Bill Pascrell

One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide

One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide

CLIFTON – It was the typical crowd with black yarmulkes and leopard-patterned hijab sprinkled among uncovered bald heads – Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish – Spanish Flamenco-style hair pulled back and framed by loop earrings and at least one tricorn hat: a Great Falls-sized confluence of humanity crammed into Town Hall here where U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) stood at the front of the room straddling the most obvious divide.

“Israelis don’t want peace more than the Palestinians, Palestinians don’t want peace more than the Israelis, but I do know one thing: Hamas is a terrorist organization,” said Pascrell.

It’s a delicate balance with war in the Middle East: strikes in Libya, President Barack Obama authorizing surveillance flights over Syria and an American journalist executed by ISIS last week.

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Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell

Fight of the Week

Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9)

The most-watched race of the season after Labor Day will be Donovan versus Bergen County Freeholder (and former Paramus Mayor) James Tedesco. Republicans are confident that Donovan’s mix of money and name ID and Obama backlash will blunt the Democrats’ attack. But Dems are trying to take advantage of the fact that the popular Pascrell will be on the ticket for the first time in a Bergen County executive’s race and in position to fight house to house in Donovan’s home portion of the sprawling county.

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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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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 2nd

Campaign season now under way in Bergen County Politics is practiced year-round in Bergen County, and street-level campaigning has been going on quietly all summer. But both Republicans and Democrats say the Rutherford Street Fair on Labor Day signals a more intense phase of electioneering. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record) http://www.northjersey.com/news/campaign-season-now-under-way-in-bergen-county-1.1079080  ...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

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 >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... 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

"Governor Christie ripped President Obama this summer for failing to carve out some time during a Texas fundraising swing to visit the Mexican border, where the unprecedented flood of immigrant children from Central America had reached a crisis point. ...Yet Christie is not squeezing in a tour of the troubled border during his own three-day trade and diplomatic mission to Mexico, which is set to begin on Wednesday. The governor is planning a series of meetings with Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto and the finance and energy ministers." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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Governor Chris Christie's trip to Mexico...:

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