Bill Pascrell

Bergen County Exec's race: Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich sees Bridgegate investigations as potential election catalyst

Bergen County Exec's race: Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich sees Bridgegate investigations as potential election catalyst

FORT LEE - Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was the emcee of Tuesday's meet-and-greet event at the Richard A. Nest Adult Activity Center in his Bergen County borough, introducing U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., (D-9) to the lunchtime crowd of about 50 people. 

More than 50 members of the press were jammed on the grass of Fort Lee's neighboring Borough Hall in January as what has become known as the Bridgegate scandal erupted. Sokolich stood in the national spotlight as Republican Gov. Chris Christie came to apologize. 

Christie's mea culpa, accepted by Sokolich, came after the revelation of email exchanges between a deputy on Gov. Christie's senior staff and Port Authority executives that link the two parties to controversial local access lane closures in September 2013 on the George Washington Bridge. 

The email exchange, which included "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," created chaos in town, whose Democratic Mayor Sokolich failed to endorse Christie in last year's gubernatorial race. The Christie administration has been accused of exacting political retribution on Sokolich for not backing the governor's re-election effort. Christie has denied that any retaliation took place, and both state and federal authorities still seek answers in separate investigations of the matter. 

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Bergen County Exec's race: Tedesco, Pascrell see certain synergy in South Bergen

Bergen County Exec's race: Tedesco, Pascrell see certain synergy in South Bergen

FORT LEE - If Democratic Bergen County Executive candidate Jim Tedesco hopes to win in the fall, he will have to make inroads in a place where the streets are familiar to Republican incumbent Kathleen Donovan: South Bergen County.

Donovan, who was raised in Lyndhurst, went to high school in North Arlington and now resides in Rutherford, is not an unfamiliar politician in the southern part of Bergen, a county in which the long-time politico has wide overall name recognition. 

But Tedesco, a Bergen County freeholder, could look to the 2012 Ninth Congressional District Democratic primary as a sign that some progress can be made against a candidate that has solid name recognition in the area. 

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Booker, Pascrell support Obama response to Ferguson civil disturbances

Booker, Pascrell support Obama response to Ferguson civil disturbances

FORT LEE - A convergence of state and local officials outside of a Bergen County senior center is a far cry from the fevered streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the Saint Louis suburb continues to be roiled by unrest more than a week after an unarmed black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer.

But in conversations with PolitickerNJ on Tuesday at a meet-and-greet event at Fort Lee's Richard A. Nest Adult Activity Center, both U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9) praised U.S. President Barack Obama's handing of the ongoing crisis, one that has highlighted the lingering fault lines in American race relations.

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When it comes to guv plans, everyone wants to hang out with Passaic's Jeff Gardner

When it comes to guv plans, everyone wants to hang out with Passaic's Jeff Gardner

Running for Passaic County clerk in a final reversal of gains the GOP made on Gov. Chris Christie’s 2009 coattails, Hawthorne Democratic Committee Chairman Jeff Gardner tonight welcomes Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) to a Brownstone fundraiser as yet another Democrat curious about statewide designs lands in the oddly shaped northern county.

Similarly sniffing out his own gubernatorial prospects, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) surfaced at a May fundraiser for Gardner.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop?

He’s got his own fundraising date with Gardner scheduled in October.

Gardner's allies probably wouldn't mind a visit from multimillionaire Philip Murphy, another fledgling gubernatorial prospect.

It’s a can’t miss chance to get photographed with a winner.

With U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) at the top of the ticket, the politically hyperkinetic Gardner appears well on his way to bulldozing incumbent GOP Clerk Kristin Corrado.

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Breaking: Speziale returning to Paterson to serve as Mayor Torres' police director

Breaking: Speziale returning to Paterson to serve as Mayor Torres' police director
Earlier today, Jerry Speziale, left, poses with Torres confidential aide Omar Rodriguez.

PATERSON - They say it's tough to get a decent slice of pizza in the south.

“There’s no pasta, that’s for sure,” cracked Jerry Speziale.

No offense to Prichard, Alabama, but Speziale wants to come home.

The former Passaic County Sheriff who fell out of favor with the Democratic Party establishment, bounced into a pair of blues at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on a GOP deal, and then ended up in a chief's uniform in the Yellowhammer State as he dealt with personal heartbreak, is returning to Paterson as police director in the administration of Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres.

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The only thing Congress can agree on these days is ending the War on Drugs

(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 because the War on Drugs is an epic failure.)  

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Pascrell on post-Paterson mayoral race fallout in Passaic County: "I have no challengers"

Pascrell on post-Paterson mayoral race fallout in Passaic County: "I have no challengers"

CLIFFSIDE PARK - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) came to the Bergen County borough of Cliffside Park on Monday to talk about legislation he is backing to fix New Jersey's crumbling infrastructure, backed by his Congressional colleague, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). 

After Pascrell's crushing victory over former U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9) in the June 2012 Democratic primary, a fight forced by Congressional redistricting, the former Paterson mayor had an air of invincibility after a torrent of votes drowned his opponent, Paterson Great Falls-style, on primary day.

But following the May 13 Paterson municipal election, in which Pascrell's preferred mayoral candidate, Andre Sayegh, was defeated by Joey Torres, some observers of the Passaic County political scene wondered if it was Pascrell who had now gone over the falls in a barrel.

Yet when asked by PolitickerNJ.com if his public alliance with the defeated Sayegh meant that he or his Passaic County Democratic Party allies, including New Jersey State Democratic Chairman and Passaic County Democratic Party Chairman John Currie, were threatened regarding their primacy in Passaic's political firmament, Pascrell personally scoffed at the idea of any potential challengers. 

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Menendez speaks out on political fights in Ukraine, Hudson County

Menendez speaks out on political fights in Ukraine, Hudson County

CLIFFSIDE PARK - U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) came to the Bergen County borough of Cliffside Park on Monday to discuss legislation he is backing to fix New Jersey's crumbling infrastructure. Flanked by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), who has introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives, he at one point held up a section of corroded sewer pipe to make a point. 

While any discussion of fraying infrastructure could be soporific to some, political warfare waged at home and abroad is anything but boring. And right now, Menendez has to contend with aggravated political corrosion on two fronts.

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Menendez is keeping close tabs on the volatile situation in Ukraine, where pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern half of the country, reportedly influenced and supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin, are locked in touch-and-go combat with Ukrainian troops. The potential disintegration of Ukraine, a nation which borders several of America's North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, could destabilize the entire region.

Meanwhile, the former congressman of a district concentrated in Hudson County and an erstwhile mayor of Union City, a Hudson municipality, is also witnessing potential fragmentation at home over the next eight days that could destabilize county politics. 

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CD 12 race: Watson Coleman campaign strategist: any Trenton power base invasion will be Greenstein's Waterloo

CD 12 race: Watson Coleman campaign strategist: any Trenton power base invasion will be Greenstein's Waterloo

TRENTON - James Gee, a longtime Trenton political player, is now embroiled in two soon-to-be concluded political battles that will shape city politics for years to come. 

In the June 3 Democratic primary in the Twelfth Congressional District, Trenton voters will close between state Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15), who lives in neighboring Ewing, state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14) and state Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-17). The CD 12 struggle will arguably be the most closely-watched Congressional primary in New Jersey. 

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The cross-circuits of Democratic Party politics: past and future converge on tomorrow

The cross-circuits of Democratic Party politics: past and future converge on tomorrow
Paterson mayoral candidate Andre Sayegh and his wife and daughter attend a local church service on Sunday.

In this cycle, nursing confusions and mangled alliances from 2013 and intent on reformulating and hardening battle lines leading up to 2017, the statewide Democratic Party warred with itself locally, its internal divisions enhanced by overwhelming outside spending.  

The theaters all fit together – Paterson, Irvington, Trenton, Bayonne - and at the center stood Newark, in many ways the torque point for everything else.

Undiscovered territory undergirds these contests, specifically the amount of spending by independent expenditure groups: so far a total of $2.7 million in the cities – most of it ($2.6 million to date) in Newark; and the bulk of the Newark IE spending ($1.7 million) lined up in favor of establishment Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

The most independent spending locally prior to this year was $251,000 by Better Education for Our Kids (B4K) in the 2013 Jersey City mayor’s race.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 20th

Bergen County Exec's race: Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich sees Bridgegate investigations as potential election catalyst FORT LEE - Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was the emcee of Tuesday's meet-and-greet event at the Richard A. Nest Adult Activity Center in his Bergen County borough, introducing U.S. Sen. Cory Booker...

Op-Ed

Simplify Pay-to-Play with one state law

By Jeff Brindle A lone PAC contribution to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson’s campaign highlights the need for pay-to-play reform in New Jersey. During the recent mayoralty election in Trenton, newly elected Mayor Eric Jackson received an $8,200 campaign... Read More >

Contributors

(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 »
(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 »

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