The Record backs Shulman for Congress; newspaper backs Democrats for national office, Republicans in county races

In a strongly worded editorial, The (Bergen) Record endorsed blind Rabbi Dennis Shulman in his bid to unseat three-term GOP U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett.

"Scott Garrett is afraid. And he wants voters to be afraid. But the only thing voters should fear is Garrett's reelection to the House of Representatives," the editorial said. "The race in the 5th District is less about who is challenging Garrett and more about what Garrett is challenging. He is challenging the basic tenets of common decency. The high-minded, fiscal conservative has resorted to the lowest form of campaigning. In a post-Sept. 11 world, Garrett is shouting 'terrorist' in a crowded room. The congressman has been running television ads, in addition to sending out a direct-mail campaign piece, that link Shulman to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Garrett wants voters to believe that Shulman, a rabbi, would sell out Israel. It is beyond the pale."

Democrat Frank Lautenberg also won The Record's endorsement in his bid for a fifth term in the U.S. Senate. This is a pickup for Lautenberg: in 2002, The Record endorsed Ted Glick, the Green Party candidate. "Six years ago, we wrote that Frank Lautenberg did not 'have his good stuff' when he reentered politics to run for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate. Six years later, a clearly energized Lautenberg has the right stuff to serve six more years."

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FDU Poll: Obama up by 18

FDU Poll: Obama up by 18
Barack Obama and Joe Biden are likely to carry New Jersey, according to the most recent independent poll

Yet another poll gives Barack Obama a huge lead over John McCain in New Jersey.

In a Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll released today, Obama leads McCain by eighteen points – 53% to 35%.  That’s five points higher than the last FDU poll, in which Obama led by 13%. 

The survey shows 80% of voters under 30 planning to cast their ballots for Obama, along with 85% of former Hillary Clinton supporters. 

“From the beginning, the McCain campaign hoped to use disgruntled Clinton supporters to their advantage. If McCain’s strategy in picking Governor Palin for his running mate was to win over former Clinton supporters, Garden State women are clearly not impressed,” said pollster Dan Cassino.

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Jackson goes all out for Capuana

Jackson goes all out for Capuana
Marcellus Jackson, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is awaiting sentencing, stumps for Passaic mayoral candidate Vinny Capuana last night

PASSAIC – A crowd packed the VFW Hall on Thursday night as former Councilman Marcellus Jackson, who pled guilty last year to corruption charges and is awaiting sentencing, seized a microphone and launched into a raise-the-roof speech in favor of Vinny Capuana for mayor and Barack Obama for president.

“Vinny’s done a lot for us and I’m doing all I can to help him in spite of my present troubles,” Jackson told

Busted for taking $26,000 in bribes from federal agents posing as members of an insurance agency as part of Operation Broken Boards, Jackson, in the role of emcee, praised Capuana as a loyal man of the people who backed him in tough times.

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Three moderates and the future of the GOP

Amid the tumult of several good elections for Democrats, including the 2006 tide that sank all Republican boats, three GOP members of Congress have held on to otherwise Democratic seats by narrow margins. This year, as a perfect storm looks set to sweep GOP incumbents from office coast to coast, the three survivors look likely to swim, or sink, together.

Though U.S. Reps. Dave Reichert, Mark Kirk and Christopher Shays represent districts about as far apart as one can get without crossing an ocean, they have remarkably similar constituencies. Voters they represent are largely well-educated, well-off and, as their survival demonstrates, willing to split tickets between popular politicians of both parties.

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Having once been spurned by Union County College, Morin challenges their right to host Clinton rally

Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin has challenged the right of congressional candidate Linda Stender to use Union County College’s facilities for her rally with former President Bill Clinton on Saturday, and further charged that the school was discriminating against Republicans.

In a letter to the college’s president, Thomas H. Brown, Morin said that hosting the rally was a violation of the school’s facility rental guidelines.

"I was taken aback today to discover that Union County College was hosting a rally promoting one Democratic candidate to the exclusion of her Republican opponent, Leonard Lance.  To my knowledge, there was never any offer of this event being an “open public debate of political issues” as this rally was apparently orchestrated without contacting the Lance campaign,” wrote Morin.

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Van Hollen to visit Stender, Shulman tomorrow

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will be in two of New Jersey’s most competitive congressional districts tomorrow.

Van Hollen will make an appearance with congressional candidate Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) in the morning, and move up to the 5th District to campaign with candidate Dennis Shulman in the afternoon.

Joining Van Hollen for Shulman will be U.S. Reps. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn), Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) and Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch).  The rally will take place at IBEW Local 164's Paramus headquarters. 

Shulman, whose race has long been watched by the DCCC, was recently bumped up to its top tier classification of candidates. There are few indications about which way that district is going, but those that do exist show it tightening.

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Still no decision in Manzo vs. Healy

A judge still hasn’t ruled on whether Lou Manzo’s lawsuit that seeks to throw Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy out of office will go forward.

“We’re still patiently and anxiously waiting,” said Manzo.

Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Lawson heard arguments on Friday, with Manzo’s side arguing against both the assistant Monmouth County prosecutor and Mayor Healy’s counsel.  Healy and Prosecutor Luis Valentin contend that Manzo does not have standing to raise the complaint. 

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The Back Room

NYT Mag: What's Christie doing in Iowa?

It's not the only place he's traveled to in recent weeks -- New Hampshire, Colorado, Tennessee, and, Thursday, back to New Hampshire again, are a few others -- but Gov. Chris Christie's visit to the Hawkeye State earlier this month has some wondering: what exactly is he doing?

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 29th

  Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership JERSEY CITY – And then there were three. That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve...

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NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >


 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."

- The New York Times


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