Myers continues to needle Adler on slush fund

On Friday, Republican Medford Mayor Chris Myers asked his Democratic 3rd District Congressional opponent, State Sen. John Adler, whether he ever received funds from a controversial legislative slush fund.

Frustrated at what he saw as a non-answer, Myers reiterated the question today.

“I called on John Adler to come clean on his potential involvement in this scam last week, and the silence was deafening,” said Myers in a press release today. “Adler owes the taxpayers of New Jersey – and in particular the 3rd Congressional District – an answer as to whether or not he was involved in this massive abuse of taxpayer dollars. A list of individual legislators – Democrat and Republican – who were involved in this scam, and the pet projects they funded should be released for public review immediately. The way politicians in Trenton abuse their power and our tax dollars is despicable and the ones involved should all be held to account immediately.”

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Merkt calls on Christie to investigate grant program

They may face each other in a gubernatorial primary election next year, but for now Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) wants U.S. Attorney Chris Christie activated for a common purpose.

Tired of lobbying state channels and getting no results, Merkt today called on Christie to investigate a grant program that appears to have been "nothing more than a political pork slush fund for certain Democratic legislators," in Merkt’s words.

"We need to know what legislators, in addition to (former state Sen. Wayne Bryant D-Camden) had control of these funds, where they directed those funds, and whether they benefitted from the recipients," said Merkt, who’s probing a run for governor next year. "The U.S. Attorney now needs to look into the entire scope of this program to see whether there is wrongdoing that extends beyond Mr. Bryant’s actions."

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McCain's NJ campaign: 'We're here and plan to stay'

If the McCain campaign’s decision to end operations in Michigan doesn’t exactly produce a rush of new resource opportunities in New Jersey, McCain at least does not intend to fold up his Garden State headquarters, according to spokesman Peter Feldman.

"Obviously as we move closer to Election Day, the campaign is making strategic decisions about limited resources and taking a closer look at the electoral map," said the Woodbridge-based Feldman. "The McCain campaign continues to fight for New Jersey’s 15 electoral votes, which are still up for grabs.

"With resources coming out of Michigan, we expect more attention on the traditional battleground states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, but also other states like Maine and New Jersey," the spokesman added.

This weekend, McCain campaign volunteers focused their phone-banking efforts on the town of Bayonne, where a fiercely contested mayoral election features two Democratic candidates who repeatedly remind people it’s a nonpartisan municipal election, after all, and who won’t publicly endorse Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.).

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Informal radio poll has Capuana in the lead in Passaic mayor's race

The Dominican radio station Caliente, which broadcasts in the City of Passaic on 92.3 FM, released the results of an informal poll the station says was conducted with calls from 226 participants in Passaic regarding the mayoral race.

The results with less than a month until Election Day: 30.53 percent for city super Vinny Capuana; 22.12 percent for Dr. Alex Blanco; 21.68 percent for real estate developer Jose Sandoval; 19.03 percent for Councilman Joe Garcia; and 6.54 percent for bailbondsman Carl Ellen.

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Greek Americans bring Obama acolyte to Edison

Illinois State Treasurer Alexi GiannouliasIllinois State Treasurer Alexi GiannouliasDemocratic Party operative Zenon Christodoulou on Sunday welcomed Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias to Edison to campaign for presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.).

Statewide director of Greeks for Obama, Christodoulou described the 32-year old Giannoulias as a personal friend and protegee of Obama's, and a rising star on the national political scene who spoke at the Democratic National Convention. 

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) joined Giannoulias at Pine’s Manor to talk to 100 prominent members of New Jersey’s Greek community, which numbers between 80,000 and 120,000, Christodoulou said.

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Zimmer and Lance tag team in Summit

Zimmer and Lance tag team in Summit

Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) in Summit on Friday.: Politicker photoSen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) in Summit on Friday.: Politicker photoSUMMIT - Coming off a train station rally here for presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer and state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) convened a town hall meeting at the high school, where they brandished their fiscally conservative credentials in a room of about 50 voters.

Now in a race with Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) to represent the 7th Congressional District, Lance the veteran legislator underscored his tenacity fighting bloated government, including the administration of disgraced former Gov. Jim McGreevey.Former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer addresses voters in the Summit High School Library as GOP organizer Kelly Hatfield looks on: Politicker photoFormer U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer addresses voters in the Summit High School Library as GOP organizer Kelly Hatfield looks on: Politicker photo

"I am the ‘Lance’ of Lance versus McGreevey," the senator said of his suit against the former administration to curb borrowing to balance the state budget.

The New Jersey Supreme Court in 2004 allowed McGreevey to borrow $1.9 billion, or nearly 7 percent of what was then a $28 billion budget, but forbade the governor from borrowing in the future.

Talking to Summit voters Friday evening in the high school library, Lance took pride too in noting how his proposed Constitutional amendment to ban borrowing without voter approval will appear on the Nov. 4th ballot.

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Kean: time for answers in slush fund case

State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union): Politicker photoState Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union): Politicker photoSUMMIT - As far back as 2004, Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union) recalls himself and others - state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon), then Assemblyman Kevin O'Toole (R-Cedar Grove) among them - complaining about the lack of transparency in the way legislators obtained money for projects in their respective districts.

Now on the heels of George LeBlanc’s testimony in the corruption trial of former Sen. Wayne Bryant (D-Camden) in which the Senate budget officer highlighted how legislators in 2004 and 2005 siphoned money from a dedicated $40 million property tax relief fund, Kean wants answers.

"The next step is to get our hands around what occurred," the senator told PolitickerNJ.com. "Who was spending and what was being spent? The most important thing now is to expose to the light of day what was happening - expose the process.

"We're talking about a system in which information was being held not just from the public but from other members of the Legislature, a system that resulted in massive overspending with no oversight, which made New Jersey more unaffordable, in which members of the (Codey) administration were complicit."

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The Back Room

Christie takes state helicopter to campaign in Connecticut

Gov. Chris Christie took the "upper level" -- helicoptering over the George Washington Bridge -- to beat rush hour traffic from his home state to a recent GOP fundraiser with Connecticut gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, according to a Hearst Media report.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

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Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(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 »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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