DiVincenzo builds toward 3rd term

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzoEssex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzoMidway through his second term, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo is gearing up for whatever fight comes his way as he plans for a third term in office.

"Joe is looking ahead to running, and serving, to complete the execution of his vision for Essex County," said chief-of-staff Phil Alagia.

To that end, DiVincenzo today is holding a $300-a head celebration in West Orange.

An ally of North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato, Sr., who supports U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-1) for U.S. Senate over incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, DiVincenzo to date has remained neutral in the U.S. Senate primary.

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Garden State Equality endorses Lautenberg

New Jersey’s main gay-rights organization today endorsed incumbent Frank Lautenberg over Rep. Rob Andrews in the Democratic Senate primary.

The group’s chairman, Steven Goldstein, said that both were “outstanding” candidates, but that they would stick with the tried-and-true Lautenberg, who has been “our greatest champion of equality.”

Goldstein cited Lautenberg’s coauthoring of the Ryan White AIDS Care Act in 1990, and his fight for increased federal funding for HIV and AIDS treatment since then.

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Kelly goes after Myers on campaign mailer

Ocean County Freeholder John KellyOcean County Freeholder John Kelly 

In their 3rd Congressional District GOP primary scrap, Jack Kelly this week pounced on Chris Myers’s claim to having cut wasteful spending and reduced the number of employees in Medford Township.

Seizing on Medford Mayor Myers’s recently released campaign mailer, Kelly, an Ocean County freeholder, said, "the truth is that from 2001-2007 Medford Township budgets show a 45% increase in appropriations – up from $14.6 million to $21.2 million."

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Sierra Club picks Lautenberg

Andrews and Lautenberg trade press releases

Rep. Rob Andrews today said that he’s releasing his tax returns from the last eight years and challenged his Senate primary opponent, incumbent Frank Lautenberg, to do the same.

Meanwhile, Lautenberg issued a press release saying that Andrews’s talk of an Iraq withdrawal plan was empty rhetoric.

Andrews pointed to Lautenberg’s 2002 general election campaign, in which he challenged his Republican opponent, Doug Forrester, to release his own tax returns.

"The voters have every right to believe that an elected official is making decisions that are in the best interests of the public - not in his or her own personal financial interest or to benefit a friend or political
associate," said Andrews. "There is no excuse for a candidate to deny the voters this basic but critical information."

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Cohen canvasses for Obama in Philadelphia

Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union) and fellow Obama volunteersAssemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union) and fellow Obama volunteers 

Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union) this weekend led a contingent of about 100 Sen. Barack Obama supporters to Philadelphia to go door-to-door for the Democratic Party presidential candidate days before the Pennsylvania primary.

The latest MSNBC poll puts Obama behind Sen. Hillary Clinton, 48% to 43% in Pennsylvania.

Selected last week by his party to serve as an Obama delegate at the Democratic National Convention in August, Cohen has volunteered for Obama for the past year.

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Subpoenas in Atlantic City

Subpoenas are flying in Atlantic City.

The State Attorney General’s office issued at least four subpoenas to City Hall employees on Friday, according to Mayor Scott Evans. 

Evans said that the subpoenas mostly cover the last eight years – with one that goes all the way back to 1995 -- and are not related to his new administration.  Evans said that he has not been served with a subpoena.

“These are nothing that affects any individuals under my administration. This is an ongoing criminal investigation,” he said.  “It’s not a rumor.  We were served.  It has to do with this time period.”

Evans said that although he is not under investigation, he can’t reveal any additional details.

“My motto is honest integrity, clear and transparent.  I wish I could tell you more, but my lawyers have told me zip it,” he said. 


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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 27th

One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide CLIFTON – It was the typical crowd with black yarmulkes and leopard-patterned hijab sprinkled among uncovered bald heads – Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish – Spanish Flamenco-style hair pulled back and framed by loop earrings and at...

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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 >


(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 »
(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 »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“Israelis don’t want peace more than the Palestinians, Palestinians don’t want peace more than the Israelis, but I do know one thing: Hamas is a terrorist organization.” - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), Paterson.

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