Newark Mayor Cory Booker needed to do some damage control yesterday after taking heat for his endorsement of Richard Codey (D-Roseland) in the race for Senate President. Booker, at the urging of two lawyers who advise him, Elnardo Webster and Paul Fader, backed Codey after Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford) had already announced he had a majority of the Democratic Senate Caucus on his side. That caused some Democrats close to Sweeney - especially George Norcross - to offer Booker a bit of friendly guidance. (It's fair to assume that the advice included strategic assumptions for the 2013 Democratic gubernatorial primary.) Booker, realizing Webster and Fader might have screwed up a bit, put out a statement late in the day acknowledging Sweeney's victory over Codey, and endorsing Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) for Speaker. That probably made Norcross happy, but it won't be any consolation to Codey, who thought announcing a Booker endorsement a few hours earlier might be his salvation.Read More >
Sources close to Newark Mayor Cory Booker say that Central Ward Councilman Charlie Bell - who bested Booker-backed Eddie Osborne in a November 2008 special election to replace ousted Councilwoman Dana Rone - has cut a deal to run on the Booker Team's ticket in next year's municipal elections. The deal was reportedly negotiated a few days ago over golf between Bell, Booker's former law partner and (ex-Pittsburgh Steeler) Elnardo Webster, and campaign manager Pablo Fonseca.
This leaves only one real race in Newark next year, between South Ward Councilman Oscar James and former Councilman Ras Baraka. Sources say Booker expects to have between $5 and $7 million by the end of the year and is committed to spend as much as necessary to ensure a South Ward victory. James is a favorite of Booker and Webster.Read More >
North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato, Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, attorney Elnardo Webster and others are set to host a fundraiser for Hoboken mayoral candidate Peter Cammarano in Newark on May 27th at the Maize Restaurant.
It is at least the second such fundraiser Ramos has spearheaded on behalf of Cammarano, who first became friends when the latter did some work for Ramos as an elections lawyer. Newark West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice has also backed Cammarano from the start of his campaign for mayor of the mile-square city.
Moreover, at his annual Italian-Irish awards ceremony this year, Ramos-backer, North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato honored Cammarano’s boss, elections lawyer Angelo Genova.
Cammarano is waging a contest against 4th Ward Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer in Hoboken’s June 9th runoff election.Read More >
New Jersey Democrats haven’t had a real statewide primary in eight years – the last time was in 2000, when newcomer Jon Corzine beat former Governor Jim Florio’s South Jersey-based coalition in the U.S. Senate primary by a 58%-42% margin.
In the eleven primaries since Democrats last lost a U.S. Senate race in 1972, eight of them have been virtually uncontested. In 1978, basketball star Bill Bradley beat the establishment choice, State Treasurer Richard Leone, by a 59%-26% margin, with ex-State Sen. Alexander Menza receiving 9%. And in 1982, newcomer Frank Lautenberg won a ten candidate primary with 26% of the vote against former Reps. Andrew Maguire (23%) and Joseph LeFante (20%), and Princeton Mayor Barbara Boggs Sigmund (11%). Six other candidates – businessman Howard Rosen, former state Banking Commissioner Angelo Bianchi, Passaic County Freeholder Cyril Yannarelli, labor leader Frank Forst, Richard McAleer, and Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello combined for the remaining votes. Cresitello, who is running again this year, finished last with 4,295 votes statewide.Read More >
Former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks will headline a $1,000-per-person fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Sunday at the home of Donna and John MacPhee in Ridgewood. Rep. Steve Rothman, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg will also be in attendance.
The most vulnerable member of the New Jersey congressional delegation in 2008 is Donald Payne, a ten-term Democrat from Newark who won 97% of the vote in his last contested race. The 72-year-old Congressman has found himself on the wrong side of an Essex County Democratic political battle, and continues to anger some party leaders by the independent candidacy of his brother, Assemblyman William Payne, 74, in a race for the State Senate.
Payne's nephew, Craig Stanley, was defeated in a Democratic primary for State Assembly last week in a district where he was a six-term incumbent. Two other Payne-endorsed legislators, Oadline Truitt and Wilfredo Caraballo, also lost re-election in the primary. But another Payne candidate, State Sen. Ronald Rice, narrowly held his seat against a challenge from the political organization of Newark Mayor Cory Booker.Read More >
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez will face a minor primary challenge from James Kelly, a resident of a group home for the metally disabled in Morris County. Kelly sought the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2005 and ran for Congress in 1998. Menendez becomes the first incumbent United States Senator with a challenge for his party's nomination since 1988, when Frank Lautenberg was opposed by Elnardo Webster, Jr., the father of attorney Elnardo Webster III, a key player in the campaign of Newark mayoral candidate Cory Booker. Webster won 15% of the vote in that race.Read More >
The New York Times this morning offers a front page, in-depth look at operations at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey prior to the Bridgegate scandal.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
FDU Poll: Christie plummets 20 points Gov. Chris Christie's job approval took a 20 point drop in three plus months, according to this morning's Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll. Christie’s post Bridgegate job approval rating stands at 41% (with 44% who disapprove), down from 61% last November. Currently about...
BY JEFF BRINDLE Anytime now, the U.S. Supreme Court will render a decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. And while reformists may not like it, the high court is likely to allow national parties to raise far more money. That could strengthen them... Read More >
“Unfortunately for the governor, the investigation appears to be turning him into a more polarizing figure. As recently as late last year, his approval numbers were consistently bigger than his disapproves - by a pretty big margin - and more voters liked everything about him than disliked everything about him. One of the defining characteristics of the governor that makes him a nationally sought after Republican is his widespread appeal in a Democratic state. Bridgegate continues to erode that asset.” - FDU Poll Director Krista Jenkins.- PolitickerNJ.com
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