told "I am running, yes, but at the same time, I'm hoping Miss. Rone is successful in her appeals. That would solve my problems, but if she is not successful I am prepared."

In the community room of the New Hope Baptist Church on Tuesday night, Bell received the blessing of Central Ward Democratic Committee Chairman Dwight Brown.

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Fonseca in as Obama's political director

The Obama Campaign today confirmed that Pablo Fonseca will serve as the campaign's political director in New Jersey.

A political veteran from Newark's North Ward, Fonseca serves as  chief of staff for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, co-chair of the Obama presidential campaign in New Jersey.

"Pablo brings an understanding of the New Jersey political landscape which will be essential to victory in November," said Andrew Poag, communications director for Obama.

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Burlco Dems go on full-scale attack in freeholder race

It’s getting acrimonious in what Democrats hope will be Battleground Burlington.

The minority party in that county today stung their rivals with a video on their website detailing what party chairman Rick Perr says is a misuse of taxpayer dollars to further a bloated and beleaguered Republican Party.

"There is one fact that is undeniable," said Perr. "Taxes and spending in Burlington County have risen dramatically in the past five years. It is unacceptable that while Burlington County residents continue to pay more in taxes, these insiders are living off of the public trough."

In less than a year, 19 or 20 of what Perr calls "Paulsen’s 20 Republican Investment Team" (a nod to former Burlington County Republican Chairman Glen Paulsen) have each guaranteed $30,000 in campaign loans to the Burlington County GOP, according to the Democrats.

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DCCC reports expenditures in Saxton, Ferguson districts

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reporting expenditures in two hotly contested U.S. House races in the Garden State today.

In the 7th Congressional District, where Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) and state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) are competing for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-Ridgewood), the DCCC is spending about $14,000 on mail services and phone banking.

In the 3rd Congressional District, where state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) is taking on Republican Medford Mayor Chris Myers for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-Mt. Holly), the committee is investing almost $2,000 in phone banking.

The DCCC today also reported expenditures in competitive races in Virginia, Alaska, and Illinois.

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Andrews may be headed for Goldman Sachs

Roll Call is reporting today that U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) told the House Ethics Committee that he is in talks with Goldman Sachs about taking a job with the Wall Street investment firm. 

According to Roll Call, "Andrews filed his paperwork with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, as the ethics committee is formally known, late last week. Pursuant to House rules, Andrews is now required to recuse himself from any official business involving Goldman Sachs that might cause or appear to cause a conflict of interest."

In a conversation with Roll Call, Andrews’ chief of staff, Bill Caruso, would not comment on whether Andrews  plans to leave Congress before the end of his term.

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Roberts to fellow Dems: 'We need unity badly'

Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden): Politicker file photoAssembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden): Politicker file photo 

Few will declare it outright, but off the record people talk about soft versus solid support, and when it comes to Hillary Clinton conqueror Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il), some of his party support in New Jersey remains soft.  

With that in mind, and heading into the Democratic National Convention, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) today called on his fellow Democrats to jettison the angst and hurt feelings and focus on getting Obama elected president.

In a state where she triumphed by 10 points, "there are a number of people still frustrated that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) got a bad deal this year," acknowledged Roberts. "But the reality is the Democratic Party should be proud that we had two history-making candidates colliding."

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Days before Dems convention, looking back at AC and Chi

Brian M. Hughes, Mercer County executive: Politicker file photoBrian M. Hughes, Mercer County executive: Politicker file photo 

The Murphy-Hughes brothers’ first Democratic National Convention was the last one staged in New Jersey: 1964, Atlantic City.

It was hard to beat for drama when compared to everything that followed, with the exception of Chicago just four years later, which the brothers also both attended.

Staged a year after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and a month after Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 1964 Democratic Convention featured the nomination of Johnson, of course; and a speech by Robert Kennedy, oldest surviving brother of the slain president.

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Former Al Steele challenger arrested in the same net that snared his opponent

Chauncey I. Brown III, the former Paterson Board of Education president and a long-shot candidate for Assembly last year, was arrested today for allegedly soliciting bribes, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

Brown, a former Paterson fire captain, was arrested this morning at the ambulance company where he worked as an EMT.

The arrest is directly tied to U.S. Attorney Chris Christie’s corruption bust of 11 public officials last September, who were accused of soliciting bribes to influence who received public contracts.

In his Assembly bid last year, Brown, the 35th district’s sole Republican legislative candidate, was initially running against a ticket that included Democrat Al Steele, who was one of those arrested public officials.

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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 >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(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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