Rice calls on Education Commissioner, Attorney General to launch Newark public schools investigation

Rice calls on Education Commissioner, Attorney General to launch Newark public schools investigation

NEWARK - As the school year starts anew under a controversial reorganization plan that has had community members and lawmakers at odds, state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-28) is again calling on top state education and law enforcement officials to investigate administrative and fiscal mishandlings within Newark’s public school system.

In a letter today, Rice, co-chair of the Joint Committee on the Public Schools, called on acting state Education Commissioner David Hespe, acting Attorney General John Hoffman, and acting state Comptroller Marc Larkins to look into a laundry list of issues that have plagued the district in recent months, from questions about how to deal with the district’s projected $53 million budget deficit to potential abuses of power at the hands of embattled schools superintendent Cami Anderson.

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Morning Digest: August 19th

Morning Digest: August 19th

Essex Royale: Jones pulls party faithful in for night of gaming, political mixing

Essex Royale: Jones pulls party faithful in for night of gaming, political mixing

BELLEVILLE – Elbows on the felt table top, veteran Democratic Party political operative Phil Alagia looked across the void in a room crammed with party members getting a groove on as a bow-tied dealer dealt another round of chips.

The leaden eyes betrayed no emotion in the waging of another gamble.

But the real test was going to be for Chairman Leroy Jones and whether anyone showed up in late August to the Essex County Democratic Party’s annual fundraiser at Nanina's.

Operatives worked the phones in the lead-up to peel people off their sun roofs for a few hours as summer sank toward Labor Day and, in this room at least, a keener apprehension of the Bergen County Executive’s race - and 2015.

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CD 7 race: Lance "confident" that perceived policy changes won't hurt him

CD 7 race: Lance "confident" that perceived policy changes won't hurt him

SOMERVILLE - Moments before he spoke at a Somerville town hall meeting, U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) pushed back at claims that his views have drifted too far to the right since getting elected to Congress in 2008. 

"I'm not sure there has been a change. I've always voted my conscience," Lance told PolitickerNJ on Monday in the back of the auditorium at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. "I approach each issue as it comes to me. I think the most important issue in Washington is to try to get the economy stronger and try to create an environment where the private sector can create the new jobs that America so desperately needs."

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Watch state senators Sweeney, O'Toole get buckets of ice water dumped on their heads

Watch state senators Sweeney, O'Toole get buckets of ice water dumped on their heads

TRENTON - It’s not uncommon to see groups of protesters, banded together in some common political cause and wielding picket signs, camped out on the front steps of the Statehouse in Trenton.

But what about a group of state senators, recently released from an end-of-summer senate session and wielding blue buckets of ice water, ready to douse themselves in the name of ALS research?

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Ocean County Dem chairman calls patronage and sexual harassment allegations against GOP freeholder leader "perfect storm" for future victory

Ocean County Dem chairman calls patronage and sexual harassment allegations against GOP freeholder leader "perfect storm" for future victory

TOMS RIVER - As allegations of patronage and a sexual harassment cover-up roil Ocean County government, Wyatt Earp, the county's Democratic chairman, believes that in GOP-dominated Ocean, opportunity is now knocking.

"This is the perfect storm of elections. Tim Ryan is a long-standing community leader and a philanthropist," Earp told PolitickerNJ, referring to the Democratic candidate trying to block Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph Vicari, a Republican, from his twelfth three-year term in November. "Normally, in general in Ocean County, with the [Republican advantage in party] registrations, it's an uphill battle [for Democrats]. But even without this, Tim Ryan is going to be a significant challenger in this freeholder race." 

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Senate brings years-long battle to a close with passage of Essex County judicial nominations

Senate brings years-long battle to a close with passage of Essex County judicial nominations
State Sen. Ron Rice (D-28) stands with newly-appointed Essex County judge Bahir Kamil of South Orange

TRENTON - After a four year battle between senate Democrats and the governor’s office over a package of Essex County judicial nominations, the state senate approved the names of eight judges today to serve full terms in the state Superior Court.

Relief was the feeling among lawmakers who worked on the package, moving it along on its journey from the front office to the senate floor.

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Essex Dems to fundraise for Monmouth Dems

Essex Dems to fundraise for Monmouth Dems

Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones and powerful Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo will join other Essex Democrats at a fundraiser next month for the Monmouth County Democrats.

Monmouth Dems Chairman Vin Gopal has spent considerable time and care building party relationships statewide and sees a chance this year to grab two freeholder seats.

Jones and DiVincenzo want to help him.

Joe Grillo and Larry Luttrell are the challengers, who on Sept. 17th in Monclair will get a boost from the same personage who last year infuriated fellow Democrats by backing Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

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The Back Room

Brindle's PolitickerNJ Op-Ed a Must-Read

We are privileged to run today an opinion piece by Jeff Brindle, executive director of the state Election Law Enforcement Commision (ELEC). In the piece, Brindle lays out a blueprint for how to make party organizations stronger in order "to stave off the ever-growing influence of outside groups."

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 21st

'We believe in redemption': Roque heads into 2015 with full backing of the HCDO WEST NEW YORK – When local pain specialist Dr. Felix Roque delivered U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) from discomfort and restored him to the golf course, the congressman in return indulged the political fancies of...

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Op-Ed

Five ideas for strengthening the state's political parties

By Jeff Brindle An August 15, 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler reaffirmed the place of political parties in the State’s electoral system. By rejecting arguments that unaffiliated voters should have a right to vote in... Read More >

Contributors

(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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

"I think he was an army general, what was he?" - state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-32)

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