LYNDHURST - Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato was house-proud in his hometown before he got down to political business on Wednesday morning.
"Welcome to lovely Lyndhurst," said Stellato to a crowd of approximately 75 politicos at the annual chairman's breakfast at the San Carlo banquet hall. "Welcome to the real, blue-collar America."
Stellato is hoping that blue-collar voters, long seen by New Jersey Democrats as a key part of their base, turn out in force for his candidates this November. Their votes are particularly needed for Freeholder Jim Tedesco, the party's standard bearer in the Bergen County Executive's race against Republican incumbent Kathleen Donovan. Roy Cho, who is working to unseat GOP incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5) in the Fifth Congressional District, which includes large swaths of Bergen, also needs these votes.Read More >
Saying he hopes “the second time’s the charm,” Senator Raymond Lesniak said on Wednesday he will introduce new legislation that will bolster the state’s legal position on sports betting. The bill, which Senator Lesniak will introduce on Monday, would explicitly abolish language in state law that prohibits sports betting, a move that would reinforce the attorney general’s motion to lift the injunction preventing the state from moving forward on plans to allow casinos and racetracks to accept wagers on sporting events.
“I hope and expect that the second time will be the charm,” said Senator Lesniak, referring to a similar bill intended to accomplish the same goal that was vetoed by the governor. “This will shore up the attorney general’s legal argument. His motion asks to court to parse my previous legislation, which it shot down by saying it implicitly repealed the state’s prohibitions on sports betting at casinos and racetracks. This bill will specifically abolish language on the books that prevents sports betting, which will give our legal motion more authority and will help withstand any challenges.”Read More >
The campaign of U.S. Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) isn't being deterred by a poll today that showed the race's Republican opponent trailing just 13 points behind the popular incumbent.
According to Campaign Manager Brendan Gill, the PublicMind poll, released by Farleigh Dickenson University earlier today, simply shows that "New Jersey voters are clearly responding to Senator Booker's commitment to take New Jersey forward by protecting social security and medicare, ensuring that Hurricane Sandy relief funding reaches those for whom it is intended and promoting college affordability."
"By contrast, voters also see that Jeff Bell wants to take New Jersey back to the days when abortion was criminalized, economic policy favored the rich and women were prevented from making their own decisions about their careers and their healthcare," he said.
Bell, largely considered the underdog in this race, is 13 points behind Booker among registered voters, according to this morning's FDU poll. If the election were held today, 42 percent say they’d support Booker with 29 percent favoring Bell, the poll finds. Over a quarter (27%) say they remain unsure whom to support.
The 13 point gap is significant, if only because it shows that Bell -- an obscure policy-wonk who's spent the last 30 years living in Washington D.C. -- might actually have a chance at defeating Booker -- a political 'superstar' in the Garden State and beyond, by most measures of the word.Read More >
The top 25 special interest groups during the past 15 years spent a combined $311 million on campaign contributions, lobbying and independent spending, according to an analysis by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
The major spending went to political contributions ($163 million), followed by lobbying ($107 million), and, in more recent years, independent spending on campaigns ($41 million).
Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director, said the influence of the special interest groups was uncovered through ELEC’s broadest-ever review of their New Jersey political efforts. “This is the most detailed examination of special interest spending ever done by ELEC. It included looking at contributions made either through PACs or directly to candidates and parties, lobbying and independent spending on both campaigns and ballot initiatives,” he added.Read More >
Republican underdog challenger Jeff Bell is thirteen points behind incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) among registered voters, according to this morning's Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll. If the election were held today, 42 percent say they’d support Booker with 29 percent favoring Bell, the poll finds. Over a quarter (27%) say they remain unsure whom to support.
“Although Jeff Bell is not a political newcomer to the state, his absence from politics for decades has left him a relative unknown among this generation of voters. The fact that he trails an incumbent senator with rock star appeal by a smaller margin than expected suggests anti-incumbency is operative in this election,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind. “Add to this the high percentage of undecideds, and it’s clear that even someone with the appeal of Senator Booker is up against tough but still navigable anti-incumbency winds.”Read More >
CAMDEN - Nearly a month after convening a special commission of experts to address the state's pension and health benefit system problems, Gov. Chris Christie today could not give an estimate as to when the panel might issue a report on the matter. He did, however, candidly state what he expects from them when they do, and brushed off the notion that the beleaguered fund spells "imminent danger" for current retirees.
"I'd like them to tell the people of this state the honest truth about the circumstances and the options that we have to try to address it, in the short term and the long term," Christie said. "And I suspect that's what they'll do."Read More >
CAMDEN - Lest fellow politickers mistake his recent out-of-state travels or his red-on-blue bonding with compatriots across the aisle over issues like bail reform and Atlantic City as a mix-up of priorities, Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon found himself stomping out notions that he's advanced his own political ambitions at the expense of the state's Republican party.
That includes the senate race of obscure policy-wonk Jeff Bell, whose "broke" campaign, in the candidate's own words, has sputtered on the launch pad as Democratic contender U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) flies circles around it.
Christie, asked about an upcoming fundraiser for Bell, took the opportunity to defend his image against those who see him as forsaking a commitment to his own party by focusing on national campaigns as head of the Republican Governors Association. He said he "grows weary" of the implication that he's neglected the NJGOP during his time as governor.Read More >
Gov. Chris Christie will head to New Hampshire on Wednesday to stump for GOP hopefuls Walt Havenstein (governor) and Scott Brown (U.S. Senate).Read More >
Stockton Poll: Christie approval rating at 53% in NJ; Obama's at 44% Gov. Chris Christie’s approval ratings in New Jersey crack 50%, while fewer voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, according to a Stockton Polling Institute poll released today. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/81166/stockton-poll-christie-approval-rating-53-nj-obamas-44 NJ...
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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 >
"The Republican Governors Association raised $130,000 from tobacco companies during Christie’s stint as the group’s chairman, according to the most recent filings in June. The veto allows Christie to keep the peace with tobacco companies — and may very well prevent them from investing heavily in a presidential campaign for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, whose operatives could use the cash to finance attack ads against Christie in a tight primary contest." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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