Two Union County men plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy

Two Union County men, including the owner of an illegal online sports betting website, today admitted to conspiring with the Genovese organized crime family, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.   

Joseph Graziano, 77, and Dominick J. Barone, 44, both of Springfield, each pleaded guilty before District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to separate informations charging them with one count of racketeering conspiracy. Graziano agreed to forfeit $1 million to the United States and Barone agreed to forfeit $100,000.

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Affordable housing developer pleads guilty to making false statements

The developer of three Trenton affordable housing projects admitted today that he made false statements to a financial institution to divert project money for personal and other unauthorized purposes, and to conducting a transaction with the proceeds of this crime, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.  

Robert Kahan, 68, of Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to two counts of an indictment charging him with making false statements in a loan application (Count 8) and to transacting in criminal proceeds that resulted from those false statements (Count 12).

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In Bergen County Exec's race, 'tank-like vehicles' spark controversy

In Bergen County Exec's race, 'tank-like vehicles' spark controversy
A Photoshopped image, produced by Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan's campaign, of Bergen County Freeholder Jim Tedesco riding atop an armored vehicle. A Tedesco campaign representative called it a "disgusting cartoon."

How many armored vehicles does it take to militarize a small, well-to-do New Jersey suburb?

Just one will do, says Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan.

In a scathing letter today, Donovan lashed out at fellow county freeholders Jim Tedesco, David Ganz and Joan Voss for throwing their support behind Sheriff Michael Saudino’s recent request for not one, but two “tank-like military armored vehicles” -- also known as MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles) -- from the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Appellate Division of Superior Court upholds Christie's appointment to Rutgers Board

Appellate Division of Superior Court upholds Christie's appointment to Rutgers Board

The appellate division of the Superior Court of New Jersey today ruled in favor of letting Gov. Chris Christie's appointee to the Rutgers University Board of Governors remain in place.

Martin Perez of New Brunswick will stay on the board, according to the court, which decided that Christie's pick of Perez was a proper use of his authority.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) last year challenged Perez's appointment.

But Christie successfully fought back the challenge.

According to the court's ruling, "We are... convinced that the plain language of NJSA 18A: 65-14 supports the governor's interpretation of the statute. Since the governor nominated a Camden County resident to fill an existing vacancy on the board, his appointment of Perez to one of the additional two seats without the advice and consent of the Senate was an appropriate exercise of the authority conferred on him by the statute."

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LD1: If Van Drew leaves, the chances of Fiocchi v. Andrzejczak 2017

LD1: If Van Drew leaves, the chances of Fiocchi v. Andrzejczak 2017

When and if veteran U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2) retires, state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) will get a crack at the seat first, according to sources in the Democratic Party establishment.

Running an aggressive campaign against LoBiondo, attorney Bill Hughes, Jr. wants to alter that perception and – if he can’t beat LoBiondo outright – demonstrate to South Jersey that he can put a 2014 dent in LoBo.

But Van Drew last year led a ticket dogged by the doomed Nelson Albano with Republican Gov. Chris Christie at the top of the opposing ticket - and still won.

Van Drew has long toyed with making a run for Congress.

In the event he does in 2016 – or if he decides not to pursue re-election in 2017 – the party has taken his political protégé in hand as his eventual successor, sources say.

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LD7: Eyeballing the implications of 2015 on 2017

LD7: Eyeballing the implications of 2015 on 2017

It’s every political insider’s favorite summertime parlor game: trying to figure out who will move up to succeed whom.

There have long been murmurs about state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) and 2017 – at least ever since the last election.

A veteran independent-minded Republican, Allen shows no signs of slowing her stride.

The same rumors about imminent retirement somewhat hounded her last year, and the year before, which she summarily stared down when she ran for re-election.

But there is talk in the party that this could be her last term.

That ongoing static prompts inevitable Democratic Party speculation about a primary between Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) and Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

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LD2 Rundown: Destination Brown and the 2017 implications of 2015

LD2 Rundown: Destination Brown and the 2017 implications of 2015

So Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) is in Atlantic City today with Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-2), who’s fighting to keep the Showboat open – and fighting for his political life.

Democrats want to take out Brown next year and turn the entire district blue, building on state Sen. Jim Whelan’s (D-2) 2007 victory, amplified by his re-election and successful effort to get a fellow Democrat elected in Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2).

He’d deny it, and so would those around him, but sources say state Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2) probably won’t seek another term when he’s up in 2017.

According to party sources, Whelan’s allies had a tough time convincing him to seek the seat again in 2013.

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With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session

With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session

TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is calling the legislature into special session Thursday to address recent bail reform legislation before a looming deadline next week, according to a letter from the governor’s office today.

The legislation -- which includes a constitutional amendment to allow judges to deny bail to defendants they consider dangerous and a companion bill that establishes bail alternatives for individuals charged with nonviolent offenses -- is said to have the needed votes in the Senate but has stalled in the Assembly.

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The Back Room

Conservative group slams Christie in TV ad

As Gov. Chris Christie's heads to New Hampshire tomorrow, a conservative group wants to welcome him with a television commercial critical of his record on judicial nominations.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 30th

  With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is calling the legislature into special session Thursday to address recent bail reform legislation before a looming deadline next week, according to a letter from the governor’s office today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)...

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Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

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 >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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

"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

Poll

Who's right on the bail reform special session?
A. Gov. Chris Christie. Let's get this DONE!
43%
B. Speaker Vinny Prieto. What's the rush?
57%

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