Wake-Up Call: Friday, August 22, 2008

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Story of the Day, and its huge

FBI agents seized at least 18 boxes of documents and computer hard drives this morning from the law offices of Bergen County Democratic leader Joseph A. Ferriero and party counsel Dennis Oury. Attorneys for both men confirmed agents had searched the offices for information about a consulting firm in which Ferriero and Oury were partners with two other men. “A search warrant was executed involving the company, Governmental Grants Consulting, and there was complete cooperation with the providing of the documents,” said Joseph Hayden, Ferriero’s attorney.


Doblin column entertains us all, again

Forget about buying the "Sex and the City" complete series edition. Hold out for "Christie and New Jersey," the boxed set. Carrie Bradshaw and company produced six seasons of entertainment. U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie is now is in his seventh season, and the story lines remain compelling. This week began with the sorry, short video of ex-Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera accepting a $5,000 bribe in a car. You can find it on the Internet. Christie could develop his own version of YouTube and call it YouCaught. Granted, "Sex and the City" had better lighting, costumes and, no offense to Rivera or the law enforcement officials on tape, better-looking principals. But it was fiction. Mr. Big of "Sex and the City" wasn't real. Big Boy, President Bush's nickname for Christie, is very real. And he keeps on hauling in former and current public officials on the take. (Doblin, The Record)


Chris Smith, Hero

Two little girls from Monmouth County were reunited with their father today and could be returning home within a few days after being trapped by violence in the Republic of Georgia for two weeks. Ashley and Sophia Evans arrived at the U.S. Embassy in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi after a six-hour ride in a vehicle with French Ambassador Eric Fournier. There, they met their father, who had flown to Tbilisi, and also got McDonald's Happy Meals and cake. Fournier said in a telephone interview that 7-year-old Ashley and 3-year-old Sophia got through a checkpoint in the town of Gori after getting permission to keep traveling from a Russian general. (Associated Press)


These guys should do one of those N.J. Tourims ads

When the Republican Party presents its best face to voters at its national convention in two weeks, most of New Jersey's Republican congressional candidates will be far away from the show. Only three of the state's 12 Republican House candidates plan to attend the convention beginning Sept. 1 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, calls to the campaigns revealed. (No Republican is running in the 10th District.) Republican Senate candidate Dick Zimmer also will attend. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, and Chris Myers, Republican candidate in the 3rd Congressional District, will remain in New Jersey during convention week. By contrast, seven Democratic House candidates, New Jersey's two U.S. senators and an incumbent congressman not running for re-election plan to attend the Democratic convention starting Aug. 25 in Denver. (Froonjian, Press of Atlantic City)


‘Why should we waste any time?’

After two setbacks, a group seeking to hold a special election to recall two-term Mayor Robert Patten began collecting signatures yesterday. "Why should we waste any time?" asked J.P. Gibbons, the leader of the four-member Committee to Recall Robert F. Patten. (Cusido, Trenton Times)


George Spodak doesn’t like a hot kitchen

Last year, Manalapan officials tried – and failed – to get a subpoena to find out the identity of "daTruthSquad," a blogger critical of the local government. Now the Monmouth County township's former mayor is suing to learn the name of the mystery blogger and dozens of other people who have commented about him online. George Spodak, Manalapan's three-time mayor, filed a libel lawsuit in Superior Court in Freehold alleging critics have been hiding behind screen names to call him a liar, a crook, a bum, a pedophile, an alcoholic, a wife beater and worse. The commenters used the names daTruthSquad, Fontina, Bribed Spodak, MyrGreenMeat and others in forums on NJ.com, The Star-Ledger's website, according to the lawsuit. (Heyboer, Star-Ledger)


It’s August 22 and this guy still doesn’t know who he’s running against

Walking the streets of Camden on Thursday, Republican candidate for Congress Dale Glading saw firsthand some of the hardships in his district's poorest community. There were illegal landfills, burned-out and boarded-up homes, and abandoned lots overgrown with weeds. As for the homes where people do live, many had bars on the windows and front porches. (McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)


Corzine pushes Obama

Barack Obama's "task number one" as he prepares to accept the Democratic nomination for president is convincing middle-class Americans that he will fix the economy, Gov. Jon Corzine said today. Corzine is part of a group of "core economic advisors" to the Illinois senator that also includes Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) and three past Treasury secretaries. (Heininger, Star-Ledger)


Hughes doesn’t want to be Governor

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said he fully supports Gov. Jon Corzine’s re-election and would not run for governor if Corzine went to an Obama administration or abruptly pulled out of his re-election bid. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com)


United States Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) will have to take a loss on the $1.65 million he loaned himself for his primary against U.S. Rep. Ron Andrews (D-Haddon Heights), according to an advisory opinion from the Federal Election Commission (FEC). (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)


The leader of the GOP conservative wing would hold his nose and vote for Lieberman

Conservative activist and potential gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan said that he’ll support John McCain for president, even if he picks a pro-choice running mate. But he hopes it doesn’t come down to that. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)


Marriage Equality leader says no to Nunn

The leader of the state’s largest gay rights organization and a Clinton delegate to next week’s Democratic National Convention says that the nomination of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) for Vice President would stop him from voting for Barack Obama. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)


Most Popular 2009

For years, conservative activist Steve Lonegan has been seen by the state's moderate, mainstream Republicans more as a thorn in the side than a boon to their party. But after leaving office as the mayor of Bogota, the ever-controversial Lonegan has – at least on the surface – made nice with some of the party's more high profile members as he's dramatically increased his statewide profile. Take the convention run shortly before the U.S. Senate primaries at the Trenton Marriot, where Americans for Prosperity – the anti-tax group whose New Jersey chapter Lonegan heads up – brought out a couple national Republican luminaries and a few New Jersey Republicans who typically aren't seen with Lonegan. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)


In Mike Doherty’s hometown, the ‘bunker is fully stocked and ready to go’

Oxford Township hasn't relied on state police in years, so it shouldn't have to pay the Garden State more than $68,000 for the service. The municipality has its own police force, after all. It's a straightforward argument, but local officials aren't sure the folks in Trenton will buy it. "We need to have the war chest and bunker fully stocked and ready to go," township Committeeman Bill Bray told a crowded room of concerned residents during a meeting Wednesday. (Express-Times)


Lawsuit on appointments

A Middlesex County-based advocacy group filed a lawsuit against Gov. Jon Corzine today for failing to appoint disabled people to the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, effectively "silencing their voices" on the creation of public policies that effect them. (Livio, Star-Ledger)


Dissolving the SCUA

The freeholders adopted an ordinance dissolving the Salem County Utilities Authority after a silent public hearing Wednesday, putting its day-to-day operations under the oversight of an expanded county Improvement Authority. (Clark, Today’s Sunbeam)


Obama’s outreach

A couple dozen people filtered into Wash's Inn Thursday night as it hosted a "Latinos for Obama" party. This was the second of three parties Wash's is having in support of presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama; the first drew more than 100 people, said Jean Griffin, one of the restaurant's owners. The purpose of Thursday night's party was to reach out to southern New Jersey's Hispanic population, educate them about Obama's platform and register them to vote, said organizer Marcus Wilson of Pleasantville. (Rose, Press of Atlantic City)


Wake-Up Call: Friday, August 22, 2008