Wake-Up Call: Thursday, August 21, 2008

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If Rob Andrews can make a couple hundred million, he can run again in 2014 (or buy a share of Xanadu)

Roll Call is reporting today that U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) told the House Ethics Committee that he is in talks with Goldman Sachs about taking a job with the Wall Street investment firm. According to Roll Call, "Andrews filed his paperwork with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, as the ethics committee is formally known, late last week. Pursuant to House rules, Andrews is now required to recuse himself from any official business involving Goldman Sachs that might cause or appear to cause a conflict of interest." (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com)


Only in New Jersey

Chauncey I. Brown III, the former Paterson Board of Education president and a long-shot candidate for Assembly last year, was arrested today for allegedly soliciting bribes, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office. Brown, a former Paterson fire captain, was arrested this morning at the ambulance company where he worked as an EMT. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)


Plea talks?

An attorney representing one of five defendants charged with conspiring to blackmail Councilman Eugene Robinson says the prosecutor may bring the case to trial after all. Harry Leszchyn, an attorney for former city Public Works Director David Callaway, said plea negotiations have broken down following conversations with the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office and other attorneys involved. (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)


Hold someone accountable?

New Jersey's state debt swelled by almost $2.2 billion last year even as Gov. Jon Corzine campaigned to rein in borrowing, state officials have confirmed. The additional borrowing pushes the state's debt load to $32.9 billion. Including $3.6 billion in bonds being repaid with payments from a national settlement against cigarette manufacturers — which the state Treasury does not count in its debt calculations — the state's total debt load is $36.5 billion, nearly triple the level of a decade ago. (McNichol, Star-Ledger)


Goldstein to Doherty: Come to my wedding, I’ll rent you a tux

On the heels of a poll commissioned by a LGBT rights organization that said the majority of New Jersey voters favor allowing gay marriage, Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Township) pushed for his own legislation that would call for an amendment to the state constitution that would allow New Jerseyans to vote on the issue. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)


Note that Margolin is now covering Rutgers, which means something big is going on

Contractors rushing to complete the first phase of the Rutgers Stadium expansion project before the Scarlet Knights' season opener on Sept. 1 have gone to a no-huddle offense. Crews are working seven days a week — with 10-hour shifts on weekdays and eight-hours on weekends — in an effort to complete a new mezzanine section that will add 1,000 premium club seats and boxes. (Margolin & Sherman, Star-Ledger)


Uh oh, Coniglio!

A federal judge in Newark has postponed the trial of Joseph Coniglio, the former Democratic state senator from Paramus indicted on corruption charges. In an order signed Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh agreed to push back Coniglio’s Oct. 6 trial until March 23, 2009. Coniglio’s attorney, Gerald Krovatin, requested the continuance because he is on trial in another matter. (Sampson, The Record)


I am just a poor boy and my story’s seldom told. I’ve squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises

Auditors from the state Comptroller's Office will set up shop inside City Hall for at least the next few months during an investigation of various areas of city finances. Business Administrator Carol Fredericks said she met with officials Wednes-day to discuss a full-blown audit of fiscal affairs of at least the past two years. Fredericks said areas auditors will review include the city's policies and procedures, city staff and their duties, and ways to ensure records are kept accurately. (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)


Does size matter?

Voters need to decide if they'd like to add two seats to the municipal dais. The township committee voted Wednesday to place a referendum question on the ballot Nov. 4, asking voters whether the governing body should be expanded from three to five members. Other Warren County townships with three-member committees are Hardwick, Hope, White and Harmony. (Wichert, Express-Times)


Would Chris Smith be OK with Joe Lieberman for VP?

New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith met today with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili as the congressman sought to bring home two young girls stuck there — even as the girls' family worried over Russian troops only miles away. Reached on the phone in Georgia, Smith said he was meeting with anyone he could — Georgian officials, U.S. officials, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and contacts in the Russian State Duma he knows through his work on refugee issues. (Associated Press)


Corzine likes Biden

With speculation swirling around Barack Obama's choice of a running mate, Gov. Jon Corzine said today he is rooting for Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden to round out the Democratic presidential ticket. Biden's knowledge of issues facing East Coast states like New Jersey would be an asset, said Corzine, who has also cited the veteran senator's foreign policy experience as a qualification for the vice presidency. (Heininger, Star-Ledger)


N.J. conservatives on Lieberman, Ridge

Two pro-choice names floated as potential vice-president picks for presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain have caused a lot of grumbling among conservatives nationwide, but some of the most ardently pro-life members of the delegation representing New Jersey at next month's Republican National Convention were circumspect on the prospects. While McCain has pledged to run a "pro-life administration" if elected, his campaign has floated trial balloons about U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Thomas Ridge as possible Veep picks, both of whom are pro-choice. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)


As goes Codey, so goes Corzine

The Corzine administration and legislative leaders said they plan to crack down on school administrators and teachers who gain advanced degrees through apparent "diploma mills," winning them taxpayer-funded raises and other payments. State Education Commissioner Lucille Davy said today she plans to propose regulations that would require educators only receive credit for advanced degrees from properly accredited institutions. (Mooney, Star-Ledger)


Fonseca gets the job

The Obama Campaign today confirmed that Pablo Fonseca will serve as the campaign's political director in New Jersey. A political veteran from Newark's North Ward, Fonseca serves as chief of staff for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, co-chair of the Obama presidential campaign in New Jersey. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com)


Charlie says it’s a sly move

Here’s a useful suggestion for Bergen County contractors who may be pestered by pangs of guilt after throwing Republican freeholder candidate Paul Duggan’s fund-raising letter in the garbage: relax. That’s exactly what Duggan expected you to do. (Stile, The Record)



Union County Democrats have selected an attorney in Gov. Jon Corzine's administration to replace veteran Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who resigned three weeks ago after officials confirmed he was under investigation for possessing child pornography. Annette Quijano of Elizabeth is also the first Latina to serve as a legislator in the 20th District, where many people of color live, said Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union). (Livio, Star-Ledger)


National Dems spending big in N.J.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reporting expenditures in two hotly contested U.S. House races in the Garden State today. In the 7th Congressional District, where Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) and state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) are competing for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-Ridgewood), the DCCC is spending about $14,000 on mail services and phone banking. In the 3rd Congressional District, where state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) is taking on Republican Medford Mayor Chris Myers for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-Mt. Holly), the committee is investing almost $2,000 in phone banking. (Isenstadt, PolitickerNJ.com)


This is what the Trenton Times covers

Mercer County Democrats will hold a fundraiser Sept. 24 for Sheriff Kevin Larkin, freeholders Lucy Walter and Dan Benson, and freeholder candidate John Cimino. The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at Amarone's Windsor Inn, 29 Church St., in Robbinsville's Windsor neighborhood. It will be hosted by Joanne and Russell Palmucci with entertainment by Donnie Love. (Trenton Times)


Looking at the Fulop plan

The Jersey City City Council has scheduled a special meeting on Sept. 8 to consider a controversial "pay to play" ordinance Councilman Steve Fulop has qualified for the November ballot. (Torres, Jersey Journal)


Referendum time

City Council on Tuesday night approved a $10.5 million bond ordinance to build a new convention hall, but before any shovels go into the ground, the voters will have the final say. (Degener, Press of Atlantic City)


Christie’s issue #3

When Christopher Christie was sworn in as New Jersey's U.S. attorney, he named three things he wanted to focus on. While everyone knew about the top two – terrorism and corruption – it was the third that raised some questions. "People came up to me afterward and said, 'Human trafficking, what are you talking about?'" Christie said. On Wednesday, he and state Attorney General Anne Milgram met with civic leaders, social service workers and law enforcement to discuss the issue – known as modern-day slavery – and focus on what can be done. (Cohen, Press of Atlantic City)


It’s OK if you’ve never heard of this group

A state environmental advocacy group today announced its endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for president and gave New Jersey's two U.S. senators and eight of its 13 congressmen perfect scores for their environmental records. Environment New Jersey based its report card on 10 votes between January 2007 and February 2008 that involved combating global warming, promoting clean energy, protecting air and water, and opposing offshore drilling, Executive Director Dena Mottola Jaborska said at a Statehouse news conference. (Livio, Star-Ledger)


No more Craigslist

Four high-profile job openings with Newark were removed from Craigslist after state officials raised questioned about the advertisement. (Star-Ledger)


Fuel efficient cards

Edison Mayor Jun Choi now drives a hybrid Ford Escape — one of the 26 fuel-efficient vehicles the township bought for its fleet, which touts more hybrids than any other Middlesex County town. (Walsh, Star-Ledger)



Roselle Park and Hillside council minority members are calling for measures to pursue greater transparency in municipal government. (Star-Ledger)


Banning bags

Banning the plastic bag in the borough could be decided in two weeks. An ordinance that would ban, by Jan. 1, all plastic bags that cannot be recycled or composted was introduced unanimously by the Borough Council on Aug. 11 but not without some concerns raised by Councilwoman Mary Grace Cangemi. (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)


Former mayor dies
Former mayor and current planning board chair Thomas Farrelly died Tuesday at the Center for Hos pice of New Jersey in Wayne after battling cancer. He was 72. (Star-Ledger)


New tolls

It has been bandied about for weeks and decried by commuters, but a measure to increase the cost of crossing the Delaware took another step closer to becoming a reality Wednesday.

The 16-member board of commissioners for the Delaware River Port Authority has approved a measure to change the toll and fare structure for its four bridges and PATCO Hi-Speed Line. (Murray, Gloucester County Times)


Chief retires

Police Chief Michael J. Sylvester has agreed to retire Dec. 31 as a part of the settlement of a lawsuit he filed against the borough. In the suit filed in January, Sylvester sought to correct what he contended is an incorrect portrayal of his performance in a 2007 report developed by Murphy Associates, Parsippany, which the town hired to evaluate the police department. (Vega, Asbury Park Press)


Breaking news: people don’t like to pay more taxes

Township residents voiced concerns Wednesday night over the proposed 2008 municipal budget and the 17.8-cent tax rate increase that would go along with it. (Mast, Courier-Post)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080821/NEWS01/808210376 Wake-Up Call: Thursday, August 21, 2008