Sensing opportunity, Schaffer tears into Somerset

Sensing opportunity, Schaffer tears into Somerset
Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer, local races

MARTINSVILLE – It looks like a joke at first or at least an appropriate back burner relegation for the Somerset County Democratic Party, which sits under a pizza parlor facing away from the road.

They don’t dominate here, haven’t for years, and that’s an understatement, but the little storefront plastered over with Democratic Party campaign signs belies the internal workings of what new party chair Peg Schaffer sees as a movement.

“I forgot how to practice law,” says Schaffer, sporting a “McBush” button and gulping coffee as she surveys headquarters where two dozen campaign workers stay on the phones.

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Lance: the proof is on the ballot

Lance: the proof is on the ballot

KENILWORTH – Yesterday, Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan challenged a room full of Linda Stender supporters to name a legislative accomplishment by Leonard Lance, and called the state Senator “as partisan as they come. Independent my ass!”

Responding to Cryan before his own, more low key rally tonight, Lance named a recent legislative accomplishment he said was also bipartisan: putting the “Lance Amendment” on Tuesday’s ballot.

“It couldn’t have gotten through the legislature without Democratic support,” he said. “It has been endorsed by Governor Corzine, and it’s one of my proudest accomplishments in the legislature. Number one it’s an accomplishment, and number two it’s a bipartisan accomplishment.”

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Somerset GOP digs in to defend territory

Somerset GOP digs in to defend territory
Somerset County GOP Chairman Dale Florio

SOMERSET – Field general Dale Florio goes over the numbers again in Somerset County Republican Party headquarters.  He doesn’t appear overly confident but he believes his party can comfortably fend off the other side, which is making a big play here in a presidential year when their national ticket has a double digit lead in New Jersey.

In the next room, three volunteers work the phones as pedestrians blow in from Main Street and pick up handfuls of “McCain-Palin” lawn signs.

“I’ve been pleased with the energy level – that energy surge close to Election Day,” says Florio, Republican Party county chair, looking up from his desk. “You’d have figured with the war, the economy and the last eight years that we’d have less excitement, but McCain is his own man. Quite frankly, with the Obama campaign’s focus elsewhere, it’s taken the Democrats’ focus away from New Jersey.”

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Ruiz one of several 'excellent' Lt. Governor possibilities, says Menendez

Ruiz one of several 'excellent' Lt. Governor possibilities, says Menendez
State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex)

JERSEY CITY - Asked about state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) as a potential candidate for lieutenant governor, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Hoboken) said he liked the idea.

"She is one of several people in our party who would be an excellent candidate," Menendez told PolitickernJ.com at an Obama rally on Saturday. "It's the governor's decision ultimately, of course, and I do not envy him, because there are numerous qualified people."

Other potential lieutenant governor candidates among the Democrats include Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).

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Allen will vote straight Republican

Much has been made of State Sen. Diane Allen’s (R-Burlington) lack of involvement in the tight 3rd Congressional race, where Republican Medford Mayor Chris Myers is running against State Sen. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill).

But while Allen is much more committed to State Sen. Leonard Lance’s (R-Flemington) Congressional race, which is far outside of her district, she said today that she’s still voting for Myers, and even personally donated $250 to him within the last week or two.

“I have sat down with [Myers] and any time he asked me any questions on strategy and along those lines I gave him my best bit of information,” she said.

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Codey to campaign with Shulman in Hoboken

Codey to campaign with Shulman in Hoboken
Senate President Dick Codey (D-Essex)

The campaign of 5th District Congressional candidate Dennis Shulman is bringing in state Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) to campaign on Monday during evening rush hour in Hoboken.

Codey and Shulman will work the platforms of those trains bound for 5th District destinations, according to Shulman spokesman Jeffrey Hauser.

"NJ-5 lacks a lot of the prototypical retail opportunities, that's why we're big on football games, soccer tourneys and Halloween parades," Hauser said.

Shulman is running against U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage).

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Rone works the Central Ward streets with underdog mother

Rone works the Central Ward streets with underdog mother
Mary, left, and former Councilwoman Dana Rone

 NEWARK – Spackled over with “Fight the Power” signs, the sedan cruises up 14th Avenue, and Georgia Maye Ransome’s voice sounds on the intercom, urging residents to get out there for the Rone ticket on Election Day. 

At the wheel of the car sits candidate Mary Rone, longtime community activist and mother of former Councilwoman Dana Rone, whom an assignment judge stripped of her Central Ward Council seat in August after concluding that Rone used her office to try to obstruct justice in a Dec. 2006 traffic incident.

Fifteen people, including her mother, vie to replace Dana Rone in a special election come Tuesday. There were originally 16 candidates but city job counselor Marcell Robinson dropped out of the race and now backs Rone.  

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 2nd

Campaign season now under way in Bergen County Politics is practiced year-round in Bergen County, and street-level campaigning has been going on quietly all summer. But both Republicans and Democrats say the Rutherford Street Fair on Labor Day signals a more intense phase of electioneering. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record) http://www.northjersey.com/news/campaign-season-now-under-way-in-bergen-county-1.1079080  ...

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Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Governor Christie ripped President Obama this summer for failing to carve out some time during a Texas fundraising swing to visit the Mexican border, where the unprecedented flood of immigrant children from Central America had reached a crisis point. ...Yet Christie is not squeezing in a tour of the troubled border during his own three-day trade and diplomatic mission to Mexico, which is set to begin on Wednesday. The governor is planning a series of meetings with Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto and the finance and energy ministers." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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Governor Chris Christie's trip to Mexico...:

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