Jon Corzine has this debate stuff all figured out. Facing a little bit of pressure to participate in more than the two officially sanctioned debates run by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Corzine has accepted an invitation to debate Republican Christopher Christie and Independent Christopher Daggett on WBGO FM, a Newark-based jazz radio station. By accepting the Jazz88 debate, Corzine gets to say he's participating in three debates while eschewing two invitations from stations with a substantially larger audience: the ABC network affiliates in New York and Philadelphia (who have offered to pre-empt Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune so the debate could air from 7-8 PM on a weeknight), and NJ 101.5, the state's largest and most politically influential radio station.
Corzine also enjoys the comfort of knowing that Jazz88 is run by friendly faces. Among the members of the station's Board of Trustees are Scott Weiner, a former Florio cabinet member who headed the School Construction Corporation under Corzine; Oliver Quinn, who was one of Corzine's appointees to the University of Medicine and Dentistry Board of Directors (and a public supporter of reality TV star Randal Pinkett for Lt. Governor); former Hillside Mayor Samuel McGhee, the Executive Director of the Joint Meeting of Essex & Union Counties; Diane Hill, the Rutgers-Newark community relations director and a former aide to Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange); Mindy Cohen, who is a co-owner of Evergreen Partners along with Democratic fundraiser Karen Kessler; and Cathedral Health Systems Chief Administrative Officer William Vazquez, who works with the state Department of Health and Senior Services on funding issues.Read More >
The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission has named Jeffrey Brindle, an ELEC staffer since 1985, as the new Executive Director. He will replace Frederick Herrmann, who is retiring after 25 years in office. He becomes the fifth ELEC Executive Director, following David Norcross, Lewis Thurston, Scott Weiner and Herrmann.
Brindle was active in Republican politics before taking a post at ELEC. He worked as a political consultant in the 1970's, served as New Brunswick GOP Municipal Chairman, worked on the legislative staffs of State Sen. John Ewing and Assemblymen Walter Kavanaugh and Elliot Smith, and as Deputy Somerset County Clerk. He was the Republican candidate for State Assembly in the 17th district in 1977, but lost the general election to Democrats David Schwartz and Joseph Patero. He joined state government after Thomas Kean's election as Governor and was the Communications Director at the Department of Community Affairs from 1982 to 1985.Read More >
There is speculation today that state Transportation Commission Kris Kolluri will become the new head of the embattled New Jersey Schools Development Authority (formerly the embattled New Jersey School Construction Corporation), and that Gov. Jon Corzine will name Stephen Dilts, now the Deputy Comissioner of Transportation, to replace Kolluri. Kolluri, viewed as one of Jon Corzine's favorite cabinet members -- and a possible candidate for Lt. Governor next year -- replaces Scott Weiner, who decided to retire after being asked to leave.Read More >
A PolitickerNJ.com report last month that Scott Weiner was retiring as head of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority was incorrect, and with apologies to our readers, this website offers a correction: while Weiner said that he was leaving because he thought it was time for the embattled school construction agency to hire a CEO who would commit to long term service, he was effectively fired. Gov. Jon Corzine, according to sources familiar with the events, asked Weiner to leave. The former Commissioner of Environemental Protection was allowed to issue a public statement giving the impression that his departure was on good terms.Read More >
The announcement today that Dr. Frederick Herrmann will retire after 23 years as Executive Director of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission prompts speculation on his successor. While Herrmann had built a reputation as a non-partisan enforcer of campaign finance laws, his three predecessors came from political backgrounds – and while the new Executive Director will be named by the four ELEC Commissioners (two Democrats and two Republicans), it’s more likely that Gov. Jon Corzine will influence the process.
With some senior Star-Ledger reporters being offered buyouts, one possible candidate for Herrmann’s $125,000-a-year job is Robert Schwaneberg, who spent years covering state government, including the Judiciary and ELEC. Schwaneberg, the husband of New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens, is well-liked by Corzine and by Democratic and Republican leaders. One front office insider suggested that several soon-to-be former Star-Ledger reporters will find their way into the administration.Read More >
INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP SUBMITS THIRD REPORT ON SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
TRENTON Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Interagency Working Group on School Construction today presented its third report on the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s school construction program to Governor Jon S. Corzine. The report includes recommendations for a project prioritization methodology as well as $2.5 billion in new funding for Abbott Districts and $750 million in new funding for Regular Operating Districts.Read More >
CORZINE SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER TO FACILITATE REVIEW AND REFORM AT SCHOOLS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION
TRENTON - Governor Jon S. Corzine today signed an Executive Order creating a new position of oversight of the School Construction Program and a new working group that will oversee a full review of the program and recommend reforms. Corzine also appointed 6 new members to the Schools Construction Corporation (SCC) Board of Directors, including Barry L. Zubrow, who will serve as Chairman, and named Scott Weiner to the new oversight position of Special Counsel.Read More >
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s office has served subpoenas to Bergen County, Hackensack and North Arlington seeking information about the employment of public relations consultant Thomas Ammirato, who works for all three government entities, according to a report in the Bergen Record.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
Fired Chris Christie staffer isn’t ‘someone running away,’ attorney says TRENTON – Fired Gov. Chris Christie staffer Bridget Anne Kelly appeared to be fighting back tears outside of the Trenton courthouse Tuesday. The former deputy chief of staff who’s widely considered to the author of the infamous “time...
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 >
"It sounds like Councilman Baraka is talking about regionalization similar to what happened to the Camden Police Department. Clearly, if you regionalize, there is going to be a layoff of Newark workers. We cant afford to have more cops laid off right now. During Mr. Baraka's time on the council, the city laid off about 170 cops, when has led to our streets being much more dangerous than they need to be." - Newark Mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries, the former state Assistant Attorney General, referring to the disbandment of the South Jersey police force.- PolitickerNJ.com
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