Wake-Up Call: Friday, May, 23, 2008

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey’s top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning.

The Wake-Up Call is taking a break on Monday for Memorial Day. It will return on Tuesday, May 27. Enjoy the holiday weekend.

No Kennedy in Jersey Senate run
Sen. Edward Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor. The news flashed across computer screens Wednesday and made the front pages of Thursday’s papers. The Massachusetts Democrat has served more than 40 years in the Senate. Even without the Kennedy name, he is an icon in Congress. (Alfred P. Doblin, The Record)

Zimmer wants to lower the costs
TRENTON — Telephone the Flemington office of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard A. Zimmer, and no less a disciple than the candidate himself answers the phone.

“Yeah, well, that’s me,” he said. “Pretty straightforward.” (Tom Baldwin, Gannett)

A live free die-hard
TRENTON — In a year when lapel pins have become fodder for political debate, the gold adornment that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin wears on his suit jacket wraps up his campaign platform in two words: Live Free.

Sabrin, a one-time Libertarian, touts himself as a true conservative who would push the government to the margins of everyday life. (Jonathan Tamari, Gannett)

Andrews likes Webb for Veep, wavers on Clinton
WOODBRIDGE – Asked to pick a running mate for Sen. Barack Obama, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-1) mentioned Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA). (Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com)

Whitman likes view of Ridge
MOUNTAINSIDE – Former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman says she likes Tom Ridge as a vice-presidential candidate for Sen. John McCain. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com)

Seven debate for the seventh seat
MOUNTAINSIDE – The seven Republican candidates for Congress in the 7th District debated at Town Hall here on Thursday night in a one-hour forum moderated by Fred Rossi of the Westfield Leader and Scotch Plains Fanwood Times.

As expected, most of the criticism flew in the direction of state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon), who in turn directed his ire at the $10 trillion national debt. (Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com)

Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?
Some Republican voters got mail Thursday from the state Democratic committee criticizing the record of U.S. House of Representatives Republican candidate Chris Myers.

The Myers campaign took issue with the fairness of the piece and spun the critique as a sign that Myers’ candidacy is the most formidable to state Sen. John Adler, D-6th. (Emily Previti, Press of Atlantic City)

Hatfield gets Union GOP nod
P. Kelly Hatfield made her first foray outside local town politics in 2001 when she decided to throw her name into the ring for a vacant seat in the state Assembly.

She knew she would have to woo the 52-member county Republican committee to gain the party nod, but just as she was beginning to mount her campaign, she was passed over in favor of the chairman of the local GOP in her hometown of Summit. (Rudy Larini, Star-Ledger)

A two-front campaign
ATLANTIC CITY – Scott Evans‘ campaign headquarters is tough to miss on Atlantic Avenue, with its large storefront peppered with red campaign signs and photos of the mayor. But inside the building is a small, relatively bare room with a few desks and campaign workers. (Michael Clark, Press of Atlantic City)

Hypocrisy in Washington Twp.?
WASHINGTON TWP. The endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Matthew Lyons said it’s hypocritical of his opponent to advocate for stronger bans on pay-to-play when the Philadelphia law firm for which he works has made thousands of dollars in campaign donations in Pennsylvania.

Josh Aronovitch, who is opposing Lyons in the upcoming primary without the local party’s endorsement, has campaigned on the idea of a more open and transparent government. (Jessica Beym, Gloucester County Times)

Magazzu not going national
VINELAND — Freeholder Director Lou Magazzu announced Thursday he was dropping out of the race for second vice president of the National Association of Counties. (Matt Dunn, Bridgeton News)

No drive for five for Cunliffe
LAKEWOOD — After 12 years on the Township Committee, Charles Cunliffe will not run for a fifth term — a decision he said was made not so much by him as by leaders of the Democratic Party. (Zach Patberg, Asbury Park Press)

Stop payment
KEANSBURG — Gov. Corzine wants a temporary halt to any payments under the retiring Keansburg school superintendent’s controversial severance agreement. (Jim McConville, Asbury Park Press)

Undecided Rooney doesn’t expect challenge
Assemblyman John Rooney (R-Northvale) has still not made a decision on whether he will retire from the legislature after his current term is up.

But Rooney, who after 25 years in office has become longest serving current member of the Assembly, said that the speculation that he will face a primary challenge from Washington Township Council President Bob Schroeder, a wealthy defense contractor and former gubernatorial candidate, is wrong. (Matt Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)

He’ll pay
ELIZABETH, N.J. – Former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey said yesterday that he owes a quarter-million dollars to his boyfriend but wants to pay child support for the daughter he has with his estranged wife, as well as for his first child.

The nation’s first openly gay governor denied, however, that he is financially dependent on boyfriend Mark O’Donnell. (Jeff Gold, Associated Press)

Former councilman sentenced for drugs
A judge sentenced a former Tenafly councilman to four years in prison this morning for violating his probation after he was caught buying heroin outside a Newark housing project.

Between last fall and February, 45-year-old Jeffery Romano failed three drug tests, Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly noted during today’s sentencing in a Newark courtroom. (The Record)

Faiella tries to settle his debts
Former Newark Deputy Mayor Alfred Faiella has offered to settle his pending bankruptcy case by paying $650,000 to his last remaining creditor, whose case was scheduled to go to trial next week. (Ian T. Shearn, Star-Ledger)

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey’s top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning.

Wake-Up Call: Friday, May, 23, 2008