Senate candidates debate tonight

U.S. Senate candidates Frank Lautenberg and Dick Zimmer will meet for their second and final debate tonight at NJN studios in Trenton.  NJN News anchor Kent Manahan will moderate the debate, and a panel of reporters from NJN News, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Gannett New Jersey will question the candidates.  The one-hour debate will be broaccast live on NJN tonight, simulcast on NJN Public Radio, and rebroadcast at 11:30AM Sunday morning.  The debate can also been seen on WHYY on Sunday at 5PM, and on WNET on Sunday at 11:30 PM.

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Stories of the Week from

Stories of the Week from











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3rd district poll: Myers and Adler in dead heat for Saxton's House seat; Andrews, LoBiondo have huge leads

The 3rd district congressional race between Democrat John Adler and Republican Christopher Myers is a statistical dead heat, according to a Zogby International poll conducted by The Press of Atlantic City and The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  More than 16% of the voters poll remain undecided, with each candidate at 39%.   Adler, a State Senator from Camden County, and Myers, the Mayor of Medford, are seeking the seat of Republican Jim Saxton, who is retiring after 24 years in the House.  Republicans have held this seat since 1884.

Third district voters are also split on races for President and U.S. Senate: Barack Obama, 45%, John McCain, 44%; and Dick Zimmer, 45%, Frank Lautenberg 44%.

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David Paterson in Jersey City tomorrow

Former President Bill Clinton is the biggest name coming to New Jersey tomorrow, but New York Gov. David Paterson will be here as well to rally for Obama with Gov. Jon Corzine, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

The event will be held at New Jersey City University in Jersey City. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

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Morin still waiting for answer from UCC

Yesterday, Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin faxed a letter to the president and the communications head of Union County College to ask why they were making an exception to their own policy in order to host Bill Clinton’s rally for Democratic Congressional candidate Linda Stender tomorrow.

So far, he has not heard back from either of them.

So today, Morin fired off an email, this time to Trustee Edward J. Hobbie, complaining that the college’s staff was avoiding him.

“In your capacity as a member of the Board of Trustees and vice chair of the Board of Governors of the College, I am requesting that you inquire why they are ducking me and the media on this issue and why they are allowing partisan political activity on campus when the facility use rules and regulations specifically prohibit it,” wrote Morin (Hobbie’s brother Mark responded immediately to Morin, saying that he would try to reach Edward).

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In Ocean and Burlington, competitive county clerk races

In Ocean and Burlington, competitive county clerk races
Ocean County Clerk Carl Block

In Ocean and Burlington Counties, Republicans have all held the county clerk seats for as long as anyone can remember.  This year, buoyed by the surge in Democratic registrations, Democrats have a crack at both of them.

Among the most surprising competitive races this cycle is in Ocean County - one of only six New Jersey counties where there are still more registered Republicans than Democrats.

Five year incumbent Carl Block is fighting to win his second full term against Berkeley Mayor Jason Varano in a place where no Democrat has won county-wide since 1989.  But Varano has seized on expenditures Block made from the county clerk's trust fund, which is drawn from fees from mortgage, deed and passport applications.  He's even up on cable television and radio with advertisements - unusual for an Ocean County Democrat.

Varano has hit Block on his office's expenditures of nearly $25,000, on trips to several locales across the country, during which Block was often accompanied by his deputy and a confidential aide.  He's also gone after him on an overpriced framed picture of Freeholder Jack Kelly, an expensive clock repair bill and a plasma screen television in the main office.  Block has been bloodied in the local press for these expenses, with the Asbury Park Press writing several articles on the subject.  The paper endorsed Varano, saying that block's "self-interest, partisanship, entitlement, slackness with tax dollars and violation of the public trust" make him unfit for another term.

Still, Block has spent three times the amount of money Varano has to date.  In solidly Republican Ocean County, he remains the default favorite, and rather than argue against the charges one-by-one, he faulted Varano for what he characterized as a completely negative campaign.

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Weekend TV

On this final weekend before the election, NJN’s On the Record will feature a discussion of the U.S. Senate debate with Republican political analyst Roger Bodman, former Governor Jim Florio, Montclair State Political Science Professor Brigid Harrison and Monmouth University professor/pollster Patrick Murray.

That show, hosted by Michael Aron, will air Sunday at 9 and 11a.m., and again on Monday at 6:30a.m

On Reporter’s Roundtable, Aron will host Jonathan Tamari of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Charles Stile of the Bergen Record, Kevin McArdle of Millennium Radio and Matt Friedman of  The reporters will discuss the U.S. Senate and Congressional races.  It airs today at 7p.m. and Sunday at 10a.m.

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Sandoval gains traction with endorsement, while veteran Capuana goes to his base

Sandoval gains traction with endorsement, while veteran Capuana goes to his base

PASSAIC - On the day the Herald News endorses real estate developer Jose Sandoval  in the mayor’s race, four of the five candidates sit at the front of a big room hugging highway 21 at a warehouse district debate sponsored by an alliance of community groups.

A fifth chair stands empty.

“I had other commitments and I had to make those commitments,” Councilman Joe Garcia explains later.

Garcia’s absence at the last debate forum before Tuesday’s special election fans rumors that either one of the campaigns of Dr. Alex Blanco or city super Vinny Capuana broke through and secured backing from the councilman’s supporters, thereby shutting down his campaign.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 12th

Stockton Poll: Christie approval rating at 53% in NJ; Obama's at 44% Gov. Chris Christie’s approval ratings in New Jersey crack 50%, while fewer voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, according to a Stockton Polling Institute poll released today. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)     NJ...

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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 >


(9-10-14) Chief Justice Rabner Faces Funding Challenges as Top Court Administrator - Escalating legal fees for litigation is an unintended consequence of underfunding the Court System. ... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... 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

"The Republican Governors Association raised $130,000 from tobacco companies during Christie’s stint as the group’s chairman, according to the most recent filings in June. The veto allows Christie to keep the peace with tobacco companies — and may very well prevent them from investing heavily in a presidential campaign for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, whose operatives could use the cash to finance attack ads against Christie in a tight primary contest." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record


Who is the GREATEST among these NJ native legends? (Part II, Polling ends Sunday at midnight):


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