TRENTON – It’s very early, of course.
But Gov. Jon Corzine at his full-fledged press conference on the fourth floor of the Hughes Justice Center this afternoon, where he was flanked by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and Attorney General Anne Milgram, suggested the déjà all over again feel of Gerry Ford’s defensive posture campaign against Jimmy Carter one day after Corzine’s presumptive chief rival entered the race for governor.
In that 1976 presidential contest between Carter and Ford, Carter was out in the hinterlands while Ford tracked the sedate and somber steps of good government, immersed in all the symbolic trappings of his office.
In this case, in the face of repeated Republican put-downs that Democrats with their overt culture of political patronage and government first ask questions afterwards approach, Corzine projected the image of an executive committed to making the engine run as he announced in the midst of a national recession the creation of a new state-supported mortgage foreclosure mediation program.Read More >
Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero, under indictment on federal corruption charges, will resign on January 22, and has called a special election to pick a successor. Ferriero says he is ending his leave of absence effective immediately so that he can help raise money for the party’s January 17 fundraising event.
Ferriero was indicted on September 9 on eight corruption counts of influence peddling with a grants consulting firm he held a financial stake in. A trial is set for September 2009. He went on a leave of absence just before the indictment was announced.
“Unfortunately, I have recently been required to defend myself against an indictment which has no basis in law or fact. I have been forced to dedicate my time and energy to clearing my name,” Ferriero wrote in a letter to Democratic leaders. “I believe that it would adversely affect our party, and our candidates if I were to continue to serve as chairman while on trial several weeks before the November election. It is for this reason that I am calling a special county committee meeting for January 22, 2009 to elect a successor. I hereby resign effective on that date.”
Ferriero says that while he had “strenuous disagreements with a few members of the party including (State Sen.) Loretta Weinberg and (U.S. Rep.) Steve Rothman,” he said “we are all Democrats that want what is in the best interest of the party.”
“I am calling on everyone to come together so that we can continue the progress our party has made over the last decade,” he said.
Likely candidates to succeed him are Michael Kasparian, a developer and Democratic fundraiser, and Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union business manager Richard “Buzz” Dressel, a Commissioner of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
Ferriero, 51, was first elected County Chairman in June 1998. Five months later, Bergen Democrats broke the GOP’s 7-0 majority on the Board of Freeholders by electing Democrats Dennis McNerney and Douglas Bern, and won the race for Sheriff. Under Ferriero’s leadership, Bergen County now has two Democratic State Senators, McNerney is in his second term as County Executive, and they hold all seven Freeholder seats. Ferriero has helped Democrats achieve majorities in 25 municipalities.
For now, Ferriero’s resignation ends a 31-year political career that began with his election to the Dumont Borough Council in 1977 at age twenty.
The full text of Ferriero’s letter:Read More >
Veteran Randolph Township Councilman Gary Algeier today will officially enter the Republican primary for the Assembly in the 25th Legislative District, according to sources.
Mulling the possibility of a run for some time now, Algeier informally announced his intentions to members of the Randolph Republican Club on Wednesday night. A Morristown attorney, the long-serving councilman is in a four-way contest for two assembly seats with Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Twp.), attorney Tony Bucco (son of veteran state Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) and Morris County Freeholder Doug Cabana.Read More >
Gov. Jon Corzine leads Republican Christopher Christie by seven points, 40%-33%, and has a 45%-40% approval rating, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released this morning. Christie, the former U.S. Attorney who announced yesterday that he would run for Governor, is unknown to more than half (56%) of the New Jerseyans polled.
In head-to-heads against other Republican candidates, Corzine leads former Bogota Mayor Steven Lonegan, 46%-28%, and Assemblyman Rick Merkt (R-Mendham) by a 43%-23% margin. Lonegan is unknown to 71% of the state, while 89% don't recognize Merkt. A fourth candidate, Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine, was not included in the survey.
In a Republican primary matchup, Christie leads Lonegan 32%-15%, with Merkt running third at 5%.
Christie has a 50% name ID among Republicans, while Lonegan is at 44% and Merkt is at 14%.Read More >
PASSAIC - When Angel Laboy lost his city council bid last year to Ken Lucianin by 24 votes, he said he would probably come back this year, and time’s proved him right.
Laboy, a public school vice principal, is holding a fundraiser on Jan. 15th in which he hopes to lay the groundwork for what he believes will be about a $5,000-$6,000 race for council.
“I would like to run alone,” he said. “I have been approached to run on a ticket with several of the mayoral candidates, and I’m not ruling it out, but I’m leaning against it.”Read More >
SUMMIT –To the oft-muttered intra-party charge that Republicans plan to coronate former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie as their candidate for governor, Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin said his organization stands on its record.
Last year, millionaire businesswoman Anne Evans Estabrook was supposedly the money candidate for U.S. Senate. Then the county committee here awarded the line to erstwhile underdog state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris), dropping the jaws of not only Estabrook’s campaign infrastructure but the party establishment in all 21 counties.
After Estabrook pulled the plug on her candidacy owing to health problems, Morin resisted pressure to hold another convention to dump Pennacchio and swap in the state GOP’s latest frontrunner, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer, who would ultimately go on to secure the statewide nomination.
Morin’s view was Jersey Joe earned it the hard way, he should have it.Read More >
President-elect Barack Obama has picked Jeh Charles Johnson, a Montclair attorney, top serve as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense. Johnson served in the Clinton administration as general counsel for the Department of the Air Force, and is now a partner at of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a New York law firm. He served as special counsel to the John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
Two years ago, the bi-partisan bipartisan New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination nominated Johnson to be Chief Judge of New York, but then-Gov. Elliot Spitzer instead renominated Justice Judith Kaye.Read More >
In 2009, the late John Sheridan, CEO of Cooper University Hospital in Camden, testified at a hearing regarding how to strengthen employer-based health care.Read More >
Kean, Webber join Pennacchio at patriotism-charged Morris County fundraiser WHIPPANY - Joe Pennacchio planned on talking about New Jersey politics, the usual "Trenton stuff", at his annual Republican fundraiser tonight -- but then he asked his wife for advice. (Brush/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/83166/kean-webber-join-pennacchio-patriotism-charged-morris-county-fundraiser Belgard slams MacArthur's pay equity positions; compares them...
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By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor. Not only is there no current legal... Read More >
"I see Loretta Weinberg in the back of the room. Loretta, you have my eternal admiration for what you did to rid the Democratic Party of a certain political boss. However, not everyone shares that distinction." - Bergen County Republican Freeholder candidate Robert Avery- PolitickerNJ
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