Today’s news from PoliticsNJ.com

Corzine’s approval ratings still positive; Democrats reflect on Corzine and Codey, Republicans run against Corzine’s policies, not the man; pro-life groups lose effort to block stem cell referendum; Press of Atlantic City checks out campaign mailers.

THE TEFLON GOVERNOR

“By a five-to-four margin (49%-38%), likely voters say New Jersey is on the wrong track, but that’s not their opinion of Governor Jon Corzine.

According to the latest survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, 54% of voters say they approve of the job Corzine is doing as governor while 25% disapprove, a 2:1 ratio in his favor that has been fairly steady throughout his two years as governor.

On the other hand, Carla Katz, a union leader and former companion of the governor who has been much in the news lately, has a low profile with much of the public. Three of five likely voters (61%) say they have not heard of her. Of those who say they have heard of her, few say they have a favorable opinion, but just as many say they have no opinion as say they have a negative one (15%-18%). "At this point there is little evidence that Carla Katz is hurting the governor’s support," said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll.

Meanwhile, a majority (54%) of New Jersey voters say they have a favorable impression of the governor, against 31% who say their impression of him is unfavorable, a 5 to 3 advantage for the governor.

That compares well to other statewide officials. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg maintains a net plus of 48% to 27% favorable to unfavorable opinion, while Sen. Bob Menendez doesn’t quite break even with 30% favorable and 35% unfavorable. "The governor’s standing with voters two years into his term and facing a mid-term election is good," said Woolley. "He should be getting a lot of invitations to campaign rallies."” (Pizarro, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/fairleigh-dickinson-poll-shows-corzine-approval-rating-54-12082

“Gov. Jon Corzine has a 49%-40% approval rating, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning. He was at 48%-39% in July. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg has a 46%-36% approval rating, but 54% of voters say he is too old to serve for six more years. Against an unnamed Republican challenger, Lautenberg leads 39%-36% — a statistical dead-heat.

Republican U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie has a 40%-14% approval rating, but voters say they don't won't him to run against Lautenberg or Corzine.” (Editor, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/hold-me-accountable-corzine-has-49-40-approval-rating-new-quinnipiac-poll-12091

 

CODEY VS. CORZINE

“It’s another day in Trenton, that substitute city for Sodom and Gomorrah in the storybooks Republicans read to their children.

There’s a kindly-looking, self-deprecating man presiding in the upper house. Senate President Richard Codey tells a boy entrusted as the day’s gavel pounder that they’ll get out of the Senate chamber earlier than the boy’s schoolmates, who are still stranded in a classroom somewhere. Later, he’s posing for pictures with what look to be the female, senior citizen contents of a bus that was bound for Atlantic City, since detoured to Trenton to see the former governor. ……………

Beyond Trenton, it’s the same Dick Codey up in the Oranges, embracing local district leaders who stagger away from him happily looking for the nearest human prop to steady them.

"He definitely has that effect on people," Jeanette Seabrooks, co-chair of Newark’s West Ward Democratic Party, says proudly.

One does not need to see him in person. The words "Codey," "affable" and "regular guy" are linked ad nauseum in newsprint like the dots and dashes in a Morse Code signal calling for others in public life to be real – like Codey.

All of which adds up to a question to be considered alongside sitting Gov. Jon Corzine: Do Democrats regret selecting the money bags candidate over the shrewd but likeable politco, whom many still see as the money candidate?

Everywhere, Republicans are all over Corzine.” (Pizarro, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/hold-me-accountable-corzine-v-codey-12086

 

REPUBLICANS REALIZE CORZINE IS NO MCGREEVEY

“Back in 2003, New Jersey Republicans made the legislative race about holding Jim McGreevey accountable. At the time, McGreevey was suffering from low approval ratings.

But it didn’t work — the GOP wound up losing control of the Senate and losing more seats in the Assembly.

“I think in 2003 the message was a little too simple: ‘send a message to Jim McGreevey,’” said state GOP Chairman Tom Wilson. “I think that was less of a winner than talking about specific issues.”

This year, the Republicans have learned not to make Gov. Jon Corzine himself the main issue of the campaign, especially considering his positive approval ratings. But the three top issues that Republicans have focused on this year are all policies closely tied to the governor: asset monetization, property taxes and ethics reform.

While it goes without saying that the governor would have a lot to do with the issues du jour, Corzine, Republicans say, has failed to fulfill his inaugural promises on those issues. Republicans say that the public can force his hand by electing a Republican majority.” (Friedman, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/hold-me-accountable-democratic-campaigns-corzine-friend-or-foe-12085

STEM CELL REFERENDUM WILL GO TO VOTERS

“A judge yesterday rejected an effort by right-to-life groups to derail November's vote on a $450 million stem cell research program, saying the ballot question proposed by lawmakers appears "fair, balanced and neutral."

Ruling after a two-hour emergency hearing in Trenton, Chancery Court Judge Neil Shuster denied the claims in a lawsuit filed by New Jersey Right to Life and others that the wording of the ballot question was misleading.

Shuster also rejected the groups' request to postpone the printing of ballots for the Nov. 6 election. That cleared the way for county clerks to deliver the ballots to printers yesterday. Absentee ballots are scheduled to be delivered to military personnel and others starting Friday.

"The public has an interest in voting on Election Day," Shuster said in a ruling delivered about 25 minutes after attorneys had argued the case in his courtroom. "And by enjoining the printing of ballots the court would put at risk the ability of our military and others to vote."

Bertram P. Goltz, attorney for Right to Life, said he had not yet decided whether to appeal Shuster's ruling……………

In the lawsuit they filed last week, the opponents argued the ballot language should be rewritten to tell voters it could open the door to human cloning and that property taxes could be boosted to cover the outstanding debts if state sales tax revenues prove insufficient.

Shuster rejected each of those claims, saying the legislation authorizing the borrowing specifically bans human cloning……………….

Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union), a sponsor of the stem cell legislation, applauded Shuster's ruling yesterday.

"As we predicted, this lawsuit was completely without merit," he said. "The people who are seeking to block progress with ideology should get out of the way."

Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, said she disagrees with Shuster's conclusions and said voters deserve a full accounting of the implications of the stem cell proposal.

"This is a matter that affects the future of humanity," she said. "It's much too important a matter to be ignored." ” (McNichol, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1190695392193000.xml&coll=1

“Shuster said those seeking to block the question are not likely to succeed, but if they did, a judge could strike down the results of a vote without affecting voters or the other candidates or questions on the ballot.

Shuster, who wasn't asked by the state to dismiss the suit, went further in his ruling than he had to, striking down both the moral and financial objections. He suggested that adding language to address the concerns could skew the question and lead to a challenge by embryonic stem-cell advocates. He also sided with the state that bond questions do not need to specify that taxes could rise.

"New Jersey voters are astute and reasonable enough to know that the issuance of bonds for the sum of $450 million could potentially have tax consequences," Shuster said.” (Volpe, Gannett)

http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070925/COMMUNITIES32/709250325/1203/NEWS01

 

“WHEN DECADE-OLD NEWS STORIES BECOME TODAY’S MAIL”

It's that time of year again. When candidates pose with their arms crossed or their suit jacket slung over their shoulder and vow to fight the Trenton politicians – even if they are Trenton politicians.

When every opponent is untrustworthy, or beholden to corrupt political bosses, or getting rich off your money.

When decade-old news stories become today's mail, and today's mail turns into tomorrow's television ads.

Just three weeks into September, mailboxes around the region are already stuffed with oversized campaign ads. Maybe you've already seen the one with your local state senator's head floating among a pile of trash bags – or your local assemblyman bending at the waist with a wind-up key protruding from his back.

Yes, the shenanigans have begun. Now, a look at the distortions and the facts:

Ad: "Check career politician Sonny McCullough's file."

Candidates: Senate candidate Assemblyman Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, and Assembly candidates Blondell Spellman and Joe Wilkins

Opponents: State Sen. James "Sonny" McCullough and Assembly candidates Vince Polistina and John Amodeo

Race: 2nd District, most of Atlantic County

Strategy: Whelan's campaign struck first with an ad that seeks to characterize McCullough as a career politician milking the political system…………….

Charge: McCullough pocketed six figures in government money from four different jobs.

Facts: McCullough has earned four government salaries: as mayor of Egg Harbor Township, as a member of the Egg Harbor Township MUA, as a former employee of the South Jersey Transportation Authority and, since September, as a senator. A political aide to Gov. Christie Whitman, Phil Angarone, recommended McCullough for the SJTA job. Not mentioned is that Whelan also has collected four government salaries: as an active public school teacher, as the former mayor of Atlantic City, as a state Assemblyman and, in 2004, as an adviser to the city of Ventnor on eminent domain issues………………….

Ad: "Wind up Jim Whelan"

Candidate: McCullough, Polistina and Amodeo

Strategy: With Democrats in Pleasantville and around the state being hauled into court on corruption charges – including state Sen, Wayne Bryant of Camden – the ad seeks to paint Whelan as a politician corrupted by outside influences in Camden County who "turns his back on Atlantic County."……………

Charge: "Jim Whelan and the corrupt Camden County political bosses: He pockets $2.2 million in campaign cash then votes with them 99 percent of the time."

Facts: Whelan's first Assembly campaign was funded by a leadership political action committee controlled by Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts of Camden County. The committee funds Democrat candidates around the state. Roberts has said he recruited Whelan. Linking Whelan to corruption is another matter. While Whelan has sided with Roberts on key policy issues – such as the 2006 budget fight with Gov. Corzine – there is zero evidence to suggest Roberts or Whelan are corrupt.

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/campaign/story/7504253p-7401609c.html

WE’RE NUMBER ONE!

“A national report on auto insurance rates has a dose of good news and bad news for Jersey drivers.

The good: Spurred by a new law that forced more competition, average rates in New Jersey went down in 2005.

The bad: New Jersey was still the most expensive state in the nation for auto insurance.

The report, released yesterday by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, shows the average motorist shelled out $1,184 per vehicle in 2005. That's a 3 percent decline from 2004, when the state reported an all-time high of $1,221. The last time the average bill went down was in 2000.

New Jersey's rates were 43 percent higher than the national average bill of $829, and Garden State motorists have been socked with the highest bills in America for all but two years since 1987.

But this time, New Jersey barely made it to the unwanted top spot as motorists in the District of Columbia paid only $2 less per vehicle, the report showed. ” (Donohue, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1190695606193000.xml&coll=1

 

REMEMBERING STANLEY VAN NESS

“In one of his last public comments last May, Stanley Van Ness recalled how as New Jersey's first public advocate he had to defend to legislators the expense of lawsuits he filed on behalf of the public.

They were especially troubled by the landmark Mount Laurel case in the mid-1970s demanding that towns allow the construction of affordable housing. "That had everybody upset," he said, adding a public advocate may not be doing the job "if you never get anybody upset."

Van Ness, who is remembered as the conscience of state government and a man who put public service and ethics above all, died Friday at age 73.

He is recalled not only for his low-key diplomatic style, but his willingness to fight when he felt the public was being wronged. Five governors sought his help and insight over the past 41 years, including Brendan Byrne, who appointed him the state's first public advocate.

"I would not have appointed anybody else," Byrne said. "This was a noble experiment, and I could not take any chances on it. I needed Stanley Van Ness if I was going to do it. He really made the public advocate a success, made it credible. He feared nobody." ” (Hester, AP)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1190695596193000.xml&coll=1

 

DISTRICT 16 CANDIDATES STEER CLEAR OF BUSH AND CORZINE

“In a clash of 16th District legislative candidates, Republicans blasted "waste, fraud and corruption" in Trenton, while Democrats concentrated their fire closer to home.

About 100 people turned out at the Arbor Glen senior citizen community center in Bridgewater for a debate in which candidate agreed on many issues but disagreed about where to place the blame for scandals.

In a barometer of the political climate, only Democrats mentioned Republican President Bush. But when they talked about Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, it was mainly to distance themselves from state taxes and spending.

Meanwhile, although all three Republican candidates have served as Somerset County freeholders, they made only veiled responses to Democrats' complaints about cor ruption at the county park commission.

The district covers most of Somerset County, as well as Mendham in Morris County, and over the years has been safe Republican territory. But Democrats hope to change that this year because of the parks scandal and the retirement of longtime state Sen. Walter Kavanaugh.

"I've spent half my life in public service, and I will put my integrity and my record and my ethics up against anybody," said Republican Assemblyman Christopher "Kip" Bateman, seeking to move up to replace Kavanaugh after 14 years in the Assembly.

But his opponent, former Montgomery school board member Wayne Fox, attempted to connect Bateman directly to the current investigation by the state Attorney General's Office into park finances and personnel. He noted Bateman kept John Kitchen on his legislative payroll at $1,500 a year until the former Somerset freeholder was hired as golf director for the parks. His annual salary is $91,950. ” (Tyrell, Star-)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/somerset/index.ssf?/base/news-2/1190694994193000.xml&coll=1

 

OVERSHADOWED ATLANTIC COUNTY FREEHOLDER RACE IS IMPORTANT

Though they're overshadowed by the frequently nasty race for Atlantic County executive, this year's battles over three freeholder seats ultimately will determine which party will control the county's governing board.

Republicans currently hold five of the nine seats on the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. But three seats – including two in which incumbents opted not to seek re-election – are up for grabs in November's election.

The race that could decide the panel's makeup pits incumbent Democrat Joe Kelly against Republican Joe McDevitt for an at-large seat. Candidates for at-large seats run countywide. What makes the at-large seat seem to be most important is voting history.

Democratic Atlantic County Freeholder the Rev. Lawton Nelson isn't seeking re-election to a 1st Ward seat that represents Pleasantville and parts of Atlantic City and Egg Harbor Township. Democrats have held the seat since 1976.

Republican Atlantic County Freeholder Sue Schilling doesn't want to serve another term as the 4th District representative on the board. The 4th District represents Absecon, Brigantine, Galloway Township and Port Republic, and Republicans have held the seat for all but three years since 1976.

The history of the at-large seat held by Kelly also leans in favor of Republicans, who have held it for 23 of the last 31 years. Even Kelly admits to being shocked at his victory over then-incumbent Republican John Risley three years ago.

But Atlantic County has been trending Democratic for the past several years, and Kelly has the power of incumbency. Kelly says he's surprised how many more people know his name since the last time he ran.” (Barlas, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/campaign/story/7504252p-7401600c.html

 

“PAY-TO-PRESCRIBE”

Democratic Assembly candidates Blondell Spellman and Joe Wilkins outlined a proposal Monday that would make cozy relationships between pharmaceutical companies and doctors more frigid and more public.

The proposal – which candidates say is aimed at eliminating a conflict of interest and ensuring the patient's best treatment – is comprised of limitations on the value of gifts drug firms can give to doctors and detailing handouts in the public records.

The plan comes in the aftermath of New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram's assembly of a task force last week to consider if the state should require drug firms and medical-device-makers to report gifts they give to physicians, a process some refer to as "pay-to-prescribe."

"This is an issue of concern, and has been for several years," said Spellman, a first-time candidate. "Doctors must focus their attention on doing what's best for their patients without being influenced by the perks and other freebies being offered by drug companies."” (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/campaign/story/7504254p-7401626c.html

 

RACIAL PROFILING

“In the eight years since state troopers opened fire on a van of unarmed minority men during a highway traffic stop, New Jersey State Police have developed reliable approaches to curb racial profiling, a federal overseer reported yesterday.

The independent federal monitor, Jim Ginger, said state police have transformed from an agency with a reputation for pulling over and detaining a disproportionate number of minority drivers to a force with efficient self-monitoring and self-policing systems to catch and correct abuses.

"Does that mean there will never be another problem here? No," Ginger told a panel of experts studying whether to recommend disbanding the federal monitoring system put in place after the 1998 turnpike shooting. "As it stands right now, the New Jersey State Police have in place policies, procedures and practices that put it at the leadership position in American policing in terms of supervision and review of field operation practices."

The panel, convened by Gov. Corzine, held its final meeting yesterday. It heard detailed testimony from Ginger and a second federal monitor, Alberto Rivas, who have been tracking troopers' stops of minority motorists since 1999 and issuing reports every six months. The superintendent of the state police, Col. Rick Fuentes, was scheduled to testify late in the day.

The monitors' 16th report, issued earlier this month, was a glowing testament to how far the state police had come since entering into the monitoring agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.

That report found the state police have "reached a watershed moment" in their ability to fix problems with training and procedures used by state troopers during traffic stops. ” (Delli Santi, AP)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20070925_Monitor__N_J__police_better_on_racial_profiling.html

 

“A study that said state troopers continue to stop black motorists at "greatly disproportionate" rates on the southern portion of the New Jersey Turnpike was endorsed yesterday by a panel of Columbia University law school professors, but dismissed as "junk science" by the head of the troopers' union.

The American Civil Liberties Union submitted the study last November to the Advisory Committee on Police Standards, appointed by Gov. Jon Corzine to consider whether to end court-supervised monitoring of the State Police.

The committee asked several Columbia University law school professors to review the study's methodology.

But James Ginger, one of two court-appointed monitors who have been reviewing the State Police since it agreed to a host of reforms in 1999, told the committee the study "asked the wrong questions." He said it should have fo cused on whether African-Americans were treated differently from white motorists after being stopped.

Ginger said studies that try to determine whether one race is stopped disproportionately compared with another are an elusive "holy grail," and "just doesn't work" because there are too many factors that contribute to a stop.

"The only way to do that is to observe every police officer," Ginger said. "I don't think we are ever going to find those numbers balance out over time."

The committee chairman, James Johnson, said it would have to "factor in the report" when it is sues recommendations to the governor, likely by November, on whether the state should seek to dissolve a consent decree aimed at eradicating racial profiling ” (Hepp, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1190695559193000.xml&coll=1

 

ANTI-MONETIZATION SIGNS INSIDE VAN DREW’S HEADQUARTERS

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Democrats running in a heated 1st Legislative District race officially opened their Cape May County campaign headquarters Monday.

The office puts a public face on the Democrats' campaign in a prominent location on Route 9 in the county seat. Republicans recently opened their Cape May County offices in Ocean City.

No doubt, every bit of public exposure will help in a contentious Senate race between Republican incumbent Nicholas Asselta and Democratic challenger and Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew.

The Middle Township office joins two others in Millville and Vineland where Democrats hope to galvanize support and rally volunteers. It sits in a small building shared by an eye doctor and a title insurance company.

Inside, stacks of yard signs and a pile of larger campaign billboards sit waiting. A hand-written sign read "Roads not for sale," echoing the theme Republicans have promoted in opposing Gov. Jon S. Corzine's proposal to sell or lease the state's toll roads.

"I make one promise today," Van Drew said to a crowd of supporters standing on Main Street. "The three of us will be your next legislators."” (Miller, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/capemay/story/7504233p-7401624c.html

 

THERE’S THAT MONETIZATION ISSUE AGAIN

“Hundreds of business and labor leaders gathered in a conference room in Trenton yesterday to discuss New Jersey's roads, bridges, dams, sewers and other public infrastructure. They were joined by an 800-pound gorilla called "asset monetization."

They were told a story they'd been told before: the state has massive needs but it also has massive debts. It can't afford to take on more debt to replace obsolete bridges, to widen the New Jersey Turnpike, to build a new rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River, to replace aging sewer treatment plants or to take any of the other expensive steps needed to bring the infrastructure up to snuff.

"It's unrealistic to think we can just keep on issuing debt to pay for our infrastructure. We just can't," Bradley Abelow, the chief of staff to Gov. Jon Corzine, said at the conference hosted by the New Jersey Alliance for Action, a coalition of business, labor, government and academic groups. The conference was called, "New Jersey's Future: The Needs … The Reality."

To meet its infrastructure needs, Abelow said, the state will have to come up with new ways to pay for them. Gov. Corzine suggested one new way more than a year ago — a plan to "monetize" the toll roads, the lottery and other state assets.” (Feeney, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1190695377193000.xml&coll=1

 

BARELY PASSING INFRASTRUCTURE

If New Jersey's roads, bridges and airports were in school, they'd barely pass.

That was the grim assessment offered Monday by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which gave each of those pieces of New Jersey's transportation system D grades in its latest review of the state's infrastructure.

The report gave an overall grade of C-minus to nine types of infrastructure in New Jersey while saying that billions of dollars of upgrades are needed for elements such as bridges, ports and the facilities that supply drinking water. The best the state could do was a C-plus for energy infrastructure.” (Tamari, Gannett)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070925/NEWS03/709250309/1007

 

NOTHING BEATS A HUDSON COUNTY POWER STRUGGLE

“City Council President Vincent Lo Re Jr. just may have an extended stay in the Bayonne Mayor's Office.

That's because there's no clear consensus among City Council members on who should replace Mayor Joseph V. Doria Jr. when he leaves office Oct. 9.

As City Council president, Lo Re will become acting mayor on Oct. 9 and would hold the interim position until a successor is selected.

Two of the council members – Lo Re and Ted Connolly – want the job for themselves…………….

Councilman-at-large Anthony Chiappone and Third Ward Councilman Gary LaPelusa said they favor local attorney Patrick Conaghan, who opposed Doria in the 2006 mayoral election and lost in a runoff.

Second Ward Councilman John Halecky said he feels city Finance Director Terrence Malloy is the "most qualified" candidate. Malloy could not be reached for comment.”…………

Meanwhile, Doria awaits Senate confirmation of his appointment to his new $141,000-a-year job as commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs. State Sen. President Richard Codey's office couldn't say when the Senate would reconvene or when it would act on Doria's confirmation. (Leir, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-3/119070003427070.xml&coll=3

 

THREATENING TO VETO FLOOD RELIEF

“Paterson's sewers, fenced-off parts of Liberty State Park and miles of Jersey beaches moved a step closer to receiving federal funding Monday.

The Senate overwhelmingly voted to send President Bush a $23 billion bill outlining water, dredging and flood control projects for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Bush has threatened a veto.

The bill would authorize $35 million to study the impact of regular backups in Paterson's antiquated sewer system, which channels rainwater and sewage through the same pipes.

Some of the $35 million would also be used to separate the sewer systems in key areas, according to the office of Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-Paterson.

Also in the bill is $22 million to reverse the environmental damage caused decades ago when marshes and wetlands were filled in to create a railroad terminal on the Hudson River in what is now Liberty State Park.” (Jackson, Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxOTk2NzcmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

 

IN PASSAIC COUNTY

“The county freeholders are set to approve the terms of a deal to sell the Passaic County Golf Course to the county improvement authority Tuesday

The freeholders are selling the golf course in order to help erase a $33 million shortfall in the 2007 budget.

The county said it is proceeding with the deal even though a pending lawsuit to block the sale has not been settled. Two resolutions on the agenda for Tuesday night's meeting lay out the terms of the sale, which has been under discussion publicly since March.” (Kindergan, Herald News)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzNTcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxOTk3MzcmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkz

 

ARRESTED FOR HOLDING A SIGN

“The arrest of a man who held up a small sign during an Orange City Council meeting last week is a classic example of a First Amendment rights violation, according to two attorneys who said they plan to represent the individual.

Following the City Hall arrest of Orange resident Jeffrey M. Conway, trial attorneys Kevin M. Costello of Cherry Hill, and Patricia Weston Rivera of Orange, said they will argue their client was unfairly treated, selectively targeted, never told his rights and denied initial access to legal representation.

"My view is that the police were waiting to make an example of somebody," Costello said.

The contentious Sept. 18 meeting drew supporters and opponents of Mayor Mims Hackett Jr., who was arrested earlier this month in a federal sting operation. Some residents wore orange T- shirts supporting the mayor while others held up small signs calling on Hackett to resign.

Conway, 46, a Irving Terrace resident and critic of Hackett Jr., is a member of the Responsible Citizens for Orange homeowner watch dog group and that group's offshoot, the Committee to Recall Mims Hackett Jr.

Conway is awaiting an Oct. 18 court date. Rivera, a member of the same citizens group and recall effort, and who also silently protested by holding up a small sign at last Tuesday night's council meet ing, already has requested a change of venue for Conway.

"At no time, while I was in custody, did they tell me what I was being charged with," Conway said of his arrest. ” (Dilworth, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/essex/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1190695333193000.xml&coll=1

 

GOING GREEN

“Solar panels are being planned for government-owned buildings throughout North Jersey as a way to cut energy costs, save the environment and set an example for residents.

"There is a rising enthusiasm" for all sorts of alternative energy, said Dunbar Birnie, a professor of engineering at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

Solar panels, or photovoltaic cells, transform the Sun's power into electricity. The electricity is then used in the building on which they are mounted or in a mini-network of several buildings, said Birnie, who teaches a course in solar-cell design.

When Fort Lee officials think about the community center's roof, they see a large, flat space covered with solar panels. The same goes for the police station and the public works garage.

"It is absolutely in our financial best interests" to install solar panels, said acting Fort Lee Mayor Ila Kasofsky.” (Firschein, Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTcxOTk2NzQmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

 

IN TRENTON

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Monday over whether a former sheriff's officer is barred from suing Morris County for discrimination because he failed to disclose an expunged conviction when he was hired.

John Cicchetti, a former officer at the Morris County Sheriff's Office, claims he was repeatedly ridiculed for 18 months by two co-workers because he'd been diagnosed with having Hepatitis C.

After reporting the incidents to Sheriff Edward V. Rochford and Undersheriff Jack Dempsey, Cicchetti claims little was done to stop the abuse and that he had to leave the job, although the complaint does say his superiors talked to the other officers.” (Rispoli, Gannett)

http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070925/COMMUNITIES/709250324/1203/NEWS01

 

IN JACKSON (OR HOWELL)

“She has called Jackson home her entire life, and no one is going to convince 83-year-old Mary Moore that she actually lives in Howell.

Certainly not Keith Kugel, the man who is suing Jackson and Howell, claiming that in the 1960s officials from both towns secretly moved the border that divides the two towns and separates Ocean and Monmouth counties. According to the Jackson resident's conspiracy theory, 8 square miles of northeast Jackson really belong to Howell.

Nonsense, said Moore, who was born and raised in those 8 square miles and who raised her own family there.

"It's still Ocean County, Jackson Township, and it will always be," she declared, echoing the sentiments of officials in both towns who called Kugel's contention baseless.

However, a review of state records shows Kugel may have stumbled onto a forgotten piece of local history: Only 80 years ago, the northeast corner of Jackson apparently was part of Howell/Monmouth County, until the state gave the land to Ocean County.” (Reiss, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070924/NEWS/709240344

 

IN HOLMDEL

“Days after Mayor Serena DiMaso named her 2007 running mate for Township Committee Gerald Allocco as an alternate member of the Planning Board, the appointment was rescinded because it did not comply with the township Civic Responsibility Act.

Committeeman Larry Fink told DiMaso during a meeting Thursday that because the position was not advertised by the municipal clerk on the bulletin board in town hall and the township Web site and not announced in a news release to local newspapers, Allocco's appointment should be declared "null and void." Fink called for the position to be properly posted to give all residents an equal chance to show interest.

DiMaso said Township Clerk Maureen Doloughty said she made an error and apologized for not following the ordinance.

"Ms. Doloughty works hard for us," DiMaso said. "It's just something that fell through the crack. Right now we are doing what the ordinance says."” (Thompson, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070925/NEWS01/709250336/1004

 

IN ONE OF THE WASHINGTON TOWNSHIPS

“Township Committeeman Samir Elbassiouny is Warren County Community College's new chief fundraiser earning $65,000 a year.

Best known as an Oxford Township businessman and chef, Elbassiouny started as executive assistant for advancement and fundraising last month. College President Will Austin said Elbassiouny is qualified for the position through his extensive community fundraising.” (Olanoff, Express-Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/expresstimes/nj/index.ssf?/base/news-6/119069325899620.xml&coll=2

 

IN MULLICA TOWNSHIP

The husband of Deputy Mayor Janet Forman was cleared Tuesday on several charges stemming from an alleged hit-and-run attempt on his wife's election opponent.

Glen Forman was found not guilty of reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident by Buena Borough Municipal Court Judge Carl W. Cavagnaro. Forman also had a charge of not providing auto insurance dismissed by Cavagnaro.” (Hardie, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/atlantic/story/7504225p-7401617c.html

 

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