The Rodriguez Factor: Can a man under indictment turn the course of the Paterson Mayor's race?

The Rodriguez Factor: Can a man under indictment turn the course of the Paterson Mayor's race?
Rodriguez at Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

PATERSON – In public, At-Large Councilman Rigo Rodriguez shows no sign of being rattled by the fact that he’s under indictment, and, with a kind of Bill Musto gusto, runs his mayoral campaign as if he expects to win, as if he knows that in the end, the people will serve as his jury.

As the council approached the midnight hour Tuesday night, he turned the heads of colleagues who noticed him animatedly communicating with campaign personnel. Someone only half jokingly asked him if he intended to go pound on doors after the meeting.

Rodriguez proved the most consistently keyed in voluble presence on the dais Tuesday, seizing on citizens’ complaints and repeatedly criticizing the Jones administration for failing to act on certain council recommendations.

“That’s not cutting it,” rebuked the councilman, angling a stern look at a mayor’s representative on the issue of street maintenance.

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Morning Digest: April 10, 2014

Newark mayor's race: Political media group tied to Norcross paid for Jeffries independent expenditure TV buy

Newark mayor's race: Political media group tied to Norcross paid for Jeffries independent expenditure TV buy

NEWARK -  A Philadelphia-based Democratic political media and consulting group, whose clients include close associates of South Jersey power broker George Norcross III, has paid for current cable television campaign advertisements sponsored by an independent expenditure group that supports Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries, according to documents. 

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Judge rules against Select Committee on Investigations in Stepien/Kelly case

Judge rules against Select Committee on Investigations in Stepien/Kelly case

A judge this afternoon denied an appeal by the Select Oversight Committee into the George Washington Bridge lane closures to compel Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly to go before the investigative committee.

“For the reasons set forth in this opinion, plaintiff’s applications for judgments declaring that defendants have failed, without justification, to produce documents in accordance with the subpoenas are denied, as are plaintiff’s requests for injunctive relief ordering defendants to comply with the subpoenas,” Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobson wrote. “Plaintiff’s complaints in both actions are dismissed.”

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DiVincenzo wants Democrats to 'do the right thing' on arbitration cap bill

DiVincenzo wants Democrats to 'do the right thing' on arbitration cap bill

FAIRFIELD – Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo says he hopes Democratic lawmakers “do the right thing” and move on an arbitration cap proposal Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) allowed to expire.

DiVincenzo, who attended Gov. Chris Christie’s town hall in Essex County, said he agreed with the governor that renewing the arbitration cap is the right thing to do. The state Senate recently voted to renew the cap, though the Assembly permitted the proposal to expire after refusing to bring it to the floor for a vote by the end of March.

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Chris Christie says nationwide minimum wage hike could pose 'realistic danger to our economy'

Chris Christie says nationwide minimum wage hike could pose 'realistic danger to our economy'
Credit: Tim Larsen, Governor's Office File Photo

FAIRFIELD – Gov. Chris Christie referred to the way New Jersey lawmakers increased the state’s minimum wage as “crazy” and said he only supports “commonsense” proposals to increasing minimum pay nationwide.

The governor, fielding a question from a town hall attendee about whether he supports a nationwide minimum wage increase, said he felt what the Democratic-controlled Legislature did to increase the minimum wage was “a really bad idea.”

“[It’s] a crazy way to do business,” he said, referring to minimum wage hike being engrained in the state constitution and set to increase with inflation.

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Christie on pig gestation bill: 'If they send me the same thing then I’ll probably do the same thing'

Christie on pig gestation bill: 'If they send me the same thing then I’ll probably do the same thing'
Credit: Tim Larsen, Governor's Office File Photo

FAIRFIELD – Gov. Chris Christie said for the second time in as many weeks that he would reconsider signing off on a bill that proposes banning pig gestation crates – but only if it’s tweaked.

The governor, fielding a question from an attendee at his 118th town hall, promised to “look at” the pig gestation bill slated to hit his desk by the end of June and “use [his] head and [his] heart to try and figure out what’s the best thing to do.”

However, there was one caveat in his comments this time.

“If they send me the same thing then I’ll probably do the same thing,” Christie warned.

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DiVincenzo attends town hall as Christie takes shots at Democratic Legislature

DiVincenzo attends town hall as Christie takes shots at Democratic Legislature

FAIRFIELD – The Essex County executive is no fair-weather friend to Gov. Chris Christie.

Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and his chief of staff, Phil Alagia, got a front row seat to the governor’s 118th town hall event in Essex County’s Fairfield on Wednesday. DiVincenzo was on hand as Christie took shots at the Democratic-controlled Legislature months after supporting the Republican governor on the campaign trail.

DiVincenzo was a staple on the Christie campaign whenever the governor traveled through Essex County in the lead up to the recent statewide election.

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The Back Room

Trenton mayor's race: Worthy campaign funds surge according to filed ELEC report

Trenton mayoral candidate Walker M. Worthy, Jr. raised more than $75,000 during the most recent fundraising period, boosting his total campaign contributions to date to close to $110,000, according to a written statement issued by his campaign. 

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 15, 2014

East Side Neighborhood Association hosts packed Paterson Mayor's Forum PATERSON – On the eastern end of Market Street stands a restaurant amid the clinging remnants of industry and a city’s trampled history, where inside under chandeliers in front of a crowd of 100 people, seven candidates for mayor made...

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Op-Ed

Ryan's Budget Plan

BY ALBIO SIRES This week, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), released yet again another budget with misplaced priorities that will slow our economic recovery and destroy American jobs.  Rather than address the priorities of the... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"A break-in occurred early this morning at the offices owned by Carl Sharif and two others at 660 Stuyvesant Ave. in Irvington, New Jersey. Several items are reported missing, including two laptop computers owned by Carl Sharif. There is also reported damage in the building. The Irvington police were called and a report was filed." - Jeffries campaign spokeswoman Lupe Todd

- PolitickerNJ.com

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