Two Republican renegades back Democrats in Burlington

They couldn’t beat the GOP machine outright, so they’ve decided to toss a wrench into the Burlington County freeholders’ race.

Republican elected officials Jon Shevelew and Debbie Sarcone announced today that they intend to back the Democratic team of Chris Brown and Mary Anne Reinhart.

Shevelew, the Republican Mayor of Shamong, and Sarcone, the only Republican elected official in Evesham, ran off the line together as freeholder candidates in the Republican primary.

At the time, Burlington County Republican Chairman Bill Layton called them "bugs on the windshield" in the face of GOP Freeholder Director Aubrey Fenton and his running mate, Freeholder Stacy Jordan.

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Newark Council to assess Central Ward seat tomorrow

Newark City Council President Mildred Crump has called for a special meeting of the City Council to consider what to do with the council's vacant seat in the Central Ward.

Convicted of using her office to obstruct justice, Dana Rone last week lost her Central Ward seat after an assignment judge ruled against a state-recommendation of leniency.

Rone is lobbying the council to delay any vote on a replacement until after she has exhausted her appeals process.  

An appellate judge late last week upheld the assignment judge's earlier ruling, leaving Rone in pursuit of a reversal from the state Supreme Court.

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John Edwards and the death of mainstream media

John Edwards admission that he lied and dismissed reports of an affair with Rielle Hunter, a filmmaker hired to cover his presidential campaign, may have ended his public life, but did it also signify an end to the era in which the mainstream media controlled the agenda for national political journalism?

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Linden mayor will back McCain

Linden mayor will back McCain

Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka, a Democrat who ran as an independent in 2006 and ousted longtime incumbent John Gregorio, will endorse John McCain for president on Monday. Gerbounka spent twelve years as a Councilman before unseating Gregorio, a former State Senator who been mayor for thirty years.

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Fulop files his side of the ballot initiative argument

Last week, Jersey City Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis filed an 11th hour challenge to Councilman Steve Fulop’s signatures to put one of his two reform initiatives on the ballot.

Today, Fulop shot back with by presenting his side of the legal argument to Municipal Clerk Robert Byrne, written by attorney and Brian M. Nelson.  He also submitted an extra 600 signatures. 

Fulop, who’s considering a mayoral bid next May, has spent the greater part of the last year collecting signatures for two initiatives for November’s general election: one bars contractors that do business with the city from donating to public officials.  The other, which was challenged by Matsikoudis, would bar city council members from accepting more than one taxpayer-funded salary (Six of the nine council members hold more than one public job, while Councilman Steve Lipski runs a charter school). 

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Judge rules in McGreevey divorce case

A Union County judge has ruled that former Gov. Jim McGreevey must pay child support to his now ex-wife Dina Matos, but does not owe any alimony payments.

Superior Court judge Karen Cassidy issued the ruling this afternoon. McGreevey will have to pay $1,075 per month in child support -- less than the $1,750 requested by Matos.

The ruling also requires that McGreevey pay Matos about $110,000 -- representing half the balance in various accounts he holds. Matos had wanted half of all present and future assets, potentially totaling up to $1 million. But McGreevey does not need to split any earnings from his book, "The Confession", nor for his "alleged celebrity goodwill".

In the opinion accompanying the ruling, Cassidy writes: "Mrs. McGreevey is able to earn a living. Her ability to support herself is hampered by her accrual of significant debt even though she received over $275,000 from a book detailing her experiences with the plaintiff. She is not entitled to a lifestyle commensurate with that of the First Lady of New Jersey."

Neither party must pay the other for legal fees, which totals in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Conaghan to Smith: you want to debate, you come to me

Judge Patrick Conaghan with Bayonne voters Terrance and Laura McLaughlin: Politicker photoJudge Patrick Conaghan with Bayonne voters Terrance and Laura McLaughlin: Politicker photo 

BAYONNE - In a tie decorated with the faces of American politicians, mayoral candidate Pat Conaghan, lawyer, retired municipal judge, walks up the street in Bayonne’s third ward.

With him walks Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone, campaign manager Denis F. Wilbeck and other allies lugging yellow campaign signs, intent on electing Conaghan in a Nov. 4th special election.

Conaghan’s going against Deputy Police Chief Mark Smith.

"He seems like an energetic guy," Conaghan says of his opponent, "but he’s a cop. I’ve been on the Board of Directors of two banks, and spent 40 years as a practicing attorney. The most significant thing the next mayor is going to have to do is to wrestle with serious financial issues."

The Conaghan forces contend that former Mayor Joseph Doria blew it on the redevelopment of Bayonne’s Military Ocean Terminal. It should have been a job creator, not a mixed use plan with an emphasis on residential development.

Now Doria’s gone, the town faces a $22 million deficit, and there’s little way to muster property taxes.

"We need some good industry to bring in jobs," says John Budnick, who peddles his bicycle among the Conaghan forces.

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The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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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 >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... 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 »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.



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