RED BANK - Joe Kyrillos' perspective on New Jersey politics has roots in his Monmouth County home, but has stretched statewide because of a word critical in Garden State politics: relationships.
The veteran Republican state Senator from the 13th Legislative District, who has served in the Legislature since 1988, has built a network from his Middletown home base that has extended around New Jersey, as evidenced during his unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez in 2012.
Kyrillos' close political and personal alliance with Gov. Chris Christie is well known. The governor even played matchmaker for Kyrillos and his wife, Susan.
In a phone interview with PolitickerNJ from his Red Bank office, Kyrillos, 54, riffed on Republican power in Monmouth, as well as the direction of the GOP in the Chris Christie era.Read More >
JERSEY CITY – Young people are despairing and the Democratic Party provides no hope, said U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), in a sit down interview Tuesday with PolitickerNJ.
“We are floating on a barge with no direction,” said Sires, the former West New York mayor and Assembly Speaker who whipped Joe Vas of Perth Amboy to win Bob Menendez’s vacant congressional seat.
“I think there’s despair. People see no future. Jobs are limited. I think there’s despair in the air,” said Sires. “Young people are falling into debt. They can’t afford their education. We get calls here all the time.”
Republicans implemented a better redistricting strategy 10 years ago to win statehouses and governorships, Sires said, but the GOP is mired in a fundamental cynical misunderstanding of the role of government in American life.Read More >
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.Read More >
LONG BRANCH - Facing increasing pressure from some state lawmakers who would like to see investigations into administrative and fiscal mishandlings within the public school system of New Jersey's largest city, Gov. Chris Christie stopped to offer his own assessment of Newark's troubled education situation, as well as a brief job report for newly reappointed schools superintendent Cami Anderson.
On the embattled superintendent, who lies at the heart of ongoing controversy surrounding the city's public schools, Christie said that "on balance" she's doing "a very good job."
"I believe she's making improvements," Christie, who recently reappointed Anderson for another three-year term despite calls to the contrary from local community leaders and legislators, told a crowd of supporters at his latest "No pain, No gain" town hall here today. "Is she perfect? No, nobody is."Read More >
PolitickerNJ reporter Mark Bonamo will appear on a weekend public interest television program.Read More >
ASBURY PARK - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) chairman, said on Friday that when it comes to his personal calculus about his possible 2016 GOP presidential run, the outcomes the of 2014 gubernatorial races around the nation don't add up.
"It won't affect the decision, no. It might affect the way some people feel about me, but it won't affect my decision. My decision can't be based on politics, because anybody who tries to predict what's going to happen in the presidential election over two years from now is deluding themselves," Christie told PolitickerNJ following remarks made on the Asbury Park boardwalk alongside state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin.Read More >
Once the towering inferno of John Lynch, the Middlesex County Democratic Organization now tries to refashion on those charred remains, something out of Chris Christie’s squeak-out win over Jon Corzine (2009), his trouncing of home county candidate Barbara Buono (2013), and Bonnie Watson Coleman’s 2014 demolition of Linda Greenstein.
Despite the run of wrong-ended butt-kickings, Middlesex (156,782 registered Dems to 54,475 Republicans) finds itself now in an optimal position to rebuild as at least three Democratic candidates scuffle ahead of the 2017 nomination and look to the sprawling county for a boost.
Everyone has a sturdy baling hook in Middlesex.
A Building Trades icon, state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) has obvious close ties to the Carpenters, who employ Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe.Read More >
CAMDEN - With recent polls showing a closer-than-expected battle with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Bell, incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) laced into Bell on Monday, implying that Bell is part of the problem, not the solution, to partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C..
"I told voters in the last election that I was going to go down there not to be a partisan - I was going down there to build bridges so we could actually get things done for the people in state of New Jersey," said Booker, who defeated GOP conservative Steve Lonegan by 11 percentage points in the special U.S. Senate election in October 2013 to replace the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. "In a very short period of time, I've already got legislation moving with a number of Republicans. From working with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on apprenticeship programs, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) on expanding resources for public schools to expand their school year and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a potential presidential candidate, on expanding access to spectrum [Internet] broadband penetration for disadvantaged folk - this is really the norm.
"I'm demonstrating to voters that I don't want to be a part of the partisan gridlock," Booker added. "I'm going to break through that."Read More >
NORTH ARLINGTON - In some ways, the Bergen County borough of North Arlington is better known for its dead than its living - about 15,000 people live in Bergen's southernmost town, while more than 250,000 people permanently reside in Holy Cross Cemetery.
But in this year's North Arlington mayoral election, the key issue focuses on how residents hope to live better through redevelopment that will spark economic growth in the largely blue-collar, middle-class town on the banks of the Passaic River and next to the Meadowlands.Read More >
One of the most interesting races of the season doesn’t involve congress or mayor or future implications for governor, but the presidency of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police, where four men face off next week in a town-by-town lodge war to succeed retiring President Ed Brannigan (pictured).
Their shared antagonist is Gov. Chris Christie – but for the moment they’ll settle on one another.
At the heart of the contest stand rivals Steve Demofonte, executive vice president of the FOP; and the man he vanquished, Bob Fox of Cherry Hill, former VP, who’s trying to exact payback.Read More >
The Star-Ledger will make a "significant announcement" to employees early next month, according to a source.Read More >
'We believe in redemption': Roque heads into 2015 with full backing of the HCDO WEST NEW YORK – When local pain specialist Dr. Felix Roque delivered U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) from discomfort and restored him to the golf course, the congressman in return indulged the political fancies of...
By Jeff Brindle An August 15, 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler reaffirmed the place of political parties in the State’s electoral system. By rejecting arguments that unaffiliated voters should have a right to vote in... Read More >
"I think he was an army general, what was he?" - state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-32)- PolitickerNJ
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