In the aftermath of Scotland's independence vote, N.J. Scots both reel and revel

In the aftermath of Scotland's independence vote, N.J. Scots both reel and revel

KEARNY - On the day after Scotland voted 55 percent to 45 percent to stay in the United Kingdom, the reactions of those Scots and their descendants who immigrated in force to the Hudson County town of Kearny were as mixed as those in their homeland were in the days before the fateful vote. 

"It looks like everybody voted with their pockets, rather than their hearts for their country," said Alastair Stewart, the owner of Stewart's Scottish Market on Kearny Avenue, who is a Scottish independence supporter. 

Stewart accused British Prime Minister David Cameron of "fear mongering," an allusion to establishment forces focusing on issues such as what currency Scotland would use, who would shoulder the burden of public debt and would the revenue from the North Sea oil reserves be divided, among other concerns, if secession advocates prevailed. 

But Stewart, 58, of Kearny, also accused Scots who voted 'no' of simply being fearful.

"I'm disappointed. Seven hundred years after 'Braveheart,' they blow it," Stewart said, a reference to the exploits of Scottish hero William Wallace, the subject of the famed film.

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CD3 shakeup: A real horse race?

CD3 shakeup: A real horse race?
MacArthur stands with the owners of Radwell International in Lumberton during a press conference earlier today

When the races toward November's general election for congressional campaigns in the state began in earnest earlier this year, the prospect of any one them turning out to be truly competitive seemed slim -- including the one in South Jersey's third congressional district, where Republican businessman Tom MacArthur is knuckling with Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-3).

Early on, the challenges for the Democratic hopeful -- any Democratic hopeful -- in that race were clear: CD3 is, for the most part, a deeply conservative district, a breeding ground and springboard for Washington-aspiring Republican candidates going back over a century (with the exception of the late John Adler in 2008, who eked out a Democratic victory on the coattails of Barack Obama's own bid for the presidency). This time around, it's also an issue of money for Belgard, who's own attempts at fundraising -- though successful -- have come up short against the self-funding MacArthur.

But in a lopsided matchup where the advantage was long thought to belong to the Republican contender  -- both because of funding and given the territory -- the congressional race between Tom MacArthur and Democratic hopeful Aimee Belgard looks to be shaping up to be closer than anyone had predicted.

At least, the developments this week in the race would indicate as much.

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Former Tick Tock Diner manager gets 8 years for plotting to kill his uncle

Former Tick Tock Diner manager gets 8 years for plotting to kill his uncle

 Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that the former manager of the landmark Tick Tock Diner in Clifton was sentenced to prison today for attempting to hire a hit man to murder his uncle.  The New Jersey State Police foiled the alleged murder plot and arrested the manager in April 2013.

Georgios Spyropoulos, 46, of Clifton, was sentenced to eight years in state prison, including nearly seven years of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act, by Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Caposela in Passaic County.  In addition, he will be subject to five years of supervised release after he completes the prison sentence.  He pleaded guilty on July 14 to a first-degree charge of conspiracy to commit murder.  At the time of his guilty plea, Spyropoulos signed a consent order that prohibits him from ever having any contact with the victim, the victim’s family or any of the family’s businesses in the future.

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MacArthur: 'I support strong action' in Syrian, Islamic State conflict

MacArthur: 'I support strong action' in Syrian, Islamic State conflict

LUMBERTON -  Republican businessman and congressional candidate in CD3 Tom MacArthur said today that he supports aiding "the people who are on the ground fighting" against the terrorist group ISIS/ISIL in the Middle East, indicating that he'd likely fall among those in Congress who voted this week to arm and equip moderate rebel fighters in Syria.

"I called probably a month ago now for strong actions against ISIS," MacArthur said during a press conference today at Radwell International, a electric parts and equipment company in Burlington County, where he unveiled and 11 page job plan for kick starting economic growth in the South Jersey district.  "I do support expanded airstrikes in Iraq and in Syria, I support training of troops, Iraqi troops, Kurdish troops, reliable Syrian troops, because they have to take this fight, it's their neighborhood, they have to take the fight against ISIS. And make no mistake about it, ISIS has to be crushed. They have to be. They're devastating a region of the world that we have a key interest in. And so I support strong action."

Just yesterday, the Senate threw its support behind the measure proposed by President Barack Obama to fund and train Syrian rebel groups -- to the tune of $500 million -- fighting against ISIS/ISIL in the region, a day after the House gave its own stamp of approval. Pressed by PolitickerNJ if he agreed with the president's strategy, which also includes increasing airstrikes and humanitarian aid in Syria and Iraq, MacArthur answered confidently, if not a little indistinctly.

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Winners and Losers: Week of September 15th

Winners and Losers: Week of September 15th

Twenty caregivers returning to work after a three-day strike couldn't get into Alaris Health in Union City early Friday morning. 

Mayor Brian P. Stack accompanied them in the Castle Hill section of Union City as they attemtped to clock-in at 7a.m. 

"This is a disgraceful and despicable act by the owners of this facility and I will do everything in my power to rally all of the other elected officials in Hudson County to help these workers," Stack said.

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Fight of the Week: Baraka v. Joe D

Fight of the Week: Baraka v. Joe D

Carlos Gonzalez's moment to become a Newark municipal court judge came and went in almost less time than it takes to bang a gavel earlier this month.

On September 11, PolitickerNJ reported that sources were saying Gonzalez, an at-large Newark city councilman, was in line for a judge's slot. The very next day, Gonzalez politely declined Newark Mayor Ras Baraka's offer to don the black robes.

What gives? Nothing less than the continual give and take between Baraka and Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo for control of the county.

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Quintana calls for Newark summit with Christie; on a 2015 Primary: 'I see it as very difficult to beat the machine'

Quintana calls for Newark summit with Christie; on a 2015 Primary: 'I see it as very difficult to beat the machine'

NEWARK – He has a new office, been there for two months, up on Mount Prospect Avenue, where he’s settling in as the at-large councilman again after serving as interim mayor.

It was a tough eight months.

But veteran At-Large Councilman Luis Quintana insists on being positive.

He has numerous keepsakes on the walls: the portrait of his mother, the shoe shine box he used as an immigrant child on the streets of his beloved Newark, the bust of Abe Lincoln, the American Flag U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) presented to him when he became mayor, the photo of a girl suffering from cancer, the woman he proudly promoted to police chief, the picture of him with former Mayor Ken Gibson.

The city’s struggling.

He felt it when he was mayor.

“The greatest pain I felt as mayor was being told ‘you can’t,’” he said. “You’re at the mercy of the state.”

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If called, will go, but Booker says he's focused on NJ for the duration

If called, will go, but Booker says he's focused on NJ for the duration

HOBOKEN -U.S. Sen. Cory Booker may kick out to another state in the remaining 46 days before Election Day.

"Should I be called," he told PolitickerNJ.

But for the most part, Booker said he intends to campaign in New Jersey and help others - Roy Cho in CD5 and Aimee Belgard in CD3 among them.

"Right now I'm focused on New Jersey," he said.

The U.S. Senator appeared here earlier today alongside U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and other elected officials as the federal reps announced $1.5 billion in Sandy resiliency grants to repair and fortify the state's transit system.

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The Back Room

Dems stumble over one another on guv trail as newly mic'd up Murphy joins the fray

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) regaled the crowd tonight gathered for a Middlesex County Democratic Committee fundraiser organized by Chairman Kevin McCabe.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...

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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 >


(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... 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 »
 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

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ


Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':


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