Tornoe's Toons: John McCain: 'Country First'

To view more cartoons by editorial cartoonist Rob Tornoe, click here.

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Florio says Gov's ethics plans don't go far enough

If enacted, Gov. Corzine’s reform agenda could curtail the power of county chairs, who would be able to tap donors for less money and wouldn’t be able to wheel money from one county to another.  But in solidly Republican Somerset County, GOP Chairman Dale Florio thinks that the reforms don’t go far enough. 

Florio thinks the wheeling ban isn’t strict enough, since it allows state committees to donate unlimited funds to county committees, while still allowing county committees to donate $25,000 to state committees.    

That’s still wheeling, according to Florio, whose day job is as a partner in one of Trenton's most influential lobbying firms.

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Zimmer praises McCain, doesn't suspend his own campaign

Former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer: Politicker file photoFormer U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer: Politicker file photoWhile former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer praised Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) for suspending his campaign activities and bowing out of Friday’s debate, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate stopped short of temporarily ending his own campaign.

"This is a very perilous time for the American financial system and for the financial security of American families," Zimmer said in a statement. "I commend Senator McCain for putting the nation’s interest ahead of his political ambitions to work with his fellow Senators from both parties on finding a solution to the current crisis.

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Codey says he opposes wheeling, needs to fine-tooth comb the rest

Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex): Politicker photoSenate President Richard Codey (D-Essex): Politicker photoState Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex) said he strongly agrees with the provision in Gov. Jon Corzine’s executive order that would ban the practice of wheeling, but he wants to look at the fine print in basically every other aspect of the ethics package.

"I would go further; I would make the anti-wheeling measure stronger," said Codey, who said he did not attend today’s press conference with the governor because of a scheduling conflict.

Not only does Codey support a ban on wheeling across county lines - but across state lines.

"I would say ‘you can’t wheel money in, and you can’t wheel out," the former governor said.

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Bush v. Rangel

State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon): Politicker file photoState Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon): Politicker file photo 

It’s Rangel versus Bush in the 7th Congressional District, where apparently voters will ultimately have to decide which of these two is the more toxic campaign sugar daddy.

Roll Call reports that Freedom’s Watch, a hard-right group founded in part by former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer, has purchased $500,000 in ad time for 7th District Republican candidate state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon).

That makes the money they’re dumping into New Jersey’s 7th District, Freedom Watch’s largest expenditure for any single race, according to the Washington D.C.-based newspaper.

Struggling to raise money after a tough primary, Lance turned to President George W. Bush this week for a private fundraiser in Colts Neck. Lance wants to gain traction in his fight with big money candidate Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood).

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Lonegan thinks Republicans should fight ethics reform proposals

Conservative activist Steve Lonegan said the Republicans’ tentative support of Gov. Corzine’s ethics reform plan is a mistake. 

While more mainstream Republicans have cast the reforms as the Democratic realization of what the GOP has been pushing for all along, Lonegan – a staunch opponent of campaign finance laws in general who’s considering running for governor next year– thinks they should be fighting against them. 

“Republicans should get their act together and go after this with a vengeance, because this is an assault on liberty,” he said.  “I think it’s an all-out assault on freedom of speech, freedom of association and the whole American system and tradition of open and competitive elections.”

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Corzine says reform plan will end pay to play, enhance accountability

Corzine says reform plan will end pay to play, enhance accountability

With just over a year to go before he’s up for reelection, Gov. Jon Corzine today released a comprehensive package that he said is the final piece of ethics reform that he outlined during his 2005 gubernatorial campaign.

Corzine promised that the plan -- parts of which he’s already enacted through executive order and parts of which will require legislation-- will “end pay-to-play once and for all, at all levels of government.”

“We have reached a point where New Jerseyans have come to believe that instead of government of, by and for the people, we have a government of, by and for political contributors, lobbyists and those who are at every level of pay to play,” said Corzine at an outdoor ceremony in front of the state house.  “Today, that era ends.”

To prove his point, Corzine stood next to a checklist of his nine-point reform plan from his first campaign for governor.  Assuming that the reforms outlined today were passed, each one was checked off.

“All this is about accountability – not just about laying down new rules. It’s also about enforcing,” he said.

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The Back Room

Stung in NY, Astorino says Christie should think about stepping down as RGA chair

Dissed by Gov. Chris Christie, New York Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Christie should consider stepping down from his post as chairman of the Republican Governors Assocation.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 22nd

  Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich has died Union County today mourns the loss of the longest-serving sheriff in New Jersey history, who died last night at the age of 83. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)     Cryan serving as acting Union County sheriff, poised to run in November ...

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Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

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Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"As soon as you step into the lake on foot or in a boat, you're in the state's domain. I feel bad for the snake, and I hope it gets rescued before it dies when it gets cold. It didn't mean to get let out there. This snake should be one thing we can get together on and not worry about party affiliation. Unless the snake's a Democrat." - Republican Mount Arlington Mayor Arthur Ondish

- PolitickerNJ


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