New mayors take office today

Several new mayors will take office today after winning the May 13 non-partisan municipal elections, including Wilda Diaz in Perth Amboy, Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. in Orange, Jerry Fried in Montclair, Robert Romano in Vineland, and Edward Mahaney in Cape May City.

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Garrett gets food industry award

U.S. Rep. E. Scott Garrett has won a 2008 Thomas Jefferson Award from the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA). 

The award, according to the group, is presented to legislators who “demonstrate their commitment to increasing opportunity and reducing government regulation through their votes on issues such as reducing taxes, workplace regulations, and other economic matters.”

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A thumbnail New Jersey guide to the history of Obamaland, Part II

Obama Campaign State Director Mark Alexander.Obama Campaign State Director Mark Alexander. 

The campaign was about to change.

On Oct, 9, 2007, an announcement came down from Chicago regarding New Jersey operations. 

Mark Alexander, a Seton Hall University law professor and Obama’s senior policy advisor, would be the campaign’s official state director.

"I am grateful that he is going to carry the fight forward to and through the Feb. 5 contests," Obama said of Alexander. "He is a valued and trusted advisor, and at the same time has deep ties in his home of New Jersey that will be invaluable to our efforts. 

"I am proud of the policy work we have done on this campaign and through Mark’s leadership we have built a team of key advisors from the ground up that will continue to offer new and innovative approaches to the challenges this country faces," added the presidential candidate.

A personal friend of Barack and Michelle Obama’s going back a dozen years, Alexander as a child worked on the 1974 Washington, D.C. mayoral campaign of his father, Clifford Alexander, former chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission. Later, he ran Sen. Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign and served as counsel to Cory Booker.

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A thumbnail New Jersey guide to the history of Obamaland, Part I

NJ for Obama organizers Julie Diaz and Keith Hovey.NJ for Obama organizers Julie Diaz and Keith Hovey.

The Obama campaign started small here, with handfuls of coffee house organizers lining up behind a grassroots operation called NJ for Obama in the face of a big party machine backing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and an unpopular war in Iraq.

Founded in an Edison coffee shop in December of 2006, the group’s leader was Damian Bednarz, 25, a Master’s student in international relations with Seton Hall University’s Whitehead School of Diplomacy.

"Obama has something that Hillary Clinton can’t buy or reproduce, and that’s a sense of inspiration," Bednarz said at the time. "If anything, I’m encouraged by Clinton’s frontrunner status because I know our work is so special."

In the months following, some elected offiicials endorsed the Illinois senator, among them Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union), who came out in favor of Obama in April of 2007, followed by state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) a couple of weeks later.

"At this time we need someone special... someone who is going to build a bridge brick by brick to peace through negotiation," said Cohen, a graduate of Howard University who arrived at politics through the Civil Rights era.

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Karcher, Panter won't rule out '11 Senate bids

There’s no question that the Democrats would love to take out rising Republican star Jennifer Beck in the 12th legislative district.

But with her reelection over three years away and redistricting coming up in 2010, none of the potential challengers on deck for her will even indicate that they’re thinking of taking her on. But they won’t rule it out either.

Former Assemblyman Mike Panter, who spent four years in the legislature before being ousted in a miniature Republican wave led by Beck in November – one largely blamed on a controversial farmland tax assessment break taken by former State Sen. Ellen Karcher – said he’s made a conscious effort not to think about politics this year.

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Glading’s living on a prayer

First District Republican congressional nominee Dale Glading is not angry that he doesn’t know who his opponent will be in the fall. But he’s upset at what he sees as a slight to the district’s voters by the powerful local Democratic Party.
Glading, the founder and head of a non-denominational prison ministry, is officially running against attorney Camille Andrews, who took over the candidacy from her husband, Rep. Rob Andrews, when he decided to run a primary challenge against U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. But Camille Andrews has acknowledged that she’ll step down if asked by party leadership, although there’s a possibility that she’ll stay in the race.

“The voters in the first congressional district are being shortchanged,” said Glading. “Mrs. Andrews, who is the placeholder, I don’t believe to be a serious candidate, because she’s not acknowledging - let alone accepting - our debate invitations.”

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Garrett tells donors he's concerned about Shulman

U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett’s (R-05) campaign, up to this point, has portrayed the challenge by Democrat Dennis Shulman as more of the same – another hapless Democrat venturing into solidly Republican territory where voters are happy with an incumbent well respected for his steadfast conservative principles. But a three-page fundraising letter Garrett sent out earlier this month acknowledges that he will face a tougher race this time around.

“This election will not be like past elections,” wrote Garrett. “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has its eye on New Jersey… Last month they placed me on their target list, and just yesterday they upgraded my opponent to "Emerging Race" category. That means they will be pouring money and resources into spreading their leftist propaganda to as many voters in my district as they can between now and Election Day. And incredibly, the DCCC has more than seven times the bank account of our Republican counterpart!”

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The Back Room

McGreevey expresses no desire to be power broker in Newark mayoral race

Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey might remember that former Newark Mayor Sharpe James played a significant role in helping him to get that title. But regarding the highly contentious Newark mayoral race between candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries, McGreevey told on Thursday that he has no interest in picking a side.  

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 17, 2014

Bergen Dems demand Donovan cancel fundraiser with Christie after unlimited contributions commentsHACKENSACK - Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato called on Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan to cancel a fundraiser scheduled for May 5 with Gov. Chris Christie after he made remarks on allowing unlimited campaign contributions to political...

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The future of NJ Politics should not be politicians investigating politicians

By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >


(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

“The new agenda is charter schools. It’s a profit-making business. $500 million will not be in our hands. The school board is an advisory board. We are not going to tell the governor to unleash the dollars. Don’t be fooled. It’s not abracadabra. It’s politics.” - Paterson Mayor Jeff Jones



Who does Alieta Eck want to win the CD12 Democratic Primary?:


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