By Matt Friedman | May 27th, 2009 - 12:08pm
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Gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan today announced the endorsement of Minuteman Project Founder Jim Gilchrist.

Gilchrist, a California native whose group opposes illegal immigration and has its members patrol the U.S.-Mexican border as private citizens, said that “Steve Lonegan and I worked together to stop the illegal alien invasion in our country now being facilitated by Barack Obama.”

Gilchrist pointed to a comment Christie made at a church forum in Dover in April, 2008, when he was U.S. Attorney.  At the event, Christie said “being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime.”  

That caused a bit of an uproar among conservatives and other anti-illegal immigrant activists.  CNN firebrand Lou Dobbs even chewed Christie out for it.

Christie moved immediately to mollify them with a statement of clarification by U.S. Attorney Office spokesman Michael Drewniak.  It read that “He did not say, nor did he mean, that entering this country through any means other than the appropriate immigration channels is a lawful act.”  

“Chris Christie said that being an illegal alien is not a crime and that illustrates his attitude towards this problem,” Gilchrist said in a statement issued by the Lonegan campaign.  “And as U.S. Attorney he literally ignored the problem, bringing just 13 cases against illegal aliens in seven years.”

Gilchrist did not mention Lonegan’s hiring in 2007 of two undocumented workers to assemble signs for the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity, which Lonegan ran at the time.  That came up during the gubernatorial debate last night, during which Lonegan said that one of the workers was documented.  

This is not Gilchrist’s first foray into New Jersey politics.  He endorsed Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly when he was running for the GOP nomination for Congress in the 3rd District.

The Back Room

Names on the LD7 GOP bench

In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 30th

  With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is calling the legislature into special session Thursday to address recent bail reform legislation before a looming deadline next week, according to a letter from the governor’s office today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)...

Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

Poll

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