Whatever happens, Spencer readies for next year

Whatever happens, Spencer readies for next year

NEWARK – Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Newark) welcomed friends to the Robert Treat Hotel for a low-key fundraiser on Wednesday night, including State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-South Orange).

Booker hailed Spencer as a tireless public advocate and joked that she often text messages him late into the night with advice about what he should do to run the city.  

An ally of the mayor’s who was part of the deal last year among North Ward Democratic Leader Steve Adubato, East Ward Democratic Leader Joseph Parlavecchio and Booker that joined the District 29 team of Ruiz, Coutinho and Spencer,  the assemblywoman relies on Booker’s support.

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Menendez rallies Obama supporters in Newark

Menendez rallies Obama supporters in Newark
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) in Newark tonight.

 NEWARK – Standing on a stage crammed with Essex County politicians in the Robert Treat Hotel, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) cranked up the volume tonight with a speech in support of the Democratic presidential nominee in front of a crowd calling itself “Latinos for Obama.”

Menendez made his remarks shortly before boarding a plane bound for Miami where he said Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.) wants him campaigning for the next two days in advance of Election Day on Nov. 4th.

He capitalized on the long-time-coming sentiment in the large crowd of urban Democrats, less finally a specifically Latino group than a conglomerate of Newarkers bused in for the event from the city’s residential areas.

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U.S. Senate debate live blogging continued

Update, 7:39pm: WHOA. Lautenberg just said that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) -- who was just convicted for corruption -- held a fundraiser for Zimmer.

"Just recently, a felon, Sen. Stevens of Alaska, held a fundraiser for Dick Zimmer.”

Say what?

Zimmer denied that. He said that he "never accepted a penny" from Stevens, and that “I’m delighted that you called for his resignation today, as I did.”

UPDATE: Lautenberg spokeswoman Julie Roginsky provided the documentation. Stevens' name did appear on an invitation for a Zimmer fundraiser set for July 29th -- the same day, incidentally, that he was indicted on seven corruption counts. But there were 28 other Republican Senators on that invitation as well.

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Live blogging the U.S. Senate debate

Contrary to popular belief, there is a New Jersey U.S. Senate race this year.

Aside from their joint editorial board meeting with Gannett, tonight is the first debate between U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg and former Rep. Dick Zimmer – a race that, to Zimmer’s chagrin, has been fairly under the media’s radar.

The two are going head to head at New Jersey 101.5’s studios, but the debate will be rebroadcast on News 12 New Jersey tomorrow night. On Saturday, they’ll go one-on-one at NJN. Those are the exact same outlets that Lautenberg agreed to debate primary challenger U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews on. Like those debates, these both occur shortly before the election, making it unlikely that they’ll change the course of the campaigns.

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Up against union muscle in the Central Ward, Bell blasts Booker

Up against union muscle in the Central Ward, Bell blasts Booker
Central Ward Democratic Chairman Dwight Brown,left, and Central Ward Council candidate Charles Bell.

NEWARK – Holding a street sign accusing him of waste and corruption, former Councilman Charles Bell denounced a high-end campaign launched against him by “They Work for Us,” a labor organization based in Washington, D.C.

Neither his most visible rival in the Central Ward Council race, labor leader Eddie Osborne, nor Osborne’s campaign, would take responsibility for the signs.

“The only campaign Eddie Osborne is running is a positive, grassroots campaign focused on creating jobs, protecting jobs and making Newark a safer place for Central Ward families," said spokesman Joshua Henne. "We don’t know anything about any other groups independently highlighting issues they think might be important to the voters. The only thing Eddie Osborne is focused on is bringing Barack Obama’s change to the Central Ward next Tuesday." 


“They Work for Us” didn’t respond. Their signs hit the streets this week, along with a couple of glossy anti-Bell mailers.

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Chaneyfield-Jenkins battles for Bell

Chaneyfield-Jenkins battles for Bell
The former councilwoman wants her former colleague to win in the Central Ward

The Central Ward council race has horizon line implications for 2010, as former Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins seeks traction for her own comeback by backing her former colleague, Councilman Charles Bell on Nov. 4th.

It was Chaneyfield-Jenkins who started circling allies around Bell in the late summer to break up Mayor Cory Booker’s team on the city council with a throwback candidate in the special election to fill the seat left vacant by former Councilwoman Dana Rone.

Chaneyfield-Jenkins served on the governing body for 12 years as an at-large councilwoman before the Booker Team turned her – and Bell – out of office in 2006. 

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Live blogging the Bergen County freeholder debate

Greetings from Bergen Community College in scenic Paramus, where the audience is just starting to roll in for a freeholder debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters at 3:15 this afternoon.

Incumbent Democrats Bernadette McPherson, David Ganz and Vernon Walton will defend their seats – and likely their reputations -- against Republicans Chris Calabrese, Jeff Heller and Paul Duggan.

It could get ugly.

Republicans have been in the political wilderness in Bergen County for some time, though they still had a Republican Freeholder – Lisa Randall – until 2006. But with the Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero, recently indicted on eight felony corruption counts, Republicans see an opportunity, even if they’re still massively out-funded by the dominant party.

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Stender says ads are 'comparative,' not negative

ISELIN -- If only third graders could vote.

Talking to PolitickerNJ.com before addressing a group of senior citizens with State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge), Stender said that ads run waged by her opponent and the third party groups that support him -- rhyming her last name with "Spender," "truth bender" or putting anti-Stender lyrics to the tune of Yankee Doodle -- are insulting to the voters of the 7th Congressional District.

"I'm very popular amongst the third grade set because of the nursery rhyme nature of the campaign that's been run. The kids are always happy to see me, because they know the ads," she said.

Stender's ads against State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) have been primarily negative, drawing parallels Lance to President Bush. She prefers the word "comparative."

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The Back Room

Christie defends himself in NH

Zapped by the DNC on his way into New Hampshire this afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie defended his economic record while wooing NH voters for the second time in little more than a month, according to the Associated Press.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 31st

  Christie to Newark hecklers: 'I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else' BELMAR - Gov. Chris Christie's got nothing but love for The Brick City, or so he says. In response to a Newark school student here today -- a 17-year-old president of the Newark Student Union...

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The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

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Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Go to Mayor [Cory] Booker and ask him if he thinks in the years that he was mayor if I ignored Newark. The fact is I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ


Who's right on the bail reform special session?:


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