In 1999, the late William F. Buckley recognized a rising star in conservative Republican circles named Bret Schundler, who had been mayor of Jersey City for six years. Seeing Schundler as a potential presidential prospect, he wrote in the New York Post: "Look for him in 2008."
Nine years and two gubernatorial losses later, any presidential dreams Schundler once harbored are gone. But we can look for him in 2009, because Schundler has all but made it official, acknowledging that he plans to run to return to Grove Street next year, eight years after he left the office.
"This is not a formal kickoff announcement, but I do plan to run," said Schundler in a phone interview.
Schundler served between late 1992 and 2001, when he decided to forego reelection to run for governor. But the Schundler of 2009 will likely bare little resemblance to the conservative candidate who unsuccessfully sought the highest office in the state in 2001 and 2005 - at least not if he can help it.
"I think I'm pretty much done with partisan politics," he said.Read More >
The conservative anti-tax group Club for Growth released its own New Jersey Senate poll this morning that shows Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg.
According to the group’s survey of 300 likely voters, Zimmer has a one point lead over Lautenberg – 36% to 35%.
The group found that 72% of survey respondents had heard of Dick Zimmer, but only about 40% know enough about him to rate him.
The group also found that 43% of respondents had a favorable impression of Gov. Corzine, while 44% had an unfavorable impression of him.Read More >
Democratic National Committeewoman Christine “Roz” Samuels said today that she was dumped from the New Jersey delegation last night because she flipped her support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama back in February.
Samuels said she was called yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. by Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan, who told her that Essex County Democratic Chairman Phil Thigpen wanted her off the ticket.
“One day notice,” she said. “They called me yesterday morning and told me I was off the ticket. And I said ‘You mean for what I did way in February? This is retaliation for February?’”
Samuels said that she was told she was thrown off the ticket because of her switch. Samuels officially switched to Obama on February 14th – less than one week before two South Jersey super delegates switched – but long before most north Jersey party leaders left the Clinton camp.
Samuels’s replacement will be former Assemblywoman Stephanie Bush-Baskette, who’s also from Essex County.
“I really have to find out what is the time limitation for pulling someone off a ticket. You can’t tell someone that morning the morning of the meeting. Usually you give a two week notice to someone if you’re going to fire them from the job,” she said, adding that she has run two recent successful Obama events in Montclair. “It’s just a vindictive thing because I had a couple good meetings, and I think (Thigpen) feels that way because he didn’t do it first.”Read More >
HOBOKEN - Councilwoman Beth Mason tabled her proposed salary and benefits ordinances at tonight’s council meeting, a move that likely did nothing to diminish the prolonged stare-down from now until next year’s mayoral election between Mason and her opponents.
Broken into two reform pieces, the freshman councilwoman’s proposed ordinances would scrap benefits and limit to $1 the council salaries of council people who hold more than one public job.
She sent them to committee tonight, but not before rousing her opposition.
Mason’s antagonists see the prospective mayoral candidate’s measures (backed up by Councilman Peter Cunningham) as an attempt to bait At-Large Councilman Peter Cammarano and humiliate Assemblyman/At-Large Councilman Ruben Ramos, the governing body’s lone dual elected office holder.
Cammarano was out of town. Ramos fought back.Read More >
A Democratic National Committeewoman who was one of the first superdelegates to switch from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama was defeated for re-election tonight. The New Jersey Democratic State Committee replaced Christine "Roz" Samuels with Stephanie Bush-Baskette, a former Assemblywoman from Essex County.
A Democratic official says that Samuels' defeat was unrelated to her defection to Obama in a state where most of the party leadership lined up behind Clinton. Sources say that the DNC seat traditionally goes to Essex, and Democratic County Chairman Phil Thigpen decided today to replace Samuels with Bush-Baskette.
Citing comments former President Bill Clinton made about Obama, Samuels dropped her support of Clinton just after she won the February 5 New Jersey primary. A week later, she endorsed Obama. Samuels, a state NAACP Executive Board member, is a former Newark Teachers' Union, Local 481 official.
Another Clinton supporter, attorney Joseph DeCotiis, did not seek reelection as a National Committeeman. He was replaced by Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), who had endorsed Clinton. Two other incumbents who backed Clinton, June Fisher and Tonio Burgos, were re-elected.Read More >
GREEN BROOK -- The idea has dogged State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) since he started his congressional campaign in the 7th District: that he's well respected as a policy wonk, but doesn't have the political wherewithal to run a federal race in a fiercely competitive district.
Lance's critics found evidence of that claim when they saw that he had only $80,000 cash on hand at the end of the last reporting period to rival Linda Stender's (D-Fanwood) $1.2 million.
Today, Lance acknowledged that some of his supporters were taken aback by the anemic war chest, but noted that he's raised a lot of money since the June 30th filing deadline - which occurred just 26 days after Lance blew his war chest against a well-funded primary campaign by Kate Whitman and five other candidates.
Lance said that he doesn't know how much he's raised since then, but that he's certain it's "more than $100,000." He also has six fundraisers scheduled over the coming months, and will stay home to campaign and raise money during the Republican National Convention in September.Read More >
Although Jersey City Municipal Clerk Robert Byrne has sided with the city against one of Councilman Steve Fulop’s ballot initiatives, the signatures for his anti-pay-to-play intiative were certified today.
But that initiative might not make it on the ballot after all if Mayor Jerramiah Healy has his way, depriving Fulop of a chance to make his case directly to the voters of Jersey City.
Healy wrote a letter today to Byrne, members of the city council and Fulop’s legal team proposing an amendment to Fulop’s pay-to-play initiative.Read More >
Newark mayor's race: pro-Jeffries independent expenditure group shows donations of $1.3 million, Wall Street ties in ELEC reportNEWARK - Newark First, the independent expenditure group that supports Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries in the run-up to the May 13 municipal election, has been on the attack lately against Jeffries'...
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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 >
"You know what? I'm still Vinny Prieto. I'm still the same guy. This is always a great event — to see people, to talk about business, to hear about issues and concerns." - Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32).- The Star-Ledger
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