Garcia, the crowd, and the questions

Garcia, the crowd, and the questions

Councilman Jose "Joe" Garcia: Politicker file photoCouncilman Jose "Joe" Garcia: Politicker file photo 

PASSAIC - The streets throb with Mariachi rhythms as the floats and red, white and green-draped cars move slowly through Passaic and the public men and women wave to the crowds that spill finally into the yard of Public School Number 11 in the 2nd Ward: a confluence of food, flags, bodies and music.

All pay homage to Mexican independence.

The lead singer dances on stage and sing about Mexico and women, and arms in the crowd sway to the horns and guitars and in the background in the middle of supporters wearing red shirts with his name printed on them stands a subdued man in a gray suit.

Councilman Jose "Joe" Garcia shakes hands with a lot of people who pass. They know him. He has nine children, and has served on the School Board for 12 years, and as councilman for the last seven years.

Read More >

Tornoe's Toons: Corzine responds to the economic crisis

Tornoe's Toons: Corzine responds to the economic crisis

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

Read More >

Fulop says Corzine's reform package would strengthen his own

Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop just saw his own municipal pay-to-play ordinance signed into law by the city council on Tuesday.  The next day, Gov. Corzine outlined a sweeping ethics reform package that, if passed, Fulop thinks will strengthen the one that Jersey City just enacted. 

The Governor’s plan covers banning contributions to municipal officials from redevelopers.  That, Fulop said, was part of his original plan, but he was advised that it wouldn’t pass muster in a legal challenge because of state laws favoring redevelopers– so he dropped it. 

“For us in Jersey City, I think the Governor’s would certainly be stricter because it would affect redevelopment, which would give us more stringent pay-to-play laws,” said Fulop.

Read More >

Zimmer to search for Lautenberg

Former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer would like to find his way to the U.S. Senate.  But first, he wants to find incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Frustrated at the Senior Senator’s refusal to engage him in any debates just yet, Zimmer has decided to embark on a diner tour where he’ll ask patrons if they’ve seen or heard from Lautenberg, and to give out some tongue-in-cheek campaign literature. 

“A number of newspaper editorials have asked, ‘Where is Senator Lautenberg hiding?’  I intend to help find our missing Senator by handing out missing-person flyers at diners throughout New Jersey,” said Zimmer. 

Read More >

Winners & Losers of the Week

This week's Winners & Losers: Click Here

Read More >

Christie specter looms over ethics package

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie: Politicker file photoU.S. Attorney Chris Christie: Politicker file photoSubpoena activity in Paterson on the day Gov. Jon Corzine pulled the cape off of a sweeping new piece of ethics reform provided an ample reminder of another presence on the political landscape.

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

As some Democratic Party strongmen fume quietly about Corzine’s efforts to weaken the fundraising capacities of leadership committees in the third year of his gubernatorial tour of duty, his potential Republican opponent in 2009 is going through his own "anything you can do, I can do better" ritual, to hear the back-chatter in the state right now.

At worst, Corzine’s ethics package is a quick prep phase for what Democrats are certain will be another autumn appearance by Christie, who last year in early September decimated a statewide corruption ring and left the Democrats in a shambles trying to defend their recent ethics legislation. Gov. Jon Corzine: Politicker file photoGov. Jon Corzine: Politicker file photo

At best - to the most cynical - the newest ethics package signals what state Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-Hudson) calls some "better political thinking," which he would like to see practiced by the Corzine administration.

After all, Christie’s record suggests he’s coming with something.

The question is whether this time the U.S. attorney’s quarry will be the remnants of Operation Broken Boards, which felled 11 officials, but left some loose ends that many observers feel Christie will now resolve in short order - prior to the Nov. 4th election.

Or will it be bigger, on the order of more big fish reel-ins in Bergen County, for example?

Read More >

Trying to shake the Bush tag, Myers targets Adler investment

Medford Mayor Chris Myers: Politicker file photoMedford Mayor Chris Myers: Politicker file photo 

Dogged all week by a Bush fundraiser he attended on Monday, Medford Mayor Chris Myers retaliated today by charging that his opponent in the 3rd Congressional District race has his own issues with tainted money.

Myers took a swing at what he sees as state Sen. John Adler’s (D-Camden) two-faced record on Darfur, where the Sudanese government has enabled genocide.

The state senator, Myers said, voted for legislation divesting all of New Jersey’s state-administered pension fund investments from foreign companies that have ties to, or investments in, Sudan, while simultaneously investing his own money in "Petro China," a company closely linked to the Sudanese government.

Read More >

The Back Room

Sweeney in North Brunswick on Monday

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) on Monday will visit the Brian Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ), a statewide nonprofit that works to improve the quality of life after brain injury.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

Sign up for the Wake Up Call

Get the latest New Jersey politics headlines delivered right to your inbox, every morning. Sign up for the PolitickerNJ Wake Up Call.


NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >


 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... 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

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger


Which contest are you most focused on this coming season?:


Visit the page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.


  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.