Schaer weighs mayoral run in Passaic


Acting Mayor/Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic): Politicker photoActing Mayor/Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic): Politicker photo 

PASSAIC - To be in Trenton, or not to be in Trenton, that is the question for Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), who became the acting mayor of Passaic in May when a federal judge found Mayor Sammy Rivera guilty of corruption.

Initially, Schaer, who received the chief executive’s job by virtue of his position as council president, figured he would serve long enough to hand off to whoever wins a Nov. 4th special election.

But about three weeks into his service as acting mayor - with no stunning personality on the city’s horizon line, by his reckoning - Schaer began mulling the idea of pursuing his own mayoral run. 

"We can’t afford to have a mayor who’s not going to build on some of the positive things we’re doing," said Schaer, who implemented local ethics reforms, imposed a 37% cut to the mayoral salary (from $117,000 to $72,000), and a municipal hiring freeze.

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Mueller assumes top Obama position in New Jersey

Mueller assumes top Obama position in New Jersey

Obama State Director Tricia Mueller: Politicker photoObama State Director Tricia Mueller: Politicker photo

HAMILTON - Politics and union organizing weld into one for Tricia Mueller, the new state director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Granddaughter of a Local 19 sheet metal worker or "tin knocker" as they're called in building and trades, Mueller first started working campaigns for her father, a telephone installer who served as the youngest mayor of Oaklyn, New Jersey.

"I could read a ward map from the time I was very small," said the 34-year old Camden native and chief political operative for the 17,000-strong New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters, as she sat in a Hamilton coffee shop on Thursday, three days into her tenure as Obama's state director.

"I come from the field," she told "I believe voter contact, voter mobilization, and voter education represent civic duty at its finest."

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Another poll shows Corzine with upside-down approvals; he gets a C- on voter report card

Another poll shows Corzine with upside-down approvals; he gets a C- on voter report card

Gov. Jon Corzine has an upside-down 39%-46% job approval rating, and voters give him a grade of C- on his report card, according to a new Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll released today. 

Senate President Richard Codey, who served as Governor before Corzine, has a 45%-15% favorable rating – making him the most popular statewide politician in New Jersey.  U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, who is expected to challenge Corzine in 2009, has an approval rating of 29%-9%.  Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts is virtually unknown; he has an approval rating of 11%-9%.  The Legislature is also upside-down at 27%-45%.

On his report card, Corzine gets a D+ on property taxes, C- on cost cutting and ethics reform, a C on Education, a D on cost of living, and a C+ on his level of effort.

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Spencer HQ up and running on Hawthorne Avenue


Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Newark): Politicker photoAssemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Newark): Politicker photo 

Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Newark) officially opened her district office on Hawthorne Avenue in the South Ward on Friday in a well-attended event.

U.S. Rep. William Payne (D-Newark), Essex county Party chairman Phil Thigpen, Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex), Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (D-Montclair), Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark), Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), and local elected officials were among the 150 people who joined Spencer for the kick-off.

"I plan to have a larger event in September," said Spencer.

The office opening comes in the wake of a suggestion by former Assemblyman William Payne (D-Newark) that he wouldn't rule out a primary run against Spencer. Although he bucked the system last year and ran off the line, Payne remains in a powerful inner sanctum. He serves as deputy chief of staff to Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, a job title shared by Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, who in 2007 topped the ticket with Spencer. 

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Morin lists potential special election candidates

Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin said he takes no delight in the troubles of Democratic Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who’s under investigation for child pornography that was allegedly found on his legislative office computer.

But knowing  that a resignation from Cohen could come soon -- which would bring about a special election in the 20th Legislative District come November -- Morin does have a few potential Republican candidates in mind. 

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Winners & Losers of the Week

Winners and Losers of the Week: Click Here

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Caucus leaders want internet filtering software on all legislative computers

Amid the shockwaves that hit the political community last night over the revelation that Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union) is under investigation for possession of child pornography, four legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle have requested that the Office of Legislative Services begin installing the “most aggressive” possible internet filtering software on all of the legislature’s computers.

A joint statement by Senate President Dick Codey, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. and Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce said that this morning they directed the Office of Legislative Services to “immediately pursue installing the most aggressive Internet filtering software available on all computers in the Legislature.”

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The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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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 >


(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... 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 »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop



Was Frank X. Graves of Paterson New Jersey's best mayor?:


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