Today’s news from PolitickerNJ.com

Joseph Minish is laid to rest, Brian Brown is back, McGreevies fight about daughter’s birthday party, Wisniewski talks up the gas tax as opposed to monetization.

THE COAL MINER’S SON

“Joseph Minish traveled the peculiar path from Pennsylvania coal country to the halls of Congress, but never left behind the common touch that marked his life.

His grandson and namesake, Joseph Minish, recalled that as a boy growing up, people would al ways ask him if he was "related to Congressman Joe Minish." When they found out he was, they would regale him with stories of how his grandfather had helped them in some way, big or small.

"The thing I always got from these people was that big or small, it was important to them because it was important to my grandfather," Minish said.

His grandfather, he said, was "a man who lived so long and did so much for many."

Minish, who served more than 20 years in Congress, was remembered yesterday for a life of service to others during a funeral Mass at St. Joseph's R.C. Church in his hometown of West Orange. He died Saturday at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston at the age of 91.

"He was not a man about town," his grandson said during the service. "He was not a golfer. He was not a big sports fan. All he really knew in his life was that it was important to help others around him."

The son of coal miner from a small town outside of Scranton, Pa., and the oldest of six children, Minish was thrust into the role of his family's "primary breadwinner" at age 13 after his father was stricken with black lung disease, his grandson said. Minish, who never went to college, served in the Army during World War II and subsequently settled in Newark, where he worked as a machine operator and joined the staff of the Electrical Workers Union.

He was elected to Congress in 1962 with the support of the Essex County Democratic organization and served until 1984, when his district was redrawn to favor Republicans.

Brendan Byrne, who was governor of New Jersey for eight of the years Minish served on Capitol Hill, recalled him as someone who quietly made his mark, serving constituents and helping pass legislation that was important to his home state. Byrne said he could call Minish with a problem in the morning and by afternoon have the appropriate committee or subcommittee chairman on the phone to discuss it.

"I am here to talk about Joe Minish because I think he's part of the history of the United States," the former governor said.

"The secret of his success was doing things and not looking for credit for it," Byrne said. "I have never heard Joe Minish brag about anything. The nation is better off because Joe Minish was here." (Larini, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196318346194970.xml&coll=1

 

EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SHADY 501(C)4 GROUP IS BACK

A national campaign to block gay marriage came to New Jersey this week as conservative groups began airing radio advertisements and bombarded a key lawmaker's office with as many as 200 phone calls an hour.

The National Organization for Marriage debuted a radio ad warning "powerful special-interest groups want to redefine marriage," and the N.J. Family Policy Council sent out an e-mail urging people to phone legislative leaders and Gov. Jon Corzine.

Leaders of both organizations said they were trying to block an effort to legalize same-sex marriage during the lame-duck session of the Legislature that ends Jan. 8, when new lawmakers are sworn.

Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) yesterday said no vote on same-sex marriage will be taken during lame duck, but those who fear it had succeeded in tying up his phone lines.

"At this point, they're just wasting their money with the phone calls. Somebody's giving them bad information," Codey said. "It's jamming our phone lines and we can't do our work here." He said his office got as many as 200 calls per hour. Corzine's office got 133 calls yesterday while Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) got about 200, according to their press secretaries.”

Brigid Harrison, a professor of political science and law at Montclair State University, said the anti-gay marriage campaign may be aimed not just at lawmakers, but at voters casting their ballots in the presidential primary on Feb. 5.

"This is something that is a wedge issue," Harrison said. "It drives people to the polls." (Schwaneberg and Margolin, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196319518194970.xml&coll=1

 

SOAP OPERA DIGEST

“They've clashed over alimony and custody, duked it out over visitation and battled over bills for psychotherapy, all the while calling each other nasty names.

Now comes a new category in the growing inventory of things to fight about in the messy McGreevey divorce case: a lavish child's birthday party — complete with ponies, clowns and face-painters — that might, or might not, take place this weekend.

In court papers released yesterday, former Gov. James E. McGreevey and Dina Matos McGreevey each contend the weekend is theirs to spend with daughter Jacqueline, who soon will be six.

Because of the conflict, Matos McGreevey has refused to allow Jacqueline to attend the birthday bash at the Plainfield home McGreevey shares with partner Mark O'Donnell.

In the absence of a compromise, Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy is expected to decide the issue today in an Elizabeth courtroom, the setting for what is shaping up to be one of New Jersey's more epic breakups.

Matos McGreevey's lawyer, John Post, said Jacqueline was not scheduled to be with her father over the weekend, "but he scheduled a birthday party for her that weekend anyway." (Lucas, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196319229194970.xml&coll=1

 

THE ANTI-MONETIZER

A Democratic state legislator said yesterday that comments by the state transportation commissioner are a strong clue that Gov. Jon Corzine's plan to "restructure state finances" would cause highway tolls to triple.

Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri said this week that the state gasoline tax would have to jump from 14.5 cents per gallon to 58.5 cents per gallon to meet future transportation expansion and maintenance needs. That is one of the central aims of the governor's plan.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, said toll receipts would have to triple to raise the same amount of cash netted by such a gas tax increase — about $2.4 billion.

"Commissioner Kolluri's assertion that it would take a 44-cent increase in the gas tax to address the state's current and future transportation needs is revealing," Wisniewki said. "If administration officials know the minimum amount the motor fuels tax would need to be increased, then they also must know the minimum amou
nt tolls must increase to meet the same goals."” (Donohue, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196318523194970.xml&coll=1

 

JUST WHEN HE THOUGHT HE LEFT HUDSON COUNTY BEHIND

“Former Bayonne Mayor Joseph V. Doria Jr. was a party to corruption, ticket-fixing and other official misconduct in the Bayonne Parking Authority, two former BPA employees allege in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court last month.

Former BPA Director Peter Hilburn and executive secretary Felicia Ryan claim they were fired for aiding the state Office of the Attorney General in an investigation of that alleged corruption in the lawsuit, which seeks damages for their allegedly wrongful termination.

Hilburn and Ryan charge that Hilburn told his personal attorney, Peter Cresci, that he was an informant – and Cresci, who also was the BPA's lawyer and an assistant city attorney – told Doria.

Doria, who was mayor at the time, then fired Hilburn, the lawsuit claims.

Through a spokesman for the state Department of Community Affairs, which he now heads, Doria said that personnel decisions are made by the BPA board.

But the spokesman, Chris Donnelly, refused to give a direct answer when asked if Doria was responsible for Hilburn's termination.”(Judd, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-3/119632105440490.xml&coll=3

 

DRAWING TEARS FROM MILDRED CRUMP

The former chief of staff to Newark's City Council president was indicted Wednesday on federal bribery and conspiracy charges, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced.

Keith O. Reid, 48, was charged with accepting about $13,500 in cash bribes to use his influence with public officials in Newark, Irvington and elsewhere to steer insurance brokerage business to an undercover FBI company.

Reid allegedly accepted the cash from a cooperating witness in exchange for assurances that he would influence the Newark City Council President Mildred Crump and other Newark public officials to help secure insurance brokerage contracts for the fake FBI company.

Reid is charged with two counts of attempted extortion, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; three counts of bribery, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; and one count of offering and accepting a bribe, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.(AP)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/NEWS01/711290388/1006/NEWS01

IRVINGTON DOESN’T WANT TO BE LEFT OUT

Irvington, the beleaguered town that watched its former mayor carted off to jail four years ago, yesterday became entangled in the statewide FBI bribery sting that snared 11 public officials.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against one of them yesterday that also implicated an unnamed local official identified as "Irvington Official 1." It alleged the Irvington official conspired to accept a $5,000 bribe from a phony insurance company in exchange for help with getting city contracts.

In September, authorities announced a sweeping corruption scandal that spanned the state during an 18-month undercover FBI probe. The officials were accused of accepting bribes from Coastal Solutions, a phony insurance brokerage firm that turned out to be an FBI front that secretly taped them.

Mayor Wayne Smith told the Philadelphia Inquirer after the September arrests he was offered a bribe, but turned it down. He said he met with a representative of Coastal Solutions and discussed city contracts and going to work for the company as a broker, but neither materialized.

"I've been advised there is a federal investigation. And I've been advised not to comment on the investigation," said Smith yesterday, adding that he has retained Jack Arseneault, a prominent criminal defense attorney.”

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/essex/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1196318627194970.xml&coll=1

 

AND DON’T FORGET PLEASANTVILLE

A former appointed Pleasantville Board of Education member caught up in an alleged extortion scheme uncovered by authorities was indicted by a Trenton grand jury this week.

James McCormick took $3,500 in exchange for his support of a contractor, according to the complaint against him, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said Wednesday.

McCormick was appointed to the school board in August 2006 and was in charge of establishing policy and approving certain district expenditures and contracts to include contracts for insurance brokerage services. The six-count indictment on charges of conspiracy to extort under color of official right says he knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed with the board officials and others to "obstruct, delay and affect interstate commerce by extortion. He agreed to obtain money from two cooperating witnesses unbeknownst to him."

The remaining five counts involve McCormick's alleged attempted extortion of money. He allegedly accepted $3,500 in an attempt to be rewarded in connection with a business transaction and a series of transactions of the board. In count four, he is charged with bribery for an alleged September 2006 act. According to the indictment, McCormick spoke with someone on the phone whom he told he needed to transfer $3,500 and asked for the person's bank account. He then transferred the money to the individual's bank account in Georgia. The final two counts involve alleged money laundering. He allegedly knew that property involved in financial transactions was from proceeds of unlawful activity. Both counts deal with the Sept. 28 transfer of $3,500 sent to Georgia and on Feb. 27, 2007, a money order in the amount of $3,500 that was delivered to McCormick from the person in Georgia.(Vitale, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/atlantic/story/7519522p-7419351c.html

 

“PARTNERS IN ETHICS”

Governor Corzine's plans to retool New Jersey's landmark ethics and campaign finance laws next year, possibly in a special session, have been greeted in Trenton with justifiable skepticism — and a collective yawn.

The mere mention of a special session tends to have that kind of effect on people. And why not? The much-heralded property tax reform session last year was an oversold flop. Most lawmakers and observers say Corzine's sole obsession next year is selling a plan to restructure state finances with hefty toll hikes. He doesn't have time for two obsessions.

But if Corzine prevails with his new "partners" in ethics — Senate President Dick Codey and Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts — he has the potential of taking a large leap down the road of reform, which has so far been marked by baby steps. It could deal a body blow to New Jersey's pay-to-play tradition of institutionalized bribery, in which campaign contributors are rewarded with lucrative government contracts.

Corzine's plan will come down to this: closing one important loophole.

Corzine said he wants to simplify New Jersey's "quilt" of pay-to-play laws by applying the tough pay-to-play ban used only for state government contracts and extending it to municipal, school and county governments. (Stile, Bergen Record)

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WHO SELLS TICKETS FOR A BIRTHDAY PARTY?

One small business owner felt pressured to buy tickets for a county official's birthday party to be eligible to bid on a contract.

Another contractor reported that a Garden State Parkway official implied a bribe was needed to get work.

A trade association leader lamented that it costs too much to run for the Legislature.

Those were among the anonymous stories compiled by principal investigator Barrie Peterson in a study released Wednesday by the Prudential Business Ethics Center at Rutgers University that found strong disgust from the business community on how government is run in New Jersey and recommended several steps for state leaders to take including a complete pay-to-play ban, a uniform ethics code and a bipartisan commission modeled after the federal 9/11 commission to identify and cure the ethical problems in the state.

“It's self-evident that the special interests and self-interests consistently prevail over public virtue and the citizens' agenda, that's the bottom line," said Raymond Bramucci, director of the center, a Democrat who used to work for Gov. James J. Florio, U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley and President Clinton.

Bramucci, who quit his voluntary post as chairman of the Legislature's ethics panel to take the $120,000 position with the business ethics center earlier this year, decried that the public good is often forgotten in Trenton.

"Businessmen and community leaders believe that merit becomes the least important thing, candor becomes a lost art," Bramucci said. "Transparency, showing your cards, dealing with these terribly complex issues honestly is what we seem to need and which is sorely lacking."”(Volpe, Gannett)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/NEWS0301/711290338/1007/NEWS03

 

THEY’RE NON-PROFIT, SO IT’S NOT LIKE THEY CAN DO ANYTHING WRONG

New Jersey nonprofit organizations may once again get a last-minute reprieve from the state's pay-to-play disclosure rules.

This year, for the first time, entities that hold more than $50,000 worth of contracts from all levels of government must report certain political donations made by the organization, some officials, owners and their spouses.

For-profit businesses have already submitted their forms. Today — one day before nonprofits are due to submit forms — the state Election Law Enforcement Commission will meet to consider a request from the Senate Democrats to extend the deadline to Jan. 15 because legislation exempting nonprofits is being prepared for introduction and consideration in December.

"We certainly have heard there's momentum building for legislation, and we're working on that front," said Linda M. Czipo, executive director of the Center for Non-Profits, whose group has argued that most nonprofits are forbidden from making contributions as an entity and that forcing board members to disclose will make it appear as there were political connections when there were none.

It's unclear who would sponsor such a measure. It was said to be Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, who said she hadn't reviewed a proposal but was more concerned that those on nonprofit boards would have to disclose personal financial information. However, the rules only say political contributions must be disclosed.

"My original thought was that it was personal disclosure that was the problem — if you're a volunteer on a nonprofit board, filling out personal disclosure forms," said Weinberg. "But in terms of it being disclosure of political contributions, somebody's going to have to present a good argument to me about that." (Volpe, Gannett)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/NEWS03/711290401/1007/NEWS03

 

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD COULDN’T MAKE UP FOR THAT PRE-ELECTION BUDGET DISCLOSURE

Though outspent more than 2-to-1 by incumbent Democrat Glen Gilmore, Republican John Bencivengo still managed an upset victory over his opponent in a mayoral election that saw a combined $497,000 spent.

And while final election reports filed this week with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission show that number dwarfs the spending totals from all but a small handful of recent local races statewide, it falls short of the lofty pinnacle reached in 2003, when Gilmore and opponent Jack Lacy spent a combined $508,000 in their match.

But while Lacy was outspent nearly 10-to-1 in his losing effort, Bencivengo succeeded in narrowing the spending gap, pulling out an unexpected victory margin of just under 600 votes.

The reports, filed 20 days after Election Day, show Bencivengo amassed a total of $157,699, more than his two predecessors on the Republican mayoral ticket combined. In his losing effort, Gilmore brought $351,940 into his warchest, spending all but about $13,000.

According to local political watchers, those numbers are far above elections in decades past, when Hamilton Republican icon Jack Rafferty held the top elected post.

"Before the 1999 election, we had never topped $150,000 in spending and it was usually $100,000 or less," said Lacy, who sat on the township council for two decades and opposed Gilmore in 2003. "We were flabbergasted there was so much money spent."” (Isherwood, Trenton Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/times/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1196313147302290.xml&coll=5

 

LET THE BICKERING BEGIN

Howdy, mayor. Welcome to the show.

The resort&
#39;s newest mayor watched his first City Council meeting from a seat up front, where Scott K. Evans even managed to talk council into postponing a pair of relatively minor votes until he got better acquainted with city business.

Council held off on minor staffing changes in the mayor's office as well as a move to transfer responsibility of the newly renovated All Wars Memorial Building from Public Works to Neighborhood Services Department. Both will be considered at the Dec. 12 meeting.

In all, it was a better reception than Nov. 21. Council publicly complained about having to name him the next mayor last week before a majority walked out of the meeting before he could be sworn in……

Business started on a positive note, with council President William Marsh praying that God would, among other things, grant Evans the wisdom to govern. Council typically prays before meetings………

But it was not all rosy.

Councilmembers were outraged that the Evans administration took office and immediately locked down City Hall to change the locks on Thanksgiving, Evans' first day.

City Business Administrator Domenic Cappella had evidently made the arrangements, telling other city officials as he walked out of the building following Evans' inauguration the building would be closed the following day.

Marsh did not try to get into City Hall on Thanksgiving, but he said Councilman Gene Robinson did and a police officer stopped him.

"I want to work with (Evans) in any way possible, but this foolishness has got to stop," Marsh said. "That's why I didn't recognize (Cappella) tonight."(Harper, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/atlantic_city/story/7519555p-7419288c.html

 

ENCAP

“EnCap met yesterday's deadline to pay $5 million for the most urgent cleanup work at its Meadowlands development site.

EnCap's biggest investor, Cherokee Investment Partners, made the payment to an account controlled by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, according to Brian Aberback, a spokesman for the commission.

The money will fund systems to stop methane gas and other contaminants from escaping from the 785-acre site, as well as address security and related concerns, according to a letter from the office of Attorney General Anne Milgram to attorneys for EnCap and Donald Trump, who recently took over management of the troubled $1 billion project.

The firm has until Jan. 11 to make "measurable progress" toward fixing the project's environmental problems, according to Milgram's letter. If it does not, it could get kicked off the project, according to the commission.” (McDermott, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196319883194970.xml&coll=1

 

IT’S NOT LIKE TOXIC CHEMICALS CAN HURT ANYONE

New Jersey joined New York and 10 other states yesterday in suing the Bush administration to block new federal rules that the states say would result in less public disclosure about toxic chemicals that companies store, use and re lease into the environment.

"We will restore the public's right to information about chemical hazards, despite the Bush administration's best attempts to hide it," New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in announcing the civil lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The Environmental Protection Agency this year rolled back a regulation on the Toxics Release In ventory. The law creating the TRI was signed by President Ronald Reagan after the toxic chemical catastrophe in Bhopal, India, in 1984. It required companies to provide a lengthy, detailed report whenever they store or emit 500 pounds of specific toxins.

The new rule adopted this year requires that lengthy accounting only for companies storing or re leasing 5,000 pounds of toxins or more. Companies storing or releasing 500 to 4,999 pounds of toxins would have to file an abbreviated form, said Katherine Kennedy, New York's special deputy attorney general for environmental protection.

"This rule change is a move in the wrong direction," New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa Jackson said. (Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196319858194970.xml&coll=1

 

HERB CONAWAY AND JACK CONNERS HAVE A NOBLE CALLING…. TO BAN PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS

“The "paper or plastic" question would be settled once and for all by a plan to make New Jersey the first state in the nation to outlaw plastic grocery bags.

New Jersey could join San Francisco, Paris, South Africa and other communities around the globe in banning plastic bags in an effort to protect the environment.

Stores larger than 10,000 square feet — which includes grocery and big-box stores and many pharmacy chains — would have to phase out plastic bags over the next three years under a measure being considered in Trenton.

"These bags are a serious environmental problem," said Assemblyman Herb Conaway, D-Burlington, a sponsor of the bill with Assemblyman Jack Conners, D-Camden. "Millions of them become litter that ends up in the soil and water and can harm wildlife. They take years to break down. They help fill up our landfills. And they take 12 million barrels of oil to a year make."” (Wright, Bergen Record)

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PAID FAMILY LEAVE

In an all-too-familiar scenario for state Sen. Stephen Sweeney, the labor leader faced opponents of one of his state proposals Wednesday this time, his plan to make New Jersey the third state to allow paid family leave.

"There's not going to be a sign-off in the business community no matter what we do," Sweeney told more than 50 business members at a South Jersey Chamber of Commerce breakfast at The Mansion. "But I'm willing to still talk about it.

California already offers six weeks of paid family leave to allow employees to care for a family member; Washington passed a law to allow five weeks off.

In New Jersey, Sweeney was willing at one point to scale back his proposal from 10 to six weeks if the
business industry agreed to take a neutral stance on the bill.

But even with that concession, business members refused to sway Wednesday.

"It just feels so open now that anybody can say, You know what, I'm upset because my daughter's going to college,'" said Kristina C. Fernald, director of public affairs at the Valero Refinery in Paulsboro. "My fear is that this will become an entitlement." " (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/NEWS01/711290386/1006

 

THE GOLDEN AGE OF IMMIGRATION COULD BE TODAY

Historians call it the Golden Age of Immigration: the early 1900s, when thousands arrived each day at Ellis Island, pushing New Jersey's foreign-born population to more than one-fourth of all residents.

But a massive new wave of immigrants that began in the 1980s, already far larger in sheer numbers than the heyday of Ellis Island, may soon eclipse that percentage, according to a report released today.

New Jersey's foreign-born population is 21.6 percent, according to the study by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that lobbies for lower immigration levels. And as growing numbers of U.S.-born New Jerseyans move away, the share of immigrants in the state is rapidly approaching the all-time high of 26 percent, reached in 1910.

In New Jersey and nationwide, the report found, the past seven years have been the historic pinnacle of immigration, with 1.5 million people arriving in the United States legally or illegally each year. New Jersey's foreign-born population now stands at 1.87 million.

"Some people argue there's been a crackdown on illegal immigration and legal immigration is harder," said Steve Camarota, the center's research director and author of the study. "The anecdotes may be true on their own, but they belie what we've seen in the data." (Donohue, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-12/1196318489194970.xml&coll=1

 

WORKERS’ COMP

“The cost of workers' compensation insurance will rise by an average of 3.4 percent next year, marking the seventh consecutive year of rising rates for the state-mandated coverage, state Insurance Department officials have announced.

Workers' compensation insurance — designed to guarantee replacement wages and medical treatment for any worker hurt on the job — costs private employers about $1.6 billion a year, state records show. That means a 3.4 percent increase would translate into a rise of more than $50 million.

Next year's rate hike is the steepest since 2005, and comes as the number of injured workers receiving payments from insurers is declining by thousands each year. State law requires all employers to purchase workers' compensation coverage for their workers.

Pat Breslin, spokesman for New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., said the increase in rates is needed to offset soaring medical costs and a state-mandated increase in the weekly replacement wages that injured workers are entitled to receive.

"I think they'll notice it," said Breslin, whose firm is the largest provider of workers' compensation coverage in the state. "It's a significant increase."” (McNichol, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196318231194970.xml&coll=1

 

IN MORRISTOWN

“Mayor Donald Cresitello's withdrawal of a nomination to the library board of trustees has provoked a council member and the nominee, who said the nomination wasn't made in good faith in the first place.

Cresitello pulled the nomination of Linda Carrington to the library board of trustees. Carrington is best known for her role in leading a petition drive to get last year's proposed salary hike for the mayor on the election ballot. The move was highly successful, in that residents voted down the salary ordinance question, which would have doubled Cresitello's $26,042 salary over the course of his mayoral term.

The mayor and Carrington disagreed on why her name was withdrawn, however.

Cresitello said he pulled the nomination because four council members told him they would not support his nomination. Thus, Cresitello said, pulling the nomination made sense. "We do not like to publicly embarrass people," the mayor said.

Carrington said in a Wednesday night telephone interview that she believes the appointment "was not made in good faith." She said "It was made during an election season and was done for political purposes." Carrington said she supported Dick Tighe's council election opponent, Alyson Deeb, who won by a 2-1 margin. Carrington also said she made a substantial contribution to Carrington's campaign fund.” (Hassan, Daily Record)

http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/COMMUNITIES32/711290352/1203/NEWS01

 

IT’S TIME FOR A GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION TO STAND UP FOR SEX OFFENDERS’ RIGHTS TO MYSPACE

The state Parole Board yesterday banned the 4,400 registered sex offenders it supervises from using social networking Web sites, chat rooms and online dating services as a way to prevent them from possibly luring victims into real-world danger.

The move comes after a state investigation this summer found 268 New Jersey registered sex offenders using the site MySpace.com. Only two of those offenders were punished because they had originally used computers to facilitate sex crimes and were therefore prohibited from visiting such sites as a condition of their parole.

"The protection of all of our citizens and particularly our young people makes the imposition of this new restriction critical," Parole Board chairman Peter Barnes said after the panel unanimously approved the ban.

Sex offenders will still be allowed to visit other Internet sites as well as use e-mail. But if a parole officer finds that the offender posted a profile on MySpace or other networking sites, it could mean a return to prison for a year to 18 months.” (Hepp, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1196318165194970.xml&coll=1

 

A NEW ELECTION IN MATAWAN

A recount conducted Wednesday of the Matawan mayoral race resulted in a tie between Republican Paul Buccellato and Mary Aufseeser, the Democratic incumbent, which will require a second election.

The recount gave Buccellato one more vote than had been recorded on Election Day, resulting in both candidates getting 947 votes.

An extra vote for Buccellato came from a provisional ballot on which the voter had marked an "X' by Buccellato&#39
;s name instead of darkening the oval next to his name. The vote-counting machine failed to record that provisional vote, but recount officials ruled the ballot was valid.

"We are going to have a new election," said Tim Howes, attorney for Buccellato. He said attorneys from both sides have agreed not to pursue any other legal remedies. (Thompson, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/NEWS/711290347/-1/NEWSFRONT

 

DUDE.. WAIT, WHAT? I PROPOSED THAT?

JACKSON Three times, members of the Township Council have undergone random drug tests as stipulated by resolution, and three times Mayor Mark A. Seda — the official who proposed the resolution — was not tested with the others.

One council member said Seda did not take the most recent test, which was given just before the council's meeting Tuesday night, because he did not attend the meeting. Another member said, though, that the mayor was in the municipal building just before the test was administered.

Seda could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Council President Ann M. Updegrave said the mayor missed the meeting because he had "other obligations" and noted that he is not required to attend council meetings. Updegrave stressed that the third-party drug-test administrator shows up without warning, so Seda cannot purposely avoid taking the tests.

"It's just one of those coincidental things," Updegrave said. "Everybody can have their opinion, and everyone can come up to some kind of conclusion, but I don't know of any way that he can know" when the tests are scheduled.” (Reiss, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/NEWS02/711290430/1070

 

IN OCEANPORT

The case against Oceanport Borough Councilman Hugh P. Sharkey and whether he knowingly prevented the borough clerk from releasing public government records is now headed to an administrative law judge.

Sharkey, who lost the Republican Party's backing for re-election this year, was the subject of a hearing Wednesday before the state's Government Records Council considering a complaint lodged by former borough resident Allan M. Johnson, husband of former Councilwoman Linda Johnson.

The Johnsons, who have since moved out of state and who were not represented by a lawyer before the council, are Democrats. After Mrs. Johnson left the Borough Council in 2006, the Johnsons often criticized Sharkey.

On Nov. 9, 2006, Allan Johnson sought from Borough Clerk Kimberly Jungfer all internal and external correspondence, including e-mails from Sharkey, between Oct. 1 and Oct. 20 of 2006, and particularly e-mails between Sharkey and Shrewsbury residents about a Nov. 1, 2006, meeting.”(Williams and Volpe, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/NEWS/711290345/-1/NEWSFRONT

 

NEW MORRIS COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT NOMINATIONS

Gov. Jon Corzine intends to nominate Denville attorney David Ironson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart Minkowitz to judicial vacancies in Morris County.

Corzine on Friday filed a notice of intent with the Senate Majority Office, but the official nomination isn't expected to be made until Monday, Corzine spokesman Jim Gardner said. (Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/morris/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1196319893194970.xml&coll=1

 

IN WARREN COUNTY

Warren County's election board asked the freeholders to raise the salary grade of an election board job that was recently vacated when Betty Wilson moved on to become deputy county clerk.

The board hopes to hire a person as an election board clerk who can be trained to take over for Mary Meyers as election board administrator when she retires in 2009. The salary grade for the full-time job ranges from $21,000 to $26,000.

The board is requesting it be changed to $30,000 to attract someone with a higher education level. (Satullo, Express-Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/expresstimes/nj/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1196312996301070.xml&coll=2

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