The irony of a lede with a quote from Niccolo Machiavelli will not be lost on many of our readers: "Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times."
PoliticsNJ.com launched on February 1, 2000 with no formal plan, other than to report on the business of campaigns and elections in New Jersey and have some fun with the personalities that make up the state political arena. The site was built as a place for political junkies — a place for those who believed that politics, at least in New Jersey, was indeed a spectator sport. I was as surprised as anyone with the instant success of this website, thanks to the never-ending campaign cycle and some of the most complicated political leaders in the nation. PoliticsNJ.com has become a must-read for anyone with an interest in state politics and government, and I will always take tremendous pride in that accomplishment.
And what's more, I have retained my anonymity for all this time; I think that is a rather amazing feat in a state where few secrets remain behind closed doors. I thank people like Steve Ayscue, Donald Scarinci Tom Barrett, Kevin O'Toole, Jeff Michaels and Michael Patrick Carroll, who have all taken some heat from those who inaccurately believed that they were behind this website.
The next few years will have the potential for great excitement in New Jersey: Democrats fighting Democrats, conservatives vs. moderates, 120 legislative races, the battles in Atlantic and Monmouth, the early and potentially pivotal New Jersey presidential primary, and the re-election campaigns of Frank Lautenberg and Jon Corzine. As we look forward to these contests, and others, it is important for PolitcsNJ.com to continue to grow, to offer a high-quality product, and to take advantage of new Internet technologies. Covering New Jersey politics can no longer be a mom-and-pop operation.
This website has become the Center of Gravity for New Jersey Politics — an independent media outlet built on a desire to cover the nitty gritty of local, state and county politics that daily newspapers sometimes overlook. We realize that our readers depend on PoliticsNJ.com as their go-to sight for political news We take the rather awesome responsibility to ensure that the facts are reported accurately — sometimes laced with our own opinions — very seriously. . This has been, and continues to be, our only agenda.
So it is with much pride and tremendous enthusiasm that I announce the sale of PoliticsNJ.com to the Observer Media Group, which owns the highly-regarded New York Observer. The Observer will move this site forward, and continue our emphasis on covering politics at all levels of government in New Jersey. I urge you to visit their website — www.observer.com — to read their extensive political coverage of state and national politics.
It is important to note that the Wally Edge moniker has not been sold; I have retained all rights to this name, to the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail account and instant messenger address. Archives of e-mails and online conversations which I consider to have been privileged were not included in the sale. I have always been, and will always continue to be, the only person who uses these accounts. The same rules of confidentiality in effect since 2000 will continue forever. I will continue to write The Inside Edge, as well as advise the new PoliticsNJ.com team. And the Inside Edge will keep — sorry for the pun — it's edge. I'll still say Oink! Oink! every time Wayne Bryant's name is mentioned, and New Jerseyans will continue to be informed of the activities of ambitious Rotarian Americans with an interest in seeking public office.
There are many, many exciting changes for this site — among them:
€ The site will have two full-time political reporters — both certified political junkies. Max Pizarro joins us this week after several years as a weekly newspaper editor, and after covering politics in Georgia and Washington, D.C. A second reporter will be announced in the next few weeks.
€ Former Governor Christine Todd Whitman and former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli have joined PoliticsNJ.com as bloggers. These two national political figures are uniquely positioned to offer extraordinary commentary on the people and events that make New Jersey great.
€ Terry Golway, a former New York Times reporter and New York Observer Political Editor, will join Rider University Professor David Rebovich as a regular columnist.
€ Fans of former PoliticsNJ.com reporter Steve Kornacki will get to read his weekly column on politics that appears in the New York Observer.
The new design includes enhanced services, earlier news links, by-lined news stories, and more frequent news updates. You will find the new site easier to navigate, on your computer and on your PDA.
Consider what has happened in New Jersey politics over the last seven election cycles that PoliticsNJ.com has been around: Frank Lautenberg retired; Christie Whitman ran for U.S. Senate; Jon Corzine entered the political arena; Whitman dropped out; Corzine spent $70 million of his own money to beat Bob Franks; Bob Torricelli entered the race for Governor and dropped out twelve days later; Legislative redistricting offers a drastic change of the map; Whitman resigned to run the EPA, and Don DiFrancesco became Governor; ethics woes forced DiFrancesco to drop out; 9/11; Bob Janiszewski resigns; James E. McGreevey beat Bret Schundler; Democrats win control of the Assembly and GOP and Dems split the State 50-50; McGreevey and Dems dump Joe Doria and make Albio Sires the Speaker; Cory Booker nearly beats Sharpe James; Jim Treffinger's U.S. Senate campaign collapses after the FBI raids his office; unknown Douglas Forrester captures GOP Senate nomination, and eventually builds a lead against Bob Torricelli; Torricelli drops out and Frank Lautenberg goes back to Washington; McGreevey becomes the most investigated Governor in state history, but Dems still pick up Senate and Assembly seats in the the mid-term; John Bennett loses his Senate seat; Glenn Cunningham topples the Hudson Democratic machine, then dies a year later; New Jersey Democrats go for Howard Dean — a month before his campaign collapses; McGreevey says he's gay and resigns; Richard Codey becomes Governor; John Kerry wins New Jersey; Codey drops out, leaving Corzine unopposed for Governor; Forrester defeats Schundler and five others to capture GOP nomination for Governor; Corzine beats Forrester; Bob Menendez appointed to the U.S. Senate; Booker elected Mayor of Newark; Zulima Farber forced out of office; Menendez beats Tom Kean, Jr.; and Bill Gormley retires. Politics in New Jersey gets better and better, and we look forward to doing the same.
Please allow me to extend my sincere gratitude to the 20,000+ readers who take time throughout their day to check PoliticsNJ.com. The last seven years have been outstanding, and I look forward to even more as our site continues to grow.
With best wishes,