Bell proud to take James money in Central Ward campaign

In his Central Ward Council campaign, presumptive frontrunner Charles Bell  does not apologize for taking money from former Mayor Sharpe James, who’s now serving time in a federal prison for fraud.  

“He contributed $5,000 to my campaign, and the only thing is I was a little disappointed,” said Bell. “With $1 million left in his campaign account, I think he should have contributed a little more.”

Bell, a political ally of James’ who served on the council during the James era, said he believes the jury dealt the former mayor a bad hand earlier this year when it found James guilty of fraud in his oversight of the South Ward redevelopment program.

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Schluter says DeCroce should have reported Codey

Former State Sen. Bill Schluter, a member of the state ethics commission, thinks that Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) should have come forward earlier with his allegation that Senate President Richard Codey (D-West Orange) tried to threaten and tempt him with state grant money to drop his pursuit of information on a legislative slush fund.

“I think he should have,” said Schluter when asked by PolitickerNJ.  “Of course, it would have gotten him into trouble with the Democratic majority, but I don’t think you can be an elected official with violations like that.”

The exchange between DeCroce and Codey was reported in the Star-Ledger yesterday, which was tipped off to the two-year-old meeting by DeCroce, who said he had grown upset upon learning that the grant money had been distributed in a political way.  Codey denied DeCroce’s story, saying he had only warned him against using legislative staff to pursue political OPRA requests.  DeCroce offered to take a lie detector test, which the newspaper will take him up on and has offered one for Codey as well.  Codey has not decided whether or not he will.

The committee Schluter sits on deals with the executive branch, not the legislature, but he has a history as an ethics watchdog.  When he was a Republican state Senator in the early 1970's, Schluter reported several members of the William Cahill gubernatorial administration who he felt had committed extortion.  One wound up serving jail time, he said.

“You have an obligation, if you believe in honest in government,” he said.

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Lautenberg and Zimmer go head-to-head in Gannett forum

Lautenberg and Zimmer go head-to-head in Gannett forum

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) defended his “yes” vote on the Wall Street bailout package in a debate today with his Republican opponent, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer.

“Within the rescue bill, there is a shoring up of some of the companies that would make credit available,” said Lautenberg, sitting beside Zimmer in an editorial forum sponsored by Gannett Newspapers.

The GOP challenger stood by his opposition to the bailout bill.

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Veteran operative says organization favors Bell over Osborne

NEWARK  - A veteran campaign manager for former Assemblyman Fred Caraballo (D-Newark) in Caraballo’s blowout loss to the North Ward Democratic Party machine last year, Democratic Party political operative Charles Williams is staying out of the Central Ward Council race.

Williams said he received phone calls early on from camps backing former Councilman Charles Bell and his probably his chief rival in a 13-candidate race: labor leader Eddie Osborne.

Williams said there are too many operatives involved.

“I love to go in and run a race myself,” he said.

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Hornik-Beck collision course is not inevitable - but an inevitable discussion topic

Hornik-Beck collision course is not inevitable - but an inevitable discussion topic

MARLBORO – Mayor Jon Hornik and his Republican guests from the 12th Legislative District look like old pals at this charity ball the mayor throws on a Saturday night, as revelers groove on the dance floor at the Battleground Country Club.

The cover band strains of “You’re just too good to be true” sweep through the ballroom and the mayor floats happily among guests, including state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Colts Neck).

“Come on, that’s over,” a smiling Hornik ribs O’Scanlon about the Nov. 4th presidential election between Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain.

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Winners & Losers of the Week

Winners & Losers of the Week

This week's Winners & Losers: Click here

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Burry chastises Democrats over money, while state GOP aids her campaign

Burry chastises Democrats over money, while state GOP aids her campaign
Freeholder Director Lillian Burry

MANALAPAN – The issue of money comes up, and the Republicans are determined to depict Glenn Mason and Amy Mallet as the drones of a Democratic Party machine mobilized at the frontier of Monmouth County.

Republican John Curley, a former Red Bank councilman who now resides in Middletown, admits he’s struggling in his quest for cash in this freeholder race.

It’s tough, but so be it.

“I’m flat broke,” Curley says. “I had planned initially to get money from automobile dealers. But many of them are broke. We’re doing the best we can. …I’m just trying to be as personable as I can.”

The moderator at this League of Women Voters debate in the Monmouth County Library asks Curley if he’s received any money from outside the county.

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The Back Room

Christie: 'I'm the decider'

While describing to fellow Republicans a conversation he said he had with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Gov. Chris Christie borrowed a self-attribution from his old pal George W. Bush.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 28th

  Winners and Losers: Week of July 21st Christopher Rodriguez Governor Chris Christie this week announced his selection of the CIA operative as New Jersey’s next Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP). (Politicker Staff) http://www.politickernj.com/77941/winners-and-losers-week-july-21st     Torres saddles up with Fulop and Baraka for...

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Op-Ed

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 >

Contributors

 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

"A pain management surgeon, Roque said he estimates that the trial and initial loss of patients and other headaches may have personally cost him about $800,000. Ouch." - columnist Agustin Torres, the Political Insider

- The Jersey Journal

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