Union ratifies new contract with Star-Ledger

Teamsters Local 1100, which represents 400 Star-Ledger mailers, voted 183-18 to ratify a new labor contract that agrees to a three-year freeze on wages and a buyout of almost 100 members.  George Arwady, the publisher of the state's alrgest newspaper, has said that the Star-Ledger would be sold or close if two unions didn't ratify new agreements, and if 200 additional employees didn't agree to a buyout. 

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Lautenberg and Frelinghuysen are among the nation's richest legislators

United States Sen. Frank Lautenberg and U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen are two of the richest legislators in the country, according to a report from the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. 

The newspaper based its ranking of the 50 richest legislators on their financial disclosure forms, however, which the article’s authors caution are “extraordinarily unreliable sources of information.”   

Lautenberg, who co-founded Automated Data Processing (ADP) in 1949 and ran it until he went to the Senate in 1982, is the richest legislator from New Jersey and the seventh richest one in the country, with assets totaling $55.33 million. 

Frelinghuysen, the scion of a family that has been involved with American politics since the 18th century, is the 12th richest legislator, with assets totaling $22.41 million.  He comes in just ahead of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who’s worth $19.64 million. 

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Adler and Myers play the blame game

Neither state Sen. John Adler nor Medford Mayor Chris Myers have ever held federal office before, but to hear their campaigns tell it, both are in some way responsible for the nation’s economic turmoil.

With President Bush in Colts Neck to raise money for Myers, Adler took the opportunity to paint the two Republicans with the same brush as the president who only 22% of New Jerseyans approve of, according to the latest poll. If Bush is to blame for the crisis, according to Adler, then Myers can’t be trusted to deal with it, having been one of the president’s “foot soldiers.”

"If Mayor Myers had any sense of the fear and feeling of utter helplessness gripping Americans being punished by this economic meltdown, he would not be standing arm in arm this afternoon with the very symbol of that failure, " he said in a statement. "Not since Herbert Hoover have we had a president whose blind spot on the economy had such a devastating impact on all Americans. For Chris Myers to be celebrating his friend and ally in the White House, especially at this time, demonstrates in the starkest possible way that he could never be trusted to be an advocate for the taxpayers of this district."

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Zeitz buoyed by DCCC designation

Josh Zeitz, left, speaks to a Saturday crowd that includes Mercer County Executive Brian J. Hughes, right.: Politicker photoJosh Zeitz, left, speaks to a Saturday crowd that includes Mercer County Executive Brian J. Hughes, right.: Politicker photo 

TRENTON - Since the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week listed the 4th Congressional race as one to watch, Democratic challenger Josh Zeitz has received, on average, cash commitments of $10,000 per day for his campaign, according to spokesman Steven D’Amico.

"It’s more than what we were getting before," said D’Amico, who wouldn’t specify exactly how much more.

Bolstered by the cash infusion, Zeitz took the floor at Saturday’s Obama HQ opening and declared that Nov. 4th will usher in a Democratic sweep.

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Codey wants Bloomberg as nation's "economic czar"

Senate President Dick Codey has joined a growing chorus that’s clamoring to install New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the nation’s new “economic czar” – a post that doesn’t yet exist.

Having worked with Mayor Bloomberg when I was Governor, I witnessed his economic prowess first hand,” said Codey.  “No one understands the business sector better than he does.  Just as importantly, he relates to working class families and understands their struggles… I honestly believe that there’s no one more qualified in this country to take on such a critical role that requires an understanding of the fundamentals of both Wall Street and government.  Whoever is trusted with making this appointment would be foolish not to go directly to Mike Bloomberg.”

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Democrats rip the GOP over Bush fundraiser

Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) and Josh Zeitz in Trenton this afternoon.: Politicker photoAssemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) and Josh Zeitz in Trenton this afternoon.: Politicker photo 

TRENTON - Wall Street is melting down while President George W. Bush fundraises in Colts Neck for candidates who will continue his failed policies, argued Democrats at a Statehouse press conference this afternoon.

State Democratic Chairman Joseph Cryan stood with congressional candidates, Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) and professor Joshua Zeitz of Bordentown. They all whiplashed Republicans for allowing Bush to come and raise money in a state where the latest Strategic Vision poll shows the president with a 20 percent job approval rating.

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Politically connected engineer admits bribing disgraced Ocean Township officials

Howard Schoor, who founded one of New Jersey’s most politically powerful engineering firms, pleaded guilty today in federal court to bribing two former Ocean Township officials in exchange for contracts. 

Schoor admitted paying $15,000 to former Mayor Terrence Weldon and former Township of Ocean Sewerage Authority (TOSA)chairman Stephen Kessler, who in exchange delivered contracts to Schoor’s company, Schoor DePalma.

Kessler pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a then-unnamed representative of an engineering firm back in 2005, for which he and Weldon – who at the time of the payments both sat on the TOSA’s board – rewarded the firm with contracts relating to a sewer-line project and the renovation of the authority’s sewerage treatment plant.

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In Passaic, Blanco and Sandoval go head-to-head, and also fight the rest of the field

School Board member Dr. Alex Blanco: Politicker photoSchool Board member Dr. Alex Blanco: Politicker photo 

PASSAIC - Just over a week ago he was somewhere in the middle of a crowded pack, barely distinguishable among the other contestants running for mayor. But from the standpoint of the Latino vote, which constitutes a little over 50 percent of the Passaic electorate, Councilman Joe Garcia’s the man right now.

At first it looked as though there were going to be three Puerto Rican candidates in the race: Ritzy Morales, Maritza Colon-Montanez and Garcia.

Then Morales dropped out on filing day, and two days later, Colon-Montanez aborted her own campaign and threw her support to Garcia.

That hit hard two men in the rest of the five-man field: Jose Sandoval and Alex Blanco.

The Dominican candidates won’t admit that the sudden moves by the Puerto Ricans produced any impact on the contest. Ask them about Morales and Colon-Montanez and they smile and shrug. No big deal. They weren’t going to do much anyway.

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The Back Room

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) http://www.politickernj.com/77506/union-county-sheriff-ralph-froehlich-has-died     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

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