Christie to resign effective Dec. 1

Christie to resign effective Dec. 1
Credit: U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie will leave office on December 1, possibly to launch his bid for the Republican nomination for Governor

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie today announced his intention to resign effective Dec. 1 at 11:59 p.m., according to Michael Drewniak, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In a two-page letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, dated Nov. 17, Christie writes that during his time in office since 2002, “A new level of attention was brought to the scourge of political corruption in this state and we are proud of the results. There have been 130 convictions of elected and appointed political officials in the last seven years without an acquittal.”  

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Payne undecided on Assembly run, content for now with Obama victory

Former lawmaker Bill Payne doesn’t know if he’s going to run for his old seat in the Assembly next year against Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Newark), but he appears less inclined to make a move than he was this past summer.

Payne’s longtime friend, state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark), told that he would urge the retired legislator not to pursue a run against Spencer.

“I’m supporting the re-election of every member of the Legislative Black Caucus,” said Rice, including the Mayor Cory Booker-backed Spencer, who won Payne’s South Ward-based seat in last year’s election.

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Pennacchio calls on GOP state chairman to resign

Pennacchio calls on GOP state chairman to resign
State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville)

Citing the need for the state party to follow the national party’s lead and start renewing itself, state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) today called on Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson to resign.

“Soon we will have a new spokesperson leading our RNC. It is imperative that New Jersey Republicans waste no time in following suit,” he said in a press release this morning. “Our recent overwhelming losses reinforce the urgent need to change leadership and create a new direction with a purpose and direction for our party.”

Pennacchio, a dentist by trade, has been publicly critical of his party’s leadership ever since they refused to back his U.S. senate bid, instead running through a series of potential choices before settling on Goya heir Andy Unanue and ultimately former Rep. Dick Zimmer. Pennacchio has publicly seethed about the perceived slight, giving up his delegate spot at the Republican National Convention because he didn’t want to “party with the party leaders” who he felt pushed him aside. But up to this point Pennacchio has kept his criticism vague, refusing to single anyone out by name.

"One can argue that Mr. Wilson has put forth his best effort. I disagree. Regardless, it is not efforts but results that we must hold our State Chairman to,” said Pennacchio “Continued losses over his tenure and lack of a unified message of purpose and direction leads to the reasonable conclusion that immediate leadership change is warranted and necessary."

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Bramnick backs Christie for governor; urges GOP to use Lance as a model

Bramnick backs Christie for governor; urges GOP to use Lance as a model
Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), left, campaigns last year in Atlantic County with Assemblyman John Amodeo (R-Margate) and Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor).

Raging moderate state Sen. Leonard Lance’s (R-Hunterdon) victory should serve as a lesson to every downtrodden member of the GOP as the party tries to shake off tough losses from the Nov. 4th election, argues Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). 

The pro-choice Republican believes his party gets into trouble when it tries to use the chambers of government to lecture taxpayers about how to behave in their personal lives. 

“The minute you preach morality, you’re done,” Bramnick said. “That sold after Monica Lewinsky, but frankly, I’m offended by it.” 

Bramnick, who’s flirted with going statewide in recent years and emerged as an early favorite to pursue the 7th District Congressional seat Lance just won before standing down, said regardless of the national party's strategies, Republicans in New Jersey shouldn’t run on family values.  

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Spadea: Crowley decision won't hinge on Christie's plans

Spadea: Crowley decision won't hinge on Christie's plans
John Crowley entertains the New Jersey GOP on the Mississippi River at the Republican National Convention this summer.

Biotech businessman John Crowley of Princeton hasn’t yet made a decision about whether he will run for governor, but his chief political confidante makes it clear that Crowley will make a decision as his own man and not based on party politics. 

“I will say that any decision John makes has nothing to do with Chris Christie,” said Bill Spadea, president of Building a New Majority, a grassroots GOP organization Spadea started with Crowley earlier this year. 

The core of the Republican establishment in New Jersey wants Christie, the retiring U.S. Attorney, to go against Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009.

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Why is Levine running?

Why is Levine running?
Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine is considering a bid for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2009

Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine is thinking about getting in the race for the Republican nomination for Governor, and he's won twice in a heavily Democratic town. Levine is supposed to be smart, hardworking, and a pretty good retail campaigner. But few pundits think the obscure certified public accountant from Somerset County can win a statewide primary.

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Andrews won't rule out future statewide bid

Andrews won't rule out future statewide bid

Rob Andrews will return for his eleventh term in Congress next year, and after losing two statewide races, it's unclear whether the last will be the final one.

Andrews ran a close second in the 1997 Democratic gubernatorial primary against James E. McGreevey, was passed over to succeed Gov. Corzine in the Senate, and mounted a primary challenge against incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg this year, only to lose by 25 percentage points. But despite those three dispiriting defeats, he still won't rule out the possibility of another statewide run some day, and prefers not to speculate on whether the last one hurt his prospects.

"That's really not for me to decide. That's for voters to decide and leaders of the party," said Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) in a phone interview yesterday.

Political insiders acknowledge that there are a thousand lives in politics, but see Andrews's defeat as being particularly hard to crawl back from - and not just because of the lopsided margin.

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Morning Digest: August 22nd

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell Fight of the Week Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)     Paramus mayor's race: Candidates in closely-divided Bergen borough spar over taxes, towing issues PARAMUS - When voters go to the polls in November...

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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 >


(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 »
(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

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