Soto faces additional bribery and corruption charges in Passaic


More trouble in the City of Passaic tonight, as a federal grand jury returned a 23-count superseding indictment that adds additional bribery and extortion charges to the corruption indictment returned against former Passaic Councilman Jonathan Soto, according to U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie.

On Jan. 30, the U.S. Attorney’s office named Soto in a 15-count indictment, charging him with extortion, bribery, conspiracy, and attempted drug possession in connection with his alleged acceptance of $22,000 in exchange for his influence on local government contracts.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, today’s superseding indictment adds eight counts of bribery and attempted extortion.

These counts allege that "Soto accepted or solicited corrupt payments on behalf of himself and other public officials in Passaic."

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Republicans go all out after McGettigan

Republicans go all out after McGettigan

Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis today filed a complaint against Sheriff Jim McGettigan at the Egg Harbor Township Municipal Court, charging that McGettigan accepted wheeled-in money from the Atlantic County Democratic Committee last year after the county passed an ordinance banning wheeling.

Davis said that, since McGettigan accepted $11,552 from the county party after it had taken over-the-limit donations from two labor groups after the ordinance’s November 2, 2007 effective date, McGettigan should have been barred from accepting any money from his own party.

“We had the toughest pay to play and anti-wheeling ordinance in the state of New Jersey,” Davis told while on his way to a press conference announcing the complaint. “It was adopted unanimously and in a bipartisan manner.”

McGettigan characterized the charge as desperate and pathetic. First of all, he said, the accusation is baseless – that the county law only applied to those who have the authority to make contacts. He can only approve contracts with the co-signatures of the county executive and county counsel. Moreover, he said, the Democrats plan to challenge the validity of the law, which was passed by a freeholder board that the Democrats narrowly controlled.

“This so-called legislation that was passed in Atlantic County will be challenged in court. We will prevail,” said McGettigan.

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Shulman and Garrett raise equally in 3rd quarter

The fundraising race is neck-and-neck in the 5th Congressional District, where Democratic challenger Dennis Shulman raised almost exactly as much money as incumbent Scott Garrett (R-Wantage).

Shulman raised $274,231.85 last quarter to Garrett’s $276,589. That brings Shulman’s total raised so far to $823,462, and Garrett’s to $1,259,604.

Shulman also kicked in $50,000 of his own money into the race.

Garrett does have a larger war chest remaining, however, with $570,777 on hand to Shulman’s $279,096.

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Romney for Lance, Hoyer for Stender

In the 7th District, Leonard Lance and Linda Stender both brought the heavy hitters in today.

Lance had a fundraising luncheon this afternoon with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who yesterday raised money for Lance's 3rd District counterpart, Chris Myers.

Stender is having a diner sit down in Woodbridge with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who’s made at least three trips to New Jersey this election cycle, campaigning for for Stender, 3rd District Democratic candidate John Adler and 5th District candidate Dennis Shulman.

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Codeword: Machiavelli

BCRO debuts "Corruption Tax" ad

The Bergen County Republicans promised to raise the specter of indicted Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero a campaign issue, and they’ve done so, tying alleged corruption within the party to higher taxes in a new campaign commercial called “Corruption Tax.”

The advertisement, which was produced by the Bergen County Republican Organization, shows someone wearing an FBI jacket in front of a giant Bergen Record headline about Ferriero’s indictment on eight corruption counts last month.

In front of a pile of cash are pictures of Democratic incumbents Bernadette McPherson, David Ganz and Vernon Walton.

“Party boss Joe Ferriero gave them millions. They did what he told them. The Democrats raised spending $133 million,” says the narrator. “Waste. Abuse. Patronage. Now Ferriero is indicted for corruption. Higher taxes plus corrupt government equals corruption taxes. You pay.”

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New Jerseyans have little faith in government

New Jerseyans have little confidence in the workings of state and local government, according to a Monmouth University/Gannett poll released today.

“The vast majority of New Jerseyans have come to the conclusion that the government in Trenton is broken,” said pollster Patrick Murray.

The poll found that only 1-in-10 Garden State residents feel that state and local government works well enough in its current state.  Twenty-one percent thinks it only needs minor improvement, while the whopping majority – 64% -- think that in order for government to improve, it needs a major overhaul.

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The Back Room

Names on the LD7 GOP bench

In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 29th

  Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership JERSEY CITY – And then there were three. That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve...

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The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... 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

"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."

- The New York Times


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