Allen: retirement rumors untrue

State Sen. Diane Allen, recovering from pneumonia that has sidelined her for much of the year, says she has no plans to retireState Sen. Diane Allen, recovering from pneumonia that has sidelined her for much of the year, says she has no plans to retireState Sen. Diane Allen set the record straight today, denying rumors that she’s considering retirement due to health issues.

“There is no truth to that. Absolutely not,” said Allen in a phone interview this morning.

Allen has been suffering through a severe bout of pneumonia for most of the year, which has left her unable to attend some legislative sessions, including recent ones on the budget. It also kept her from considering a U.S. Senate bid earlier this year after she was courted by party leaders to replace Anne Evans Estabrook, who pulled out of the race after suffering a minor stroke.

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Amid overtones of older wars, Corzine not sweating absence of Obama state director

Amid overtones of older wars, Corzine not sweating absence of Obama state director

Gov. Jon Corzine today in Newark: Politicker photoGov. Jon Corzine today in Newark: Politicker photo

NEWARK - It’s less than four months until Election Day and the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il) still does not have a New Jersey state director.

"It’s not a problem," Gov. Jon Corzine insisted today in the Ironbound, a sentiment echoed by Obama backers who point out that there are nine paid staffers operating in New Jersey right now, and that fewer than six states are equipped with directors at this point.

"I’ve been in contact with the Obama campaign," the governor told PolitickerNJ.com. "They can make up their minds and come to their decision. Until (last) Friday they hadn’t talked to the people (candidates)."

The favorites for the New Jersey job remain Bob Decheine, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9); and Patricia A. Mueller, chief of staff for the New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters, whose interfacing entrenchments unavoidably suggest that old political divide between north and south Jersey.

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Rasmussen: Obama lead over McCain down to 5% in New Jersey poll

Sen. John McCain's lead over Sen. Barack Obama is down to 5% in New Jersey, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll issued this evening.

The telephone survey of New Jersey voters, taken Monday night, shows Obama ahead of Republican candidate John McCain 44% to 39%.

Just last month, Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, held a 48% to 39% lead over his GOP rival.

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Progressive group takes Bush-bash on the road

CWA leader Greg Payton of Newark stands against the backdrop of the Bush Legacy Tour bus: Politicker photoCWA leader Greg Payton of Newark stands against the backdrop of the Bush Legacy Tour bus: Politicker photo 

NEWARK - Driven by members of a progressive coalition called Americans United for Change, the Bush Legacy tour rolled into New Jersey this week, reminding residents in both Newark and Trenton of what the group sees as the wreckage of America’s 43rd president.

An interactive museum on wheels highlighting the war in Iraq, Katrina, the environment, skyrocketing oil and gas prices, and Constitutional abuses - the 45-ft. long, 28-ton clean bio-diesel fueled bus parked next to Bears Stadium on its way down from Bridgeport, Connecticut.

"We kicked off the Bush Legacy tour in Washington, D.C., last month (June 24) and we’ll continue traveling coast to coast throughout the summer and fall making 150 stops," said Americans for Change spokeswoman Julie Blust, who stood with local supporters from New Jersey Citizen Action and the Communications Workers of America.

***For PolitickerNJ.com's interview with Julie Blust, please go to http://www.brightcove.tv/channel.jsp?channel=463872426

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Surrounded by allies, Corzine authorizes $3.9 billion in schools construction

Gov. Jon Corzine signs the new schools construction bill at the Oliver Street School: Politicker photoGov. Jon Corzine signs the new schools construction bill at the Oliver Street School: Politicker photo 

NEWARK - Gov. Jon Corzine returned to the Ironbound this afternoon to sign a bill authorizing $3.9 billion in borrowing for new schools construction, which he said would fulfill the state’s constitutional duty to provide a thorough and efficient education, and create construction and other jobs.
    
Of an estimated 27 school projects statewide, six of the targeted schools are in the East Ward Ironbound, where the governor in late May announced his commitment to the legislation.

The six Ironbound schools were built before 1900 and are all overcrowded, according to the governor.

“We are doing what is right under the law and doing what is right for the state,” said Corzine, who praised the work of Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Newark), and others who banded together to pass the borrowing measure, which passed by one vote above the threshold in the Senate and three votes in the Assembly.

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Rob Andrews: Seriously, I’m not running

Again and Again, Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) has said that he will not run for re-election to his House seat after challenging Sen. Frank Lautenberg in last month's primary.

But no matter how many times he says it, speculation - and in some cases hopefulness -- persists that Rob's name will be on the ballot instead of his wife, Camille, who is currently the Democratic placeholder.

Asked whether his promise not to run again was unequivocal, Andrews, who's held the seat since 1990, said, "Yes... as I've said since April."

In an effort to put an end to the speculation, PolitickerNJ.com asked Andrews if he would write and sign a letter to the Clerk of the House stating that, effective January 3, he would resign his seat no matter what. Such a letter would be reversible, but it could further dispel rumors of Andrews's impending return.

Andrews declined.

"It's not necessary or appropriate," he said.

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Payne doesn't rule out a 2009 comeback

Former Assemblyman William Payne (D-Newark), right, with Gov. Jon Corzine today in the IronboundFormer Assemblyman William Payne (D-Newark), right, with Gov. Jon Corzine today in the Ironbound 

NEWARK - Former Assemblyman William Payne (D-Newark) today wouldn’t rule out a return run for his old Assembly seat.

"If I ran, it would be for the Assembly," said Payne, who was in attendance at Governor Jon Corzine’s schools construction bill signing at the Oliver Street School in the Ironbound.

"But right now, I don’t have any intentions of running," Payne added.

Thrown off the line last year when he insisted on challenging for Sharpe James’s vacated Senate seat in the 29th District against establishment choice and eventual winner M. Teresa Ruiz, Payne would have to run against Assemblyman Albert Coutinho or Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 17, 2014

Bergen Dems demand Donovan cancel fundraiser with Christie after unlimited contributions commentsHACKENSACK - Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato called on Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan to cancel a fundraiser scheduled for May 5 with Gov. Chris Christie after he made remarks on allowing unlimited campaign contributions to political...

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Op-Ed

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 >

Contributors

(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

“The new agenda is charter schools. It’s a profit-making business. $500 million will not be in our hands. The school board is an advisory board. We are not going to tell the governor to unleash the dollars. Don’t be fooled. It’s not abracadabra. It’s politics.” - Paterson Mayor Jeff Jones

- PolitickerNJ.com

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