Leiter 'almost certain' he's not going to run against Adler in 2010

Leiter 'almost certain' he's not going to run against Adler in 2010
Toms River native Al Leiter, who played for the Yankees and the Mets, isn't likely to challenge U.S. Rep.-elect John Adler in 2010

Former baseball star Al Leiter said today that he will not likely run against Congressman-elect John Adler in 2010.

“I definitely have been curious enough to still be around the political scene… and my interest is there, while it’s stronger sometimes and weaker than others.  So that’s why I don’t ever dismiss the idea of running someday.  But I know I’m not ready now, and I’m almost certain that in 2010 I won’t be ready,” he said.

Some Republicans courted Leiter, a Toms River native who currently lives in Florida and works as a sports commentator, to run for in the 3rd Congressional District last year.  But Leiter said at the time that he’d rather get some local experience as an elected official, either in New Jersey or Florida, before running for federal office.

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Healy says Matsikoudis would make a good Regional EPA Administrator

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who backed Barack Obama for president when most other New Jersey politicos were supporting Hillary Clinton, thinks that his corporation counsel, Bill Matsikoudis, would make a good Regional EPA Administrator. 

“I don’t know if the Obama Administration is interested in anybody for that position or for Billy, but he’s got a good background in environmentalism,” said Healy.  He’s filed some suits on the city’s behalf against corporate polluters. He’s very knowledgeable, diligent and is a hard working. I certainly think he can fill that or anything else.” 

Multiple sources say that Matsikoudis is interested in that position, although it remains to be seen if Healy has the Obama administration’s ear.

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Castner leaving Assembly staff; Caruso will be new E.D.

Castner leaving Assembly staff; Caruso will be new E.D.

Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts is expected to announce tomorrow that Bill Castner will leave his post as Executive Director of the Assembly Majority Office in January and will be succeeded Bill Caruso, Congressman Rob Andrews' long-time chief of staff. 

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Urinating Jersey City councilman is politically alive -- for now

Jersey City, that often ignored sliver of land in New York City’s shadow, got a flood of national media attention this week. All it took was Councilman Steve Lipski allegedly urinating on a crowd of Washington, DC concertgoers.

That would be political suicide in some places, though not necessarily here. Lipski yesterday performed his mea culpa at a city council meeting, revealing that he was a recovering alcoholic who fell off the wagon that night for the first time in two years. And, at least for now, Mayor Jerramiah Healy is not disowning the councilman, his political ally.

“This is a legal issue that will be resolved in the courts. Mayor Healy is focused on moving forward and continuing to make Jersey City a greater place to live and work,” said a statement issued by Healy's office yesterday.

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Obama, Newark, and the expectations

Obama, Newark, and the expectations
North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos

NEWARK – Among Newark elected officials, the election of Barack Obama last week sparked hope for healthcare reform, more federal aid, a re-invigorated sense of American leadership - and a special place on the president’s to-do list for the Brick City.

Inevitably, the Democratic victory also opened up questions about the future of Mayor Cory Booker, a supporter of Obama’s from the beginning of his campaign, who now serves on the president-elect’s transition team as it relates specifically to urban affairs.

As mayor of one of New Jersey’s biggest and one of America’s oldest cities with a battered infrastructure, Booker will join over 20 other New Jersey mayors in Newark on Wednesday for a conference to redefine urban needs for the new administration.

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Doherty starts door-to-door quest for state Senate seat

It’s a week after the election, and the dust has yet to settle on the race to take over the state Senate seat of Leonard Lance (R-Flemington).  But one thing has been constant since Wednesday: Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington) is gunning hard for the seat, and has already started his door knocking campaign across pastoral Hunterdon and Warren Counties.

“I have my list and I have my Garmin, which certainly helps navigate some of our rural roads in the dark,” said Doherty.

There are roughly 400 county committee members from the two counties that comprise the 23rd Legislative District, and Doherty plans to visit every one of them (many are husband and wife teams, which helps cut down on the number of doors to knock on). Last night, he began his campaign, visiting committee members in Glen Gardner, Bethlehem and Hampton.

After Lance resigns his seat to move up to Congress in January, those committee members will decide who gets to fill in for Lance in Trenton until the June primary and special election in November.

Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington), who has also expressed interest in the seat, has a slight geographical edge.  Hunterdon County has a larger population than Doherty’s native Warren County, and has about 40 more county committee members.

That’s why Doherty has begun by focusing on Hunterdon County Committee members.

“I initially focused on some Hunterdon county folks, but I’ll hit folks in the two counties,” he said.

Karrow could not be reached for comment.  Several Republican sources said today that she’s having second thoughts about running, given Doherty’s strong support by conservative groups.

Warren County Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt said that Doherty can count on nearly unanimous support from the Warren County committee members.  Even if Hunterdon County does field a candidate, he said, Doherty will be able to sap enough votes from their members to win.

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National Dominican organization recognizes Blanco as a first

National Dominican organization recognizes Blanco as a first
Blanco last month at an Obama rally in Paterson.

The Dominican American National Roundtable, a Washington-DC based organization, which tracks Dominican American history, culture and trends, has officially declared Dr. Alex Blanco of Passaic as the first ever Dominican mayor in U.S. history.

The organizaton cites only one other time (in 2001) when a Dominican American has acted in a mayoral capacity (from Lawrence, MA). In that case, the person was an acting mayor, not an elected mayor. 

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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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