James awaits sentencing in Newark

Sentencing of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James is underway this morning at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building, where James hopes to avoid the maximum sentencing for fraud.

U.S. District Judge William Martini specified in his opening exchanges with prosecutors that James’s ex-girlfriend, Tamika Riley, successfully rehabilitated city housing properties in question, and the taxpayers experienced no financial loss.

But financial loss is not the issue, said the judge.

"There was a fraud here, and it involved (Ms. Riley) obtaining properties without knowledge by the public," Martini said. "...The failure of the mayor to disclose his relationship with Tamika Reilly is a deprivation of public services."

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Being Barack Obama

What position currently held by Barack Obama will John McCain switch to next week?

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Corzine joins Obama for economic summit

WASHINGTON - JULY 28: Presumed Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) meets with some of his top economic advisors including (L-R) SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, Citi Group Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee Robert Rubin and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine at the Omni Shoreham hotel July 28, 2008 in Washington, DC. Obama called the two-hour meeting to discuss the current economic situation in the United States, including high gasoline prices and the collapse of the mortgage market. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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In Orange, Hawkins sticks to two public salaries - instead of three

ORANGE - Battling criticism, Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., today backed down from receiving a $25,000 mayor’s salary on top of his existing salary as fire director, according to spokeswoman Linda Cofer Hawkins.

That thins Hawkins’s public salary to $79,700 for his jobs as fire director ($76,000) and emergency management coordinator ($3,700).

In a statement, the newly sworn-in mayor acknowledged the negative response caused by his initial designs on a $104,700 annual salary.

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Sources: Lesniak, Cryan were supicious of Cohen for previous pornography incident

Sources: Lesniak, Cryan were supicious of Cohen for previous pornography incident

The Office of Legislative Services investigated pornography on Neil Cohen's office computer last yearThe Office of Legislative Services investigated pornography on Neil Cohen's office computer last year
Former Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Roselle) was suspected of harboring pornography on his district legislative office's computer system a year before he was allegedly caught with child pornography last week, according to several sources familiar with the Cohen investigation.

According to those sources, pornographic images - which did not appear to include children - were found on computers in the District 20 legislative office about one year ago. Although Cohen's office mates - state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union) - suspected that the images came from Cohen, they could not prove it.

The sources also said that Lesniak and Cryan notified the non-partisan state Office of Legislative Services and asked them to investigate the matter.

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Following judge's ruling, Hawkins will remain Orange party chair

 Superior Court Judge Donald Goldman today dismissed a challenge by Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.: Politicker photoMayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.: Politicker photoNorth Ward Councilwoman Tency Eason, who had tried to declare void results of the June 9th Orange Democratic County Committee election in Orange. 

Eason lost the election to then Mayor-elect Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., by a vote of 15 to 14.

In a statement, Mayor Hawkins said he would continue to serve as chair of the county committee as a consequence of Goldman’s decision.

"I am pleased that the court has reaffirmed my election as Orange Democratic Chairman," said the mayor. "Now that the leadership question has been clarified, I invite Ms. Eason to work alongside me and other active Orange Democrats to elect Barack Obama as our next President."

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DOJ report finds wrongdoing under Gonzales

On the national news front, an internal Justice Department report concluded that politics illegally influenced the hiring of immigration judges and career prosecutors while Alberto Gonzales was Attorney General.

The report pointed much of the blame at Gonzales, although it blamed the specific wrongdoing on aides Monica Goodling, the former White House liaison, and former Gonzales chief of staff  Kyle Sampson. 

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The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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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 >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... 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 »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.

- PolitickerNJ.com


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