Wake-Up Call: Monday, July 28, 2008

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can

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.

Cohen depicted as a loner and an enigma

When Neil Cohen was a boy, his father sometimes drove him through Newark. The goals, a friend recalled, were to make Cohen appreciate what they had and remind him there were others in need. (John P. Martin and Tom Hester, The Star-Ledger)


Cohen fallout calls for porn filters

A day after it was discovered a veteran assemblyman is being investigated for possession of child pornography, legislative leaders sought to install filters to block inappropriate material from being viewed on legislative computers. (John Reitmeyer, The Bergen Record)


So close, yet so far away

As he soaked up the sights and culture of Israel during a five-day trade mission halfway around the world last week, Gov. Jon Corzine often felt like New Jersey was just a Turnpike exit away. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)


Mueller takes top Obama spot in Jersey

HAMILTON – Politics and union organizing weld into one for Tricia Mueller, the new state director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. (PolitickerNJ)


Schaer ponders mayoral run

PASSAIC – To be in Trenton, or not to be in Trenton, that is the question for Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), who became the acting mayor of Passaic in May when a federal judge found Mayor Sammy Rivera guilty of corruption. (PolitickerNJ)


Schools chief falls under scrutiny

In nearly four decades since he arrived at Long Branch public schools, Superintendent Joseph Ferraina has become one of the most effective, outspoken and best-paid school administrators in New Jersey.

Now, State Education Commissioner Lucille Davy has raised questions about a series of business dealings between Ferraina and both district employees and a prominent school board member, citing possible ethics violations. (Dunstan McNichol, The Star-Ledger)


Camden police chief faces many challenges

Even aside from the usual challenges of poverty, drugs, and a homicide rate on a record-breaking pace, Camden's police chief has a remarkably tough job. (Troy Graham and Matt Katz, Philadelphia Inquirer)


Jersey group targets gay marriage in California

A Princeton-based group, the National Organization for Marriage, is targeting its message against gay marriage in California, one of two states that currently allow it, and a handful of other states that might consider it in the next few years. (Associated Press)


Ticket tactics were all too familiar

Frank Lautenberg's plan to convert coveted Bruce Springsteen tickets into campaign cash collapsed amid a political firestorm this week. But the Democratic State Committee staged a nearly identical Springsteen fund-raiser last October – and it went off without a hitch. (Charles Stile, The Bergen Record)


Former mayor gets probation

Former Atlantic City Mayor Robert Levy was sentenced to three years' probation yesterday for defrauding the government of about $25,000 in veterans' benefits by exaggerating his service record in Vietnam. (Karen Langley, Philadelphia Inquirer)


Corzine's approval rating is bouncing back

Gov. Jon Corzine's job approval ratings have inched up from an all-time low in April, according to the latest Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll released today. (The Star-Ledger)


Staking out the Second District

Democratic congressional candidate Dave Kurkowski spends his days in the shore town of Cape May, where horse-drawn carriages shepherd tourists from the quaint bed and breakfasts to the beach, and trolleys cart out-of-towners between the boutique shops that dot the city. (Trish G. Graber, Gloucester County Times)


Tax officials seize Jersey diner

Olga's Diner was dark yesterday. The famous bakery shelves, which once held some of the best cheesecake south of New York, were bare. The tables, though, were set with overturned coffee cups and silverware, ready for customers who may never again come through the front door. (Cynthia Burton and Sam Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer)


N.J. board member lacks experience

TRENTON — The resume of Charles Jones — the State Parole Board member who says former Newark Mayor Sharpe James is innocent of federal corruption charges for which he is to be sentenced Tuesday — reflects none of the experience state law requires to be on the parole board. (Gregory J. Volpe, Gannett)


Much ado about inflated credentials

The president of the state's predominant teachers union has been caught in an embarrassing flap, conceding her posted biography was padded for years with a couple of honors and credentials that are not hers. (John Mooney, The Star-Ledger)


Tourism takes a hit

ATLANTIC CITY — Merchants are trying to put their best spin on the numbers. But there are already some statistics suggesting a decline in summer visitors to the New Jersey shore. (Associated Press)


Gun control bill finds support in the Senate

TRENTON — New Jersey's Assembly has twice-approved legislation limiting people to buying one handgun per month, but the Senate has never followed suit. (Associated Press)


Corzine criticized for pushing stem cell research

TRENTON – Gov. Jon Corzine is facing criticism for pushing New Jersey as a state where stem cell study can flourish, less than a year after voters rejected a state plan to borrow millions to encourage the controversial research. (Associated Press)


Hillary makes a Jersey visit

Hillary Clinton will be in East Rutherford on Monday to thank her top New Jersey "Hillraisers." (Charles Stile, The Bergen Record)


Gar picks up the pace

In the race for New Jersey's 5th District seat in the House of Representatives, incumbent Scott Gar rett maintains a fundraising lead and remains a favorite to beat Democratic challenger Dennis Shulman.


Tax rate hike whittled down

Homeowners here will see an increase in their municipal tax bills with the budget adopted by the township committee.

Mayor Joe Chila said the budget as introduced called for a 9-cent increase on the tax rate, but was finally whittled down to a 7.5-cent increase. (Lucas K. Murra, Gloucester County Times)


Order in the court

When he became a Superior Court judge in Newark, Glenn Grant examined all 200 tedious pages of the court manual, reviewed all the important decisions and even read memos on the vagaries of family court written by presiding Judge Thomas Zampino. Zampino was flattered — and dumbfounded. (Kate Coscarelli, The Star-Ledger)


Myers defends war experience

Chris Myers, the Republican candidate for the House of Representatives in the 3rd District, is fiercely defending his military service record against a blogger who questions whether he has the right to call himself a combat veteran. (Rob Spahr, Press of Atlantic City)


Doctors receive 3 years' probation

TRENTON — By all accounts, three prominent doctors who were sentenced to three years' probation yesterday for income tax evasion were kind, compassionate and charitable. (Linda Stein, The Trenton Times)


Local hopefuls like their chances

John Bartlett is Ivy League-educated, has a background in political fundraising and a platform focused on local issues in his bid to win a Wayne Council seat. (Paul Brubaker, The Bergen Record)


Whistleblower lawsuit alleges prosecutor was tyrannical

The prosecutor's office in New Jersey's safest county, after being sued by a former employee who was critical of her boss' management style, has shown a turnaround in a key performance indicator that once reflected the state's largest pretrial backlog earlier this year. (Ralph R. Ortega, The Star-Ledger)


Franklin replacement found for GOP

A longtime school board and zoning board member has been tapped to run as a Republican candidate for township committee. (Stephanie Brown, Gloucester County Times)


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, July 28, 2008