With his caucus in fighting shape, Kean sees GOP poised for more wins

Senate Minority Leader Ton Kean, Jr. (R-Union), and Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon).: Politicker photoSenate Minority Leader Ton Kean, Jr. (R-Union), and Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon).: Politicker photo

State Sen. Thomas Kean, Jr., (R-Union) became minority leader just as a new band of hungry Republican legislators came up from the General Assembly to assume their Senate seats.

Another under 40 senator with statewide aspirations might send out at least back channel messages of panic in the face of a baseball roster's worth of new GOP talent.

And indeed there have been some nose-to-nose moments in the last few months since Kean made caucus boss, notably between the patrician leader and the headstrong state Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-Essex).

But according to his colleagues, the stoic Kean has generally met the onrush by embracing it; and has assumed a statesmanlike stance while tapping the scrappy skills honed by his freshmen senators in the lower house.

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Governor seeks biotech industry contacts in Israel

Gov. Jon Corzine today said his trip to Israel is about business building and creating better contacts, which may lead to formal, organized events in the future in New Jersey.  

While "No one's going to say I'm going to sign the doted line today," the governor told reporters in an afternoon conference call, he believes the biotech industry contains potential for greater state to country economic relations.

"There is a remendous focus on biotechnology here in Israel that hits very closely with what we're doing in New Jersey," Corzine said. "I would hope to see foreign investment into New Jersey, and I would like to see the growth of sales from New Jersey to Israel."

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Smith works Bayonne in mid-summer

From left: Leo Smith, operative Michael Embrich, and mayoral candidate Mark Smith: Politicker photoFrom left: Leo Smith, operative Michael Embrich, and mayoral candidate Mark Smith: Politicker photo 

BAYONNE - The rain crashes onto the street and Mark Smith, deputy chief and candidate for mayor, welcomes the downpour with open arms.

"I love it," he says, on the tail end of his door-pounding tour of the First Ward.

In this neighborhood just north of the Kill Van Kull, Smith and his team have walked several square blocks once populated by some of Bayonne’s political legends, including former Mayor Dennis Collins and former U.S. Rep. Cornelius Gallagher.

A 27-year veteran of the Bayonne Police Department and family man, Smith now wants to be the man in his Nov. 4 special mayoral election showdown with former municipal judge Pat Conaghan.

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Torricelli on The Record, aka the 'Hacks of Hackensack'

Torricelli on The Record, aka the 'Hacks of Hackensack'

One hesitates to quote Shakespeare to the Editors of The Record. The thought of all that dust rising from their library shelves is enough to make me sneeze. They do, however, "protest too much".

The Editors of the Record (known affectionately as the "Hacks on the Hackensack") announced that they were closing their main office, firing photographers, and reporters would operate from homes and automobiles by cell phone. This announcement, in the context of falling subscription rates and declining advertising revenues, led to the inevitable observation that the Record is on a course to bankruptcy.

It was a fair point. Newspapers are failing every day. The Record is located in one of the best demographic regions of the nation but has been increasingly marginalized. Its readership is aging and limited to the least educated and lowest economic base of Bergen County. Subscription rates and the County mortality rate are almost exactly equal.

The Record probably would have died anyway but the decision to abandon its role as the staple of suburban living and adopt an angry and mean tone accelerated the larger destructive trends. Newspapers are dying every day but some survive by filling niches. The Star Ledger has become the only credible source of state news while the New York Times and Washington Post have become indispensable as sources of international or national information. The Record decided that it had a role as the mirror of everything that was ugly on the face of its own constituency.

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Poll: Obama has 14 point lead in N.J.

Getty Images PhotoGetty Images Photo
Barack Obama leads John McCain by a 48%-34% margin in New Jersey, according to a Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll released this morning. Without leaners, Obama leads 42%-28%. Among likely voters, Obama leads 50%-36%, including leaners.

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Sailing buddies

Photo courtesy of Steve AyscuePhoto courtesy of Steve Ayscue
Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney and Newark Democratic leader Steve Adubato Sr. take advantage of great weather in Lavalette for a sailing expedition yesterday. 

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Stender to attend DCCC fundraiser in Washington

WASHINGTON -- Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) will be one of the candidates attending a Wednesday evening fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s top “Red to Blue” recruits.

A Stender spokesperson did not provide further details about the event, but a separate Democratic source said that public interest groups, political action committees, and labor and business groups were expected to be in attendance at the fundraiser. The event is set to take place at the Democratic National Committee’s Washington headquarters.

The fundraiser is being bundled with a Thursday DCCC-sponsored training session for House challengers focusing on messaging and rapid response which party leaders and top committee aides are expected to attend. The DCCC held similar sessions in February and May. Stender’s campaign would not say if they would be attending Thursday’s training session.

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The Back Room

McGreevey expresses no desire to be power broker in Newark mayoral race

Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey might remember that former Newark Mayor Sharpe James played a significant role in helping him to get that title. But regarding the highly contentious Newark mayoral race between candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries, McGreevey told PolitickerNJ.com on Thursday that he has no interest in picking a side.  

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 17, 2014

Bergen Dems demand Donovan cancel fundraiser with Christie after unlimited contributions commentsHACKENSACK - Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato called on Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan to cancel a fundraiser scheduled for May 5 with Gov. Chris Christie after he made remarks on allowing unlimited campaign contributions to political...

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Op-Ed

The future of NJ Politics should not be politicians investigating politicians

By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >

Contributors

(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

“The new agenda is charter schools. It’s a profit-making business. $500 million will not be in our hands. The school board is an advisory board. We are not going to tell the governor to unleash the dollars. Don’t be fooled. It’s not abracadabra. It’s politics.” - Paterson Mayor Jeff Jones

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

Who does Alieta Eck want to win the CD12 Democratic Primary?:

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