Today’s news from

DiFrancesco sued for sexual harassment, Common Sense America has some skeletons in its closet, Democratic State Committee step into Atlantic City mayoral mess, Corzine and Booker press offices at odds over Corzine missing Prudential Center opening.



“A lawyer who claims she was sexually harassed by former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco and fired from his law firm when she "blew the whistle" on bad behavior by a municipal judge filed suit against the firm yesterday.

DiFrancesco called the allegations "absolutely false."

The civil suit was filed in Essex County by Michele D'Onofrio, 48, a single mother of four who lives in Warren Township and served as its municipal prosecutor. She claims she was fired last month "in retaliation" for filing a judicial ethics complaint against a local judge after being warned not to do so.

The lawsuit says D'Onofrio had learned that Warren Township Municipal Court Judge Richard Sasso was "inebriated" on the bench and had abused his powers. It claims Assemblyman Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-Somerset), a partner in the firm, warned her not to file a complaint.

D'Onofrio contends that during her six years at the firm, she was "regularly subjected to unwelcome and sexist comments and advances by Donald DiFrancesco" and "experienced a pattern and practice of sex discrimination."

Reached last evening, DiFrancesco, 62, said: "Let me just say this: Kip and I are public figures so we're easy targets. This person was asked to take her business elsewhere — not just by me, but by the owners of our business for business reasons. What she's alleging is absolutely false, both as to myself and as to Kip. It's just a matter of trying to collect."……….

The lawsuit alleges that at a meeting of the League of Municipalities in Atlantic City, "DiFrancesco asked plaintiff to stay an extra night in his suite and to attend a Beach Boys concert with him. Plaintiff refused."

DiFrancesco said his wife, Diane, was with him at the Atlantic City convention and he was only trying to be nice by offering D'Onofrio and his other partners the chance to use an extra room in their suite.

He declined to comment on any of the other accusations, on the advice of his attorney.

The lawsuit also claims that shortly before D'Onofrio underwent reconstructive surgery this month following a double mastectomy, DiFrancesco made inappropriate remarks about how she would look afterward.

It also alleges the firm has no female partners and recently held a golf outing for male employees only.

"It's 2007. Who has a men-only firm outing? You kidding me?" said Nancy Erika Smith, the Montclair lawyer who is representing D'Onofrio.

"Other women have complained about the conduct and I can prove it," Smith said. "Once in a while, you get these big shots who think that this little girl, who is nobody, can't stand up to them. That's how they treated her. It's been awful."

Smith said she filed the lawsuit in Essex County because D'Onofrio had brought her concerns to some Superior Court judges in Somerset County who "are going to be witnesses." ” (Margolin and Schwaneberg, Star-Ledger)



“The man who has thrown a monkey wrench into a New Jersey experiment in "clean elections" is an anti-gay-marriage crusader with ties to a political commentator caught up in a scandal over the Bush administration's use of paid propagandists.

Brian Brown, who calls himself "voluntary chairman" of Common Sense America, is running a media and telephone campaign against Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex) in the 14th District, where the candidates have agreed to fundraising and spending limits in return for public financing.

Brown is also the paid executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, which he runs from a Princeton office. It has as one of its goals to "stop same-sex marriage in New Jersey," according to its Web site.

That group's president, Maggie Gallagher, is one of three syndicated columnists whose work for the federal government sparked a congressional investigation in 2005. Gallagher acknowledged she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services while writing favorable articles about its efforts to promote marriage.

Democrats in Congress demanded a Government Accountability Office investigation of what Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) called "the Bush propaganda mill." The GAO concluded an Education Department contract with columnist Armstrong Williams violated federal law, but it found the payments to Gallagher for consulting work were legal.

Gallagher, of Westchester County, N.Y., referred questions to Brown, who said Gallagher has no connection to Common Sense America. Brown and Gallagher also recently founded Marriage PAC New Jersey, which plans to raise money for electioneering to "protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman." ” (Margolin and Schwaneberg, Star-Ledger)



“Here is a look at some of the bold, the bombastic and the blatantly incredulous assertions politicos have made in the final stages of the fall campaign season. There is not enough room to include them all, so I plan to dissect more in a column next week.

Most audacious attempt at career revisionism: This goes, hands down, to John Rooney, the longtime Republican assemblyman in the 39th Legislative District, who had this to say at a recent candidates' debate:

"Surprisingly, probably, to some of you in this room, I also believed in no dual office-holding."

Frankly, it was a shocking response from the man who was the dean of North Jersey dual officeholders until last year.

Rooney says he honored a pledge to step down as Northvale mayor after completing his first term in the Assembly in 1986, but returned to the mayor's post in 1991, at the urging of residents worried about the town's shaky finances. Rooney held both jobs for the next 16 years and became a staunch supporter of dual office-holding.

"If the people of Northvale don't like dual office-holding, they have an opportunity to get rid of me every four years," Rooney told The Record in April 2006. The remark was prescient: He lost his reelection bid for mayor seven months later.

Best example of a candidate missing the point: Joseph Ariyan, the Democratic Senate candidate for the 39th Legislative District, provided this one. In his recent debate with incumbent Republican Gerald Cardinale of Demarest, Ariyan fended off the charge that he would become a "triple dipper" if he joins the Senate while also serving as the Bergen County public advocate for land use and as a public defender in Hillsdale.

"I'm doing this because I'm a passionate and strong public servant," Ariyan said. "If that's corrupt, there's something wrong with this system."

Corrupt? Not always. Wrong? Certainly.

Ariyan is one of 700 state, county and local officials with this dubious distinction of holding two or more public sector jobs. The practice is often rife with conflicts and it allows public officials to pad their pensions and consolidate political power. Voters want strong public servants devoted to one public job, not several.” (Stile, Bergen Record)



“ATLANTIC CITY – Hours before the City Council was due to consider naming a new mayor, the state Democratic Committee filed a lawsuit yesterday asking a judge to throw out the three nominees selected by the local Democratic party.

Because of the lawsuit, the council decided to hold off.

"At this time, City Council will take no action in haste, but will await an order from the Superior Court," said acting Mayor William "Speedy" Marsh, who also wore a second hat as council president.

It was just the latest spin on the mayoral merry-go-round that has been turning since former Mayor Robert Levy resurfaced after a mysterious two-week absence and resigned, admitting an over-reliance on pain pills and acknowledging a federal investigation into his Vietnam War service.

n the lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Atlantic County, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and local committeeman John Devlin asked a judge to declare that Atlantic City Democrats violated their own rules by hastily nominating only one set of candidates last week, then hurriedly adjourning the meeting without considering any other names.

Scott Evans, the local Democratic chairman and one of the three nominees, said he was disappointed that the council scrapped the planned vote. He said the local committee actually had considered two motions with different potential candidates, but settled on those favored by a majority of the committee.” (AP)



ATLANTIC CITY – They call him Speedy for a reason. Because an amazing thing happened one hour and 36 minutes after Wednesday's City Council meeting started.

It ended.

"It was great," said William "Speedy" Marsh, who presided over the event in the rare roles of both City Council president and acting mayor. He said, laughing, that it was easy to run a quick meeting when everybody agreed with him.

It was also easy to run a quick meeting when council postponed voting on the controversial matters that can draw the attention of dozens of people.

This is the last meeting before five city councilmen seek re-election Nov. 6. Marsh said the multiple postponements were not related to the election.” (Harper, Press of Atlantic City)



“While dignitaries cut the red ribbon to open Newark's Prudential Center at noon and when celebrities walk the red carpet this evening, Newark officials instead will be seeing red because the state's top elected official won't be there.

Gov. Jon Corzine said he plans to attend the opening Bon Jovi concert at 7:30 tonight but that he won't be at either of the two earlier events. His aides said he might have attended the ribbon-cutting, but the office of Newark Mayor Cory Booker never extended an invitation. The governor's office claims it even reached out to Booker's staff to inquire about the event but didn't hear back and didn't want to presume the governor was welcome to attend.

"It's not the governor's style to show up and take credit for things he didn't do," Corzine spokeswoman Lilo Stainton said.

Booker spokeswoman Lupe Todd called that explanation "untrue." She said the mayor's staff invited Corzine to both events.

E-mails obtained by The Star-Ledger to Corzine spokesman Anthony Coley a week ago make it clear Corzine was invited to the noon ribbon cutting and news conference. They even tell him what time to show up. A media advisory from the Prudential Center released on Friday also lists Corzine as being in attendance at the noon event.

"We only found out minutes before the public schedule went out (last night) that he would not be attending the press conference or red carpet," Todd said. "We still welcome the governor to all events tomorrow. This is a historic event not only for Newark but the state of New Jersey."

Presented with the e-mail evidence, the governor's office declined further comment.

Corzine has a full schedule today, with meetings sandwiched between a morning press event in Trenton announcing the state's first Hall of Fame and an early afternoon news conference with Continental Airlines in New York City.

The $375 million Prudential Center is the region's first arena in 25 years. There are high expectations for the project to help revitalize Newark's downtown. Corzine did not support the use of $220 million in city money for the arena during his gubernatorial campaign because he said Newark had more pressing needs.

"It doesn't really send a positive message," said Dennis Gale, a political science professor at Rutgers-Newark who added Corzine may be trying to distance himself from the project. "For every Newark resident waving the flag, there are a lot of suburban residents who are very pessimistic about the cost and benefit." ” (Mays and Howlett, Star-Ledger)



“One state Senate campaign has a ping pong table and the other has a tractor, and it’s those two images that are competing now on television screens throughout households in the competitive 12th district.

In a season of property tax agony, each ad tries to make the case that the opposition tried to game or work the system for personal or private gain.

The ping pong ad comes out of the campaign of Democratic Sen. Ellen Karcher, and it focuses on her opponent’s former employer, the MWW Group, a lobbyist that represented both the state Lottery Commission and the GTECH company.

The state awarded a $106.7 million bid to GTECH, which competing company Scientific Company subsequently protested was too high. According to Robert Corrales, spokesman for the Karcher campaign, "After Scientific Games protested the outcome, a hearing was held last year and it was concluded that the State should re-bid the contract because of the appearance of conflict that arises from the lobbying firm’s dual representation."

Tom Fitzsimmons, spokesman for the Beck campaign, said his candidate, Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck, worked as part of the public relations arm of the MWW Group prior to serving in the assembly, and had no say in the negotiations between GTECH and the state lottery commission.

"The contract was awarded by then-Gov Dick Codey, who’s financing Ellen Karcher’s campaign," said Fitzsimmons……….

Then there’s the tractor ad rolling out of the Beck camp, which apparently has found traction, as sources in both parties say the Democratic incumbent has taken a dip in her poll numbers.

The ad highlights what the Republicans say is Karcher’s failure to report the income from her estate, which is assessed as farmland under the state’s Farmland Preservation program. Karcher says it’s no secret that her property was assessed as farmland and defends its use as such.

Beck still wants to know why Karcher didn’t report the $500 income she received from what she sees as a phony farm on mandatory financial disclosure forms for elected officials.” (Pizarro,



“The eighth district legislative race was all about Democratic Assembly candidate Tracy Riley today.

In Mount Holly, Riley held a press conference to condemn Republicans for a controversial campaign flyer they had issued. Republicans, in turn, accused Riley of trying to line the pockets of her running mate, Fran Bodine, with a backroom land deal in Mount Laurel, where she serves as a councilwoman.

At the press conference, held in front of the Burlington County office building, Riley condemned her Assembly opponents over a controversial mail piece that featured a picture of masked men carrying automatic rifles in what appears to be a terrorist or paramilitary organization in the Middle-East.

The flyer was based on Riley’s husband’s court-appointed representation of alleged Fort Dix plotter Shain Duka………

“I just wanted to make it very clear that I was outraged about it, that it was unacceptable and I wanted to the public to understand exactly where I stood in terms of who I would represent in Trenton – that I would always stand up for the honest, hard working taxpayers of Burlington county,” said Riley today in a phone interview…………

But just after Riley finished her press conference, Riley’s Republican Assembly opponents made an attack of their own, accusing Riley of trying to set up a sweetheart land deal between the city of Mount Laurel and the top of her campaign’s ticket, Assemblyman Fran Bodine.

At issue is a 3.5 acre vacant lot owned by Bodine’s wife, who inherited it from her father. At a town council meeting, Riley suggested that the town might be interested in acquiring it as part of an ongoing program to purchase adjacent open spaces.

“There is a property owned by Fran Bodine’s family across the street that is for sale and we might be interested,” Riley was reported as saying in the minutes of a September 24th Mount Laurel council meeting.

The lot is worth $175,000, according to tax records provided by the Republicans.

“It’s crystal clear that Tracy Riley’s intent was for Mount Laurel taxpayers to foot the bill for the purchase of Bodine’s land, and that Riley was using her elected office to try and make that happen,” said Republican Assembly candidate Scott Rudder in a press release.

Riley said that the council had been talking about acquiring open space. Land acquisition issues had come up at the meeting, and she knew that the lot was for sale by Bodine’s family. She added that she found nothing improper in suggesting it, especially since she made it a point to note that the lot belonged by Bodine’s family.

“I was not advocating or encouraging the township to purchase the property in any way,” said Riley, who said she did not know how large it was or what it was worth. “I was just indicating that it was for sale. I drive past it every day and if the town continues to purchase property that has been adjacent, I brought it to the town council’s attention.”” (Friedman,

Republicans have been shopping this attack since the late spring. This summer, GOP candidate Addiego implied that Michael Riley requested a postponement in the Fort Dix case to avoid embarrassing his wife while she was on the campaign trail. That caught the eye of Joseph Pinto, president of the Burlington County Bar Association, who wrote an essay on the subject in the association's newsletter this month.

"That attacks Mike's integrity directly because it implies he's lying to the court for political purpose," Pinto said in an interview yesterday. He is a Republican but not politically active. "There's no basis for a lawyer – which Miss Addiego is – to make a baseless attack on another lawyer's ethics without any facts."

And then there was that second attack, which landed in reporters' mailboxes about an hour after Riley finished rebuking the first.” (Burton, Philadelphia Inquirer)


“Senate President Dick Codey is taking an active role in some south Jersey campaigns previously considered to be the territory of South Jersey boss George Norcross.

Codey is reportedly donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the ultra-competitive legislative races in districts one and two.

“This is the most that the Senate PAC has contributed to a southern district since I can recall,” said Codey spokesman A.J. Sabath.

Sabath would not disclose how much money would be donated, but sources say that Codey’s PACs have already donated as $800,000 to state Senate candidate Jim Whelan and his Assembly running mates, and may give $200,000 more. Codey is also said to have given $400,000 to the state Senate campaign of Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew in the first district. The money will primarily be spent on television ads in the Philadelphia market.

Meanwhile, Norcross is said to have the bulk of his attention in traditionally Republican district eight, where newly minted Democratic Assemblyman Fran Bodine and his Assembly running mates Chris Fifis and Tracy Riley are duking it out with Republicans Phil Haines, Dawn Marie Addiego and Phil Haines.

South Jersey Democrats have reportedly backed down from a commitment to spend a large chunk of money on the Atlantic County Executive campaign of Sheriff Jim McGettigan, who they say has failed to make headway against Dennis Levinson.

McGettigan, however, denies that anyone ever made him a monetary promise.

“I was never promised any money by anybody,” said McGettigan. “The big lie from the Republicans that we were funded by the Camden County Democrats is bogus.” (Friedman,



“O K, now that we got the "idea" of so-called peace talks out of the way, this columnist will explain something to the novices out there – including a number of Hudson County politicians and paid observers.

There ain't no peace among county Democrats.

Granted, it was unusual for Jersey City Mayor and chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization Jerramiah Healy to meet with Union City Mayor and Assemblyman Brian P. Stack, a key founder of the Democrats for Hudson County. There may have even been some discussions about what each pol would like to see happen to protect their interests. The truth is it they might as well have discussed tuna fishing rights.

Peace is only possible when no one knows that it is being brokered and any negotiations must directly involve North Bergen Mayor and Sen. Nick Sacco, Stack's chief antagonist in this drama. Following the nastiness of the primary election campaign, both North Hudson honchos would rather put pins in their eyes than agree to peace with each other.

Sacco is a major part of the Hudson County Democratic Organization. Does anyone believe peace is possible without his OK? Healy could broker his own pact, but then what does he really have to offer to Stack that he could not take – including freeholder seats, control of West New York, and quite possibly Guttenberg.” (Torres, Jersey Journal)



“A minor case that eventually led to a major investigation will finally find a public stage Monday, when jury selection is scheduled to start in the trial of the Somerset County Commission's former construction manager on charges of accepting kickbacks.

Yesterday, prosecutors from the county and state met privately with Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman and Michael Rogers, the attorney for former parks official Joseph Lucas of Branchburg.

As a result, Lucas will accept a state demand that he waive his right to use in his defense the findings of the Attorney General's Office ongoing probe of park commission practices. He is scheduled to appear in court this morning to put that on the record.”

"We don't feel it is necessary" to wait indefinitely for the end of the state investigation, said Rogers, who has argued his client followed the commission's standard proce dures. Lucas, 40, is eager to go to trial after 27 months in legal limbo.

The Somerset prosecutor's office arrested Lucas in July 2005 on three charges of second-degree official misconduct and one of falsify ing records. Prosecutors contend Lucas split kickbacks with vendors and provided inside information to help one win a bid for a park project.

In December 2005, a foreman for a Hillsborough contractor pleaded guilty to giving Lucas $3,000 after he approved a $6,000 increase in the price of a demolition job at the commission's Torpey Field recreation complex in Bridgewater.

No further charges were filed in the case, but Somerset Prosecutor Wayne Forrest said he discussed the park commission privately with the county freeholders. They hired the Wolff and Samson law firm of West Orange to review the park agency. (Tyrell, Star-Ledger)



“A longtime Atlantic City political consultant was sentenced yesterday to nine months of house arrest and three years of probation for paying $45,000 in bribes to two City Council members.

Edward DiNicolantonio, 71, was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Rodriguez, who called the bribery and corruption scandal that has surfaced in Atlantic City a "malignancy on the democratic process."

Rodriguez imposed the sentence during a brief hearing in federal court in Camden. DiNicolantonio apologized for his actions and thanked federal prosecutors and FBI agents who worked on his case.

"I was wrong," said the silver-haired political operative, who agreed to cooperate with authorities after agents confronted him in spring 2006.

A federal prosecutor, citing DiNicolantonio's cooperation, had asked the judge to impose a sentence under the 24-to-30-month range set out in federal sentencing guidelines. ” (Anastasia, Philadelphia Inquirer




“Monmouth County Democratic Clerk candidate Amod Choudhary says he will take only the state-required salary for the clerk’s office in an effort to save the taxpayers more than $66,595 during his first term, according to a press release issued by the Monmouth County Democrats.

Choudhary is running against Clerk Claire French, whose pay raises from the Republican Board of Chosen Freeholders over the past five years "are far above the required salary for that position," the candidate says.

The clerk’s salary, as a constitutional office, is set by state statute as 65% of the state Superior Court Judge’s salary. French has received more than that required amount since 2003 as her salary climbed from $91,650 to $110,169 – or $47,585 more than what’s required, according to Choudhary.

The Superior Court Judge makes $149,000.

"To reduce spending and end corruption, Monmouth County officials have to lead by example," said Choudhary. "I will not accept one dime above the required salary because the people of Monmouth County have been taxed enough. It is disturbing to me that in a time where corruption and high taxes have become a fixture in the Republican administration, that the Clerk would accept more money to which the office is entitled."

Monmouth County Republican Chairman Adam Puharic fought back Wednesday, even deigning to issue a press release with Choudhary’s name misspelled.

"If Chaundry was to take a salary commensurate with his competency to serve as county clerk then the taxpayers of Monmouth County would save even more money then he proposes," Puharic said. "The people of Monmouth County should avoid the mistake and wasted tax dollars of putting in office someone who is completely unqualified and nothing but a political hack. They should instead reelect our award-winning and nationally recognized County Clerk Claire French."” (Pizarro,



“Government corruption is the biggest obstacle to economic growth in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie told state business leaders yesterday.

"We don't trust each other, and we certainly don't trust government," Christie said.

Christie told the Leadership New Jersey forum that businesses won't want to relocate or continue operating in the state if they can't trust government. He noted that his office had convicted more than 100 public officials on corruption charges since he took charge in January 2002.

"The integrity environment is the environment we need to create in this state," Christie said. "In short, we need to stop being a joke, because that's what we are right now."

He noted an editorial recently ran in an Oregon newspaper, the Statesman Journal, that referenced New Jersey corruption and argued such problems weren't found in that Pacific Northwest state because, as the editorial put it: "Fortunately, character still matters to most Oregonians."

Speaking at the New Jersey Network studios – a publicly funded television station – Christie decried having New Jersey be the "butt of derision" across the country.

"Unfortunately we're giving them every reason to believe it," he said.

While Christie's remarks may have sounded more like a stump speech than a business address, he insisted that talking about corruption is part of his role as the top federal prosecutor in the state.

Christie, a former Morris County Republican freeholder from Mendham, was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bush. While frequently cited as a potential 2009 Republican gubernatorial candidate, Christie hasn't said whether he'll run. ” (Hester, AP)




The Press of Atlantic City and The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey are partnering to conduct a political opinion survey concerning the current legislative elections.

Zogby International will conduct the poll of likely voters in the 1st and 2nd state legislative districts for The Press and Stockton. The elections in those two districts are among the most hotly contested races in the state. Zogby, an international polling/marketing company with offices in Washington and New York, will call potential poll respondents during the next week.

The Press and Stockton will release the poll results just prior to the Nov. 6 election.” (Press of Atlantic City)



“Democratic State Senate candidate Seema Singh's attempt to paint her opponent as a George W. Bush conservative who walks in lockstep with the president were met with derision this week from state labor unions that have endorsed Bill Baroni, the Republican candidate from the 14th District.

Members of the state teachers union, the AFL-CIO and the Teamsters union called for Singh to stop a series of advertisements concerning Baroni's voting record on issues such as stem cell research, Social Security, the environment and the Iraq war.

"Bill Baroni has always been an independent voice in the Legislature and has stood up for the values of working families," said Teamsters President Cliff Nolan in a prepared statement. "We are shocked by recent attacks by Bill's opponent calling him a 'Bush Republican.' We know Bill Baroni — nothing could be further from the truth and we call on his opponent to stop these senseless attacks."

Singh, who earlier this month sent a campaign mailer calling Baroni "Bush lite," stood by the accusation yesterday, saying it is up to voters to decide.

"No matter how hard Assemblyman Baroni tries to ignore or camouflage it when it comes to stem cell research, women's rights, and the war in Iraq, his record is a carbon copy of George W. Bush," said Singh. "The voters of the 14th District have a right to know Assemblyman Baroni's stances so that they can decide for themselves how much he represents George W. Bush." ” (Isherwood, Trenton Times)



“While Assembly candidates in the 3rd Legislative District largely agree on the needs of residents, they differ in how and how long it should take to meet those needs.

Incumbent Democratic Assemblymen John Burzichelli of Paulsboro and Douglas Fisher of Bridgeton will face Republican candidates Phil Donohue of Alloway and Jeff Stepler of Elsinboro on Nov. 6, when all 120 seats in the Legislature are up for re-election. Green Party candidates Charles Woodrow and Margie MacWilliams are also running for the Assembly in the 3rd District.

Green Party candidates Charles Woodrow and Margie MacWilliams are also running for the Assembly in the 3rd District.

The Democrats said that, over their past six years in office, they have responded to the needs of their constituents in the district that includes all of Salem and parts of Gloucester and Cumberland counties.

"I think that the three of us have demonstrated over and over … that we have our ears to the ground," Fisher said of himself, Burzichelli and state Sen. Stephen Sweeney, D-3, of West Deptford.

Touting their accomplishments, the Democrats said they had obtained funding for the Port of Paulsboro, helped expedite economic development at the Gateway Business Park in Oldmans Township and helped bring the Rutgers Food Technology Innovation Research Center to Bridgeton.

While their challengers believe economic development is a top priority in the district, they take issue with the incumbents' record.

"They've had six years to bring jobs to Salem County," said Stepler, a former committeeman in Elsinboro Township. ” (Graber, Today’s Sunbeam)



“Two Republican incumbents are defending their seats against a challenge from two Democrats in the race for Cape May County freeholder………..

Incumbents Ralph Bakley Sr. and Gerald Thornton are running against Democrats Steve Bacher and Bob Jackson.

The candidates have a debate, sponsored by the county League of Women Voters, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the Old Court House on Main Street in Cape May Court House.

Bacher and Jackson said they will provide an alternative voice on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, which is currently composed of five Republicans.

Bacher, of Middle Township, has been the executive director of Cape May's Center for Community Arts since 2003.

Previously, he worked as a grant writer for Jersey City and as an intergovernmental relations officer for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is his first run for public office. Bacher said he decided to run for office because of global warming.

"Not that the county government can prevent global warming, but I passionately believe every government should do what it can to fight carbon emissions and global warming," he said.

This can be done, he said, by improving efficiency in all areas of county government and looking more to alternative energy, such as solar and wind power, to fuel daily operations (Ianieri, Press of Atlantic City)



“SEA GIRT — Council President Mark E. Clemmensen is running unopposed for mayor in this beachfront town, while two incumbents on the all-Republican Borough Council will reclaim their seats without any competition.

Clemmensen, 56, of 100 Stockton Blvd., is seeking his first four-year term as mayor. He will replace Edward H. Ahern, who is not seeking re-election.

Clemmensen has lived in town for 13 years. He is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army Corps of Engineers, whose last assignment was commanding officer of the local National Guard Training Center. He retired in August 2006, after the four-year stint at the training center.

The Pennsylvania native joined the council in November 2004, when he was appointed to fill a vacant seat. Clemmensen won his first full term in 2005.” (Rizzo, Asbury Park Press)



“WALL — As members of the Republican majority that has controlled the Township Committee for years attempt to stand on what they say is a job well done, independent and Democratic challengers believe that the upcoming election is a time for change in the township.

Republican committee members Robert D. Peters and Mary L. Burne are each running for their sixth term Nov. 6 on the township's governing body. Challenging Peters and Burne for their two three-year terms are independent candidates Jeffrey Foster and Clinton Hoffman.

Republican committeeman Michael Clayton also is running to continue serving the two-year unexpired term he was appointed to after former committee member John Tobia resigned earlier this year. He faces Democratic candidate Sherri West.” (Biese, Asbury Park Press)



Ongoing concerns about the city's special-event permits again put the spotlight Wednesday on the deep divisions between Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. and Commissioner Gary DeMarzo.

During the public portion of the regular commission meeting, Sons of Italy member Joseph Martorano said DeMarzo, in a letter to that organization, accused the group of being crooked and improperly charging vendors for events permits.

The letter, he said, was also forwarded to the state Division of Taxation. "You not only defame the organization, but every Italian-American," Martorano told DeMarzo.

In a Sept. 17 letter, DeMarzo previously said that the city was collecting fees "under false pretenses" from vendors and creating "the appearance of impropriety."” (Gilfillian, Press of Atlantic City)



“Ten candidates for office in Morristown and the township debated on Wednesday night at Alexander Hamilton School.

The event was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, with its members asking questions that had been submitted by some of the 50 residents in attendance. Running for Morristown Council in the 1st Ward are incumbent Tim Jackson, a Democrat, and Rebecca Feldman, an independent. Each answered questions about keeping property taxes stable and redevelopment projects.” (Hassan, Daily Record)



“If voters in Dover approve a referendum on the town's election ballot to extend the term of office for aldermen from two to four years, it won't take effect until the 2008 election, Superior Court Judge Theodore Bozonelis ruled yesterday.

The town's ballots — which indicate terms for alderman seats in the four wards are for either two or four years — will not need to be re printed because they don't state the term extension would be effective immediately if passed, Bozonelis said.

The Morris County Republican Committee had sued the town over its general election ballot, saying it incorrectly indicates the aldermen would be elected to four-year terms if voters passed a proposal increasing their term of office.

The board of aldermen had passed an ordinance in July calling for a referendum so voters could decide whether the two-year terms should be increased to four years. ” (O’Connor, Star-Ledger)



“While New Providence Democrats could not find two standard- bearers to challenge the Republicans' solid lock on the borough council, they did find one political newcomer willing to sally forth in hopes of taking one of the two open council seats.

But with council members Julia MacDermott and Michael Gennaro looking to return to the governing body, it will be no cakewalk for Democrat Richard Pigott, a retired commercial real estate attorney who refused to participate in the League of Women Voters' annual candidates debate.

MacDermott, 52, is an attorney. She is married and the mother of two teenagers. She is the current borough council president.

Gennaro, 51, is a professional engineer and attorney. He has three grown children and coached several sports when they were younger.

Pigott, 68, is married and a borough resident of 36 years. He decided to run, he said, after realizing "just how long our town had been a one-party town."

"New Providence would benefit greatly by having an independent voice on the council, someone who is wholeheartedly committed to working with the current members of the council, but who will express honest disagreement when warranted," he said. ” (Gluck, Star-Ledger)



”Councilman Lynn A. Parry and his Republican running mate, Keith R. Miller, are hoping to stave off a challenge from Democratic newcomer Corey D. Folta and win the two open seats on the all-Republican Borough Council.

Mayor Robert D. Wolf III, a Republican, faces no opposition in his bid for re-election as mayor of this upscale community with 392 homes. Councilman Daniel Weeden is not seeking re-election, perhaps leaving an opening for the first Democrat in four years to join the governing body.” (Rizzo, Asbury Park Press)



  Today’s news from