Gay rights advocates lobby for gay marriage

Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein is a Clinton delegate from New JerseyGarden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein is a Clinton delegate from New JerseyDENVER -- With a captive audience, leadership of the LGBT advocacy organization Garden State Equality made a push this morning for legislation that would legalize gay marriage in New Jersey.

The group even opened the floor to ask for new legislative co-sponsors to the current bill. Assembly members Gordon Johnson, Joan Quigley, Pamela Lampitt and Nellie Pou all signed on, as did State Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham.

Chair Steven Goldstein lead the group’s efforts, detailing a recent poll that the group conducted on the issue and several state races and drawing their attention to Speaker Joseph Roberts’s support of gay marriage. But Goldstein made his most powerful appeal by telling a personal story.

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Get ready to go Old Testament, Florio tells Dems

DENVER - Addressing the New Jersey delegation this morning, former Gov. Jim Florio told his fellow Democrats that they need to brush up on the harder-edged passages of the Hebrew Scriptures to get toned for what’s coming.

"We can’t afford to have this as a New Testament campaign," Florio told the crowd. "This is not turning the other cheek. This has got to be an Old testament campaign."

The way the Republicans demolished John Kerry four years ago, twisting a war hero, in Florio’s words, into a coward, should provide sufficient preview for GOP campaign tactics. But the Democrats have to huddle up and get ready to fight back with the obvious arguments.

"This president has to slither in and out of a foreign country before anyone knows he’s there, because he’s shredded our relations with the world," Florio said of President George W. Bush. "It’s an embarrassment."

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On morning of big speech, Obama mentor makes his pitch to Jersey

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, right, with Sens. Bob Menendez, Frank Lautenberg and Barack Obama in 2006: Getty Images PhotoSenate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, right, with Sens. Bob Menendez, Frank Lautenberg and Barack Obama in 2006: Getty Images Photo
DENVER - The affable salesman from the Midwest landed on the outskirts of town here with a bright smile and anecdote-laden speaking style that even the most bleary-eyed early morning Democrats responded to through the haze.

If the junior senator from his home state is the glamorous superstar, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) can claim the mantle of progressive, happy warrior work horse, and he kicked off his breakfast address to the New Jersey delegation today by noting how much he liked the deli cuisine that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Ill.) introduced him to when Menendez hosted Durbin one day in Hoboken.

He would get a standing ovation here, this politician who looks like an actor who would insist on playing Willie Loman as the guy who plays out a happy ending, in what amounted to a nearly perfect set-up when Gov. Jon Corzine prepped the crowd for his onetime Senate colleague.

"If you want to know how we get through healthcare, it’s going to be through the leadership of Dick Durbin," Corzine said of Durbin. "If you want to know how we’re going to change our foreign policy, it’s going to be through the leadership of the majority whip."

Obama calls Durbin his mentor and the older legislator responds publicly in the role of witness to what he sells as American excellence. Tonight he will introduce his friend and the Democrats’ presidential nominee at Invesco Field.

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Andrews to address his future next week

Andrews to address his future next week

DENVER -- United States Rep. Rob Andrews made it to the convention yesterday, and while there are clearly still some frayed relations between himself and members of the party who were loyal to incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg, he said he’s been received warmly.

“It’s really been very positive, very heartwarming, very good,” he said. “I feel very comfortable here.”

This morning he ducked out of the delegation’s breakfast during Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Illinois) address to pick up his credentials. There he ran into his recent campaign chairman, Michel Murphy.

Andrews has been the topic of much discussion among members of the New Jersey delegation. Despite the report that he’s negotiating for a job at Goldman Sachs, many say he’s still weighing returning to Congress. When asked today why people were still speculating about it, Andrews didn’t issue the blanket denials about returning to his house seat that he’s used since he entered the primary against Lautenberg.

“I’ll have something to say about that next week. This is a week to talk about the convention, not about me.”

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Convention Sketchpad, day three: Saying good-bye to the Clintons

Check back tomorrow morning to view my sketchpad for day three of the Democratic National Convention, and go to my national blog to follow convention coverage by cartoonists from around the country.

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Wrap Up: Wednesday's PolitickerNJ.com coverage from Denver and New Jersey

Joe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for Vice President in Denver on Wednesday: Getty Images PhotoJoe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for Vice President in Denver on Wednesday: Getty Images Photo

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Today's convention schedule

The fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention will be called to order at 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, with a theme of "Change You Can Believe In."

The final day's events will take place at INVESCO Field at Mile High, where over 70,000 people are expected to attend.

Featured speakers will include Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D), former Vermont Gov. and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean (D), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D), former Vice President Al Gore (D) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D).

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the Democratic presidential nominee, is scheduled to address the convention at 10 p.m. EST.

The full schedule is below.

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The Back Room

Report: Christie in Wisconsin with Walker

In his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), Gov. Chris Christie campaigned in Wisconsin today with fellow Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 30th

Dems fail to pry sufficient number from abstemious GOP caucus to pass debt report bill TRENTON - The Assembly this afternoon could not summon the necessary votes to override Gov. Chris Christie's veto of A961, as Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) prevented Democrats - some of them outraged...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

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 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

"When you're asked to cast a vote on a bill and it seems innocuous, and it's got a hidden land mine that perhaps only an expert would see, it would sort of behoove those experts to tell us in advance rather than make us look, shall we say, a little bit indecisive later on." - Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25).

- NJTV

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