Endorsements: Lautenberg 3, Zimmer 3

Dick Zimmer might not be polling well in his bid for United States Senator, but in the land of newspaper endorsements, he's holding his own. Zimmer, a former Republican Congressman, has won the support of the Asbury Park Press, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Courier-Post. Incumbent Frank Lautenberg has been endorsed by the Star-Ledger, the New York Timesand the Home News Tribune.

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Former McCain political director calls Garrett a 'nut'

Former McCain political director calls Garrett a 'nut'
A veteran Republican operative says U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) is a "nut"

Political operatives take note: if you’re going to call a member of your own party a “nut,” you might not want to say it to the daughter of his opponent.

At a rally for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in Houston on Saturday, Cornyn Campaign Manager Rob Jesmer probably did not notice the digital recorder when he struck up a conversation with Democratic rival Rick Noriega’s press secretary, Holly Shulman.

Jesmer -- who was presidential candidate John McCain’s political director for two months before quitting in July of last year, when his campaign seemed to be flailing -- asked Shulman about her father Dennis’s chances in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, where he’s challenging U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage).

“Your dad’s running for Congress, right? Is he going to win?” Jesmer asked.

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Asbury Park Press endorses Zimmer

The Asbury Park Press endorsed Dick Zimmer for U.S. Senate yesterday, though not particularly enthusiastically.

The newspaper said that Zimmer fits the bill “at a time when the nation needs people who are better at figuring out how to reduce the size of government than finding new ways to expand it.”

The editorial spent significantly more words criticizing Lautenberg than lauding Zimmer, however, saying that “it’s debatable whether Lautenberg is as sharp and energetic as he needs to be to fulfill the demands of the job. But he has done everything he can to limit the opportunities for the public to judge for itself.”

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In Passaic and Bayonne: the Scarinci factor

In at least two special elections for mayor on Nov. 4th – in Passaic and Bayonne - attroney and big money Democratic Party donor Donald Scarinci stands to lose money if the other side wins.

In Passaic, Scarinci’s powerful firm, Scarinci and Hollenbeck, has the lucrative city attorney contract, with a base salary as high as $600,000 annually, not including add-ons.

City supervisor Vincent Capuana says if elected mayor he would look at trimming the firm from the payroll.

Countering that claim on the day he endorsed former School Board President Alex Blanco, Acting Mayor Gary Schaer said Capuana’s designs on in-house legal work likely wouldn’t save the city money.

In Bayonne, Scarinci represents Fidelco-Roseland Property, a residential developer of the Bayonne peninsula, site of the former Military Ocean Terminal.

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The ghost of Sharpe James

The ghost of Sharpe James
Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, headed to prison, is still a key figure in city politics

NEWARK - When Cory Booker toppled the old regime of Sharpe James and turned James’s most visible allies out of City Hall, the former mayor’s friends began plotting a comeback.

Now James is in a federal penitentiary serving time for fraud - and the deposed politician’s forces  believe they’re closer than ever to defeating Booker in Newark.

Recognized by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.) as a rising star, a statewide phenomenon and an orator who at his best makes Obama sound like a blandly serviceable warm-up act, Booker nonetheless faces political trouble at the local level, in each of the city’s five wards.

The mayor will not publicly acknowledge political turmoil.

 “As long as crime is down, it’s a good day for me,” he says.

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Going all out in Monmouth County

In Monmouth County, every town comes intriguingly into play on some level, several more critically than others.

Republicans have owned the Freeholder Board for over 20 years, but in the last two elections Democrats picked up two seats to bring them to within one of county control.

A profusion of newly registered Democratic voters have boosted the party’s confidence heading into Nov. 4th, and now Democrats Amy Mallet and Glenn Mason are ready for that 11th hour jolt of cash from the Democratic State Committee.

State Party Chairman Joseph Cryan wants to win here.

He wants it more than he would like to pick up additional warm bodies in the Assembly next year, where his party’s already built a comfortable majority.

A victory by either Mallet or Mason would make a Democratic Party statement.  But neither is a name candidate running against incumbent Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and auto dealer vice president John Curley, an intensely focused campaigner who served as a Red Bank Councilman and has close political connections to state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth).

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With one full week left, 3rd and 7th House races still biggest flashpoints

Third Congressional

To the most hardened observer of New Jersey politics, the 3rd Congressional District race offers little more than the inevitable collision of two powerful forces in this conservative, military family values stronghold, which runs up to the edges of Democratic Party bulwark Camden County to the south.

It appears to be a classic case of military industrial complex versus party machine, as Republican Chris Myers, a $250,000-a-year earning Republican executive at Lockheed Martin, battles Harvard-educated career Trentonian state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) for a seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-Burlington).

Assembly Speaker – and Adler compatriot -Joe Roberts (D-Camden) argues that the only way South Jersey ever stood a chance of exerting influence statewide was to bind together.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

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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

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger


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