Wake-Up Call: Monday, June 9, 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.

How McCain helps Lautenberg
TRENTON – U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg insists his decisive victory in Tuesday's Democratic primary over a challenger 34 years younger laid to rest any questions about his age.

But come the general election, it may be the age of Republican presidential candidate John McCain that helps Lautenberg – the third-oldest member of the Senate – get past the issue. (Angela Delli Santi, Associated Press)

Bringing home the bacon
Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo is the only South Jersey congressman to sign proposed legislation that would ban earmarks until the system of doling them out becomes more transparent.

But such reform-mindedness didn't stop him last year from bringing home the pork. (Lisa Grzyboski, Courier-Post)

No favors
TRENTON — U.S. Rep. William J. Pascrell Jr. regularly visits the Passaic County offices of BAE Systems, an international global defense company. (Gregory J. Volpe, Gannett)

Pushing deadline
TRENTON — New Jersey legislators trying to keep hopes for a mid-June budget agreement alive also plan action in the coming weeks on several other key issues, including measures meant to address housing costs, school construction and economic worries. (Tom Hester Jr., Associated Press)

No fights here
Monmouth County's major political parties will have uncontested leadership votes at their organization meetings on Tuesday — only the second time in the last 10 years there has not been either a Republican or Democratic power struggle at a convention. (Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press)

Another battle over raises
WEST WINDSOR — In the ongoing tug of war between township council and the mayor over a wage increase ordinance, council tonight is expected to introduce a resolution that will give council members $497 more yearly than the wage increases the mayor vetoed late last month. (Joyce J. Persico, Trenton Times)

Westville mayor fights effects of chemo
WESTVILLE Mayor Michael Galbraith has been noticeably absent from borough council meetings since November, since he is dealing with the after-effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. (Siobhan A. Counihan, Gloucester County Times)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

South Jersey’s last, best hope?
When U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews went against the Democratic Party and challenged incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, many thought he had the best chance of changing history.

The people of South Jersey have not seen one of their own hold a statewide post since James Florio's term of governor ended in January 1994. (Pete McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)

A lot of fighting over some boring stuff
TRENTON — Much time and focus has been spent in the past year on something New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine describes as "extraordinarily boring." ((Hester Jr., Associated Press)

They both support the troops
Education benefits for veterans may currently be a hot-button issue in Washington, D.C., but the issue is not likely to produce much debate in the Third Congressional District campaign.

Both Democratic candidate John Adler and Republican Chris Myers support the so-called “new GI Bill” that would pay in-state college tuition of post-Sept. 11 war veterans. (David Levinsky, Burlington County Times)

O’Toole’s angry
State Sen. Kevin O'Toole didn't take kindly to a "friendly primer" of suggestions from Senate Democrats.

In fact, the Cedar Grove Republican angrily responded with this piece of advice: Be more judicious in your choice of words. (Charles Stile, The Record)

What to listen to when cruising
When you're cruising to an easy victory, your campaign staff can afford to worry about the little things. At least that's how it seemed Tuesday night for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), whose primary night party was punctu ated by a very carefully chosen soundtrack. (The Auditor, Star-Ledger)

Pigs at the trough
What's the difference between political pork and meeting a pressing need?

It goes something like this: pork goes to the other guy; if it comes to you, it's meeting a pressing need.

That old truism pops to mind in light of a recent project by the Daily Record and the Associated Press about congressional earmarks. Ever since the infamous "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska, earmarks have become news. (Fred Snowflack, The Daily Record)

We’re No. 18!
When his bid for government funding to work on a hydrogen fuel cell engine was rejected by federal energy officials, Michael Lefenfeld found another route to grant money: his congressman. (Jason Method, Gannett)

All signs point to no more signs
MEDFORD — The head of the township's Democratic Party is urging the Township Council to enact a ban on campaign signs placed on township roadsides. (Ed Moorhouse, Burlington County Times)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Now he tells us
U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews said this week he is worried that unifying the party behind Barack Obama may be difficult because the Clinton camp "has engaged in some very divisive tactics and rhetoric it should not have." (Josh Margolin, Gloucester County Times)

Fighting through the clouds
He faces weak opposition and commands the loyalty of most of the 1,100 Democratic insiders who will decide his future Tuesday night. Still, Joseph Ferriero, who is seeking a sixth term as chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization, appears to be campaigning hard for reelection. (Oshrat Carmiel, The Record)

Roberts’ public beating
The birds are singing in Hoboken. Joggers are making their way along the waterfront. The city's International Film Festival held its gala closing Thursday evening on Pier A. People are dining at sidewalk cafes.

No one noticed the big fire at City Hall or the public stoning of Mayor David Roberts. (Political Insider, Jersey Journal)

A complicated history
MARLBORO — A fixture in headlines about the corruption that has plagued the township, Edward Kay may also be just as well known for the large billboard he once posted in his front yard criticizing past township officials and offering words of encouragement to troops. (Alesha Williams Boyd, Asbury Park Press)

Sept. 8 the date for Bryant trial
Former state Sen. Wayne R. Bryant is scheduled to stand trial on fraud and conspiracy charges in federal court in Trenton on Sept. 8, a U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman confirmed Friday. (Adam Smeltz, Courier-Post)

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: Monday, June 9, 2008