Pennacchio calls on GOP state chairman to resign

Pennacchio calls on GOP state chairman to resign
State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville)

Citing the need for the state party to follow the national party’s lead and start renewing itself, state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) today called on Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson to resign.

“Soon we will have a new spokesperson leading our RNC. It is imperative that New Jersey Republicans waste no time in following suit,” he said in a press release this morning. “Our recent overwhelming losses reinforce the urgent need to change leadership and create a new direction with a purpose and direction for our party.”

Pennacchio, a dentist by trade, has been publicly critical of his party’s leadership ever since they refused to back his U.S. senate bid, instead running through a series of potential choices before settling on Goya heir Andy Unanue and ultimately former Rep. Dick Zimmer. Pennacchio has publicly seethed about the perceived slight, giving up his delegate spot at the Republican National Convention because he didn’t want to “party with the party leaders” who he felt pushed him aside. But up to this point Pennacchio has kept his criticism vague, refusing to single anyone out by name.

"One can argue that Mr. Wilson has put forth his best effort. I disagree. Regardless, it is not efforts but results that we must hold our State Chairman to,” said Pennacchio “Continued losses over his tenure and lack of a unified message of purpose and direction leads to the reasonable conclusion that immediate leadership change is warranted and necessary."

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Bramnick backs Christie for governor; urges GOP to use Lance as a model

Bramnick backs Christie for governor; urges GOP to use Lance as a model
Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), left, campaigns last year in Atlantic County with Assemblyman John Amodeo (R-Margate) and Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor).

Raging moderate state Sen. Leonard Lance’s (R-Hunterdon) victory should serve as a lesson to every downtrodden member of the GOP as the party tries to shake off tough losses from the Nov. 4th election, argues Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). 

The pro-choice Republican believes his party gets into trouble when it tries to use the chambers of government to lecture taxpayers about how to behave in their personal lives. 

“The minute you preach morality, you’re done,” Bramnick said. “That sold after Monica Lewinsky, but frankly, I’m offended by it.” 

Bramnick, who’s flirted with going statewide in recent years and emerged as an early favorite to pursue the 7th District Congressional seat Lance just won before standing down, said regardless of the national party's strategies, Republicans in New Jersey shouldn’t run on family values.  

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Spadea: Crowley decision won't hinge on Christie's plans

Spadea: Crowley decision won't hinge on Christie's plans
John Crowley entertains the New Jersey GOP on the Mississippi River at the Republican National Convention this summer.

Biotech businessman John Crowley of Princeton hasn’t yet made a decision about whether he will run for governor, but his chief political confidante makes it clear that Crowley will make a decision as his own man and not based on party politics. 

“I will say that any decision John makes has nothing to do with Chris Christie,” said Bill Spadea, president of Building a New Majority, a grassroots GOP organization Spadea started with Crowley earlier this year. 

The core of the Republican establishment in New Jersey wants Christie, the retiring U.S. Attorney, to go against Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009.

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Why is Levine running?

Why is Levine running?
Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine is considering a bid for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2009

Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine is thinking about getting in the race for the Republican nomination for Governor, and he's won twice in a heavily Democratic town. Levine is supposed to be smart, hardworking, and a pretty good retail campaigner. But few pundits think the obscure certified public accountant from Somerset County can win a statewide primary.

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Andrews won't rule out future statewide bid

Andrews won't rule out future statewide bid

Rob Andrews will return for his eleventh term in Congress next year, and after losing two statewide races, it's unclear whether the last will be the final one.

Andrews ran a close second in the 1997 Democratic gubernatorial primary against James E. McGreevey, was passed over to succeed Gov. Corzine in the Senate, and mounted a primary challenge against incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg this year, only to lose by 25 percentage points. But despite those three dispiriting defeats, he still won't rule out the possibility of another statewide run some day, and prefers not to speculate on whether the last one hurt his prospects.

"That's really not for me to decide. That's for voters to decide and leaders of the party," said Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) in a phone interview yesterday.

Political insiders acknowledge that there are a thousand lives in politics, but see Andrews's defeat as being particularly hard to crawl back from - and not just because of the lopsided margin.

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Hooker named new NJN anchor

Hooker named new NJN anchor
Jim Hooker

State House Correspondent Jim Hooker will succeed Kent Manahan as anchor of NJN News effective January 2009, according to Michael Aron, interim director of NJN News and Public Affairs. 

“After careful deliberation and consultation, I am pleased to name Jim Hooker as anchor of NJN News Aron announced. “Jim is a seasoned journalist with deep background in the issues and politics of the state and credibility in the state capitol. He has represented NJN nationally and abroad, and at forums around the state. He brings weight and years of experience to the anchor chair. Jim also will be managing editor of the news and will be influential in the overall direction and tone of the newscast.”

“As NJN News State House correspondent, Jim Hooker brings two decades of award-winning reporting to build on the legacy that Kent Manahan has established as anchor,” said Elizabeth Christopherson, executive director of NJN Public Television and Radio. “We are delighted to recognize other members of the NJN award-winning team: Mike Curtis, the current producer of NJN News, who has been promoted to executive producer, and Peggy Micucci, assignment editor, who will be executive editor.”

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DaBronzo gets 30 months in prison

A former business agent of Local 89 of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers of the United States and Canada today received 30 months in federal prison for embezzling approximately $829,000 from Local 89 and one of its employee benefit funds, according to U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie.

John DaBronzo, 57, of Hamilton Square, got the news from U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano, who also also ordered DaBronzo to make restitution in the amount of $829,763.

Awaiting a prison assignement, DaBronzo is free on bail. 

He pleaded guilty on June 16 to embezzling approximately $396,000 from the checking account of Local 89 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Fund while he was the administrator of the fund; and for embezzling approximately $433,000 in remittance checks received from employers having collective bargaining agreements with Local 89.

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The Back Room

Christie campaigns in New Hampshire

When asked in New Hamsphire today about whether he was considering a presidential run in 2016, Gov. Chris Christie said he wouldn’t discuss his plans until after November.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 18th

Guv prospects Fulop and Sweeney add voices to Silva, Stack and striking 1199 SEIU workers UNION CITY – They tried out their blue collar tough guy tonsils today in front of a purple-shirted crowd of striking healthcare workers – two of three as-yet-undeclared Democratic candidates for governor: Jersey City...

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Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... 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

“Clearly there’s some resemblance with Theodore Roosevelt. That direct confrontational style of leadership.” - historian Doris Hearns Goodwin, referring to Gov. Chris Christie.

- The Times of Trenton


Who would make the best running mate for Chris Christie if he lands the GOP nomination for president?:


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