Today’s news from PoliticsNJ.com

Stephen Sweeney in as majority leader, Tom Kean, Jr. as Minority leader, Charlotte DeFilippo under investigation by state, Matt Boxer nominated as comptroller.

THE SOUTH RISES

“They may have widened their majority this week, but that hasn’t made it any easier for Democrats in the state Senate to find common ground.

While Senate Republicans yesterday replaced Leonard Lance with Tom Kean Jr. as their leader in a smooth public display of unity, Senate Democrats were in a frenzy most of the afternoon, deadlocked over who would serve as majority leader.

Senate President Richard Codey was never in danger of losing his post and was re-elected unanimously by the Democrats, who will control the Senate 23-17. But there was an all-out, backroom brawl over who would become Codey’s deputy as majority leader in the upper house.

In the end, Sen. Stephen Sweeney of Gloucester County beat out Sen. Paul Sarlo of Bergen, despite Codey’s public support for Sarlo and early word that a deal had been brokered for Sarlo to get the job.

“I wish him well,” Codey said of Sweeney after senators had shuttled in and out of his office on the second floor of the Statehouse for two hours. Codey declined to comment further or speak to reporters gathered in the Senate gallery. ” (Margolin and Donohue, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1194587666249390.xml&coll=1

Republicans may have had more victories in Atlantic and Cape May counties Tuesday, but their Democratic opponents did more to capture political control of the region by winning a pair of Senate seats long held by Republicans.

The well-funded Senate victories of Assemblymen Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, and James Whelan, D-Atlantic, expand the power base of a Democratic Party steadily blanketing New Jersey.

“Looking at this district, with the historical viewpoint, it’s clearly a chip out of the Republican armor,” Montclair State University political science professor Brigid Harrison said. Harrison, who ran for Atlantic County freeholder as a Democrat in 1996, is one of the most-quoted political analysts in the state and provided live commentary for New Jersey Network on election night.

“Typically, the Democrats, at most, have been able to pick up a one-term assembly seat. This is clearly not that. The power base did expand,” she said.

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/campaign/story/7515292p-7414198c.html

 

“State Sen. Stephen Sweeney claimed the second-most-powerful position in the state Senate Thursday and announced as a result of his new duties he will not seek re-election to the Gloucester County freeholder board in 2008.

“I will be transitioning out of that at the end of next year,” he said of his freeholder seat, after a closed-door meeting with Senate President Richard Codey, D-Essex, on his position as Senate majority leader.” (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-2/1194596033271041.xml&coll=8

 

“It looks as if the infighting among Bergen County Democrats may have cost them a chance to have a local legislator serve in a key Trenton leadership position.

Sen. Paul Sarlo lost his bid to serve as majority leader and Bergen County Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Ferriero said it was Sen. Loretta Weinberg’s fault, a charge she denies.

Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, was one of two candidates up for the Senate’s majority leader post during a party caucus meeting in the State House on Thursday afternoon.

He looked to be in good shape heading into the meeting with the support of Senate President Richard J. Codey, but when the meeting was over, Sen. Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, came out with the majority leader title………..

The majority leader serves as the main organizer of the party’s votes and sits in an important position as a power broker. The post had been held by Sen. Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken – who did not run for reelection — but now goes to a South Jersey lawmaker who is allied with George Norcross, the powerful Democrat from Cherry Hill.

Sarlo, a senator since 2003 who has served as assistant majority leader, pointed a finger directly at Weinberg, saying she torpedoed his bid for majority leader. “It was a slap in the face to the people of Bergen County,” Sarlo said.

Sarlo declined to explain on the record how Weinberg may have gotten in his way. But Ferriero said Weinberg voted against a procedural resolution in the caucus meeting that would have put off the Sweeney-Sarlo vote. Presumably, the extra time could have given Sarlo a chance to shore up support to beat Sweeney in a future vote.

“Voting against a member of the Bergen County delegation for the majority leader spot shows that she is willing to put her personal and political interest ahead of what’s best for Bergen County,” said Ferriero, who has been involved in a very public feud with Weinberg.

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcyMTkyOTImeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

 

 

DEFILIPPO COULD BE IN TROUBLE

“State officials have opened an investigation into matters involving some of Union County’s most powerful Democrats, The Star-Ledger has learned.

The focus of the ongoing investigation points toward county Democratic Chairwoman Charlotte DeFilippo, the former freeholder who heads the Union County Improvement Authority and is a legislative aide to Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union).

DeFilippo confirmed the existence of five subpoenas that demand documents and information about her public and private business dealings. The contents of the subpoenas, which were served in September and October, were described by DeFilippo this week in an interview.

“When you wear several hats, you acquire enemies over the years,” she said.

DeFilippo is a towering political figure in Union County, where Democrats dominate most town councils and have held a 9-0 lock on the freeholder board since 1997. She does not hold elected office. But as head of the county committee, DeFilippo hand-picks the Democratic candidates for freeholder, mayor and council in the county.” (Shearn, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1194587190249390.xml&coll=1

 

BOXER GETS THE FORMAL NOMINATION

“Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday formally nominated former federal prosecutor Matt Boxer as the state’s first comptroller.

Boxer, currently director of the Governor’s Authorities Unit, was an assistant U.S. attorney who oversaw public corruption investigations and prosecutions, including a sting of 11 officials in Monmouth County three years ago.

Corzine praised Boxer’s “sterling” reputation and his commit ment to integrity in government.

“The people of New Jersey ex pect and deserve to know that their money is being spent wisely and appropriately,” Corzine said in a statement. “Having an individual of Matt’s caliber providing independent oversight should give them confidence.”” (Howlett, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1194587602249390.xml&coll=1

 

NO CONSOLATION PRIZE FOR QUINTANA

“When Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo found out this morning that the name “Luis Quintana“‘ was on a Senate Judiciary to-do list, he angrily reached for a telephone and called the governor’s office.

DiVincenzo wanted to know what Quintana was doing on the list months after he thought he made it clear to Gov. Jon Corzine that the at-large Newark councilman should not be considered for an appointment to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.

It’s a part-time position with pension and benefits, but more importantly it’s a power position where big money contracts are administered as part of the oversight of one of the country’s largest wastewater treatment plants.

DiVincenzo didn’t think it was right for Quintana, who spent months fomenting resistance to the Democratic Party ticket and bad-mouthing the party’s district 29 state Senate candidate, M. Teresa Ruiz, only to run aground on Election Day in his own independent senate bid, to now be rewarded with the appointment by the Democratically-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee.

The county exec sounded off to the governor in the morning, but the matter wouldn’t die there – not yet.

Having received the support of senators Sharpe James and Nia Gill and Senate President Richard Codey for the Quintana appointment, Sen. Ronald Rice had personally submitted Quintana’s name to the judiciary committee. When Rice found out about DiVincenzo’s objection today, he demanded his own interview with Corzine. It didn’t go well.”

“The governor told me (DiVincenzo chief of staff) Phil Alagia called him and (Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman John) Adler got calls,” said Rice, the independent district 28 senator from the West Ward. “I told him I wanted to speak to him as one marine to another. This is about the democratic process. It’s not about Joe DiVincenzo and Steve Adubato dictating to the governor who’s going to be on the commission. It’s about a specific and important democratic process.” (Pizarro, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://politickernj.com/divincenzo-outmuscles-rice-quintana-appointment-13893

 

“A LEGACY OF INFAMY”

“Thank goodness the campaign in the 39th Legislative District is over. If it had lasted another week, Republican Sen. Gerald Cardinale might have designed a mailer with his Democratic opponent, Joe Ariyan, shaking hands with Osama bin Laden.

Sound absurd? Of course it does. But given Cardinale’s strategy in the final days of the race, nothing was beyond the realm of implausibility.

Terrified of losing his Senate seat, Cardinale played the terror card himself in a smear-by-association ploy. Through fliers, ads and interviews on a political Web site, he suggested that Ariyan, who practices law in Hackensack, was backed by “those who support extremism” and had himself defended “suspected terrorists.”

Like any poisonous campaign attack, Cardinale’s ads glossed over, omitted and stretched facts to create a terribly distorted impression of Ariyan as a terrorist sympathizer. Fresh off his victory Tuesday, Cardinale remains unapologetic.

“I was so offended by what I saw I that I felt” it should be part of the campaign, he said. “I have Arab friends. I have Jewish friends. … They were all incensed at what they saw.”

Cardinale’s constituents are the ones who should be incensed by his tactics.

In fact, the attack leaves a legacy of infamy not only for Cardinale but for the entire state Republican Party, which condoned it with its silence. The normally voluble Tom Wilson, the Republican state chairman, did not return two calls seeking comment.” (Stile, Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk4NTYmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcyMTkyMzgmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkz

 

TREFFINGER HAD AN EPIPHANY

“When federal agents slapped handcuffs on Jim Treffinger five years ago, the former Essex County executive never imagined his public humiliation could lead to revelation.

But after spending more than 10 months in a federal prison for corruption, Treffinger said his “master’s degree in suffering” led him to a spiritual rebirth. He is currently enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary with plans to start a ministry for prison inmates.

“I wish there had been another way to come to this epiphany,” said Treffinger, who expects to graduate with a degree in divinity in 2009. “But now I want to be of service.”

Treffinger, 57, was a rising star in Republican politics and the favorite to win his party’s nomination for a U.S. Senate seat when federal authorities raided his Newark office in 2002. The former Fulbright scholar and popular Verona mayor dropped out of the race four days later. He ultimately admitted he put two campaign staffers on the county payroll and obstructed the federal probe.

But even during his political and legal free fall, Treffinger said his life began to turn. Between the time federal authorities raided his office and his arrest, Treffinger embraced the Baptist faith and was reborn Oct. 17, 2002.

Until then, Treffinger said he worshipped at the altar of personal success and public reputation.

“When you lose a lot of things, you have a whole re-evaluation of what is the meaning of your life,” said Treffinger, who said he doesn’t miss politics and would never seek elected office again. ” (Walsh, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-12/1194587503249390.xml&coll=1

 

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO AWKWARD

“Two New Jersey legislators facing federal corruption charges skipped yesterday’s Senate session, which saw state lawmakers return from a months-long recess before their terms expire in January.

Yesterday’s session was largely ceremonial, and 11 other senators also skipped it. Veteran Democratic Sens. Wayne Bryant of Camden County and Sharpe James, the former Newark mayor, refused to resign after being indicted this year.

Both continue to enjoy the privileges and perks of being a state senator while professing their innocence and preparing for trial.

Bryant, a lawmaker since 1982, is accused of exchanging political favors for a no-show university job; James is accused of allowing friends to buy city-owned land at cut-rate prices and using a city credit card for personal expenses.

“Why would it be a problem?” Senate President Richard J. Codey responded when asked whether Bryant’s and James’ return to the Senate floor would be a distraction.

Though they skipped the session, Bryant and James were expected to attend future lame-duck sessions – which may include voting on proposed laws – between now and Jan. 8, when a new Legislature is sworn in.

“These people were elected to fill a term and have been convicted of no offenses. That’s the law. They’ll be leaving soon,” Codey said. ” (Delli Santi, Star-Ledger)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20071109_Indicted_state_senators_no-shows_at_N_J__session.html

 

 

KENNY, STILL HURTING, WILL BE BACK

“Banged up and undergoing daily physical therapy, Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, said yesterday he’s not through as a legislator just yet.

The victim of what all evidence suggests was a wicked hit-and-run incident this summer, Kenny missed yesterday’s reconvened Senate session, but said he plans to attend meetings scheduled for December and January.

Kenny, who turns 61 next week, said he missed yesterday’s session because it dealt mostly with reorganization matters and chose instead to stick with his rehab regimen at Hoboken University Medical Center.

“I’ll be going back to Trenton to finish my responsibilities,” said Kenny, whose 20-year career as a state legislator ends in January. “I am prepared to go back after the Thanksgiving Day break, and I am told that won’t be until December.”

The former chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, Kenny said he plans to postpone until late January or February a second surgery to his right shoulder so he can attend the Senate meetings. ” (Thorbourne, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-2/1194591494141440.xml&coll=3

 

CUNNINGHAM SWORN IN. NO SEX OFFENDER JOKE. SERIOUSLY.

“Family and friends by her side, state Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham was sworn in yesterday by Senate President Richard Codey to fill the seat held by her husband, Glenn D. Cunningham, at the time he died in May 2004.

“Today marks a joyous occasion where I can continue to carry on the legacy of my husband,” said Bolden Cunningham, 57.

Bolden Cunningham, who easily won a full term on Election Night, had been named by the Hudson County Democratic Organization to fill out the remaining weeks of Sen. Joseph V. Doria Jr.‘s term. Doria left the post when he was appointed the commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs.

“I hope to focus on making a positive impact in health and human service issues,” Bolden Cunningham said. “I also am eager to work on the Second Chance program to reduce the rate of repeat criminal offenders.” ” (Thorbourne, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-2/1194591588141440.xml&coll=3

 

WHAT THE SENATORS ARE UP TO

“Heading into Veterans Day weekend, New Jersey’s two Democratic senators made appearances at opposite ends of the National Mall on Thursday to highlight the horrors of war.

Sen. Bob Menendez touted a new study at a Capitol news conference that projects that the cost of treating Iraq war veterans will exceed $660 billion, or more than the $500 billion that has been spent on combat operations.

The report by Physicians for Social Responsibility, a group that got its start in 1961 building opposition to nuclear testing and the arms race, said that the ratio of wounded to killed in Iraq is 8-to-1, compared with 3-to-1 for Vietnam and 2-to-1 for World War II………..

“This is a war that keeps on taking,” Menendez said. “It is taking a toll on the lives of these veterans and it will keep taking money from American taxpayers as far as the eye can see.”

Seven hours earlier, Sen. Frank Lautenberg joined those reading names from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to mark the 25th anniversary of the somber polished granite wall bearing 58,000 names of the dead.

Lautenberg, who was put on President Richard Nixon’s infamous “enemies list” for his large campaign contributions to Democrat George McGovern in 1972, said he had hoped that Vietnam would be the nation’s last major war.” (Jackson¸ Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcyMTkyMzMmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

 

THEY’VE GOT BIG SHOES TO FILL

“Members of the Assembly applauded and gave standing ovations Thursday as they welcomed two new colleagues to replace lawmakers who had quit after being rounded up by the FBI in a bribery scandal.

No public mention was made of the arrests that led to Thursday’s oath-taking. Assemblywoman Elease Evans, who now represents the 35th District in Passaic and Bergen counties, became the state’s newest dual-office holder. She said she plans to continue as director of the Passaic County Board of Freeholders, a term that expires in January 2009.

This comes at a time when lawmakers are weathering criticism for holding onto more than one taxpayer-paid job, with pensions and benefits. A new state law bans elected officials from holding more than one office, unless they’re doing it before February.

Evans took the seat vacated by Assemblyman Alfred Steele, a Paterson Baptist minister who has pleaded guilty to taking $15,500 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a contractor seeking work on taxpayer-funded projects.

Also sworn in Thursday was Mila Jasey, a nurse and former Board of Education member from South Orange, who now represents the 27th District, part of Essex County.

She replaces former Assemblyman Mims Hackett Jr., who was arrested Sept. 6, with Steele and 10 others, for allegedly taking a $5,000 bribe. Hackett says he is innocent of those accusations and remains Orange mayor.” (Baldwin, Gannett)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS03/711090358/1007

 

STEM CELLS

“Fallout from Tuesday’s vote against a $450 million stem cell research plan continued yesterday, as lawmakers canceled a special budget meeting where they were scheduled to consider borrowing $26 million toward construction of the New Jersey Stem Cell Institute and other labs.

The Joint Budget Oversight Committee had been scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. yesterday to sign off on the issuance of bonds for design and engineering of five stem cell labs.

The $26 million is a portion of $270 million in borrowing lawmakers authorized last year, in a bill approving construction of stem cell research labs in New Brunswick, Newark, Belleville, Camden and Allendale.

Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), a leading backer of the stem cell program, called the meeting cancellation “a setback in the short term,” and pledged to revive the stem cell program.

Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), vice chairman of the Joint Budget Committee, said lawmakers need time to assess what prompted the rejection of the larger stem cell proposal on Tuesday’s ballot.

“Was the vote a reflection of people don’t want to spend the money?” he asked. “Was it on the basis of moral questions?” ” (McNichol, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1194587439249390.xml&coll=1

 

IN HAMILTON

“HAMILTON — The Hamilton Township Council has moved quickly to limit the power of outgoing Mayor Glen Gilmore in the wake of his upset defeat at the hands of challenger John Bencivengo in this week’s election.

In a preview of what is to come this January, the council attending a meeting Wednesday was all-Republican. Sole Democrat Ed Pattik, who will leave office at the end of next month, was absent, meaning that resolutions demanding that the Gilmore administration refrain from hiring new employees or promoting existing workers passed unanimously. Those resolutions are not binding.

Also passed was a resolution requesting Department of Community Affairs oversight of daily township workings until Dec. 31.

The moves were largely symbolic as the state DCA has been reluctant to interfere in Hamilton government, despite previous requests from the council. A spokeswoman for the DCA did not return calls or an e-mail seeking comment on the council’s action.

Council President Dave Kenny said yesterday he hoped the outgoing administration would abide by the council’s resolutions.

Special vitriol was reserved for Business Administrator John Mason, who also acts as the township’s chief financial officer.

Mason’s contract as temporary CFO expired Nov. 4 and its renewal was on the evening’s agenda. Mason has been a nemesis of the council, which objected to his withholding of a financial statement whose eventual release the day before the election many believe led to Gilmore’s downfall.” (Zdan, Trenton Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/times/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1194585280113330.xml&coll=5

 

SCRATCHING THEIR HEADS

“When it came time to guarantee relief from America’s highest property taxes, New Jersey voters on Tuesday decided they’d rather not.

With nearly all votes counted, 53 percent of voters decided against permanently dedicating all money earned by a 2006 state sales tax increase to property tax relief. That left supporters puzzled, especially since voters approved a similar measure last year by a 2-1 margin and property taxes consistently ranks as one of the most contentious issues with New Jersey voters.

“I’m still scratching my head a bit,” said Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr., who pushed the dedication. “I’m disappointed and surprised.”

But Republicans said they weren’t surprised.

They said it indicates voters were disillusioned by efforts by Democrats, who control state government, to curb property taxes.

Democrats had dedicated half of last year’s sales tax increase, which went from 6 percent to 7 percent, to increased property tax rebate checks — a move that was approved last year by voters in a referendum. This year’s referendum would have permanently allocated all of the sales tax increase to property tax relief.

“It is clear that the voters saw right through the Democrats’ gimmick,” said Assemblyman Richard Merkt, R-Morris. “They spotted it for exactly what it was — a shell game in which the tax burden gets shifted around but not reduced by even a dime.”” (Hester, AP)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcyMTkwMjkmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

 

28 – THAT’S A LOT OF COUNTS

“Elmwood Park Council President Joseph Mongelli said Thursday that he has no plans to resign, while proclaiming his innocence and shifting blame to his co-defendants in an alleged real estate scheme that authorities say bilked investors out of more than $40 million.

A 28-count indictment, handed up in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, accuses Mongelli, his former law partner Peter Vogel and admitted swindler Joseph Greenblatt of defrauding more than 100 victims. The men promised people at least a 12 percent return if they invested in homes purportedly purchased by a company called Maywood Capital, authorities said.

Prosecutors said Maywood Capital, which was located in Paramus before moving to Manhattan, promised to buy, renovate and flip homes for a profit. But in many cases, according to court documents, the company used recent investments to pay off earlier investors in what is called a “Ponzi” scheme.

Mongelli’s attorney, Eric Franz, said Thursday that his client’s role in the alleged scheme was minimal, and that he reaped none of the profits.

“Joseph Mongelli never had any intention to defraud a single investor nor did he have any knowledge that the investors were being defrauded,” Franz said, adding that Mongelli performed real estate closings for Maywood. “He didn’t share in the outcome of any of these allegedly fraudulent transactions.”

But one investor and court documents paint a different picture of Mongelli’s involvement.

“In the beginning, [Mongelli is who] I sent my money to,” Stephen Coffey of Venice, Fla., an investor who testified before the grand jury, said Thursday. “Greenblatt told me that Mongelli was his outside counsel.”” (Fabiano and DeMarrais, Star-Ledger)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcyMTkzMTUmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

 

 

MORE FIGHTING ALREADY?

“Just when we thought Hoboken would be politically dull after the 4th Ward do-over election, it got interesting again thanks to a growing rivalry between City Council members Beth Mason and Dawn Zimmer, who showed a hint of what’s to come in a aprés council meeting bar flap.

Yesterday, Zimmer denied that there was an ugly scene between the two at Buskers, a tavern behind City Hall, formerly known as Miss Kitty’s.

“I just didn’t appreciate having the letter brought up without her at least mentioning it before the meeting,” Zimmer said. She denied that there was a vivid argument with Mason.”

According to Zimmer, there was only a discussion about a letter that Mason wanted to send to the state attorney general and U.S. attorney asking them to investigate the recent city elections and the allegations of voter fraud. Drafts of the letter have been going back and forth between the council and city legal department for the past two sessions.

Wednesday, it was brought up again by Mason, who asked that Zimmer sign the letter – as had the other council people – that Mason hopes would assure future clean elections in Hoboken. Zimmer eventually informed Mason and others that she had had a tough, divisive race and she wanted to concentrate on healing any rifts. She declined to sign the letter at the time.” (Torres, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/columns/jjournal/insider/index.ssf?/base/columns-0/1194591401141440.xml&coll=3

 

IN MONMOUTH COUNTY

“The likelihood of incumbent Freeholder Robert D. Clifton, a Republican, and Democrat John D’Amico Jr. being declared the winners of two freeholder terms increased when election officials received voting information from two uncounted election districts Thursday.

County Clerk M. Claire French, the chief election official, said it’s “unlikely” that the third-place contestant, Republican Jeff Cantor, will be able to pick up enough votes to alter the finish when provisional ballots are tabulated at 1 p.m. today.

Clifton has the highest number of votes — more than 62,000 — from Tuesday’s election. He now leads D’Amico by 14 votes.

Cantor is in third place, 366 votes behind D’Amico, a 50-vote wider gap.

“That’s good news,” D’Amico said. “I thank the people of Monmouth County for having confidence in me.”” (Jordan, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS01/711090409/1004/NEWS01

 

 

 

UNCOUNTED VOTES

“New Jersey’s attorney general yesterday asked a judge to open eight Camden County voting machines whose votes were not retrieved by poll workers after the election Tuesday.

Camden County election officials had said they would ignore any votes cast on the machines, which poll workers mishandled on election night, for now.

But after The Inquirer raised questions about that decision, Attorney General Anne Milgram’s office yesterday petitioned Superior Court to open the machines and keep any votes from being disregarded.

“All votes should be counted,” David Wald, spokesman for the attorney general, said.” (Hefler, Philadelphia Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20071109_N_J__wants_voting_machines_opened.html

 

NOT A GOOD DAY FOR SARLO

“Gov. Jon S. Corzine yesterday conditionally vetoed a proposed tax break sought by major media companies and those looking to lure high-tech companies to the Garden state, but the bill sponsor said he would look into overriding Corzine’s move.

Corzine said he was concerned that the cash-starved state government cannot afford the tax break supported by companies such as Cisco Systems, Walt Disney, the Motion Picture Association of America and NBC Universal. He said he also wanted companies receiving a tax break to face job creation requirements.

Under a conditional veto, New Jersey governors can propose amendments to make the bill acceptable. If the Legislature re-enacts the bill with his recommended amendments, the bill is presented again to the governor for his signature.

But Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, the bill sponsor, expressed disappointment.

“If there’s ever a strong case for the Legislature to override a conditional veto, this is the one,” Sarlo said.” (AP)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS03/711090414/1007

 

IN PARSIPPANY

“After almost two years in the $108,000 job, Democrat Michael Luther still can’t be sure the mayor’s seat in Parsippany is his for the keeping, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

In a 3-2 decision, the justices said Republican Councilwoman Rosemarie Agostini is entitled to a trial in her bid to overturn her 39-vote loss in Parsippany’s 2005 mayoral election.

It was 68-year-old Agostini’s fifth unsuccessful bid for Morris County’s only full-time mayoralty. The term ends in 2009 and Luther, 48, has been on the job since New Year’s 2006.

The decision said Superior Court Judge Theodore Bozonelis was incorrect when he ruled Agostini had failed to meet election law requirements in filing her challenge. The ruling took place three days after Luther’s inauguration.

“To be sure, in the end she may or may not be able to prove her allegations and she may not be able to alter the outcome of the contest,” the decision said. “That however is a matter for evaluation after the statutory period allotted for discovery and after a trial.” ” (Frank, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/morris/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1194587303249390.xml&coll=1

 

IN ATLANTIC CITY

The attorney for the Atlantic City Democratic Committee has resigned, citing professional, family and religious commitments in a 51-word letter.

“I enjoyed working with the people on the committee, but at this particular juncture, I think it was best that we separate and go our separate ways,” attorney Reginald S. Floyd said.

City party members said Floyd resigned because the city party did not follow his advice at its Oct. 17 meeting when it picked the three people for City Council to consider as replacements for ex-Mayor Bob Levy.

After Chairman Scott Evans had the party vote on the nominations of just one person, the party supported city Business Administrator Domenic Cappella, former City Councilwoman Barbara Hudgins and Evans, who also serves as a city firefighter and school board member. Committeeman John Devlin and the state Democratic Committee are challenging the results in court.

Floyd is the pastor of Atlantic City’s Christ Worship Center Worldwide and is also paid $88,400 as a city public defender. He declined to elaborate on his resignation letter. “You do your best as a professional to give advice,” he said, “whether it is heeded or not.”

Floyd is the pastor of Atlantic City’s Christ Worship Center Worldwide and is also paid $88,400 as a city public defender. He declined to elaborate on his resignation letter. “You do your best as a professional to give advice,” he said, “whether it is heeded or not.”” (Harper, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/atlantic_city/story/7515678p-7414588c.html

 

IN INTERLAKEN

 

“INTERLAKEN — Republican Councilman Lynn A. Parry Jr. and his running mate, Keith R. Miller, easily defeated a Democratic newcomer in a race for two three-year terms on the Borough Council. Miller was the top vote-getter with 256 votes.

Parry garnered 246 votes, and Democratic contender Corey D. Folta trailed with 188 votes. Republican Mayor Robert D. Wolf III, who had run unopposed for his second four-year term, received 249 votes. Seventeen write-in votes were cast for various council and mayoral candidates.

“They ran a campaign of which they and their supporters and the entire town can be proud,” Wolf, an insurance broker, said Thursday. “I look forward to working with them over the next four years.”

Miller, 66, of Bridlemere Avenue, thanked voters for their support.

“I hope I can live up to their expectations,” he said.” (Rizzo, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS01/711090403/1004/NEWS01

 

IN BARNEGAT

“BARNEGAT — The state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission cleared two Township Committee members of charges made during the 2005 General Election.

Deputy Mayor Jeffrey Melchiondo and Committeeman Thomas Hartman were cleared in a letter from the commission dated Nov. 1.

Allegations about possible misreporting of election funds were made by former township resident Michele Rosen.

“As a result of the review, the commission determined to take no further actions as to allegations that the Joint Candidates Committee failed to report receipt of a $3,500 contribution from the county political party committee,” according to the letter, from Chris Mistichelli, for the commission.” (Huba, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS02/711090439/1070

 

IN BEACHWOOD

“Borough residents will see a change in local government come January, with the first Democratic mayor in 35 years.

“I felt like a kid’s baseball team that beat the Yankees,” said Mayor-elect Ronald W. Jones Jr. Thursday. “The odds were against me. For 35 years, the Republicans have controlled the mayor’s seat.”” (Michels, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS02/711090432/1070/NEWS02

 

IN VINELAND

VINELAND – It started with a power outage. But when City Councilwoman Sheena Santiago brought up the loss of power to her home at Thursday’s City Council work session, it was to show what led to her feeling left in the dark.

Santiago said she wanted to know why news of her power being shut off that day was spread around City Hall aftershe paid the bill but a mix-up occurred “I got phone calls this afternoon, from people who don’t even work in City Hall, saying, ‘Sheena, everyone’s talking about this,'” Santiago said after the work session.

She raised the issue in a public forum, she said, to contrast that with the response she said she has received to requests in the summer for information about the city’s biggest nonpayers.” (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/cumberland/story/7515691p-7414537c.html

IN TUCKERTON

“And then there were four. The six-member Borough Council — nicknamed The Silent Six by a frustrated Mayor Lewis E. “Lee” Eggert who claims that the council doesn’t communicate with him — lost two incumbents in Tuesday’s election.

The change from an all-Republican council to a 4-2 Republican majority may also signal a change in relations with the mayor, an independent.” (Sastrowardoyo, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS02/711090420/1070

 

IN PHILLIPSBURG

“Coming into a difficult budget year, town council told Mayor Harry Wyant to warn town employees that layoffs are a cost-cutting possibility.

“This shouldn’t be looked at as threatening,” Council President David DeGerolamo said. “We don’t have a $1 million building to sell and we can’t look at a 20 percent increase of taxes.”” (Satullo, Express-Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/expresstimes/nj/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1194585139113240.xml&coll=2

 

IN MORRIS TOWNSHIP

MORRIS TWP. — Ron Goldberg will become the second Democrat in two consecutive years to win a seat on the township committee.

In the wake of a race that was too close to call on Tuesday, 23 provisional ballots were counted at the Board of Elections office Thursday. Twenty-one were considered good. Two were disqualified because the voters didn’t live in the township.” (Hassan, Daily Record)

 

http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/COMMUNITIES33/711090341/1203/NEWS01

 

Today’s news from PoliticsNJ.com