Menendez to stump for Obama in Florida

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) is scheduled to board a flight to Florida today and will be there until tomorrow campaigning for presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.), according to Democratic sources.

Menendez was in Nashville on Tuesday and took part in multiple nationally televised interviews at the second presidential debate.

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Tornoe's Toons: Worst debate ever!

To view a larger version of this cartoon, click here.

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FDU poll: Corzine remains lukewarm with voters

FDU poll: Corzine remains lukewarm with voters

Gov. Jon Corzine continues to struggle to win the approval of New Jersey votersGov. Jon Corzine continues to struggle to win the approval of New Jersey voters
Voters' feelings on Gov. Jon Corzine remain tepid, although they've slightly improved, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released this morning.

Corzine’s approval rating stands at 45%, while 39% of respondents disapprove of the way he’s handled his job. 17% are unsure or mixed. 40% of voters have a favorable opinion of the Governor, while 43% are unfavorable.

Only 23% of voters think the state is heading in the right direction – the same number that FDU found last month.

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Dems to the GOP: 'You can't have it both ways'

In response to Republican criticism of the way Democrats ran theSenate President Richard Codey (D-Essex): Politicker file photoSenate President Richard Codey (D-Essex): Politicker file photo state Property Tax Assistance and Community Development account, Democratic Party Chairman Joe Cryan and state Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) tonight tried to staunch the bleeding.

The Democrats took a series of GOP hits this week in the aftermath of state budget officer George LeBlanc’s courtroom testimony that former Gov. Codey’s administration applied no oversight to the way the state distributed $40 million supposedly dedicated to property tax relief.

The Democrats argue that Republicans want to act holier than thou, while they were knee-deep in the same slush fund that Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Troy Hills-Parsippany) said was not a "merit-based, competitive grant awards system as claimed by the McGreevey and Codey administrations."

"Every grant from the program was approved by the Joint Budget and Oversight Committee (JBOC), which included Republican Senator Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) and Republican Assemblyman Joe Malone (R-Bordentown)," objected Cryan in a prepared statement. "Each member of JBOC had to approve the grants, a process that included notification and approval by Sen. Lance and Assemblyman Malone."

Assessing what they say was a fund that over two years added up to $128 million, Republicans say they wanted and requested JBOC meetings, however, the meetings did not take place after the majority party waited out the ten-day period deadline.

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Challenged by rival in Passaic mayor's race, Ellen stands by his story

Mayoral candidate Carl Ellen: Politicker photoMayoral candidate Carl Ellen: Politicker photoPASSAIC - One candidate’s revelation that someone offered him a bribe to get out of the mayor’s race has touched off a battle of words between the campaigns of two old friends, who grew up in the same neighborhood here.

Carl Ellen, a candidate for mayor in the City of Passaic, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office today postponed until next Thursday what Ellen described as his scheduled Grand Jury appearance.

"I was told to appear at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Trenton at 10 a.m.," said the candidate.

Ellen yesterday said he received a subpoena from U.S. Attorney Chris Christie’s office to answer questions about a $25,000 bribe the local businessman said someone offered him as a reward for getting out of the mayor’s race.

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Stender says Republican cries about slush fund are a distraction

WESTFIELD -- Assemblywoman Linda Stender today acted unfazed by the Republican accusation that she wittingly took part in a legislative slush fund to get money for towns in her district, and accused her congressional opponent, State Sen. Leonard Lance, of trying to distract from what she alleged was his ideological duplicity.

"There was money in the budget that passed, and I worked with my towns to make application for grant money. It went into towns regardless of the political affiliation of their leadership," she said.

At a press conference yesterday, the Republican State Committee passed out copies of eight applications for towns in her district to get funding from the controversial Property Tax Assistance and Community Development grants program, which Republicans charge was a Democratic slush fund that distributed $128 million dollars for fiscal years 2005 and 2006 with little or no oversight or documented justification.

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Middletown: GOP tries to push back rivals in Monmouth microcosm

 

Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill and fellow Republican candidate Tony Fiore: Politicker photoDeputy Mayor Pam Brightbill and fellow Republican candidate Tony Fiore: Politicker photo 

MIDDLETOWN - In his nightmares, Tony Fiore sees Democrats overrunning the landscape.

He grew up in Carteret, but the town changed with the population influx and the schools worsened, in his view, and government control shifted from Republican to Democrat, giving him Robert Menendez - of all people - as a congressman after redistricting.

Fiore ultimately re-entrenched beyond the border of Middlesex in that GOP-run county to the south - Monmouth, where he has lived for five years, and where he already fears his adopted home town is going the way of Carteret.

"You’ve seen an out-flux of people down here because their quality of life changed," said Fiore. "My town became more inner city, so my wife and I picked a place to live, and we picked Middletown. We don’t want it to turn into that. To tell you the truth, it keeps me up at night."

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The Back Room

Christie defends himself in NH

Zapped by the DNC on his way into New Hampshire this afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie defended his economic record while wooing NH voters for the second time in little more than a month, according to the Associated Press.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 1st

Christie makes his pitch on bail reform TRENTON -In a win-win moment for Gov. Chris Christie as he seeks tough guy points ahead of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, both houses of the legislature packed into the assembly chamber and listened as Christie pleaded for a constitutional amendment on...

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Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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

"Potentially, we can get this done, because it's important. We get it. We understand it. But there are issues. There's the speedy trial component. How are we going to pay for this? How is the risk-assessment piece of it going to be done?" - Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), on bail reform.

- The Asbury Park Press

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