Lautenberg shows up to defend Greenstein against outside group, no progress in McGreevey divorce proceedings, Beck explains her driving record, Charles Stile on campaign antics.
GREENSTEIN ENLISTS HELP TO FIGHT BACK
“U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg today stood with the district 14 Democratic Assembly candidates in Monroe Township and lambasted a hard right group for continuing to run ads against Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein.
"I talk to John Kerry all the time, and he wishes he fought back harder," Lautenberg said of the failed 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, who was Swift-boated by a right wing attack machine.
"Well, we’re fighting back," said the Senator, flanked by state Senate candidate Seema Singh, Greenstein, and Assembly candidate Wayne DeAngelo in the Rossmore Clubhouse, a sprawling senior citizen’s community.
Greenstein, along with Singh’s Republican opponent, Assemblyman Bill Baroni, was part of the working group that established the Fair and Clean Elections pilot program in an effort to keep special interest money out of this race. The candidates had to collect at least 400 donations of $10 apiece in order to qualify for public funds, and submit to a grueling schedule of ten debate forums.
Now a group that calls itself Common Sense America is attacking Greenstein in radio ads and mail pieces, the latest of which hit mailboxes Friday and is the first to tout the names of Greenstein’s opponents: Adam Bushman and Tom Goodwin.
The mailer slams Greenstein for raising taxes, and trumpets Goodwin and Bushman as candidates who "are fighting to cut wasteful spending, eliminate corruption and deliver property tax relief for New Jersey families."
The man on the ground here for Common Sense America is Brian Brown, executive director of the James Dobson-affiliated National Organization for Marriage (NOM), who recently moved to Princeton. NOM’s president is Maggie Gallagher, who received money from the Bush administration to write favorable columns in newspapers about the President’s family initiatives.
This group has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to recent news reports, to inflict their right-wing agenda on this district," Greenstein said of Common Sense America, whose anti-Greenstein radio ad buy on WKXW (NJ 101.5 fm) cost $125,000; and whose television commercials and mailers cost approximately $86,000.” (Pizarro, PoliticsNJ.com)
SOAP OPERA DIGEST
“A frustrated Family Court judge said yesterday she has lost almost all hope former Gov. James E. McGreevey and his estranged wife can settle their divorce case and avoid a trial.
Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy brought the two sides in for a closed-door settlement conference that lasted about 3 1/2 hours. When she took the bench at the end of the meeting, the judge told the two attorneys and their clients this case has made her "deflated and exhausted." She urged the couple to think of their 5-year-old daughter Jacqueline.
"If I've said this once, I said it a thousand times — please, please think of her," Cassidy said, "I used to be hopeful about this case. I'm no longer hopeful."
McGreevey and Dina Matos McGreevey sat in the Elizabeth courtroom and listened, but neither said a word.
Cassidy said Jacqueline will soon be able to Google her name and learn about the family history.
"I don't want to put the fear of God into you," Cassidy said, but "think about what this will do to her." ” (Lucase, Star-Ledger)
“Cassidy said the main issues in the case – parenting and finances – were not unusual, aside from the publicity the case would attract.
Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, McGreevey said: "It's in everyone's interest to settle and stop the excessive legal costs and personal pain and aggravation, and move on with our lives."
After the hearing, his attorney, Matthew D. Piermatti II, acknowledged, "We're very far apart right now."
THIS WOULDN’T BE AN ISSUE IF BECK HAD BEEN A JERSEY CITY MUNICIPAL JUDGE
“State Senate candidate and Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck had her driver's license suspended three times for failure to appear in court to answer three traffic tickets, twice for a parking ticket and for failure to pay a surcharge, in the mid-1990s.
The tickets have become a campaign issue in Republican Beck's race against incumbent Ellen Karcher. They were raised in a TV campaign ad in which the Karcher campaign questions Beck's ethics, after she questioned a farmland assessment the incumbent Democrat receives on 7 of the 8.5 acres her family owns in Marlboro.
The latest war of ethics words centers on the three times that Beck's driver's license was suspended for failure to appear in court to answer a summons, which the state Motor Vehicle Commission confirmed Monday. MVC officials said Beck has not received a moving violation since 1996.
Beck's license was suspended by the courts twice in 1994 and once in 1995 for failure to appear, said Michael Horan, an MVC spokesman.
Beck said that at the time she had just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and moved to New Jersey. In the course of several moves, Beck said she lost track of the summonses and it took time for court notices to reach her, resulting in the license suspensions……
Beck took the rap for the tardy tickets and said, "Obviously it's incumbent on me to pay fines and fees and to take responsibility, which I did," she said.
MVC records show that Beck's license was suspended on June 10, 1994, for failure to appear to answer a summons issued in Howell for "failure to maintain lamps" on Dec. 22, 1993; and then again for "failure to observe a traffic control device" issued in Red Bank on Jan. 24, 1994.
The third violation was issued in Newark on May 13, 1994, for failure to observe a directional signal……….
Beck had two other license suspensions, one for a parking ticket issued in Manasquan on July 5, 1994, and one for nonpayment of surcharge on Oct. 29, 1995.
Since 1996, records show she has been a "driver in good standing," Horan said.
Beck said there are more important issues facing the district than the suspensions.
"We have major issues facing us, including the fiscal state of New Jersey, which is why I'm holding a press conference with my colleagues" today, Beck said.” (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)
“Campaign rhetoric has moved from the routine to the indefensible as the battle for seats in the New Jersey Legislature reaches full boil in the final stretch. Here are some more examples of the hyperbole and distortion that have cluttered the campaign trail:
Overcaffeinated (but accurate) charge of the week: On WOR-TV's candidate forum Sunday, Democrat Joseph Ariyan, the Senate candidate in the 39th Legislative District, slammed Republican incumbent Gerald Cardinale for not casting a vote on a bill creating a state comptroller to target government waste. It's a critical tool in Governor Corzine's long-term strategy to lower property taxes.
"I did not vote because it was a flawed bill," Cardinale explained.
Ariyan interrupted him. "Then vote against it,'' Ariyan fumed. "You failed to do your duty as a senator."
Ariyan's indignation notwithstanding, he happens to be right. Voters expect their representatives to cast votes on legislation, not take a pass. If Cardinale truly felt this bill was a sham, he should have joined the rest of his Republican colleagues and voted against it.
Lame attempt to exploit public anger over a national crisis: Ariyan routinely slams Cardinale for letting banking industry lobbyists reimburse him for travel to their annual conferences at various luxury resorts.
Ariyan accuses Cardinale of "deregulating" the industry, citing pro-banking legislation he championed after returning from two trips in 2000. But Ariyan also takes it a step further, suggesting that Cardinale is partly responsible for the "subprime mortgage" crisis now engulfing millions of homeowners and Wall Street investors…………
The charge is, frankly, ludicrous. Cardinale pushed a package of bills designed to help state banks better compete against federally chartered banks, which did not have to abide by state laws in several regulatory areas. The bills had nothing to do with relaxing lending practices for subprime loans. The measures also passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both houses.
Campaign finance experiment as cash cow: The public "Clean Elections" experiment, which is providing a limited supply of taxpayer funds for three legislative districts this year, has kept candidates on tight budgets. But that hasn't prevented at least one powerful political consulting firm from reaping a nice pay- day.
The Democratic slate in the 37th District — state Sen. Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck and Assembly members Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Gordon Johnson, both of Englewood — has shelled out $23,000 to the New Brunswick-based Message and Media for fliers, banners and consulting work, according to recent campaign finance reports.” (Stile, Bergen Record)
ASSELTA SOUNDS OFF
“State Sen. Nicholas Asselta sees himself as fighting against a statewide Democratic machine that's tough to beat because of its fund-raising power.
Democrats control the Legislature, and in the 1st District state Senate race, they're pouring in money for Asselta's opponent, state Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew.
Asselta may be facing an uphill battle to keep his seat Nov. 6, but he said his record of serving the district will carry him through.
"The past four years have been an abomination in the Senate for me because of minority status and partisanship," Asselta said.
Citing previous accomplishments, Asselta said he was instrumental in getting a new veterans' home built in Vineland, as well as sponsoring legislation that created the Urban Enterprise Zone program.
The UEZ provides money for economic development projects in distressed areas through locally collected sales taxes……..
Asselta said the key issue in this campaign is Gov. Jon S. Corzine's proposal to sell, lease or bond the state's toll roads.
Van Drew and Asselta have accused each other of voting for legislation endorsing the plan, but both said they adamantly oppose the idea.
"It is destined to happen," Asselta said.
"It's a short-term solution" to solving the state's budget woes, he said.” (Zatzariny, Daily Journal)
“Ending a holiday tradition begun decades ago, Gov. Jon Corzine won't be letting state workers take the Friday after Thanksgiving as a paid day off this year.
Corzine tried to end the tradition last year, his first Thanksgiving as governor, but ultimately caved amid protests by state worker union leaders. But he said it was the last time he'd allow it — and his spokesman says he means it.
"The governor firmly believes the state should be open for business to serve the citizens the day after Thanksgiving," Corzine spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said yesterday. "If an employee wants the day off, he or she can certainly use a vacation or administrative leave day."
All state offices will be open the day after the holiday, Gilfillan said, including Motor Vehicle facilities, state licensing bureaus and pension offices. Courts will be in recess, but the courthouse administrative offices will be staffed.
The union leaders aren't going to give up without a fight.
Local leaders of the Communications Workers of America, the union that represents about half of state workers, are asking members to deluge the governor's office with phone calls. They want each state worker to phone in on either Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 to make the case for the day off.
"We want to call him and explain why it's important," said Rae Roeder, president of CWA Local 1033. "Governor after governor has done this. It's been the normal practice for the last 25 years."
Only one governor in the past seven administrations has withheld the extra day off, according to the recollection of union leaders. That was Gov. Brendan Byrne, who acquiesced after only one year. ” (Howlett, Star-Ledger)
HOW MANY CANDIDATES HAVE ASKED FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL INVESTIGATIONS NOW?
“Luis Quintana, one of the state Senate candidates in the 29th Legislative District race, is accusing an opponent of tampering with absentee ballots and intimidating voters.
Quintana, who is also a Newark city councilman, is asking the state Attorney General's Office to investigate the allegations and collect all of the absentee ballots that have been mailed out.
"I believe that an investigation will show that there are many abuses," said Quintana, who was joined by his Assembly running mates Carlotta Hall and Bessie Walker at a news conference in Newark. "This isn't just about politics. This is about the abuse of power by individuals who believe that they can do and say anything they want because no one can stop them."
Quintana blamed Steve Adubato, the North Ward powerbroker who is backing Quintana's chief op ponent, Teresa Ruiz, for the alleged fraud. Assemblyman William Payne, a Democrat who is running as an independent, is also vying for the seat being vacated by former Newark Mayor Sharpe James. Three other candidates are also running: Socialist Worker's Party candidate Sara Lobman, Republican Al-Samar Douglas and Pro Life Conservative Dick Hester.
David Wald, a spokesman for Attorney General Anne Milgram, said the office received Quintana's letter and complaints.
"We received his letter, and we are reviewing it," Wald said. ” (Wang, Star-Ledger)
CORZINE’S TRIP TO SUNNY PORTUGAL
“At a meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, attended by Govs. Jon Corzine and Eliot Spitzer, New Jersey and New York yesterday joined California, several European countries, Canadian provinces and New Zealand in a new international effort to restrict greenhouse gas emissions.
The countries and states formed the International Carbon Action Partnership. Its members will share experiences and lessons learned with each other on how best to restrict emissions, work to create a new market for low-carbon products, promote innovation and research, and work to achieve emission reductions as quickly and cheaply as possible.
California and New Jersey are among three states to enact a comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction laws. Hawaii is the other.
New Jersey's law, signed by Corzine in July, requires the state to reduce global-warming gases to 1990 levels by 2020, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050.
Also attending yesterday's meeting were Portuguese Prime Minister José Socrates, whose country holds the European Union's rotating presidency, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and officials from the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, France and New Zealand. ” (Star-Ledger)
THE WEAKEST LINK
“Assemblyman Gordon Johnson has taken some lumps lately — enough to make it appear that, out of the three ethics crusading 37th district legislators, he’s the most vulnerable.
Ever since he joined his running mates, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, to introduce a reform package that reignited the civil war between Chairman Joe Ferriero’s Bergen County Democratic Organization and the Real Bergen Democrats, Johnson has found himself in the crosshairs – both from Ferriero and his 37th district Republican opponents.” (Friedman, PoliticsNJ.com)
WEREN’T THEY JUST COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS?
“Atlantic County Republicans trying to prevent further Democratic gains at the polls are turning to a voting tool that has helped Democrats win elections in past years.
Officials with the Atlantic County Clerk's Office say Republicans – from municipal operations to individual candidates to slates running for seats in the Legislature – are asking for absentee ballots in larger numbers than ever before.
"All over the place," John Piatt, who works in the Election Division of the Clerk's Office, said of where Republican requests for absentee ballots are coming from.
Piatt said Republican requests for absentee ballots are exceptionally strong out of Hamilton and Galloway townships – two municipalities with contentious battles for control of the local governing bodies.
Republicans deny they're making more extensive use of absentee ballots than in past years when they criticized Democrats in some municipalities for either circumventing the intent of absentee ballot laws to swing elections or flat out engaging in absentee-ballot corruption. Most of the allegations of voter fraud were from Atlantic City, a Democratic stronghold where the use of absentee ballots was turned into an art form by now-jailed former Atlantic City Council President Craig Callaway and his so-called "Callaway Organization."” (Barlas, Press of Atlantic City)
A STORY ABOUT THE FOURTH WARD RACE THAT DOES NOT IN ANY WAY INVOLVE FECAL MATTER
“HOBOKEN – Christopher Campos says he's running in next month's special election for the Fourth Ward City Council seat "to make life better for my neighbors and to make a real difference in my hometown."
The marathon race began with campaigning early this year, a May election, then a runoff election against challenger Dawn Zimmer that he lost, controversy over absentee ballots and finally an unprecedented agreement in which Zimmer agreed to vacate her council seat and another runoff election is being held.
Campos has been dogged by talk of his DUI arrest in New York in January, but he says he hopes voters will focus on the issues – which he says are flooding problems, open space, parking and "opportunities for families."
Campos endorses the Hoboken Southwest Park Coalition's plan, "SW6: A Greener, Greater Hoboken," to install water retention fields in the southwest portion of the city and wants it included in a Southwest Redevelopment proposal.
Campos, who served six years as councilman before Zimmer's win, says the North Hudson Sewerage Authority's plan to install a water ejection system will cure flooding problems "once and for all" and make "a huge difference in all our lives." ” (Hack, Jersey Journal)
SWIMMING AGAINST THE CURRENT
“EAST RUTHERFORD – Two borough councilmen are breaking Democratic party ranks and encouraging residents to vote for the Republican mayoral candidate in elections next week.
George Perry and Sam Stallone have each planted signs in their lawns supporting the Republican ticket fronted by Mayor James Cassella.
They want to prevent Councilman Gary Viccaro from becoming mayor, even though their party could win a majority on the six-seat council if he is elected. The governing body is split between Republicans and Democrats.
Viccaro's attacks on council Republicans have disrupted meaningful policy discussions between the two parties, Perry and Stallone said.
"Gary wants to fight them on every single issue, and that's just not the way to go about it," Stallone said.” (Clunn, Bergen Record)
WHAT, NOBODY BROUGHT UP TERRORISM?
“Soon after candidates announced their bids about seven months ago to run Ocean County's largest municipality, the mayoral election was beset with uncertainty — uncertainty over who would be on the ballot.
A Republican candidate for mayor beat back a primary election challenge only to be replaced later. Another hopeful withstood a legal challenge to his independent candidacy but lost his ticket of running mates for Township Council.
Now, with one week remaining before voters pick a successor to Paul C. Brush, Toms River's first directly elected mayor under a change in the form of government, the candidates — Democrat Richard P. Strada, independent Carmine C. Inteso Jr. and Republican Thomas F. Kelaher — are laying out what their agendas would be for the next four years
Kelaher's term as Ocean County prosecutor expired this year, and after he left the post in July he began working part-time in a local law firm. Kelaher admits he did not have much time to mull his decision to run for public office for the first time.
"I have the leadership and managerial experience and qualities to do a good job," Kelaher said…………
Strada has his own plan for Toms River. His agenda is focused on "public service, not self-service," he said.
"I am not interested in personal power. . . . I want to leave Toms River better than I found it today," Strada said.
Part of Strada's plan is to stabilize and reduce the property tax rate that he said has increased by 44 percent in the last four years.
"We have got to go back and take the responsibility and bring the ever-increasing property tax burden under control," he said………..
Inteso, a Republican who bucked his party to run as an independent, said neither major party candidate can provide Toms River taxpayers with what they want.
"The people of this township deserve representation that is accountable only to them," said Inteso, who said he was once on the inside of the GOP.
"The influence that is exerted by the non-elected leadership of the political parties on the elected officials actually costs the taxpayer money and in some circumstances actually causes special interest groups' agendas to move forward to the detriment of the taxpayers in general," he said. "I think I can put a stop to that."” (Kidd, Asbury Park Press)
“The six candidates vying for three seats on the Township Council may have been overshadowed in the headlines by an active mayoral race this campaign season.
But with a week to go before Election Day, the three Republicans and three Democrats are speaking out about the need to stabilize property taxes, reduce traffic and manage the municipal budget.
Running to keep a 7-0 Republican majority on the council are Councilman John Sevastakis, 41, Peter V. Cassano, 75, and Melanie S. Donohue, 43. The Democratic candidates are Harold Scudieri Jr., 47, Gary Clifton, 56, and Maureen Taylor, 44.
Sevastakis said he would continue working on projects that the council had begun but could not finish in four years.
"The two big areas that need attention" are recreation programs and planning and development of the Ciba-Geigy site, he said.” (Kidd, Asbury Park Press)
ABOUT TIME SOMEONE THOUGHT OF THE STUDENTS
“PLEASANTVILLE – Rafael Velez, the school-board member who pleaded guilty last week to accepting bribes in exchange for securing school-district contracts, said Monday evening that he has resigned his seat.
Velez, along with board President James Pressley and 10 others, was arrested Sept. 6 on federal corruption charges. Pressley has maintained his innocence.
Alston could not be reached for comment Monday evening to confirm he had received the letter.
The state-appointed fiscal monitor, John Deserable, said Monday evening that he heard Velez had tendered his resignation, but he had not seen it…….
Meanwhile, the state commissioner of education has declined to intervene and order Velez and Pressley to vacate their seats, saying it is "a matter that will ultimately be determined by the criminal justice system."” (Rose, Press of Atlantic City)
STEM CELL RESEARCH
“A pioneer of stem cell science yesterday described New Jersey's efforts to establish a strategic foothold in the field as "substantive" and well-timed.
"Of the known players, what New Jersey is putting on the table is really substantive," said John Gearhart, director of the Stem Cell Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Maryland.
n 1998, the molecular biologist and his team were the first in the world to extract "pluripotent" stem cells — able to generate all the various types of cells in the body — from human embryos.
Gearhart spoke favorably of the $270 million that has already been approved by New Jersey's Legislature for construction of five stem cell research centers and a $450 million bond issue to support researchers and their programs that is up for public vote Nov. 6.
"To be counted on as a state that is progressive, that is receptive to newer kinds of technological approaches to science, that has a lot of traction," he said. Timing matters, he added, because acting early in relation to other states will put New Jersey in an advantageous position when it comes to earning patents, drawing top talent, and building its program. ” (MacPherson, Star-Ledger)
“The extra money New Jersey shoppers are shelling out as a result of the 2006 increase in the sales tax rate would all be funneled into property tax relief if voters approve Public Question No. 1 on Election Day.
The proposal would dedicate to property tax relief 1 percentage point of the state's 7 percent sales tax. Half of that amount is currently set aside after voters approved a similar ballot question last year. Increasing the dedication to a full percentage point would carve out about $1.3 billion for property tax relief.
Supporters say the change guarantees a base level of relief for residents paying the state's more than $6,000 average property tax bill.
But opponents say the move, which would be written into the state constitution, ties up a chunk of a state budget that is already an estimated $3 billion in the red and won't provide a lasting solution to the state's property tax woes.
Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr., D-Camden, believes tying officials' hands to property tax relief is exactly what the proposal should do.
"There has to be a guarantee that the first thing that gets funded in the state budget is property tax relief. It should be the first priority, not the last priority," Roberts said. "If this constitutional guarantee ensures property tax relief and forces government to spend less in other areas, I'm fine with that."” (Tamari, Gannett)
ANOTHER BALLOT QUESTION
“Should New Jersey borrow $200 million to preserve open space at a time when the state is $33.7 billion in debt?
That's the question facing voters on Election Day next week. Conservationists say that despite the Garden State's financial crunch, the answer is yes. "Open space, because of real estate prices, is not going to get cheaper," said Eugene Reynolds of the non-profit Passaic River Coalition.
"If we don't act now, when we can preserve this land, efforts to preserve it down the road are going to be that much harder and more expensive."” (Wright, Bergen Record)
“The Corzine administration yesterday again asked the state Supreme Court for more time to come up with money for the stalled school construction program, saying it needs a few more months to develop a long-term fiscal plan for the state.
Advocates for schoolchildren in the state's most impoverished districts have gone to the high court demanding the state meet its obligation to repair and reconstruct scores of aging and crowded schools in these communities, as mandated under the court's Abbott vs. Burke rulings.
Many of the projects were put on hold when the state's construction program stalled last year after spending $6 billion and coming under criticism for widespread waste and abuse.
After winning a short grace period from the court in the spring, the state Attorney General's Office yesterday asked again for more time, saying Gov. Jon Corzine's expected plan for restructuring the state's fiscal indebtedness would be presented "by early 2008."
"It is only after restructuring has occurred that it would be fiscally prudent to address the additional funding needs of school construction," read the state's brief filed. ” (Mooney, Star-Ledger)
IN MONMOUTH COUNTY
“Monmouth County freeholders are divided on whether they should hire a new administrator — a job likely to have a salary in the $170,000 range — during lame-duck sessions after the Nov. 6 elections.
Anna C. Little, the Republican freeholder who initiated a wide-ranging search for applicants, said the courting of the top candidate has dragged on too long, and a fresh search should start when the new board is seated in January. Little's term ends at the end of the year, and she is not seeking re-election.
Louis C. Paparozzi announced his retirement 6 1/2 months ago and left the job on Aug. 1. Teri O'Connor, head of administrative services, was named acting administrator in July.
"I would have had someone permanent named on July 1, had that person train with Lou Paparozzi, and had that person take over when Mr. Paparozzi left," Little said. "Right now we're so far away from what we had aimed for."” (Jordan, Asbury Park Press)
CUMBERLAND COUNTY FREEHOLDER RACE
“Both Republican freeholder candidates Mary Gruccio and Ian Roberts are well aware of the problems youth in Cumberland County face.
As an assistant superintendent in the Vineland School District, Gruccio, who is seeking her third term as a member of the Cumberland County Freeholder Board, has seen the often-times deplorable conditions in which kids in Cumberland County live.
Gruccio has worked for the Vineland School District for 33 years.
Prior to being an assistant superintendent, Gruccio was both an elementary education teacher and a principal.
"There are stories I can tell you about what I've seen with my own eyes. A little kid tried to burn himself to death under a nurse's hot water faucet and ended up in the psych ward. I went to the kid's parents' home. No cabinets. Little mice running around," Gruccio said in an interview with the News with running-mate Roberts. "These kids are raising themselves. I had a parent selling her kid's medication to support her drug habit." ” (Dunn, Bridgeton News)
WARREN COUNTY FREEHOLDER RACE
“HACKETTSTOWN | Two freeholder candidates took a final chance before next week's election to get the message out Monday during a live radio debate on WRNJ.
Incumbent Freeholder John DiMaio argued in favor of the ballot question that would expand the three-member board to five. Historically, with a three-member board, DiMaio thinks one person ends up running the show……
Independent candidate Henry Dinger, who does not favor a board expansion, said there's a difference between compromise and surrender. "You've got to keep the rest of the folks on the board honest. You can't just go along and vote with them," Dinger said. "It's pointing out the other side and raising questions."” (Satullo, Express-Times)
IN CHERRY HILL
” The Republican candidate for Cherry Hill mayor says he wants to debate but Mayor Bernie Platt, the Democratic incumbent, says it's too late.
GOP challenger Phil Guerrieri pushed for the debate last week, saying he's willing to let Platt pick the day, venue, and even the topics.
"I feel any candidate should be able to go out there and speak about his or her viewpoints," said Guerrieri, a first-time candidate and former president of the Erlton South Civic Association.” (Grzyboski, Star-Ledger)
“Even in a small town like this, politics this time of year can heat up.
That is, as long as there's competition.
Ted Miller made the Borough Council race competitive when he threw his hat into the ring in late September as the Republican candidate challenging two Democratic incumbents for one of two open seats on the governing body.
Miller, a self-described underdog, has been waging an aggressive campaign and in the past several weeks has pushed to have a debate with his opponents, Council President Kevin Kane and Councilman Jaye Sims. They are running as a team with unopposed longtime Mayor Michael Wilson.
The Freehold school district was going to be a venue for the debate, with the three parent-teacher organizations sponsoring it, according to Park Avenue Elementary School PTO President Linda Lichardi.
"It was just something that we hadn't done before. The impetus was there was somebody new running for Borough Council," Lichardi said.” (Petrunico, Asbury Park Press)
“A candidate for a seat on City Council said Monday that his opponent's attack on his voting record did not accurately account for how he had moved around for work.
On Thursday, Gioielli produced county records showing that Goldstein had voted here in only one of the general elections during the past 11 years and none of the municipal elections and runoffs.
Goldstein said in response Monday that he had not lived in Cumberland County for four of those eleven years. He had lived in Washington Township, in Gloucester County, through 1996 and 1997, he said, and later he spent close to two years in Florida, between early 2003 and late 2004. His only recorded vote was cast in the 2005 general election.
"I got interested in politics only recently," Goldstein said. "But voters don't want to hear about this. They want to hear about what we both stand for."” (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)
IN EAST HANOVER
“Democrats are looking to reinforce the lone Democratic presence on the council, and believe they have a good chance to do it on Election Day next month.
"I believe the people of East Hanover are going to back our team," said former Democratic Councilman Joseph Pannullo who is seeking to topple Mayor William Agnellino for a four-year term. "They cannot put up with what's going on in the town anymore."
One of Pannullo's running mates, Stephen DeRosa, is running against GOP incumbent Susan Tietjen for a three-year term on the council. The other, former mayor Larry Colasurdo, will face incumbent Thomas McColgan in a race for an unexpired one-year seat. McColgan assumed the seat vacated by Tom Vitiello, who resigned earlier this year.” (Padmanabhan, Daily Record)
“The Jamesburg mayoral race pits an incumbent Democrat against a challenger attempting to give Republicans a voice in a borough government where Democrats hold all the council seats.
"There's no one there to hold their feet to the fire and require them to act fully in the people's interest," said Republican candidate Gregory Newton, 49. "It would probably be the same if it were all Republicans."
But Mayor Anthony LaMantia said the borough has benefited from his leadership and the work of his fellow Democrats on the council. He cited his progress in getting $6.6 million in grants from the state and county and reducing the town's debt by more than $2 million.
LaMantia, who has been mayor since 2000, said he has always made himself available to residents, and his strong relationship with Democratic leaders in county government benefits the town.
"I have the time to do it and I have the knowledge in being in Jamesburg for so many years," said LaMantia, 55” (Dela Cruz, Star-Ledger)
IN BOUND BROOK
“It has 19th-century buildings, a commuter train station and blocks of storefronts — yet downtown Bound Brook also has a history of suffering major flooding, including two devastating floods since 1999.
Bound Brook's downtown, and how to revive it, are among the is sues as three candidates run for mayor: Republican Councilman Carey Pilato, Democratic Councilman Javier Vasquez and former councilwoman Phyllis Pournaras, an independent.” (Rundquist, Star-Ledger)
“Two lifelong Raritan Borough residents with generations of roots in the community are vying for the opportunity to serve as mayor.
Mayor Jo-Ann Liptak, a Republican, is facing a challenge by Democratic Councilwoman Denise Carra for a four-year term.
As they battle for the top spot, their running mates are squaring off for two council seats. Incumbent Democrats John Lamaestra and Maureen Wilson are facing Republicans Kenneth Graziano and James Paliani.
Liptak, 61, mayor since last November and a councilwoman from 1995-98, said she is looking forward to making Orlando Drive more aesthetically pleasing as a gateway to town.” (Bugman, Star-Ledger)
IN ROSELLE PARK
“The choice for Roselle Park voters next Tuesday is more of the same with Republican candidates, or the uncertainty of change with Democrats.
At stake is the balance of power on the borough council.
A Democratic sweep would result in three party members and three GOP representatives on the dais, with Republican Mayor Joseph DeIorio holding the tie-breaking vote on major spending.
Also possible is the return of a woman to the governing body for the first time since 5th Ward Councilwoman Melanie Selk gave up her seat after four terms in 2002 for an unsuccessful mayoral bid.
Larissa Chen Hoerning, who has a master's in linguistics from Yale University, is challenging 3rd Ward Councilman Robert Rubilla, a former schoolteacher seeking a third term.
In the 4th Ward, three-time borough Democratic council candidate Joseph Fonte is up against Modesto Miranda, a late GOP replacement when Councilman Loren Harms announced last month he would not seek a third term because of personal reasons. ” (Jett, Star-Ledger)
IN PRINCETON TOWNSHIP
” Seven of the eight hopefuls running for the township committee or the Princeton Borough Council in next Tuesday's election offered their ideas on issues ranging from consolidation of the two communities to less tax-heavy budgeting in a joint candidates' forum last night.
The question about whether the Princetons, which already share many municipal services, should have full consolidation was one of the early ones posed to the candidates.
Both the Democratic and Republican candidates said consolidation may be a worthy goal but several said it would have to be a grass-roots led effort, rather than one directed by the governing bodies.” (Stern, Trenton Times)