Rasmussen: Lautenberg breaks 50%

Frank Lautenberg has an 18-point lead over Dick Zimmer in New Jersey's  U.S. Senate contest: Getty Images PhotoFrank Lautenberg has an 18-point lead over Dick Zimmer in New Jersey's U.S. Senate contest: Getty Images Photo
A Rasmussen poll shows Sen. Frank Lautenberg hitting the 50% mark that pundits say is so crucial for any reelection effort.

The survey puts Lautenberg at 51% to Zimmer’s 33%. That’s up two points for Lautenberg last month, when Rasmussen put him at 49% to Zimmer’s 36%. Lautenberg is supported by 78% of the state’s Democrats, while Zimmer is backed by 72% of Republicans. Lautenberg has a commanding lead with the state’s unaffiliated voters, besting Zimmer 45% to 28%.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to have a high single-digit lead over John McCain.

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With Clean Elections program stumbling, its opponents try to knock it down

TRENTON -- With the future of the Fair and Clean Elections program hanging in the balance and its supporters set to try to negotiate its fate in two weeks, four of its opponents gathered in the State House today to question not only the program's effectiveness, but the sincerity of some of its proponents.

Assembly members Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) and Allison Littell McHose (R-Franklin) joined Virginia-based Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) President Sean Parnell and Center for Policy Research (CPR) of New Jersey Executive Director Greg Edwards to outline preliminary findings of the CCP's report that they say shows the program has been ineffective in virtually all of its stated goals.

Most notable, according to Parnell, was the fact that special interest groups still appeared to exert large influence in collecting the hundreds of $10 donations needed to participate in the program.

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Menendez in Afghanistan

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is in Afghanistan today as part of a week-long fact finding mission that will take him to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Germany.  His Afghanistan itinerary included meetings in Kabul with U.S. troops and with President Hamid Karzai.  Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will return to Washington on Monday.

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Rone exit stirs mild public response at city council meeting

NEWARK - The seat on the far side of the dais was empty.

That’s where Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone sat for Newark City Council meetings in the chamber on the second floor of Newark City Hall.

Banned yesterday by an assignment judge from serving on the council now and in the future because of her obstruction of justice conviction, Rone was nowhere to be found on the premises.

But the public comment segment of today’s meeting brought forth some commentary on the situation that West Ward Councilman Ronald Rice has already said may be a case of "selective prosecution."

Public reaction to Rone’s case included both chastising words for the Council and for the mayor.

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Mueller working with Booker on Obama strategy

Mueller working with Booker on Obama strategy

Obama State Director Tricia Mueller: Politicker file photoObama State Director Tricia Mueller: Politicker file photoNEWARK - Tricia Mueller, state director of the Obama campaign, is meeting here today with Mayor Cory Booker to begin coordinating campaign efforts for the Nov. 4th presidential contest.

"The mayor’s one of the early principals in the race," Mueller said of Booker’s out of the gate 2007 endorsement of the Illinois senator and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

"Newark is going to be very important to us," Mueller said of New Jersey’s largest city where there are 57,337 registered Democrats.

"Mayor Booker and I will be looking at how we’re going to move forward to make sure that Newark comes out big for Obama," she added.

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In Irvington, Mayor Smith quashes resignation rumor

In Irvington, Mayor Smith quashes resignation rumor

IRVINGTON - It's been a tough year for Mayor Wayne Smith, whose name was spun into a federal scandal that knocked down 11 other public officials in late 2007.

As part of a U.S. Attorney's Office bribery investigation called Operation Broken Boards, FBI agents posing as dummy insurance salespeople last year identified two public officials in Irvington, one of whom directed them to give $5,000 to Keith Reid, former chief of staff to Newark Council President Mildred Crump.

The U.S. Attroney's Office indicted Reid on corruption charges, but as yet he remains the only public official as part of Operation Broken Boards who has not gone to trial.

To date, Smith has not spoken publicly about the incident or addressed rampant speculation that he is one of those Irvington officials who directed the FBI to give money to Red, but today in the face of a rumor in his city that he intends to imminently step down, the mayor said no way.

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The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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Op-Ed

How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

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 >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

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