Steve Lonegan has been an unpaid PolitickerNJ.com columnist since March 2007. As he begins his campaign for the 2009 Republican nomination for Governor, his column will go on hiatus. We are grateful for his willingness to use PolitickerNJ.com as a forum to express his views and for his contribution to the political debate in New Jersey. We look forward to Mayor Lonegan's return next year, win or lose.
Joining our list of contributors today is Ramapo College Professor Murray Sabrin, a former candidate for Governor and U.S. Senator. We welcome Dr. Sabrin and look forward to hearing his views.Read More >
Hamilton Councilman Tom Goodwin, having narrowly lost his assembly race last year to Democrat Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton), has not ruled out another run next year.
“I would have to sit down and analyze the situation now and going forward. I haven’t made up my mind yes or no,” said Goodwin. “I have to sit down and think about it. So right now I don’t have any decision.”
District 14, which encompasses the Trenton suburbs and is dominated by the working-class swing town of Hamilton, is one of the few split districts in the state, with Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton) in the state senate and DeAngelo and Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) in the assembly. It is likely to be one of the top Republican targets in next year’s assembly election, although Greenstein, a long-time incumbent, appears a lot less vulnerable than the first-term DeAngelo.Read More >
It’s official. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this morning turned over the reigns of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to New Jersey’s Bob Menendez, the group’s vice-chair (D-Hoboken).
“Our Caucus will be well-served by Bob Menendez, whose mastery of policy is matched only by his mastery of politics,” said Reid in a statement.
Schumer departs with a successful track record, presiding over the Democrats’ takeover of the Senate in 2006 and further gains this year. Menendez said he hopes to build on that.Read More >
TRENTON- Challenged by Mayor Wayne Smith and Team Irvington in his squeak-out, off-the-line re-election victory last year, state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) said he hopes Smith did not authorize Keith Reid to accept a $5,000 bribe on his behalf – which is what Reid told a jury in Newark earlier today.
“Wayne is a real hard working mayor, always has been, and he’s committed to his township,” said Rice, who in 2007 fended off a challenge by Smith ally Councilman L. Bilal Beasely after Smith himself expressed a desire to go up against Rice.
“Hopefully that’s not the case,” Rice added of the under-oath statement by Reid, former chief of staff of Newark City Council President Mildred Crump.Read More >
TRENTON – Members of the state Senate Judiciary Committee this evening responded favorably to news that state Sen. President Richard Codey (D-Essex) is poised to name state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) as committee chairman.
No one expressed any concern that Sarlo, an engineer by trade – lacks legal training.
“Paul’s an able guy and he’s been in the senate several years now,” said state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “He will bring a non-attorney’s perspective, which I think will be refreshing to many. I would urge Paul to take our institutional responsibility seriously, that we should not be and the people expect us not to be, a rubber stamp for the executive branch, despite the fact that governor and majority party are the same party.”
In terms of Sarlo’s close relationship with Codey, whom critics of the senate president regard as a control freak, Kyrillos said, “That’s not news.”Read More >
TRENTON - Emerging from passing six bills, part of a larger, nine-bill $245 million economic recovery plan championed by Gov. Jon Corzine - senators in both parties agreed that the work today represents only a small part of what’s required.
Predictably, Democrats and some dissenting Republicans diverged starkly on fundamentals, with key GOP reps doubtful about enabling government to work as a problem solver, and Democrats digging in to take another big crack at the problem with that all-purpose tool: government.
“I think today New Jersey took a step in the right direction,” said state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), whose EDA Main Street Assistance bill dishes $50 million to help jumpstart small businesses. “We recognize this needs to be solved on the national level. But although a lot of Republicans talked, many of them came with us in the end.”Read More >
As the battle to replace outgoing state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) takes shape, the two declared candidates are beginning to make incursions outside of their home bases.
Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Township), a Warren County legislator who began his campaign a day after he learned that Lance was moving up to Congress, feels encouraged by the response he’s received from the Hunterdon County committee men and women he’s met on the campaign trail so far. But some insiders argue that Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington), a Hunterdon County native who just made her candidacy official last week, should not be counted out among the Warren County committee members, despite local contentions that the county will be in lock-step behind Doherty.
A third candidate, Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt, appears to be ready to run, and will formally announce his bid either next week or the week after.
The county committee members from Hunterdon and Warren Counties will meet in either January or early February to decide who gets to be Lance’s interim replacement in the state senate. In June, a primary will be held to determine who gets to remain on the ballot for the November general election, when voters will select a candidate to fill the two remaining years of Lance’s term in this safely Republican district.
This race is more complicated than a regional battle between the Hunterdon and Warren County Republican organizations.Read More >
Republican Governors Association (RGA) Chairman Chris Christie has a full schedule of out-of-state political events Monday and Tuesday.Read More >
NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...
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By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor. Not only is there no current legal... Read More >
“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie- PolitickerNJ
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