Debate Sketchpad: Too little, too late

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Stender vs. Ledger


Linda Stender’s campaign chastised a Star-Ledger columnist for writing that a piece of campaign literature from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee came from her own campaign.

At issue is conservative columnist Paul Mulshine’s most recent piece, which was circulated by Stender rival Leonard Lance’s campaign via press release this morning. The campaign literature Mulshine referred to claimed that Lance was in cahoots with former Gov. Christie Whitman on pension bonding in 1997.

Lance was actually one of the most vocal critics of pension bonding, and has made that a centerpiece of his current congressional run.

Mulshine called the mailer “the single sleaziest campaign ad I have ever seen.”

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Montefusco gets 3 years probation for filing false tax return

Former Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education member John J. Montefusco, Jr. was sentenced to three years of probation today for intentionally filing a false tax return, according to U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

In the Trenton courtroom of U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson, Montefusco, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to report income of approximately $159,000 on his 2003 federal income tax return, the U.S. Attorney said.

Thompson ordered Montefusco to file amended tax returns for the tax years 2003, 2004 and 2005, resulting in payment approximately $37,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties.

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In Trenton, Obama camp counters McCain's 'class warfare' argument

In their televised debate last night, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Il.) tax plan, arguing that it would unfairly punish business and redistribute wealth.

The Obama campaign's response here in New Jersey is to establish an "Obama Tax Cut Calculation Station" on State Street in Trenton.

"At the station, New Jersey workers on their lunch break will be able to... calculate the tax cut they will receive under Senator Obama’s 'making work pay tax plan for the middle class,'" said Obama spokesman Andrew Poag. "Senator Obama’s plan will cut taxes for 95% of working families and will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year."

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Pundits: Democratic registration edge doesn't assure Corzine second term

Gov. Jon Corzine, struggling to win the approval of N.J. voters, announced his economic stimulus plan todayGov. Jon Corzine, struggling to win the approval of N.J. voters, announced his economic stimulus plan today
Political pundits tend to agree that the surge in Democrats on the voter rolls will help New Jersey Democrats this election cycle, from those running for federal office down to freeholder.

But as Gov. Corzine pitches his economic proposals for dealing with the financial crisis today -- which many see as the second early salvo of his reelection campaign – the pundits are less clear on whether the state’s bolstered Democratic majority will provide a big boost to him next year.

Right now, the new registration numbers look good for Democrats.  Statewide, as of the latest report from the Division of Elections dated October 13th there just under 600,000 more Democrats than there were in November, 2007.  Republicans had a much more modest gain, with 176,000 new party members.

Many of those new registrants are merely voters who leaned Democratic anyway but never bothered to vote in a primary before this year.  The number of unaffiliated voters, for instance, dropped by 322,000.

But there have also been 449,000 new registrants since November, and all indications are that the newly enfranchised are trending blue.

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Bell and Osborne dominate the field as Booker weighs the battle


Former Councilman Charles Bell: Politicker photoFormer Councilman Charles Bell: Politicker photo 

NEWARK - The crowded race for a vacant Central Ward Council seat features a veteran with the stalwart backing of Newark’s gray-haired fathers, versus a labor-cash infused newcomer who may or may not receive support from a wobbling Mayor Cory Booker.

Thirteen candidates hope to fill the seat an assignment judge separated from Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone after Rone this summer exhausted her appeals process going back to a 2006 obstruction of justice case.

But apparent frontrunner Charles Bell sees his chief challenger - both for Obama affection and for the local council seat - as fellow labor brother Eddie Osborne, whose billboards and signs laden with Obama iconography have hit the Central Ward like an orange blizzard.

The Osborne campaign sizes up the contest similarly.

In their sights, they see Bell, a former councilman, school board member for nearly 30 years and retired labor official with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers Union, who combines name ID and an alliance with time-tested political infrastructure.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

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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 >


 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

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger


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