Today’s news from PoliticsNJ.com

Katz feuds with national CWA, Charles Stile explains why Ferriero picked Gordon, arrested Callaway “contrite yet confident” at Pleasantville City Council meeting, New Jersey’s Senators give positive signals to Bush Attorney General pick, Republican shakeup in Toms River mayoral race.

 

KATZ FIGHT

“A state worker union president who is Gov. Corzine's ex-girlfriend had no right to personally discuss recent state worker contract negotiations with the governor, the national Communications Workers of America union said yesterday.

Involving itself in a Republican lawsuit seeking to make public e-mails and other written communications between Corzine and Carla Katz, the national CWA filed court papers stating Katz misrepresented her bargaining authority.

Katz contends the communications should remain private because they involve confidential contract talks, but the national CWA argued only the national union had power to negotiate and rules prohibited members from individually and secretly communicating with the governor.

In its filing, the national CWA said it filed the brief to clarify the CWA's bargaining procedures and to ask Katz's attorneys to amend their court papers to change their depiction of Katz's authority.

"Carla Katz's legal claims in this case blatantly misrepresent the collective bargaining responsibilities of her local and the national union under CWA's structure, and they are a thinly veiled attempt to justify her effort to circumvent the state worker bargaining committee last winter," said Chris Shelton, CWA District 1 vice president……………..

This isn't the first dispute between Katz and CWA officials. Katz opposed the state worker contract negotiated earlier this year that increased pay but sliced health and pension benefits. Katz campaigned against it, but it was approved by workers in April. The Legislature and Corzine approved it in June.

"This is a thinly veiled political hatchet job for our local's vocal opposition to a bad contract, which we saw as going way too far in health-care cutbacks," Katz said. ” (Hester, AP)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20070918_CWA_joins_suit_to_make_public_Corzines_e-mail.html

 

WHY GORDON GOT THE NOD

Bob Gordon, the policy wonk known to bore listeners with the fine points of Paragraph 6, Subsection A, on the technicalities of tow truck law, has been assigned a new role:

Poster boy for the Beleaguered Bergen County Democrats.

The Fair Lawn assemblyman, cast into exile in 1996 after waging a spare-no-expense challenge against the party's pick for Congress, emerged from the Bergen County Democratic Organization doghouse on Sunday as the party's fresh, ethically unchallenged face. The 57-year-old technocrat is a perfect antidote to state Sen. Joe Coniglio, who ended his reelection bid in the 38th District last week, his political career clouded by a federal investigation. Gordon will replace him on the ticket.

Once spurned for defying the dictates of the machine, Gordon's go-it-alone trait is now his most valuable commodity.

There are many intraparty dynamics that positioned Gordon to win the nomination, not the least of which was the lobbying blitz by his allies over the weekend. And critics have privately carped that Gordon won by proving to party boss Joe Ferriero that he's a team player, not the renegade of repute……………

But many agree that Gordon probably wouldn't have had a chance if the New Jersey Democratic Party had not been in (another) ethical freefall over the past few weeks……………

Some of that disgust was reflected in a recent party poll that suggested Coniglio would be a blight on Democrats throughout the region if he stayed on the ballot.

All of this new momentum for change indirectly hurt the chances of Paramus Mayor James Tedesco, Gordon's chief rival for the job.

But Tedesco also may have been harmed by his close alliance with Coniglio, whose short Senate career was sustained by a heavy flow of campaign cash from the Paramus Municipal Democratic Campaign Committee. Tedesco is also close to Dennis Oury, the powerful lawyer for the Bergen party organization who had championed Tedesco as Coniglio's successor.

Those ties would have made it easy to depict Tedesco as just another replacement part for the machine, a likely line of attack from the Republicans. Ferriero was not eager to waste campaign cash on the race, especially when he's preparing for an uphill battle to try to knock out longtime Republican Sen. Gerald Cardinale in the 39th District race………..

It will be interesting to see whether Gordon is evolving into a loyal party soldier or whether he will assert that old defiant gene if and when he enters the upper house. But for now, he's just the face Ferriero needs.” (Stile, Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk4NTYmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxOTY3MjQmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk5

 

DARK CLOUDS OVER PLEASANTVILLE

PLEASANTVILLE – City Councilman Maurice "Pete" Callaway seemed contrite yet confident during his comments at Monday's City Council meeting.

Making his first public appearance since being arrested with 10 other public officials in a statewide corruption probe 12 days ago involving public contracts, Callaway apologized for "any dark clouds brought over the city" because of it. Speaking in a low, reserved tone, Callaway thanked those who have supported him, including the rest of council while proclaiming his innocence. Callaway also promised to continue serving Pleasantville while the litigation surrounding him plays out.

Everyone in America is entitled to a fair trial, and as of right now, I am just as innocent (as anyone else)," Callaway said. "If I can do anything … to better this city, I have no problem doing so, as long as I protect myself."

Mayor Ralph Petersen echoed Callaway's comments on being innocent until proven guilty and commended him on addressing the situation.

The scene Monday night was a far cry from last Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, where residents openly and boisterously called for the resignation of board President James Pressley and board member Rafael Velez, who were arrested along with Callaway by federal agents Sept. 6. Pressley retorted against one resident's call for him to step down; both men claimed their innocence and refused to resign.” (Hardie, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/top_three/story/7502574p-7399784c.html

 

LAUTENBERG AND MENENDEZ RESPOND POSTIVELY TO MUKASEY

“New Jersey Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez are offering cautious praise for President Bush's attorney general pick.

Bush announced today that retired federal Judge Michael B. Mukasey of New York state's southern district is his choice to replace Alberto Gonzales, whose tenure was marred by scandal.

The Senate has to approve Mukasey's nomination. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., forwarded his name to the White House as a possible candidate.

Both Garden State senators said Mukasey appears to be a good choice.

Lautenberg said he's looking for an attorney general who'd be independent of the White House. Menendez said he hopes Mukasey is able to stay above the political fray and provide sound leadership to the demoralized Justice Department.” (Chebium, Gannett)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070918/NEWS01/709180353/1006/NEWS01

 

MCGUCKIN OUT, KELAHER IN

Gregory P. McGuckin has withdrawn from the Toms River Mayoral race.

McGuckin sent a letter of withdrawal to the County Clerk’s office early this afternoon……….

McGuckin’s campaign hit major turbulence when the Asbury Park Press revealed that he owed $121,913.87 in unpaid income taxes. McGuckin said that he is dropping out because it’s in the best interest of Toms River.

McGuckin’s campaign hit major turbulence when the Asbury Park Press revealed that he owed $121,913.87 in unpaid income taxes. McGuckin said that he is dropping out because it’s in the best interest of Toms River.

“While I deeply appreciate the words of support and encouragement that I have received throughout Toms River, the fact is I have made a mistake with my personal finances,” said McGuckin in a statement. “My parents taught me, and I have tried to teach my children, that we all make mistakes. The important thing to do is correct that mistake, learn from it and move on. That is what I intend to do.”” (Friedman, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/mcguckin-withdraws-toms-river-race-11781

“Former Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas Kelaher will replace Gregory P. McGuckin as the Republican candidate in the Toms River Mayoral race.

The Toms River Municipal Committee met tonight and elected Kelaher to fill the ballot spot left vacant by McGuckin, who formally dropped out of the race earlier today.

Kelaher, 74, served for five years as Ocean County Prosecutor before retiring in June.

“He’s very well known, well-liked and well-respected, so I think he’ll make a great mayor,” said Republican National Committeewoman Virginia Haines, who was present at the meeting…………..

Prior to Kelaher’s selection, Inteso, a Republican Toms River Councilman who entered the race as an independent and fought Republican challenges to keep his name on the ballot, issued a statement saying that it did not matter who the Republicans chose to replace McGuckin.

"The people pulling the strings won't change. They will still be working behind the scenes to betray the taxpayers and reward their friends,” said Inteso.” (Friedman, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/kelaher-replace-mcguckin-11800

Earlier this month, it became public knowledge that both McGuckin and Stephen C. Acropolis, the Brick Township Council president and a Republican mayoral candidate there, had federal tax liens placed on their properties.

Local politicians and political observers said last week that the liens would almost surely be news that Democrats would make into a campaign issue.

The situations in the neighboring towns did not have the same ultimate outcome, because Acropolis remains a candidate in his mayoral race.” (Kidd, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070918/NEWS/709180326

 

FORGET THE CORPSE. ARE YOU HERE LEGALLY?

“On Sept. 6, freelance photographer Geraldo Carlos was taking photos of a garbage-strewn Newark alley for a newspaper story about illegal dumping when something far more disturbing caught his eye: a woman's body in a plastic bag.

Carlos called his editor, Roberto Lima, editor of the Brazilian Voice newspaper, and the two went to the East Ward police station, then led officers back to the scene, where a homicide investigation began.

Instead of receiving thanks for the tip, both journalists say they were shocked by one of the first questions police asked Carlos at the crime scene.

"Do you have a green card?" the two journalists say Carlos was asked by Newark police Deputy Chief Samuel Demaio. "Are you here legally?"

The incident has brought into sharp focus a deep and widespread fear in the immigrant community about reporting crimes for fear of being questioned about immigration status. Those fears have been further exacerbated by a new directive issued last month by the New Jersey attorney general that orders police to inquire about immigration status of people arrested for serious crimes.

Although the new directive specifically prohibits police from questioning victims or witnesses, like Carlos, about their immigration status, many people say it will have a dampening effect on cooperation with police.

The Newark incident has reverberated through the tight-knit Brazilian community in Newark's Ironbound section. Carried in Portuguese-language media, the story has spread to other immigrant communities in New Jersey, where community leaders had already raised concerns that the AG's new directive would make immigrants fearful of reporting crimes.

"After what happened to me — a well-known person, 19 years in the community — no Brazilian in this area will call police to report a crime," said Lima, a naturalized U.S. citizen. "Even if they see Osama bin Laden himself, they will not call police." ” (Donohue, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-12/119009064845370.xml&coll=1

 

IN DISTRICT 12

“District 12 Republican candidates unveiled a three-point proposal to cut state spending and reduce property taxes, during three campaign appearances in the district in Monmouth and part of Mercer counties Monday.

Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck, who is running for state Senate, and Assembly candidates Little Silver Council President Declan O'Scanlon and municipal attorney Caroline Casagrande outlined their plan. They rapped incumbent Democrats, state Senator Ellen Karcher and Assemblyman Michael Panter, for failing to curb state spending. Democrat Amy Mallet also is running for Assembly.

"We've knocked on 6,000 doors, and we hear from people daily how they are ready to leave (the state)," Beck said. "Karcher and Panter haven't made one dime's worth of difference on tax and spending issues.”…………

The GOP plans consists of capping state spending to a half percent above the rate of inflation, plowing the difference between that and state revenues — assuming a growth rate of 5 percent — into tax relief and cutting spending.

The GOP trio wants funding reforms for the state's 31 poorer school districts, for which state-funded education reform and assistance must be provided under the 1990 Abbott vs Burke court decision. Their proposal provides a spending level of $14,000 per child, as opposed to the current high of $21,000 per child in Camden. Beck noted the state average school spending is $10,000 per pupil.” (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070918/NEWS01/709180366/1004

 

IN DISTRICT 5

“Two Republican candidates for the state Legislature said they would work to improve the state's education and property tax systems and change a climate of corruption if they are elected.

Assembly candidate Edward Torres of Camden and Senate candidate Hans Berg of Bellmawr presented their vision for the state's 5th District.

"I'm the kind of guy, I want to hear the complaints and I want to do something about it," Berg, 61, said during a visit with the Courier-Post editorial board in Cherry Hill Monday. "We have states surrounding us that have reduced their budgets and reduced their taxes. . . . If they can do that, what's the problem with us?"

Berg, an eighth-grade science teacher at Collingswood Middle School, said he is pushing for an education plan in Camden that would help reduce the city's dropout rate” (Forde, Courier-Post)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070918/NEWS01/709180366/1006/NEWS01

 

SOMERSET PARKS COMMISSION FIASCO

“The state Attorney General's Office has expanded its probe of the Somerset County Park Commission to focus on construction contracts and the relationship between vendors and former park commissioners.

The subpoena served on the park commission last week gives employees until Friday to gather the documents.

"We're literally looking at a million individual pieces of paper," Parks Director Raymond Brown said yesterday……………

The latest subpoena, issued Sept. 11, "is just as broad-brush as the first," Brown said. "They're looking for all our files on personnel, finance, golf courses." While there is some overlap between the two subpoenas, the new one extends the investigation, he said.

Two new areas now being looked at are construction contracts relating to projects at commission headquarters in Bridgewa ter, and "the backgrounds of the commissioners," Brown said.

The subpoena was seeking information related to a major renovation of the commission's headquarters in North Branch Park, formerly a historic house, which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.” (Tyrrell and McCarron, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/somerset/index.ssf?/base/news-2/119009060045370.xml&coll=1

 

ROBINSON COULD BE NEW MEADOWLANDS CHIEF

Dennis Robinson, a top executive with the National Basketball Association and the former chief executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, may soon be returning to East Rutherford.

Robinson has emerged as a leading candidate to replace George Zoffinger as chief executive of the state agency that operates the Meadowlands Sports Complex, two racetracks and three convention centers, according to three people involved with the interview process. The three declined to be identified because a final decision has not been reached.

Robinson, 50, of Ridgewood declined to comment on his discussions with the state, as did Carl Goldberg, the sports authority's chairman and a member of the committee screening candidates for Gov. Jon Corzine.

The new chief executive will take over the sports authority during a crucial time in its 35-year history. Physically, the sports complex is a mess, and there are questions about its future finances because of steep declines in revenue from horse racing.

The Meadowlands is undergoing a major renovation, with the new shared stadium for the Jets and Giants and the Xanadu retail and entertainment center now under construction. The sports authority also operates the Monmouth Park Racetrack and convention centers in Wildwood and Atlantic City.

Widely seen as an apolitical candidate, Robinson started at the sports authority while still at Harvard Business School. He rose to second-in-command and then took over in 1998 after its longtime leader, Robert Mulcahy Jr., left to become athletic director at Rutgers University.

Robinson resigned to take a job with the NBA the next year. He is the league's senior vice president for business and league operations and is responsible for administration, human resources and security ” (Futterman, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119009035945370.xml&coll=1

 

5-10 POUNDS OF EXCESS BONE GROWTH

“Gov. Jon Corzine was recuperating after surgery yesterday in which his doctor chiseled "five to 10 pounds" of excess bone growth from the left thigh bone that Corzine fractured five months ago in a near-fatal car crash.

"It really was an uneventful surgery," said Robert Ostrum, chief of orthopedic trauma surgery at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. "He (Corzine) tolerated it well."

Corzine was given an epidural anesthetic and a sedative that allowed him to sleep through the operation, which lasted an hour and 15 minutes and was finished shortly after noon, Ostrum said.

Less than an hour later, Corzine aides reported he was awake in the recovery ward, eating chicken soup and visiting with two of his children, Jennifer and Jeffrey. He was moved to a private room about 3:30 p.m. Corzine was expected to re sume his duties as governor today………….

The surgery was an attempt to alleviate some of the governor's discomfort and allow him to bend his knee fully. As Corzine recovered from the accident, the bone not only grew over the fractures in his femur but began growing outward, into his muscle. ” (Howlett, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119009035045370.xml&coll=1

 

IT’S ALL BUT OFFICIAL

Mila M. Jasey, a homemaker and longtime member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education, has the backing of Essex County Democratic leaders to fill the state Assembly seat vacated by the recent resignation of Mims Hackett Jr.

Jasey, 56, of Keasbey Road in South Orange, will be nominated at an Essex County Democratic Committee meeting tomorrow in the auditorium at West Orange High School.

Although committee members must vote for her, the backing of party leaders in Essex County is tantamount to winning the nomination.

"What we wanted was a minority who is female and not political," said Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), who would be Jasey's runningmate in the 27th District. "She fits the bill. She has a record of public service, but she has not, per se, been involved in politics."

Jasey, along with her lawyer husband, Neil, raised three children, now grown — Neil, Rhena and Kyle , each of whom graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood. She began serving on the Columbia High School PTA in the early 1980s. And she has served on the elected South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education since 1999.

"I'm extremely excited about it," Jasey said. "I'm honored and humbled by this nomination. This is a real opportunity for me to step up and work very hard to represent all my constituents in the 27th District with energy, humility and integrity." ” (Dilworth, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/essex/index.ssf?/base/news-4/119009069145370.xml&coll=1

 

NEW YORK CITY “GUEST” CHRISTOPHER CAMPOS GETS ANOTHER TRIAL DELAY

“HOBOKEN – A Manhattan judge agreed yesterday to grant former 4th Ward Councilman Christopher Campos' request to postpone his DUI trial for another couple of months.

Campos, who was charged with driving under the influence Jan. 20 when he was pulled over in Manhattan, was granted a delay in his trial until Nov. 19.

Campos, whose bid to regain his council seat received new life last week when a new election against new Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer was set for November, will not have to face trial for drunken driving charges until after the votes are counted.

New York Criminal Court Judge Larry Stephen granted a request after Campos' attorney said that discovery was not complete.

New York Assistant District Attorney Christopher Prevost said his office was ready to go to trial yesterday afternoon.

Campos's lawyer, Louis Zayas, said he has still not received a videotape of the Campos traffic stop and field sobriety test. The defense believes the tape will include a recording of the arresting officer, Joseph Liotta, making a "courtesy call" to the Hoboken Police Department after he pulled over Campos.

In the call, an audio recording of which was obtained by The Jersey Journal, Liotta asks if Campos is a friend of the police in Hoboken and whether he should be a "guest of the city" that night.

The Hoboken cop who answered the call that night told Liotta to "enforce the law" and did not request special treatment for Campos.” (Hack, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1190096047298120.xml&coll=3

 

“STABILIZE TAXES, NOW WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?”

“HAMILTON — An overhaul is needed to put the township back on sound fiscal footing, Republican mayoral candidate John Bencivengo said yesterday in announcing his financial platform.

Bencivengo, a local businessman running against Democratic Mayor Glen D. Gilmore, said the township was on the "brink of bankruptcy" and was facing a potentially devastating tax increase in the upcoming budget.

"Over the last eight years the people of Hamilton Township have seen their beloved hometown go from one of the most financially respected towns in New Jersey to a town on the brink of bankruptcy," said Bencivengo, referring to what he called out-of-control spending by the administration.

The GOP hopeful cited a tax rate that that has risen nearly 25 percent since 2000, Gilmore's first year in office, and a budget surplus that was at $8 million when Gilmore took office but has since been spent by the administration.

But his plan, which Bencivengo dubbed the "fiscal five," was short on specifics and included goals such as "stabilize the tax rate," but little explanation of how that would be achieved.

Reached yesterday, Gilmore scoffed at the plan, asking for the Republican to come up with specifics.

"Stabilize taxes, now why didn't I think of that?" Gilmore quipped. "I think that was an important press conference for our taxpayers. He has had months now as a declared candidate to come forward with some real proposals and what this press conference tells us is that he is bankrupt when it comes to offering any real solutions."” (Isherwood, Trenton Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/times/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1190088640253450.xml&coll=5

 

MACHINE MAYHEM

“The state has no choice but to ask lawmakers to extend a January deadline for installing printers on 10,000 electronic voting machines used across New Jersey, a judge concluded yesterday.

That means voters in February's presidential primary won't see any paper proof their votes are counted properly. At the earliest, the state says printers might be ready by June — a development that rankled voting rights activists who see a "voter-verified paper trail" as a vital check against electronic fraud.

"This is a difficult case," said Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, citing ongoing printer testing by the New Jersey Institute of Technology for delaying certification of the equipment………………

Feinberg said she will hold January hearings on constitutional issues raised by activists if the printers do not receive state approval by year's end.

Since 2004, activists have argued that voters' rights are in jeopardy because touch-screen voting machines may be vulnerable to hackers. They want to replace the machines with devices that scan paper ballots. Some 17 counties already use optical scanners to count absentee ballots.

But the Attorney General's Office testified that no optical scanners are certified for widespread use. New scanners could cost up to $70 million, and they would require extensive training for poll workers, the state said.

Any last-minute switch to scanners or hand-counted ballots would create chaos and security nightmares, according to statements by voting officials from all 21 counties and testimony by lawyers for the Republican and Democratic state committees. ” (Coughlin, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119009070045370.xml&coll=1

 

NO TAX EXEMPTION FOR YOU

“A boardwalk pavilion in the seaside town of Ocean Grove, N.J., that has been at the center of a battle over gay civil union ceremonies has lost its tax-exempt status because the state ruled it no longer met the requirements as a place open to all members of the public.

In a letter to the administrator of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization that owns the pavilion property, the state commissioner of environmental protection, Lisa Jackson, declined to recertify the pavilion as eligible for a real estate tax exemption it has enjoyed since 1989 under the state’s Green Acres Program, but did renew the tax-exempt status of the rest of the boardwalk and the beach, also owned by the association.

The issue arose after the association, which has owned the land, the beach and 1,000 feet of the sea itself since 1870, rejected the requests of two lesbian couples to have their civil union ceremonies at the Boardwalk Pavilion.

The couples complained to the State Division on Civil Rights, which began a discrimination investigation. The association sued the state, claiming that the investigation violated its First Amendment rights because civil unions were contrary to the beliefs of the United Methodist Church.

A federal district court judge refused last month to halt the investigation.

In a letter dated Saturday that revoked the longstanding certification, Ms. Jackson, the environmental protection commissioner, wrote, “It is clear that the pavilion is not open to all persons on an equal basis.”” (Capuzzo, New York Times)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/nyregion/18grove.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin

 

MORTGAGE CRISIS

“At least 8,000 of the 143,898 New Jersey borrowers who opted for subprime mortgages went into foreclosure in the first half of this year, state Division of Banking officials said yesterday.

Testifying before the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee in Trenton, state officials and lenders said another 11,000 of those borrowers are up to three months behind on their mortgage payments.

"I want to be clear that here in New Jersey this is a real threat to homeowners and to the economy," state Banking Director Terry McEwen said of the widening subprime mortgage crisis.

Of the 15,426 first-time foreclosures filed in New Jersey in the first six months of this year, 53 percent involve borrowers with adjustable rate mortgages. Nationally, the figure is 37 percent for the same period.

Black and Hispanic borrowers, who hold 41 percent of subprime loans, have been hardest hit. ” (Hester, AP)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119009017445370.xml&coll=1

 

IN TRENTON

“A major nonprofit housing advocate criticized Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday for what the organization sees as an attempt to back off his campaign promise to provide 100,000 units of affordable housing over 10 years.

The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, which represent 250 affordable housing advocacy groups, is angry about Corzine's comments in an article in the Sunday Star-Ledger, in which he said a potential $300 million price tag to provide the housing during tough fiscal times has caused his administration to step back and re-examine potential proposals.

"We are extremely disappointed that you appear to be formally moving away from that commitment, which you made as a candidate in 2005 and have since reiterated numerous times publicly and to our members," Diane Sterner, the housing network's director, wrote in a letter to the governor. "We hope that you will reconsider your decision to abandon your promise."

Sterner vehemently disagreed the price tag is the problem.

"(The) $30 million per year for 10 years is less than 0.1 percent of the state's annual budget — which is just under $33.5 billion," she said. "We believe — and had hoped you did too — that this relatively small amount of money is urgently needed to solve what the Brookings (Institution) has called the biggest threat to our state's economic vitality." ” (Hester, AP)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119009059345370.xml&coll=1

 

SOMEBODY THINKS ABOUT THE FISH

“In the decades that New Jersey has carved out environmental regulations, laws have been passed to protect endangered species, manage housing development and upgrade sewage-treatment plants.

But since the first major pieces of environmental legislation were adopted in the early 1970s, there has never been a holistic approach to consider how those regulations would impact the ocean, environmentalists and legislators said.

Yesterday, at a special meeting of the Senate Environment Committee held at Monmouth University, the panel voted to release for vote a bill creating a New Jersey Coastal and Ocean Protection Council to address the ills of the ocean off New Jersey's coast and to close gaps in current laws that have detrimental effects on the Atlantic.

The bill (S-2645), sponsored by Sen. Ellen Karcher (D-Monmouth), stems from two major national reports in 2003 and 2004 recommending ecosystem-based management of oceans as the best way to correct pollution, overfishing, fishkills and other problems. ” (Spoto, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119009052845370.xml&coll=1

 

“IT’S ONLY FAIR”

“It cost $8,000 to bring Elizabeth Koenigkann from Mexico to Bergen County to stand trial for her role in a drug-related murder. And if local authorities have their way, taxpayers won't pay a cent toward that tab.

Sheriffs' departments and prosecutors' offices in North Jersey spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money every year to transport fugitives from out of state. Some, however, are beginning to invoke a 10-year-old state law that allows them to bill the defendants for the cost.

"It's only fair," said Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor James Santulli, who obtained a guilty plea from Koenigkann that includes an agreement on her part to pay the $8,000. "It's public money and it should be used for law enforcement purposes, instead of being used for finding her and bringing her here."

Arguments against the practice are growing, as well. Critics contend the collection efforts unreasonably burden defendants who can't afford to pay. Resources expended trying to recover that money can end up costing taxpayers more than the amount actually owed, they say.” (Markos, Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxOTY3NDEmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

 

IN JERSEY CITY

Carl Czaplicki, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy's chief of staff for nearly three years, is changing jobs.

Healy intends to appoint Czaplicki to be director of the city's Department of Housing, Economic, Development and Commerce, according to sources.

Through his spokeswoman, Jennifer Morrill, the mayor confirmed that Czaplicki's transfer is imminent.

"I do envision using Carl's skills and talents to benefit me and the city at either the HEDC or the (Jersey City) Redevelopment Agency in the near future," Healy said through his spokeswoman. ” (Thorbourne, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1190096204298120.xml&coll=3

 

IN EWING

“Political tensions between the town's Democrat-controlled council and Republican Mayor Jack Ball have flared again, this time with Democrats accusing Ball of withholding information about the municipal budget.

The Democrats were incensed to learn that Donald Cox, the governing body's lone Republican, knows Ball's plans if the state doesn't come through with $4 million in aid to prevent a whopping 43 cent tax rate increase this year.

They're even madder that Cox has refused to let them in on what has been called "Plan B."” (Coryell, Trenton Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/times/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1190088553253450.xml&coll=5

 

IN BRICK

“The township's Democratic Municipal Committee has selected a Planning Board member and former township employee as a candidate for a seat on the Township Council, the committee chairman announced Monday.

Anthony W. Lazroe worked for Brick from 1984 to 1992, holding titles of coordinator of federal and state aid, coordinator of community development and housing grants administrator. He takes the place on the Democratic ballot of former Township Councilman Frederick J. Underwood Sr., who withdrew from the race earlier this month in the wake of a diagnosis of cancer.” (Schweiger, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070918/NEWS02/709180373/1070/NEWS02

 

IN PROSPECT PARK

“You might find them standing at your front door, sitting next to you in church or approaching you as you shop for groceries:

They are a band of 20 volunteers determined to eliminate full medical, dental and prescription coverage the council receives through the borough.

In this 1.2-square-mile borough of 5,779, the bipartisan group, led by Republican Borough Council candidate Thomas F.X. Magura, has collected more than half the signatures it needs, but missed the Sept. 7 deadline to have a question on the issue placed on the November ballot.” (Kays, Herald News)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzNTcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxOTY4MTcmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkz

 

IN SUSSEX COUNTY

“Sussex County court records from 1775 are handwritten in a style seldom seen today. The record book begins by documenting that the session took place, "in the fifteenth year of the reign of King George III."

That reign, of course, wouldn't last much longer in the Colonies as the Revolution soon followed.

But the book that contains the records would survive for 232 years — barely though, as the ravages of time and water caused considerable damage.” (Lockwood, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/sussex/index.ssf?/base/news-1/119009010345370.xml&coll=1

 

IN ATLANTIC CITY

Joe Thorne got more than a free meal when he attended a fundraiser here Sunday.

He got a classic car. Steve Layman drew attention to his independent campaign for the Sixth Ward City Council seat by giving away his 1964 Pontiac GTO at his inaugural fundraiser Sunday. The move caught Thorne's eye.

"I read about it in Sunday's Press," said Thorne, who lives in Galloway Township. "I told my wife, 'That guy's giving up his car. I'm going to go down there and check it out.'"

Thorne, whose Best Construction does rehabilitation work in the city, met Layman and was impressed.

"I think Steve's going to help out in Atlantic City if he's elected," Thorne said. "He's real serious, I think, about that campaign if he's giving up his toy."” (Cohen, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/atlantic_city/story/7502529p-7399746c.html

 

IN VINELAND

A local businessman has earned his place in the race for a council seat.

Adam Goldstein, who works in the construction industry, heard Monday that a sufficient number of his nominating petitions are valid.

He will campaign against Anthony Gioielli, who holds the seat vacated by Bob Smith, the councilman who resigned in May.” (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/cumberland/story/7502569p-7399771c.html

 

IN PENNS GROVE

“PENNS GROVE Two former Penns Grove Democrat candidates who failed in their primary election bids have switched political parties and are suing in order to run in the November general election against those who defeated them.

Abner Mendoza and Mary Kay James have filed a lawsuit against Salem County Clerk Gilda Gill to be allowed to run in the fall on the Republican ticket.

Mendoza was defeated in June's Democrat Primary election by incumbent Mayor John Washington, while James failed in the Democrat Primary to win one of the two open Democrat nominations to run in the fall. James and two other candidates had sought the nomination.

However, in an odd twist, both Mendoza and James each received enough write-in votes on the Republican Primary ballot to qualify to run in the November election on the Republican ticket. ” (Linnehan, Today’s Sunbeam)

http://www.nj.com/news/sunbeam/index.ssf?/base/news-2/1190095939298340.xml&coll=9

 

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