Merkt calls for Wilson's resignation

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, GOP gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Richard A. Merkt (R-Mendham) called on Republican State Committee Chairman Tom Wilson to resign his post immediately “in the best interests of the party.”

“After years of failure, it is time for the New Jersey State GOP to change horses and look to new leadership if it wants to succeed in 2009,” said Merkt. “Wilson has overseen a series of dismal state campaigns, reducing the Republican party to essential irrelevance in New Jersey state politics.”

 Merkt called Wilson’s handling of the U.S. Senate Primary a “fiasco,” in which the establishment juggled one candidate after another before running with former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer, and getting soundly beaten by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park).  In particular, the party’s selection of political neophyte and food heir Andy Unanue, whose short-lived candidacy dissolved in jarring headlines about his party boy past, galled Merkt.

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Corzine approvals remain upside-down as most voters say he shouldn't get second term

Corzine approvals remain upside-down as most voters say he shouldn't get second term
Credit: Getty Images Photo
Gov. Jon Corzine has an upside-down 43%-46% job approval rating

Gov. Jon Corzine continues to struggle with his fifth negative approval rating this year -- 43%-46% -- according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today.  But those numbers are better than his 40%-51% approval rating in a September 17 Quinnipiac poll.  More than half of New Jersey voters (51%) say he doesn't deserve to be re-elected, while just 37% say he does.  

New Jerseyans, by a 54%-30% margin, don't want Corzine to be Barack Obama's Secretary of the Treasury.

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Quinnipiac: Corzine 42%, Christie 36%

Quinnipiac: Corzine 42%, Christie 36%
Credit: Getty Images Photo
U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie is within six points of incumbent Jon Corzine in a Quinnipiac University poll of the 2009 race for Governor of New Jersey

Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine has a narrow six point lead over Republican Christopher Christie in the 2009 race for Governor of New Jersey, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released early this morning.  Corzine leads Christie, who will leave his post as U.S. Attorney on December 1, 42%-36%.

“The long coattails of Barack Obama have reached down into New Jersey and helped Gov. Jon Corzine's re-election prospects, at least for now,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 

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Mallet defeats Curley, Monmouth Freeholder Board becomes Democratic-controlled

Mallet defeats Curley, Monmouth Freeholder Board becomes Democratic-controlled

FREEHOLD - It’s over in Monmouth County.

They're getting final numbers here, to be certified on Thursday, but barring a recount, Amy Mallet of Fair Haven has defeated John Curley of Middletown in the race for a seat on the Monmouth County Freeholder Board, swinging county control to the Democrats, 3-2.


The final provisional vote tally shows Mallet winning, 964 votes to 654 votes for Curley, extending by 310 her Election Day lead of 18 votes. This tally does not include email and ID-pending votes, which are fewer than 100 and imminent.

"Over the last four years, the Democratic Party has gotten its message of change through to the voters that 23 years of Republican control are enough," says Monmouth County Democratic Party Director Michael Mangan. 

With 328 votes deciding a race in which voters cast over 270,000 countywide, the GOP doesn't give up - not yet.

"We're going to look at the numbers and we're going to speak with John (Curley) and our attorneys and make a decision sometime tomorrow," says county GOP spokesman Mark Duffy.

On Tuesday, it proves a long afternoon of provisional ballot counting that drags into the early evening. The Board of Elections reps slog through the hand count votes in each town.

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Potential Rumana challenger says Assembly might not be his vehicle for change

For the last couple weeks, Passaic County has buzzed with talk of Republican activist Joe Caruso mounting an Assembly primary bid to take down incumbent Scott Rumana (R-Wayne).

Reached for comment today, Caruso downplayed the prospect but did not rule it out entirely.

"Not to bloat my own ego, but I have too many ideas I want to share with the state, and to go into a position in the Assembly, my first question is what can you do to affect change as an assemblyman?," said Caruso, a Passaic County native who heads up the finance wing of the Republican Party in neighboring Bergen County and runs a finance firm.

If Caruso does decide to run, however, he will limit his campaign to targeting Rumana, and not Assemblyman Dave Russo (R-Ridgewood), who he described as a "gentleman."

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Doherty gets two Hunterdon County endorsements

Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Township) has begun releasing endorsements from Hunterdon County Republicans in support of his quest to succeed state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington). 

Today, Doherty unveiled an endorsement from Raritan Township Deputy Mayor Richard O'Malley, who praised his fiscal and social conservatism, saying “we need more leaders like him in Trenton who will stand up for the pro-family values that are the foundation of our Hunterdon County community.” 

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Corzine taps new DEP head

Governor Corzine today picked a career worker from the Department of Environmental Protection to head up the agency.

Mark Mauriello, an Assistant Commissioner who’s worked for the DEP for 28 years, replaces Commissioner Lisa Jackson as she moves up to replace Bradley Abelow as Corzine’s chief of staff.

“This is a pivotal time for all of us who are committed to safeguarding and improving our environment and the quality of life in our communities, with energy and climate change issues being at the top of the list,” said Corzine in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with Mark in the coming year and will rely on his considerable expertise and sound judgment.”

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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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