Obama campaign sending volunteers into Pa. this weekend

Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Il.) New Jersey operations employ 25 full-time staffers to man the ground game here and harness volunteers in the lead-up to and in the hours of Election Day.

But with the Democratic presidential candidate now leading Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 13 points in the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University poll and Pennsylvania still a battleground, N.J. for Obama plans to dispatch volunteers across the state’s western border this weekend as part of a coordinated voter registration drive.

“This weekend the Obama New Jersey Campaign for Change will test the strength of our ground operation in preparation for Election Day by launching a Countdown to Change Voter Contact Weekend,” said Obama campaign spokesman Andrew Poag. "The operation will unleash two separate teams of New Jersey volunteers. Team Fired Up and Team Ready to Go.

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McCain's New Jersey Democrats

WOODBRIDGE -- John McCain’s New Jersey campaign today rolled out three Garden State Democrats who are backing the Republican presidential candidate. It’s evidence, they say, that despite Barack Obama’s double-digit lead in the polls, “The Maverick” is making inroads with the state’s traditionally Democratic voters -- even if at least two of the Democrats they showed off today already voted Republican in the last presidential election.

At McCain’s regional headquarters in Woodbridge, former Real Estate Commission Executive Director Dawn Rafferty – a self-described life-long Democrat who served under Governors McGreevey and Codey -- said that she fears for her children’s future if Barack Obama is elected president. She was joined at the press conference by the voice of her mother, former Secretary of State Joan Haberly, who endorsed McCain via speakerphone while on a business trip in Las Vegas.

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Burlington versus Trenton in 3rd District showdown

Trying to get disentangled from a corruption trial narrative that has put Democrats on the run these last two weeks, state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) trained his sights on the Republican-engineered Burlington County Bridge Commission scandal, and urged his GOP rival in the 3rd District Congressional race to demand a return of $2.7 million in taxpayer dollars pilfered during that more local example of government gone bad.

“When it comes to rooting out corruption in Burlington County, (Medford Mayor) Chris Myers is nowhere to be found," said Mark Warren, Adler's campaign manager. "His silence is deafening."

The Adler campaign charged that Myers has kept his mouth shut on the issue despite the conviction of a lobbyist who was found guilty of over-billing the commission by $2.7 million. The convicted lobbyist, Robert Stears, headed a Trenton lobbying firm in which Tom Wilson, chair of the state Republican Party, was also a partner.

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Menendez to stump for Obama in Florida

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) is scheduled to board a flight to Florida today and will be there until tomorrow campaigning for presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.), according to Democratic sources.

Menendez was in Nashville on Tuesday and took part in multiple nationally televised interviews at the second presidential debate.

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Tornoe's Toons: Worst debate ever!

To view a larger version of this cartoon, click here.

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FDU poll: Corzine remains lukewarm with voters

FDU poll: Corzine remains lukewarm with voters

Gov. Jon Corzine continues to struggle to win the approval of New Jersey votersGov. Jon Corzine continues to struggle to win the approval of New Jersey voters
Voters' feelings on Gov. Jon Corzine remain tepid, although they've slightly improved, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released this morning.

Corzine’s approval rating stands at 45%, while 39% of respondents disapprove of the way he’s handled his job. 17% are unsure or mixed. 40% of voters have a favorable opinion of the Governor, while 43% are unfavorable.

Only 23% of voters think the state is heading in the right direction – the same number that FDU found last month.

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Dems to the GOP: 'You can't have it both ways'

In response to Republican criticism of the way Democrats ran theSenate President Richard Codey (D-Essex): Politicker file photoSenate President Richard Codey (D-Essex): Politicker file photo state Property Tax Assistance and Community Development account, Democratic Party Chairman Joe Cryan and state Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) tonight tried to staunch the bleeding.

The Democrats took a series of GOP hits this week in the aftermath of state budget officer George LeBlanc’s courtroom testimony that former Gov. Codey’s administration applied no oversight to the way the state distributed $40 million supposedly dedicated to property tax relief.

The Democrats argue that Republicans want to act holier than thou, while they were knee-deep in the same slush fund that Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Troy Hills-Parsippany) said was not a "merit-based, competitive grant awards system as claimed by the McGreevey and Codey administrations."

"Every grant from the program was approved by the Joint Budget and Oversight Committee (JBOC), which included Republican Senator Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) and Republican Assemblyman Joe Malone (R-Bordentown)," objected Cryan in a prepared statement. "Each member of JBOC had to approve the grants, a process that included notification and approval by Sen. Lance and Assemblyman Malone."

Assessing what they say was a fund that over two years added up to $128 million, Republicans say they wanted and requested JBOC meetings, however, the meetings did not take place after the majority party waited out the ten-day period deadline.

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The Back Room

Stung in NY, Astorino says Christie should think about stepping down as RGA chair

Dissed by Gov. Chris Christie, New York Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Christie should consider stepping down from his post as chairman of the Republican Governors Assocation.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 23rd

Between RGA gigs, Christie doesn't skip a beat bashing Trenton Dems at seaside LGI town hall LONG BEACH ISLAND – Gov. Chris Christie squeezed LBI between trips to IowaNew HampshireConnecticut and – tomorrow – Colorado – just long enough to puncture his favorite Trenton-based targets in front of a...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups.  But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >

Contributors

(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 »
New Jersey 2014 Primary Day Recap (6/4/14) - By the numbers. Worth the read for those interested in GOTV targeting and ballot position logistics.... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“We lived up to our end of the bargain. He didn’t live up to his end of the deal.” - Ed Connolly, president of the New Jersey Firemen’s Benevolent Association.

- The Bergen Record

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