Sires publicly endorses Smith for Bayonne mayor

BAYONNE - U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York) officially endorsed Acting Police Director Mark Smith for mayor in a statement today.

"It is my distinct privilege to represent the great City of Bayonne in the United States Congress," said Sires. "On Nov. 4th, people all over our nation will make important choices about the future. In Bayonne, Mark Smith is clearly the best choice for mayor. He represents a new generation of leadership and is a man of unquestionable integrity and good character.

"I am looking forward to working with Mark on important issues for Bayonne's future and I am proud to endorse him and the entire Democratic ticket," the congressman added.

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Bell proud to take James money in Central Ward campaign

In his Central Ward Council campaign, presumptive frontrunner Charles Bell  does not apologize for taking money from former Mayor Sharpe James, who’s now serving time in a federal prison for fraud.  

“He contributed $5,000 to my campaign, and the only thing is I was a little disappointed,” said Bell. “With $1 million left in his campaign account, I think he should have contributed a little more.”

Bell, a political ally of James’ who served on the council during the James era, said he believes the jury dealt the former mayor a bad hand earlier this year when it found James guilty of fraud in his oversight of the South Ward redevelopment program.

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Schluter says DeCroce should have reported Codey

Former State Sen. Bill Schluter, a member of the state ethics commission, thinks that Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) should have come forward earlier with his allegation that Senate President Richard Codey (D-West Orange) tried to threaten and tempt him with state grant money to drop his pursuit of information on a legislative slush fund.

“I think he should have,” said Schluter when asked by PolitickerNJ.  “Of course, it would have gotten him into trouble with the Democratic majority, but I don’t think you can be an elected official with violations like that.”

The exchange between DeCroce and Codey was reported in the Star-Ledger yesterday, which was tipped off to the two-year-old meeting by DeCroce, who said he had grown upset upon learning that the grant money had been distributed in a political way.  Codey denied DeCroce’s story, saying he had only warned him against using legislative staff to pursue political OPRA requests.  DeCroce offered to take a lie detector test, which the newspaper will take him up on and has offered one for Codey as well.  Codey has not decided whether or not he will.

The committee Schluter sits on deals with the executive branch, not the legislature, but he has a history as an ethics watchdog.  When he was a Republican state Senator in the early 1970's, Schluter reported several members of the William Cahill gubernatorial administration who he felt had committed extortion.  One wound up serving jail time, he said.

“You have an obligation, if you believe in honest in government,” he said.

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Lautenberg and Zimmer go head-to-head in Gannett forum

Lautenberg and Zimmer go head-to-head in Gannett forum

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) defended his “yes” vote on the Wall Street bailout package in a debate today with his Republican opponent, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer.

“Within the rescue bill, there is a shoring up of some of the companies that would make credit available,” said Lautenberg, sitting beside Zimmer in an editorial forum sponsored by Gannett Newspapers.

The GOP challenger stood by his opposition to the bailout bill.

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Veteran operative says organization favors Bell over Osborne

NEWARK  - A veteran campaign manager for former Assemblyman Fred Caraballo (D-Newark) in Caraballo’s blowout loss to the North Ward Democratic Party machine last year, Democratic Party political operative Charles Williams is staying out of the Central Ward Council race.

Williams said he received phone calls early on from camps backing former Councilman Charles Bell and his probably his chief rival in a 13-candidate race: labor leader Eddie Osborne.

Williams said there are too many operatives involved.

“I love to go in and run a race myself,” he said.

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Hornik-Beck collision course is not inevitable - but an inevitable discussion topic

Hornik-Beck collision course is not inevitable - but an inevitable discussion topic

MARLBORO – Mayor Jon Hornik and his Republican guests from the 12th Legislative District look like old pals at this charity ball the mayor throws on a Saturday night, as revelers groove on the dance floor at the Battleground Country Club.

The cover band strains of “You’re just too good to be true” sweep through the ballroom and the mayor floats happily among guests, including state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Colts Neck).

“Come on, that’s over,” a smiling Hornik ribs O’Scanlon about the Nov. 4th presidential election between Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain.

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Winners & Losers of the Week

Winners & Losers of the Week

This week's Winners & Losers: Click here

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

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Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... 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

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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