Bell to be sworn in tonight

Bell to be sworn in tonight
Central Ward Councilman-elect Charles Bell

NEWARK - Charles Bell, the former councilman who on Nov. 4th beat Eddie Osborne to succeed ousted Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone, will be sworn into office at City Hall this evening.

In part with the financial backing of former Mayor Sharpe James, Bell defeated Osborne, the candidate endorsed by Mayor Cory Booker.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. 

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Bill Bradley coming to Columbus for conclusion of global challenges discussion

Former 2000 presidential primary contender, NBA Hall of Famer and U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), is coming to Columbus on Thursday to discuss the global challenges and opportunities facing President-elect Barack Obama.

The discussion will conclude a series from the Center for U.S. Global Engagement called "Impact '08 in Ohio." The series is the result of a partnership between the Center, the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, the Columbus World Affairs Council, and The ONE Campaign.

The Center's series is called "Impact '08: Building a Better, Safer World," and is billed as an initiative calling on the presidential candidates "to revitalize America's moral and pragmatic leadership by making greater investments in our diplomatic and development programs."

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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 PolitickerNJ.com 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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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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