Jersey City ballot initiative battle not over

One of Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop's two ballot initiatives suffered a severe blow earlier this week by a prominent city official, but Fulop said the move has energized his base.

"Yesterday I sent out that email letting people know about it. We got 60 new donors, 25 new volunteers and we're just starting," he said.

A move by Jersey City Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis on Tuesday sparked outrage in an already politically charged atmosphere. Fulop had just turned in 1,800 signatures for two ballot initiatives: one which would enact new anti pay-to-play rules, and another that would bar council members from receiving more than one public salary (six of the nine council members have more than one taxpayer funded salary).

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Does plagiarism matter in the blogosphere?

Plagiarism is a bit like pornography - you know it when you see it, to paraphrase US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. 

But is the standard the same for bloggers? Given most blogs informal and causal tones, should bloggers be held to the same ethical standards of newspapers?

For some news organizations, "borrowing ideas" is OK, but not the "direct words".  For others, it is "one of journalism's unforgivable sins".
Case in point, if I was writing this for a newspaper, I would have probably written:  For some news organizations like the Detroit Free Press, "borrowing considered fair journalistic practice", but "words directly quoted from sources other than the writer's own reporting should be attributed."  For others like the Grand Forks Herald, it is "one of journalism's unforgivable sins", according to published excerpts on plagiarism by the Committee of Concerned Journalists.

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Winners & Losers of the Week

This week's Winners & Losers: Click here.

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Bencivengo battles local Dems chair over political event

HAMILTON- On the night of a GOP fundraiser for Mayor John John Bencivengo: Politicker file photoJohn Bencivengo: Politicker file photoBencivengo attended by 300 people, Bencivengo expressed incredulity that Hamilton Democratic Party Chair John Kroschwitz wants to file a criminal complaint against him for holding the event on township property.

"This is a deliberate violation of a township ordinance passed back in April of 2000 that prohibits any political fundraising in all township buildings," Kroschwitz complained Thursday night.

Bencivengo said the ordinance was not designed to encompass the Sayen House and Sayen Gardens, which are home to events of all kinds.

"The Friends of Sayen (a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation) run the house, and we paid $400 to have our event there," Bencivengo said of his fundraiser, where the mayor and his allies charged $50 a head.

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West New York official admits taking bribes

West New York’s former construction code official pleaded guilty today to extorting and accepting more than $30,000 in bribes.

Franco Zanardelli, 58, admitted in federal court to accepting cash payments and other forms of compensation in exchange for favors. 

Zanardelli served as the town’s construction code official from around 2002 to June, 2007.  He was also employed as the construction code official for Guttenberg and Secaucus. 

He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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Mayor Choi gears up to run again in Edison

Mayor Choi gears up to run again in Edison

EDISON - Diners anchor what’s left of the train-track and warehouseEdison Mayor Jun Choi: Politicker file photoEdison Mayor Jun Choi: Politicker file photo girded countryside in this sprawling town, fifth biggest in New Jersey, where Mayor Jun Choi drinks his coffee on a summer morning in one of the more recognizable roadside haunts called the Plaza Diner.

The suit and tie and modest demeanor belie a man restlessly at work, for if Choi was an enigmatic upstart when he hit the scene three years ago, he has built himself into a surging political force, three-fourths of the way into his first term.

"And I’m running again," he says with a smile.

The Edison-raised kid who came from the inner sanctum of Bill Bradley’s machine-bucking 2000 presidential campaign, former state Department of Education wonk, Choi remains the Democratic Party outsider in a party that still does not know quite what to do with him.

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Bateman gets some help from Ohio

So far, Republican Alan Bateman's congressional campaign has had no more of an impact than any of the other long-shot congressional candidates in the state.

Bateman, the Holmdel deputy mayor, is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-Princeton). As of June 30, he had only raised $7,575, and had $6,487 on hand (and owed $5,325 in debt).

But according to Bateman's campaign, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) sees something promising, and has committed to making a $5,000 donation to Bateman from his PAC.

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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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