Seizing on a corruption trial newsflash, Medford Mayor Chris Myers tried to put flesh and bones on his repeated campaign trail depiction of 3rd Congressional District opponent state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) as a Trenton hack.
In the trial of former Sen. Wayne Bryant (D-Camden), Senate Democratic Budget Officer George LeBlanc told jurors yesterday that in 2004 and 2005, legislators reached into a $40 million dedicated Property Tax Assistance and Community Development fund to fish out money for pet projects in their respective districts.
Today, Myers demanded that Adler "immediately and fully disclose whether he illegally controlled any taxpayer dollars from that fund, and if so, where he directed those dollars to be spent."
"This revelation of a huge secret trust fund, together with the obviously close relationship between Bryant and Adler raises serious red flags about Adler’s knowledge of, and participation in, this growing scandal of taxpayer abuse and self enrichment," Myers said.Read More >
It’s been labor by slow degrees.
Aided by Bush fatigue nationally and the Operation Bid Rig scandal locally, Democrats chipped steadily away at the Freeholder Board in Monmouth, foregoing potential Assembly gains elsewhere to focus on trying to build a majority in this longtime Republican stronghold.
Relying heavily on state party funds, they elected Barbara McMorrow two years ago and John D’Amico last year to get them to within one seat of swinging control of Monmouth in their favor.
Now with newly registered voters bolstering their numbers beyond the GOP’s - 99,282 Democrats to 86,992 Republicans - Democrats hope Amy Mallet and Glen Mason are poised to become their party’s next freeholders here.
In arguably the most consequential freeholder showdown of the year, those two must get past veteran Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and her running mate, Red Bank Councilman John Curley.
"As far as I can tell, it’s the premiere down ballot race in the state," State Party Chair Joseph Cryan said.
Although Democrats gleefully claim momentum going into this one, it will be no walk over for them.Read More >
Asked to comment on the Property Tax Assistance and Community Development grants program, which a budget staffer today testified gave key legislators sole discretion of millions of dollars in grants during fiscal years 2005 and 2006, Assembly Majority spokesman Derek Roseman gave the following response:
“We’re not aware of the specifics of today’s testimony, but in recent years we’ve implemented new rules and regulations that open up the budget process more than ever before and let the public see every requested budget change and exactly who is proposing it.”
Read More >
Senate passage on Wednesday of a $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill brought Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer to the podium for a Trenton press conference today.
The former congressman denounced the bailout package his opponent, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park), supported last night, and derided the senator as a longtime insider, a recipient of contributions from the financial services industry who can no longer adequately grasp the public interest.
"We are at this point because our elected officials in Washington -- including Senator Frank Lautenberg -- did not provide effective oversight of the marketplace," said Zimmer, who acknowledged today that he would have voted against the bailout as presented. "These elected officials created a system of private profit and socialized risk and allowed Wall Street to run wild. Now, thanks to politicians in Washington, Main Street is bailing out Wall Street.
"Senator Lautenberg had 24 years to protect us against this crisis," Zimmer added. "During those 24 years he did nothing to avert it. In fact, he helped bring it about. In a job that requires leadership and good sense, he demonstrated neither."Read More >
Reacting to news that certain state legislators were given sole discretion on where millions of dollars in state funds were spent, State Sen. Leonard Lance – who was Senate Minority Leader at the time – said it was outrageous, and made other scandals about “Christmas tree” items inserted into the budget look tame.
Lance said he was not a beneficiary of the program.
“We voted against the budget and we were railing against the Christmas tree items. But I think this goes beyond that. I haven’t examined it fully, but…. that’s an extremely bad procedure,” said Lance. “We haven’t been involved in the Christmas Tree process, but if someone outright says I want something for my district and it’s there in black and white, we can have a debate back and forth. But this is even worse because it’s done behind closed doors.”Read More >
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.Read More >
Christie to Newark hecklers: 'I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else' BELMAR - Gov. Chris Christie's got nothing but love for The Brick City, or so he says. In response to a Newark school student here today -- a 17-year-old president of the Newark Student Union...
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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 >
"Go to Mayor [Cory] Booker and ask him if he thinks in the years that he was mayor if I ignored Newark. The fact is I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else." - Gov. Chris Christie- PolitickerNJ
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