Mark Alexander

In East Orange, Bowser builds his team around a hallowed office

In East Orange, Bowser builds his team around a hallowed office
Bowser, left, with Alexander

EAST ORANGE – Mayor Bob Bowser puts considerable stock in being a mayor, an office he has held for 16 years in this Essex County town where the main, broad boulevard rumbling with buses, cabs and cop cars runs into Newark to eastward and into the mountains west.

Few people know their freeholders or Assembly people or even, in many places, their congressperson, Bowser told a packed room of supporters at his kickoff in pursuit of a fifth term.

But they know the mayor.

And the mayor knows things, like how to wait to put a shovel in the ground of a new development before putting up the sign announcing the project.

Bowser learned that lesson the hard way, he said, when the sign collapsed in ruin before the new building went up, but while his neophyte opponents try to campaign for East Orange offices in Bloomfield – unable to find the town they hope to serve on a map, according to a diabolically grinning Bowser amid guffaws throughout the room –the incumbent professes decidedly local love.

“This is where the action is,” Bowser declared. “We need to work at the local level.”

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Obama appoints former campaign director to Fulbright Board

Obama appoints former campaign director to Fulbright Board

President Barack Obama this week appointed Mark C. Alexander of Montclair to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

A professor of law at Seton Hall University, Alexander served as Obama's New Jersey campaign director during the 2008 presidential primary. 

One of four presidential appointees to the board, Alexander joined Mark Brzezinski, Lisa Caputo and Shelby Lewis. 

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Nearly a year into Obama's term, Alexander reflects on the president's challenges

Nearly a year into Obama's term, Alexander reflects on the president's challenges

Proclaiming change in the face of the Hillary Clinton juggernaut, Mark Alexander, Obama's New Jersey go-to guy during the 2008 Democratic Primary, doesn't see a contradiction between the candidate whom progressives embraced as an antidote to the Iraq War embattled W. - and the commander-in-chief who last week called for an additional 30,000 combat forces in Afghanistan, even if Alexander acknowledges some first-year mechanical stumbles.

"During the campaign, he consistently called for a more responsible approach in Iraq and a stepped up role in Afghanistan," said Obama's former statewide director, a resident of Montclair and professor of elections and Constritutional Law at Seton Hall University.

"People may be unhappy, and I understand that, but they should not be surprised."

But as a self-professed change agent, did Obama not consistently give the impression throughout the campaign that he would be less willing than the sitting power structure to rely on a military as opposed to a counter terrorism Middle East strategy, asked Alexander.

"I assume his decision here is not exclusive of intelligence operations," he said. "I have trust and faith in him that he haas thought about this and concluded he can't make enough progress without enforcing it with additional troops. He has additional information. Certainly seeing this idea of going to war is very troubling, but in his speech he told people what the threats were and laid out case, which I believe demonstrated a president making these decisions very carefully, as opposed to Bush, who did not have that confidence from the American people."

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Alexander praises Weinberg as LG choice

Alexander praises Weinberg as LG choice
Mark Alexander

A few middle and lower rung Democratic Party operatives tried to inject the name of Seton Hall University Law Professor Mark Alexander into the lieutenant governor sweepstakes last week as Randal Pinkett 's candidacy, once leaked, tanked fast.

While Alexander's LG candidacy lasted almost as long as a single lunch meeting at Pal's Cabin, the former state director for Barack Obama's presidential campaign in New Jersey today said he was delighted with Gov. Jon Corzine's choice today of state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) as his running mate.  

“Loretta Weinberg is an excellent choice for lieutenant governor," said Alexander. "I am so glad to have worked closely with her, particularly during the primaries, as she was a great representative of our campaign. She has excellent experience and will be a great partner with Jon Corzine in Trenton."

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For the record: DiVincenzo doesn't want LG

For the record: DiVincenzo doesn't want LG
Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, center, greets state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Middletown), now chair of the Christie campaign, with Steve Adubato, Jr., left, and Christie confidante Bill Palatucci at last year's North Ward Center party at the Breakers.

Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo officially scratched himself off a shortening - and then lengthening - and now indeterminate lieutenant governor gossip sheet tonight, saying he wouldn't take the job if Gov. Jon Corzine offered. 

"I'm going to be running for Essex County Executive next year," said DiVincenzo, who is seeking his third term. "The more successful I am as county executive, people are interested in me wanting to run for lieutenant governor. But I'm not interested.

"I'm running for re-election," he added. "Jon knows I'm going to work very hard to get him re-elected."

DiVincenzo said he heard the LG rumors kick in about him on Friday, and he dismissed them. Today, The Inside Edge wrote a piece acknowledging the backchatter.

"I never talked to the governor, he never called me about this, I just want to put the rumor to rest," DiVincenzo told

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The Alexander connection

Elizabeth Alexander, who was commissioned to write and deliver an original poem for President Barack Obama’s inauguration today, is the sister of Mark Alexander, a Seton Hall University law professor who ran Obama’s primary campaign in New Jersey.   They are the children of Clifford Alexander, who served as a White House aide under Lyndon Johnson and as U.S. Secretary of the Army under Jimmy Carter. 

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Alexander scheduled to stay in NJ, but if Obama offer arises, he could go to D.C.

Alexander scheduled to stay in NJ, but if Obama offer arises, he could go to D.C.
Mark Alexander at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Mark Alexander, state director of the Obama campaign during the primary and a senior policy director during the general, has not been offered a position in the president-elect's administration.

But he could be tempted if the offer comes his way.

“I am on the schedule to teach Constitutional Law at Seton Hall in the spring term, and I look forward to that," Alexander told  "I love my life here in New Jersey, and I can’t comment on any future job possibilities in Washington. If I were offered an opportunity to serve in the Obama Administration, I would of course have to consider that opportunity seriously.”

Following the Feb. 5th New Jersey Primary, Alexander worked in other primary states in addition to later fulfilling duties in his homestate.

In the wake of the Nov. 4th election, he told friends that after months on the trail, he would find it difficult to uproot his family from Montclair to re-locate to Washignton, D.C.  Whatever happens, he said he wants to relish the time he has here in his home state in the aftermath of the grueling campaign.

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Politico: Kean could be Obama's Education Secretary

Politico is speculating that former Gov. Thomas Kean, a Republican, is a possible candidate for U.S. Secretary of Education in Barack Obama's cabinet.  Kean served as Governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990, and President of Drew University from 1990 to 2004.  Also on the list of Education Department candidates: University of Oklahoma President David Boren, a former Democratic U.S. Senator from Oklahoma; and U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.).

The Politico list does not include Seton Hall University Law Professor Mark Alexander as a candidate for White House Counsel.  Alexander was included on a short list published by the American Bar Association last week.

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ABA: Alexander could be White House Counsel

The American Bar Association Journal has listed Mark Alexander, a Seton Hall law professor, as a favorite to become White House Counsel if Barack Obama wins the presidency. Alexander, now a senior advisor to the Obama campaign, served as National Issues Director and managed Obama's New Jersey campaign for the February 5 Democratic primary. According to the article, the list was compiled after dozens of interviews with people who know the candidate well.

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Obama supporters rally in Paterson

PATERSON - Since North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato brought New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to the Flamboyan on the weekend after the Democratic National Convention, major Latino leaders have to this point hardly shown overwhelming enthusiasm in their endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.).

Hillary Clinton beat Obama in the Democratic Primary by almost ten percent or roughly the equivalent of the Latino vote, which is heavily Democratic in New Jersey and which was energized for Feb. 5th by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken), Adubato and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York).

Now heading for the general election in three weeks and mindful - but not fearful - of that primary falloff in Latino numbers for Obama, party leaders held a Spanish and Spanglish-heavy rally here today, in a city that's over 50 percent Latino, in a county where Latinos number 44,849, or well over a fifth of all registered voters in Passaic.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: October 1st

Bergen County Freeholder forum mostly convivial, but at times confrontational TEANECK - The Bergen County freeholder forum on Tuesday night was a relatively collegial affair until the final two minutes on the 90-minute event. Republican freeholder candidate Robert Avery, flanked by fellow GOP freeholder candidate Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh, referred to...


Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


In tribute to John Sheridan, a good and great man     I first learned late last night from television news that John P. Sheridan, Jr. and his wife, Joyce had... more »
(9-24-14) The Founding Fathers and the Militarization of the Police - No matter what the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri decides, the debate over the militarization of... more »
(Trenton, NJ) --  On September 23, 2015 I shall dig this up and eat whatever crow I've got coming, but in the meantime only a listicle... 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

"I see Loretta Weinberg in the back of the room. Loretta, you have my eternal admiration for what you did to rid the Democratic Party of a certain political boss. However, not everyone shares that distinction." - Bergen County Republican Freeholder candidate Robert Avery

- PolitickerNJ


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