Today’s News from PoliticsNJ.com

New Jerseyans see corruption as a problem but it won’t effect their votes, Parsippany devleper, 12th district candidates hold the mud, McCullough and Whelan go face to face on television, Parsippany developer ends Estabrook’s land deal.

 

VOTERS SEE CORRUPTION, BUT WON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN

“Voters aren't blaming Democrats for the "serious" problem of political corruption in New Jersey, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows, but they may be inclined to take it out on incumbents in the upcoming legislative election.

Nine out of 10 voters surveyed said they view corruption as a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" issue, according to the poll released yesterday.

But by a margin of 54 percent to 35 percent, the poll showed those same voters aren't any more likely to vote Republican, even after the arrest of 10 Democrats earlier this month in a federal bribery sting. In fact, the poll showed 48 percent would rather see Democrats stay in control of the Legislature.

"Even though nearly all the politicians involved in the latest series of indictments were Democrats, voters say that does not make them more likely to vote for Republicans this fall," said Clay Richards, assistant polling director at Quinnipiac University.

The poll reinforces the idea that voters view corruption as an individual issue, not a partisan issue, said Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union), the Democratic state committee chairman.

"People are clearly frustrated, but the public is going to look at the people on the ballot, not the party," he said.

Corruption could have a bigger effect on lawmakers seeking re-election, regardless of party, according to Richards………

Republican state committee chairman Tom Wilson said the findings go right to the core of the NJGOP message.

"We're the ones talking about it being a 'change' election," Wilson said. "It's very much an election about people being sick and tired of being sick and tired.” (Howlett, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119078350154540.xml&coll=1

 

 

SLINGING MUD IS A RELATIVE TERM

“With a hot legislative race on their hands, District 12 Assembly candidates pledged not to run a negative campaign this fall — sort of.

Republicans Declan O'Scanlon, Little Silver Borough Council president, and Caroline Casagrande, a municipal attorney, and Assemblyman Michael Panter and his Democratic running mate, businesswoman Amy Mallet, made the pledge during a meeting with the Asbury Park Press editorial board Monday. An effort to agree on voluntary campaign spending limits wasn't as successful.

What's fair game?

"The type of contrast where we differ on the issue or record is fair game, so long as it is accurate," Panter said.

Candidates agreed that, except for firing back when something erroneous has been said about their record or stand, they would not sling mud at each other.

"Other than the examination of the record and behavior that is pertinent, absolutely. We will do that, no question," said O'Scanlon, who ran for an Assembly seat in 2005 but lost to Panter by 73 votes.” (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070925/NEWS/709250375

 

DESPITE HAVING A STATEWIDE AUDIENCE, MCCULLOUGH HOLDS THE JOKES

They have insulted each other for months through the cover of surrogates, news releases and slick mail ads.

In an interview to air Sunday on New Jersey Network, state Sen. Sonny McCullough and Assemblyman James Whelan sat side by side on a couple of folding chairs in a cramped television studio at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. The two candidates, interviewed for Michael Aron's "On the Record," civilly debated on corruption, rising property taxes and overdevelopment – but had little to say to each other in the minutes before and after the taping.

 

The 30-minute segment produced no bombshells and no clear winner, but there were strong moments and sloppy moments for both candidates.

Whelan erred when the subject turned to suburban sprawl in Egg Harbor Township, where McCullough serves as mayor. Egg Harbor Township is a Pinelands growth community and must comply with the Pinelands Comprehensive Growth Management Plan, which dictates where new development can go.

"There's one community that is not in compliance with the Pinelands," Whelan said. "And that's Egg Harbor Township."

"I'm really disappointed," McCullough replied. "He's an assemblyman and he doesn't even know we've been in compliance since 1996."……….

McCullough's performance wasn't flawless either. Early in the interview, he said Democrats had added $22 billion to the budget in the past five years. Aron pointed out that actually, $11 billion has been added.

"Whatever it is, they're not getting the bills paid," McCullough said.

Neither candidate backed down from the major themes of his campaign” (McAleer, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/campaign/story/7504452p-7401865c.html

SORRY, ANNE

“Parsippany developer Woodmont Properties, LLC, withdrew its application to re-zone property on Birchwood Avenue in Cranford, prior to Tuesday night’s meeting of the Cranford Township Committee. That ends the possibility that Republican Anne Evans Estabrook can sell his sixteen-acree parcel of land to a firm whose lawyer serves on her U.S. Senate exploratory committee.

The controversial re-zoning request was a political football in the Union County town, where for the past few months residents besieged Planning Board meetings and voiced disapproval of the developer’s proposed transformation of part of Birchwood from office space to residential.

Neighbors were upset that construction of 124 units of residential age-restricted housing in an area subject to flooding would create an adverse impact. The re-zoning application was complicated by the presence of Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin III, who acted as attorney for the applicant. According to Commissioner George Jorn, Morin sent a letter to the town on Tuesday withdrawing Woodmont’s application.” (Pizarro, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/morins-client-backs-down-estabrook-land-deal-12134

 

CORZINE FLOATS ALONG

“In his 1974 inaugural speech, Brendan T. Byrne borrowed a line from New Jersey’s most famous former governor: Woodrow Wilson. “If you think too much about being reelected, it is very difficult to be worth reelecting,” it read.

The next year, Byrne took that wisdom to heart, pushing through a wildly unpopular new state income tax. So unpopular, in fact, that it cost Democrats seventeen Assembly seats in the mid-term elections, made Byrne consider not running for reelection, and led to eight other Democrats challenging him in the gubernatorial primary in 1977.

Thirty-two years later, Gov. Jon S. Corzine used that same Woodrow Wilson line in his inaugural address. But for all the criticism Corzine has faced lately, it’s nothing compared to the backlash Byrne saw in the 70’s, said the former Governor.

"Quarky things,” said Byrne of the Governor’s recent Carla Katz troubles that some Republicans hope will serve as his Achilles heal. “Like what should he disclose, and what shouldn’t he disclose. I don’t think he’s in any real trouble with that. They’re just pesky things."………..

With all the hits that Corzine has taken lately – on Carla Katz, asset monetization and ethics — one might expect his approval rating to dip. But he’s stayed right side-up throughout his two years as governor, even after 10 members of the party he leads were arrested on charges of soliciting bribes. In two recent polls, his approval rating has ranged from 49 percent to 54 percent – not stellar, but overall positive. It’s tempting to say that he’s a Teflon governor. But Byrne doesn’t see it that way…………….

Corzine, however, has not been subject to the same kind of test that Byrne was in 1975. Or, for that matter, the tax revolt that helped oust Gov. Jim Florio in the1993 gubernatorial election. Although he has taken some steps to address the government’s structural deficit, like raising the sales tax by one cent to help with tax relief, he has not yet been forced to make a move as unpopular as instituting a new income tax.” (Friedman, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/hold-me-accountable-despite-criticism-corzine-manages-float-along-12125

 

REBOVICH ON CORZINE

Jon Corzine has a bounce in his step this days, literally and figuratively. Recent follow-up surgery on his injured leg will correct the limp that has bothered him since his unfortunate automobile accident last Spring. And, the just-released result of a new FDU-Public Mind Poll gives the Governor a solid 54 percent "favorable" rating as the campaigns for this year's midterm legislative elections are getting into full swing. Since those elections are typically a referendum on the performance of the sitting governor, Democrats should be pretty happy about their party's prospects on November 6th.

If New Jerseyans are holding Governor Corzine accountable for the condition of state government, most think he's doing a good job. This may strike political observers and activists as surprising, given the controversies and criticisms that have dogged the Governor the last few months. His asset monetization idea has been panned by most citizens and by several legislators and candidates in his own party. His relationship with CWA leader Carla Katz, and how this may have impacted on union negotiations, continues to be headline news. As more public officials are nabbed by crusading U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, reporters and editorial writers continue to wonder when the Corzine administration and the Attorney General will start getting tough on political corruption. And, as the Governor himself admits, state government still confronts enormous fiscal problems that will make balancing next year's state budget and making progress on popular policy goals difficult.” (Rebovich, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/hold-me-accountable-corzine-tentative-reformer-12128

 

LANCE HOLDS CORZINE ACCOUNTABLE

“In the wake of a Quinnipiac University poll in which a majority of voters say Gov. Jon Corzine should make public his financial dealings with Rocco Riccio, Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance again called on Attorney General Anne Milgram to investigate Riccio’s role in a government job…………

"This has less to do with Carla Katz than it has to do with a public employee rifling through people’s tax returns," said Lance, referring to charges swirling around Riccio whilee he worked in the state Department of Human Services…………

The Senate Minority Leader said Quinnipiac University’s poll today also backs up his argument that a Republican majority in the Upper House would be better poised to combat government waste, fraud and abuse. A majority of New Jersey voters associate corruption more with the Democratic than Republican Party, according to Quinnipiac, and Lance’s message to voters if they want reform is to vote Republican.

"We have 18 votes in the Senate," he said. "To ban dual office-holding we need to get at least 21."” (Pizarro, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/hold-me-accountable-lance-hammers-corzine-riccio-connection-12123

 

CORZINE GOES AFTER BUSH

Gov. Corzine on Tuesday lobbied the state's congressional delegation to reauthorize a children's health insurance program to ensure more than 200,000 lower-income New Jersey families and children retain health care coverage.

Corzine's letter to the state's two U.S. senators and 13 House members comes after he threatened earlier this month to sue the Bush administration over federal rules he said would force the state to drop health coverage for many poor children.

But Congress is set this week to consider a large spending increase for the popular children's insurance program. Corzine supports that plan, though President Bush renewed his veto threat on Tuesday.

The 10-year-old program expires Sunday, but congressional Democrats plan to extend it temporarily as part of a spending bill. Supporters are seeking a 61-cent hike in the federal cigarette tax to pay for the program.

If the program isn't reauthorized, those in the program will either lose coverage or state taxpayers will have to fund the difference, Corzine wrote.” (AP)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070926/NEWS03/709260320/1007

 

IN BURLINGTON COUNTY

Burlington County Freeholder Dawn Marie Addiego, a former member of the Township Council and now a Republican candidate for an 8th District Assembly seat, lashed out at Mayor Randy Brown, a Democrat, tonight before the council gathered for its meeting.

The subject of Addiego’s news conference and a major discussion item on the council’s agenda was the past, present and future of the township-owned Indian Spring Country Club.

Brown has called for an official inquiry by an independent panel into past financial transactions involving Indian Spring, which has a debt of $10.5 million. The panel will be set up by the council……..

In 1999, the township authorized the construction of a $4 million, 27,738-square-foot clubhouse with a pro shop, banquet facilities, locker rooms and a restaurant. In addition, about $2.5 million has been spent in other upgrades at the club. The improvements increased the debt-service payments from about $80,000 in 1995 to $936,957 in 2003.

Addiego defended the decision to build the clubhouse to replace what she called a “termite-ridden shack.”

She noted that the property was purchased with state Green Acres funds in the 1970s and was an “asset left to deteriorate” for nearly 20 years before the council took action to improve the property………. (Camilli, Burlington County Times)

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/112-09252007-1413542.html

 

 

DRUG LAW REFORM MORE THAN A MORALITY PLAY

In a few weeks, Gov. Jon Corzine will unveil his most important initiative to date, a plan to revamp the state's approach to crime.

It will be tough on gangs and guns, and he'll get no argument in the Legislature on that.

But Corzine says he wants to knock down some of the excesses of the drug war, too. And that will be a tougher fight.

Because the worst excess of all is the mandatory three-year prison term imposed on drug offenders arrested within 1,000 feet of our schools. The law has proved to be a spectacular failure, stuffing our prisons with nonviolent offenders without slowing the drug trade one bit.

Still, when you challenge a tough law like this, the drug warriors rush to grab their pitchforks and form a posse.

"What are we trying to do, accommodate drug dealers?" asks Assemblyman Peter Biondi, a Republican from Somerset County. "The intent was to keep it away from children, and away from schools. And now we're going in reverse. Who are they dealing to? Mostly the kids."

To people like Biondi, this is a simple morality play. Are you on the side of the children, or the dealers?

But when you talk to the people on the front line — the cops, prosecutors and judges who actually fight this drug war — the story gets more complex. ” (Moran, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/columns/ledger/moran/index.ssf?/base/columns-0/119078267727900.xml&coll=1

HAMILTON MAYORAL DEBATE

“Dismissing the protocol that says the champion needs to enter the ring last, Hamilton Mayor Glen Gilmore sat on stage before GOP challenger, John Bencivengo, made his entrance today in the ballroom of the Nottingham Fire House.

General election politics in most towns gets ugly come October. In the politically charged Hamilton, where everything hits a little earlier, the candidates have been trading freely and often. Months ago, Bencivengo went after Gilmore on gangs and the mayor’s open space plan. Gilmore’s camp in turn hit Bencivengo on the latter’s attempts to sell anthrax-proof hand lotion to terror-spooked postal workers, and floated a rumor that an overwrought Bencivengo would soon be exiting the race.

"Just preposterous," said Bencivengo, who admitted during the debate that some of his business ventures were not as successful as others.

When the estranged pair met in person this afternoon at an event sponsored by the League of Women Voters, there were the usual comments in the audience of small business owners feasting on chicken, string beans and potatoes, about how the battling newspaper headlines might spill literally into an afternoon of Hamilton political fisticuffs.

But Gilmore, with a polite handshake and eye contact, and then Bencivengo, in his friendly opening remarks, diffused the fight talk right up front. Sitting next to the lanky Gilmore, the compact challenger said, "I am running for mayor because you’ve had two good-looking Irishmen and now it’s time to have a little, short Italian."……………

Gilmore’s "How dare you" retort to the charge of a public safety lapse was the only real blood pressure bump of an exchange in a continuously civil event punctuated by hand claps from boh sides.” (Pizarro, PoliticsNJ.com)

http://www.politicsnj.com/hamilton-its-not-exactly-lincoln-and-douglas-12129

DEMOCRATS: DON’T SWALLOW BENCIVENGO’S VITAMINS

“HAMILTON — Ingredients in some of the products sold by Eterna, the vitamin supplement company owned by Republican mayoral candidate John Bencivengo, posed serious health risks to both women and children, local Democrats charged yesterday.

But Bencivengo, who has faced a slew of attacks from the Democratic camp, dismissed the criticisms, saying Mayor Glen Gilmore is getting desperate to find something on the challenger to distract voters from the plight of the township.

Using information from the now defunct Eterna Web site and the Physicians Desk Reference, the Democrats outlined at least 28 ingredients in five Eterna products that may be harmful. The Eterna Web site, which is no longer accessible, states that Eterna is for everyone, and does not warn about any potentially harmful ingredients.

"John Bencivengo has some serious questions to answer about his judgment in selling a line of products that contains ingredients recognized by respected medical authorities as being dangerous," said Democratic Committee spokesman Kevin Drennan. "Either he knew the ingredients were dangerous and he simply didn't care, or he didn't bother to take the simple steps we did to find out how dangerous a game he was playing."

Reached yesterday, Bencivengo called the Democrat attack "baloney" and said Gilmore and company were doing their best to distract voters from the issues raised in yesterday's debate.” (Isherwood, Trenton Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/times/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1190780111228190.xml&coll=5

 

BOOKER WILL HAVE SMALLER EARS IN NEW COLORING BOOK

“A coloring book of historic Newark figures that has come under heavy criticism because it is filled with factual errors and misspellings will be corrected and reprinted at the author's expense.

Until then, the city council will stop distributing the 16-page book to schoolchildren, said council President Mildred Crump, who commissioned the work.

"We're remedying the situation to the satisfaction of the council and the community," Crump said.

King Sau, a Newark artist who has specialized in coloring books and puzzles, said he asked for the books back and will have an additional set of eyes proofread the publication before it goes to print again.

"They will be done right," Sau said. "They will be done correctly."

The city council paid $10,000 to have 4,000 coloring books highlighting historical Newark figures printed. The book, though, misspells the names of two council members, includes factual errors and asks clumsily worded questions in the quiz section………..

The author also said he plans to make some changes to the illustrations of notable Newarkers. Former Mayor Sharpe James' hand looks like a lobster claw and Mayor Cory Booker's ears are uneven in Sau's drawings.

"The 4,000 will be done correctly," Sau said. "The mayor's ear will be shortened.” ” (Wang, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119078275827900.xml&coll=1

 

TWO MONTHS AFTER GETTING A RAISE, JUDGES WANT ANOHTER ONE

“Two months after getting their first pay raise in five years, Superior Court judges are seeking another increase, officials confirmed yesterday.

In July, the state's 406 Superior Court judges saw their annual salaries jump by $8,000 to $149,000 as part of the budget passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jon Corzine.

Now, the judges are hoping the lawmakers will vote to raise their pay by another $8,000, sources said. A court spokeswoman said a raise has been under discussion, but did not confirm the amount.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner is championing the increase.

"We are grateful that Gov. Corzine and the Legislature implemented the first phase of a pay raise after years without any increase," Rabner said in a statement. "This issue is vital to the strength and independence of the judiciary.

"It is critical to continue to move forward to address the need for parity with the salaries of federal judges and to compensate our hardworking state judges fairly," he said.” (Stein, Trenton Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/times/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1190780124228190.xml&coll=5

 

THE LEGACY OF REVEREND WILLIAM WATLEY

“The lawyer for former state Commerce, Economic Growth and Tourism Commission chief of staff Lesly Devereaux has filed a motion to interview a member of the jury that convicted her in July after a six-week corruption trial.

Deputy Attorneys General Robert Czepiel and Anthony Picione and Jack Furlong, Devereaux's attorney, met Tuesday in Superior Court, where Judge Maryann Bielamowicz told the state it has until Oct. 5 to respond to the motion. Arguments on the motion will be held a week later.

On July 30, Devereaux, 49, of Piscataway, was found guilty on two counts related to running her private legal practice on state time using state resources and acquitted of conspiring to get "make-work" jobs for her mother and sister and of an unlawful business transaction…………..

Furlong has not commented on the reasons for the motion. The state also would not release a copy because it was filed under seal, said Attorney General's Office spokesman David Wald. A request for the motion was made to Bielamowicz's chambers, but messages were not returned.” (Rispoli, Gannett)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070926/NEWS03/709260373/1007

 

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT A BRASH, EMOTIONAL LAW WOULD HAVE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES?

“RIVERSIDE, N.J., Sept. 25 — A little more than a year ago, the Township Committee in this faded factory town became the first municipality in New Jersey to enact legislation penalizing anyone who employed or rented to an illegal immigrant.

Within months, hundreds, if not thousands, of recent immigrants from Brazil and other Latin American countries had fled. The noise, crowding and traffic that had accompanied their arrival over the past decade abated.

The law had worked. Perhaps, some said, too well.

With the departure of so many people, the local economy suffered. Hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered to the immigrants saw business plummet; several closed. Once-boarded-up storefronts downtown were boarded up again.

Meanwhile, the town was hit with two lawsuits challenging the law. Legal bills began to pile up, straining the town’s already tight budget. Suddenly, many people — including some who originally favored the law — started having second thoughts.

So last week, the town rescinded the ordinance, joining a small but growing list of municipalities nationwide that have begun rethinking such laws as their legal and economic consequences have become clearer.

“I don’t think people knew there would be such an economic burden,” said Mayor George Conard, who voted for the original ordinance. “A lot of people did not look three years out.” (Belson and Capuzzo, New York Times)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/nyregion/26riverside.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin

 

IN MONMOUTH COUNTY

“Monmouth County Freeholder Robert D. Clifton, a Republican, said he wants to ban the county from conducting business with contractors who "knowingly hire illegal aliens," though Clifton said he is not aware of that practice occurring.

"I think we need to be proactive," Clifton said Monday. "Bridges, for instance, are vital structures that we want safe. We want the best-skilled labor working on them. Many of these folks who are undocumented seem to be not as skilled as people who have been trained here and have worked here, according to what labor leaders have told me."

Stephen Schueler, a Democratic candidate running against Clifton in the Nov. 6 elections, said Clifton's idea "sounds good," but said he will hold off on embracing the idea "until it's in writing."

"I'd like to see what it says," Schueler said. "I haven't been impressed with much of what (Clifton) comes up with or the process he takes. Some of it appears to be OK, but then you look at the goods and it falls flat."” (Jodan, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070926/NEWS03/709260374/1004/NEWS01

 

IN TRENTON

“Trustees and officers of nonprofit groups yesterday received at least a one-month reprieve from new state rules requiring them to publicly disclose any government contracts and political donations.

In a unanimous vote, the Election Law Enforcement Commission delayed until at least Oct. 30 a deadline for them to comply with the new rule. For-profit companies with public contracts still must make such disclosures by Friday.

Under a law enacted in January 2006, businesses with contracts of $50,000 or more with state and local governments must file an annual report with ELEC listing each contract and all contributions above $300. Details about the rules can be obtained at ELEC's Web site: https://wwwnet1.state.nj.us/lpd/elec/ptp/p2p.html.

State law restricts contracting firms from making donations to some fund-raising committees, such as gubernatorial campaign ac counts or state parties. However, they can give to legislative leader ship PACs or individual legislators, though some firms have simply suspended all donations to avoid inadvertently violating the so- called "pay-to-play" ban.

While nonprofit groups are banned by IRS law from making political donations, ELEC in March decided the annual disclosure law applies to nonprofit trustees and officers, who can make contributions as individuals. It did so despite widespread protests from nonprofit groups, who warned that it could make it harder to recruit volunteers. ” (Donohue, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119078324754540.xml&coll=1

 

IN DISTRICT 11

“Saying that the anti-corruption laws now on the books don't go far enough, the Democratic candidates for the 11th District state legislative seats Tuesday unveiled a 15-point plan they maintain will cut "the entrenched core of corruption out of Trenton and Monmouth County politics."……

The candidates — John A. Villapiano for state Senate and John P. Napolitani Sr. and John Pirnat for state Assembly — were united in their belief that elected officials convicted of violating their public trust should be dealt with harshly.

That includes stripping them of their salaries, pension and medical benefits at the time they are indicted and arrested, Pirnat said.

"I don't believe if they are indicted or arrested they'll be able to fulfill their duties," Pirnat said. "There will always be a cloud over their head."

Among the 15 reform points the three are promoting are:

Ban pay-to-play at all levels of government.

Require competitive bidding for contract work at all levels of government.

Prohibit pension "tacking," the process of acquiring several public jobs to boost pension payments.

Enact a three-term limit for the Legislature.” (Bowman, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070926/NEWS01/709260380/1004

 

TURNER ISSUES A CHALLENGE: “SHOW ME A SENATOR” WHO HASN’T EXERCISED SENATORIAL COURTESY. THAT'S EASY

“The Republican candidate in the 15th District Senate race wants the incumbent to join his call for an end to the practice of "senatorial courtesy," which allows a senator to block a home-county nomination by the governor for a judgeship, a Cabinet office or any other job that needs Senate confirmation.

In a press release, Bob Martin called on incumbent Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Lawrence) to join him in calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish senatorial courtesy, which he said Turner has used in the past.

Asked if she has exercised it, Turner said, "Show me a senator that hasn't." Senators ultimately have the right to use it, and when she has exercised that right, it has not been needlessly, said Turner.

She said senatorial courtesy is one way for senators to ensure the people nominated by a governor are qualified and share the same values and concerns as their constituents. But the practice becomes problematic when it is abused, she said.

Turner said if the practice cannot be used equally by all senators, then it should be eliminated. ” (Loayza, Trenton Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119078361154540.xml&coll=1

 

“THREE STRONG WOMEN”

“Restoring accountability in elected officials, cutting state spending and creating a feasible, equitable school funding formula to reduce property taxes top the agenda for three women running on a Republican ticket in the 4th Legislative District.

Gloucester Township councilwoman Shelley Lovett, 56, a candidate for state Senate, told the Courier-Post editorial board on Tuesday she hopes to take a "common sense" approach to the state budget.

"I'm not a professional politician," she said. "I want to save New Jersey for my children, so they can afford to live here."

Lovett faces freshman state Sen. Fred H. Madden, D-Gloucester, on Nov. 6. She said Tuesday that her experience as a stay-at-home mom will help her in her quest for state office.

"I think people are tired of the same-old, same-old," Lovett said. "We're three strong women, and I think we have a clear, no-strings-attached message."” (Huelsman, Courier-Post)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070926/NEWS01/709260372/1006/NEWS01

 

AT LEAST THEY STILL HAVE TO PASS A DRIVING TEST

Lawmakers from the 9th Legislative District plan to introduce legislation opposing New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's decision to allow immigrants in his state to obtain driver's licenses regardless of the immigrant's legal status.

Citing what they see as eventual negative effects on New Jersey in terms of security, Sen. Leonard T. Connors Jr. and Assemblymen Christopher J. Connors and Brian E. Rumpf – all R-Burlington, Ocean, Atlantic – announced Tuesday that they will introduce legislation opposing illegal immigrants being allowed to obtain driver's licenses in New York State.

As part of the legislation the lawmakers wrote a letter to Gov. Jon S. Corzine, asking him to intercede in New York's plan, claiming that such a policy would have a detrimental effect, in both states, on law enforcement's ability to verify a person's identity.

In the letter the lawmakers wrote they felt by granting undocumented aliens the ability to obtain a driver's license, it would undermine New Jersey's strict six-point ID verification system, which they wrote has made the process of obtaining a driver's license difficult for many of the state's legal residents.

"It is outrageous that as citizens of our state they must endure a more stringent bureaucratic process, while undocumented aliens need to only show a passport produced in another county to be granted the privilege of receiving a New York Driver's license," the lawmakers wrote.” (Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/ocean/story/7504445p-7401866c.html

 

IN TRENTON

“Flanked by anti-abortion activists, a lawyer announced yesterday he has asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to reconsider its recent unanimous ruling that doctors do not have to tell a woman seeking an abortion the procedure would kill a human being.

Attorney Harold Cassidy represented Rosa Acuna, a former Somerset County resident who sued her doctor for emotional distress after having an abortion. Cassidy said he filed a motion late Monday asking the state's highest court for a do-over: a new round of arguments and a reconsideration of its opinion.

"We feel the errors are so patent and palpable that we should ask the court to correct those errors," Cassidy told reporters on the steps of the Justice Complex in Trenton. "What issue is more important than protecting the constitutional rights of a pregnant mother?"

If the court turns him down, Cassidy said the next step would be the U.S. Supreme Court. He has already asked the nation's top court to review a separate issue in Acuna's legal battle: whether she should be able to sue for wrongful death of her fetus.

It is "very, very rare" for the New Jersey Supreme Court to grant a motion for reconsideration and re-argument once a decision has been made, said Judiciary spokeswoman Tamara Kendig. She could not immediately recall a previous instance.” (Coscarelli, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119078327954540.xml&coll=1

 

REMEMBERING THE NEWARK RIOTS

“In one part of the New Jersey Historical Society's new exhibit on the Newark riots, you can hear William Payne — now a state assemblyman, then a young Newark resident — talk about his memories of the city in the spring of 1967.

"The police started riding around with riot gear in their cars," Payne says. "It was an in-your-face, I-dare-you sort of thing."

In another part of the exhibit, you can hear Armando Fontoura — now Essex County sheriff, then a Newark beat cop — tell his version.

"Yeah, we could sense there was something wrong," Fontoura says. "But we were totally unprepared."

So were the Newark police ill-equipped or were they bracing for a fight?

The exhibit, which opens today at the Historical Society's Newark headquarters, never really tells you — and that's exactly the point……..

Those voices — culled from more than 80 oral histories taken over the last six years — form the backbone of "What's Going On? Newark and Legacy of the Sixties," an exhibit 10 years in the planning and $800,000 in the making that will run through December 2008.” (Parks, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/119078312654540.xml&coll=1

 

DEVELOPER WANTS TO INVALIDATE HIGHLANDS ACT

“A developer seeking to build 20 homes in Liberty Township has asked a judge to invalidate the state Highlands Act because the Highlands Council missed the deadline to enact its regional master plan.

The motion, filed Friday in Somerset County Superior Court, is Jacob Bogatch's latest effort to overturn the Highlands Act. He filed a lawsuit against the state in 2004 arguing the act violated his constitutional rights and politics influenced the law's scientific basis.

The Highlands Council was supposed to enact a regional master plan 18 months after the council's first meeting in December 2004. The plan's adoption has been pushed back several times from its original June 2006 deadline.

The plan's latest timeline calls for its re-introduction by mid-November.

"Our contention is there can't be a Highlands Act without the plan," Bogatch's attorney John Abromitis said Tuesday. "The Highlands Council has blown its deadline by 18 months."

State officials declined to comment on the motion Tuesday. Attorney general spokesman Lee Moore said the state would answer the motion in a future court document.” (Olanoff, Express-Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/expresstimes/nj/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1190779958228180.xml&coll=2

 

ATLANTIC CITY'S CHRIS CAMPOS

“A court postponement this week means that Atlantic City Councilman Tim Mancuso is unlikely to go to trial before the November election on drunken-driving charges from April.

The prosecution and defense were due to meet in Cape May City municipal court at 9:30 Tuesday morning. That was rescheduled to Oct. 20 on the request of defense attorney Fredric L. Bor.

While Mancuso was arrested April 21, the first discovery documents were provided to Bor only in late August. Bor said he requested the postponement because needed more files to be prepared.

It is unclear why the records, and subsequently the trial, are delayed.” (Harper, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/atlantic_city/story/7504465p-7401957c.html

 

IN ANDOVER TOWNSHIP

“Former Andover Township Committeeman David Mosner took the stand yesterday in his hit-and- run trial, and denied driving his snowmobile into a pedestrian and leaving him in the road with a broken leg.

Donald Rinaldi, Mosner's attorney, asked him if he was driving his snowmobile on Goodale Road in Andover Township on March 6, 2003, around 7 p.m., when pedestrian David McInnis, then 17, was hit by a snowmobile, and Mosner said no.

Rinaldi asked Mosner if he hit anyone on Goodale Road with his snowmobile.

"Absolutely not, sir," Mosner replied, and looking at the jury added, "And if I were to have hit someone, I would have stopped and helped."

Mosner, 45, has pleaded not guilty to fourth-degree charges of assault by auto and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.

Police believe Mosner was riding his snowmobile in Hillside Park and the soccer fields, and then entered Goodale Road, traveled north, struck McInnis and continued without stopping. He then allegedly turned right onto Lake Iliff Road and drove home.

Mosner has stipulated that he had been riding his snowmobile in the park and soccer field on the night of the incident, but not on Goodale Road. ” (Lockwood, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/sussex/index.ssf?/base/news-1/119078311654540.xml&coll=1

 

IN ROSELLE

“Attorney Ira Karasick was on the state's list of ineligible lawyers last year when he represented Roselle Councilwoman Christine Dansereau in her court challenge of absentee ballots cast in the 5th Ward Democratic primary.

Karasick, now Roselle's borough counsel, was this week placed on the list for the second year in a row. "He's playing Russian Roulette with his lawyer's license," said Roselle

Councilman Jamel Holley, who said he plans to lodge complaints against Karasick with two state ethics committees.” (Rothman, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/union/index.ssf?/base/news-3/119078346654540.xml&coll=1

 

IN VINELAND

“VINELAND – A councilwoman who said she had independently researched the sale of city-owned land provoked a showdown in council chambers Tuesday night as she faced off with the city solicitor and said documents may have been "falsified."

Her claims were vehemently denied by the solicitor, who said the inconsistencies in paperwork regarding the sale were the result of a clerical error by a property title company.

That did not stop Councilwoman Sheena Santiago from calling for a full investigation into all real estate transactions completed by the current administration of Mayor Perry Barse and a moratorium on all pending ones.” (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/cumberland/story/7504462p-7401949c.html

 

SHE LEFT HER HEART… IN DENVILLE

DENVILLE — Longtime town business administrator Ellen Sandman, who narrowly lost the Republican mayoral nomination in June, said Tuesday she is not pursuing a write-in campaign.

"I'll be moving on and going to another municipality," Sandman said. "My heart and soul is left on the table here in Denville."” (Jennings, Daily Record)

http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070926/COMMUNITIES12/709260334/1203/NEWS01

 

 

 

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