Councilman Rice believes Rone should stay on council

 Fearing political motivation, Newark Councilman Ronald C. Rice Councilman Ronald Rice: Politicker photoCouncilman Ronald Rice: Politicker photoquestioned the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office decision to ask a Superior Court Judge to remove Councilwoman Dana Rone from office.

"That’s what’s wrong with New Jersey: selective prosecution and selective enforcement of our laws," said Rice. "That’s why other people laugh at us."

Found guilty of obstruction of justice last year after a 2006 traffic stop involving her nephew, Rone appealed in state Superior Court two months ago and lost.

According to the Star-Ledger, Prosecutor Paula Dow now wants the court to enact a state statute requiring officials who have been convicted to forfeit public office. In this case, it means Rone, who ran twice with Team Booker - once in 2002, unsuccessfully; and a second time, successfully, in 2006 - would be gone.

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Against backdrop of denial in Trenton, the potential for movement at the summit

State Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex).: Politicker photoState Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex).: Politicker photo 

Nothing’s ever rock solid in politics, but the top of the Trenton power heap may contain more potential for movement than usual in the lead-up to Statehouse reorganization come January.

Two possible factors include Speaker Joseph Roberts’s (D-Camden) imminent departure from the Assembly, and the possibility that a newly crowned Obama administration would haul former Wall Street guru Gov. Jon Corzine out of New Jersey to crunch numbers in Washington.

In the thicket of this political drama, it’s difficult not to identify Senate President and former Governor Richard Codey (D-Essex) as a protagonist.

"I’m just a kid from Orange," Codey told a packed auditorium in his native Essex County town last month - but he’s also a former governor, who by all appearances liked the job and enjoyed great popularity.

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Roberts 'absolutely' plans to run for Speaker again

Roberts 'absolutely' plans to run for Speaker again

Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden): Politicker photoAssembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden): Politicker photo

BROOKLAWN - South of Camden in a shopping center parking lot on Route 130, under a water tower with the name "Brooklawn" stenciled on it in big letters, amid the donut and pizza shops, stands a lone legislative office.

It’s the headquarters of Speaker Joe Roberts (D-Camden), who, coming off one of the biggest wins of his 21-year career in the Assembly, told he has no intention of leaving Trenton when he’s up for re-election in 2009.

A veteran of ten legislative cycles and Assembly Speaker since 2006, he insists he’s running again.

"Absolutely, I’m ready to go," said Roberts, specifically expressing his desire to seek the Assembly’s top leadership position, for which he had his caucus’s unanimous support when his party reorganized in January.

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Myers challenges Adler to debate affordable housing

Medford Mayor Chris Myers challenged his Democratic congressional opponent, State Sen. John Adler, to a debate over new affordable housing mandates today.

Myers has spent a good chunk of his campaign railing against a recently passed bill that bans regional community agreements, where suburban towns would offload their affordable housing requirements on other towns by paying them fees.

Adler backed the reforms in the legislature.

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Strategic Vision: Corzine job approval at 39%

Strategic Vision: Corzine job approval at 39%

Gov. Jon Corzine: Politicker photoGov. Jon Corzine: Politicker photo

No sitting statewide Democrat enjoys what might be called popularity in public office here in New Jersey, according to a Friday Strategic Vision poll.

But Republicans continue to carry the dead weight numbers registered by President George W. Bush.

Up for re-election next year, the poll shows Gov. Jon Corzine with an upside-down job approval rating of 39/47%, and 14% undecided.

It also shows Bush running out of room before he bottoms out, with just 15% of voters approving of his job performance, 70% disapproving, and 14% undecided.

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In Hoboken, Ramos calls Mason reform cry purely political

At-Large Councilmen Peter Cammarano, left, and Ruben Ramos: Politicker photoAt-Large Councilmen Peter Cammarano, left, and Ruben Ramos: Politicker photo 

At-Large Councilman Ruben Ramos today responded to Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason in a letter in which he addressed the self-styled government watchdog as "Boss Mason."

"As a lifelong member of the Hoboken community, I am appalled that Ms. Mason thinks she can mask her intention to be a political boss, by having the audacity to call herself a reformer," Ramos said of the likely mayoral candidate.

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BCRO tries not to be its own worst enemy

Over the last decade, Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferrerio has consolidated power with help from a group of unlikely allies: The Bergen County Republican Organization.

Ferriero developed a fundraising machine and got most of his party in lock step behind him.  But bickering and internal disputes in the GOP hurt that party’s ability to provide a counterweight, as did anemic fundraising. 

Bob Yudin, who was elected as county chairman last month, hopes to change that. 

“Since the day I was elected, I have been reaching out,” said Yudin.  “In my acceptance speech and every day I reach out and try to counsel people.  We have to stop the fighting, we have to work together, and it has been effective to some degree already.” 

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The Back Room

Passaic County Building and Construction Trades Council backs Sayegh in Paterson Mayor's race

The Passaic County Building and Construction Trades Council today endorsed Andre Sayegh for Mayor citing his effective leadership, efforts to combat crime, and promotion of business and overall economic development in the City of Paterson.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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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 >


(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

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop



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