Union ratifies new contract; Star-Ledger appears to be saved

The Newspaper and Mail Deliverers' Union voted overwhelmingly, 161 to 6, today to ratify a new labor agreement with The Star-Ledger -- a vote that is expected to help the state's largest daily newspaper avoid closure or sale.  Last July, publisher George Arwady said the Star-Ledger and the Trenton Times would be sold or closed unless 200 employees accepted buyouts and two unions agreed to new contracts.  All three of Arwady's demands have reportedly been met. 

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U.S. Attorney's Office issues subpoena to Passaic mayoral candidate Ellen

U.S. Attorney's Office issues subpoena to Passaic mayoral candidate Ellen

 

Mayoral candidate Carl Ellen: Politicker file photoMayoral candidate Carl Ellen: Politicker file photo 

PASSAIC - Mayoral candidate Carl Ellen received a subpoena today from the office of U.S. Attorney Chris Christie to answer questions about a bribe he told the Herald News someone offered him if he would get out of the race, the candidate this evening confirmed to PolitickerNJ.com.

Ellen said he is scheduled to appear in Christie’s office tomorrow. The subpoena came following Ellen’s refusal to answers questions when pressed by local police authorities about who offered him $25,000 to withdraw from the contest.

A local bailbondsman, Ellen is running against city super Vinny Capuana, Dr. Alex Blanco, real estate developer Jose Sandoval and City Councilman Joe Garcia to succeed jailed former Mayor Sammy Rivera.

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Zimmer heads to Lautenberg's train station

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer today held a press conference at the train station that bears incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s name, calling the massive project a billion dollar waste of taxpayer money.

“Welcome to the most extravagant and most wasteful stop on the New Jersey Transit system, the Frank R. Lautenberg Train Station. This $1.4 billion vanity project epitomizes the bankruptcy of Frank Lautenberg’s brand of pork-barrel politics. So it’s entirely appropriate that he had it named after himself,” said Zimmer in a statement.

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New bill aims to tighten legislative reporting requirements

A number group of legislator from both sides of the aisle today outlined a new bill that would force legislators to disclose exactly how much money they or their relatives have earned through public jobs and no-bid contracts.

The bill, known as the Legislators Financial Transparency and Accountability Act, is being touted as one of the first to come out of Gov. Corzine’s highly publicized reform package. 

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Republicans link Adler, Stender to budget slush fund

With less than a month before voters go to the polls in the hyper-competitive 3rd and 7th congressional districts, Republicans unleashed what is likely to be their theme for the remainder of the campaign: tying Democratic State Sen. John Adler and Assemblywoman Linda Stender to a controversial program that they characterize as a slush fund.

Medford Mayor Chris Myers, who's running against Adler in the 3rd District, stood with Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson and provided documentation that Adler and Stender both helped municipalities in their districts apply for the Property Tax Assistance and Community Developments grants program - known to insiders as the "MAC account" - that were not publicized beforehand, and were allegedly handed out in a non-transparent way.

Myers alleged that Adler - contrary to his denial that he had any influence over the way the funds were used - was belied by letters written by the Haddonfield borough administrator, the Haddon Township police chief and the Cherry Hill mayor, who all wrote that they were made aware of available grant money from the program through Adler's office.

"Welcome to John Adler's Trenton. It's a culture of corruption," said Myers. "I was just appalled - I'm not a creature of Trenton. I'm a small town mayor."

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FDU: Obama at 50%, leads McCain by 13 points

FDU: Obama at 50%, leads McCain by 13 points

The race for New Jersey's fifteen electoral votes is no longer close, with Barack Obama leading John McCain 50%-37%, according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released today.  A September FDU poll showed Obama with a six point lead.

“To be competitive in New Jersey, McCain needed to make a strong play for voters dissatisfied with the results of the Democratic primary.  That simply has not happened.” ” said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and a survey analyst for the PublicMind poll. "(Vice presidential candidate Sarah) Palin, rather than providing either reassurance or consistency for the Republican message, has provided the political equivalent of a roller coaster ride. It’s a lot of excitement but not something you want to experience all the time.”

The poll shows that Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton over Obama in the February 5 New Jersey primary are just as likely as other Democrats to be voting for Obama. Voters who said Palin is a good choice for vice-president declined to 34% from 47% in early September. Those saying Palin is not a good choice increased to 54% from 34% in early September.

Obama has a double-digit lead even though voters are  almost twice as likely to say that McCain (53%) rather than Obama (27%) has the background and experience necessary to be president. Obama trumps McCain by a two-to-one margin on the question of which candidate understands the needs of average people.

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The Back Room

U.S. Attorney Fishman on Bridgegate investigation: probe has to be "done right"

NEWARK - U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman laughed and exclaimed "So close!" when asked by a member of the press about the ongoing federal investigation into the September 2013 George Washington Bridge access lane closure incident, a.k.a. the Bridgegate scandal, at a Tuesday press conference in downtown Newark. Then Fishman soberly addressed the progress his office has made. 

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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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