Wake-Up Call: Monday, September 15, 2008

Just a walk in the park

Sweat slowly soaking his blue polo shirt, former Republican Congressman Dick Zimmer worked the Septemberfest crowds yesterday in Hamilton Township's Veterans Park as he sought votes in his race for the U.S. Senate. "I'll get there and see that we don't give the money away to the other 49 states," Zimmer told Hamilton councilmen Dennis Pone and Dave Kenny, who already were supporters. (Robert Schwaneberg, The Star-Ledger)


Key Bergen Dems say Ferriero should stay

Three top Bergen County Democratic officials — Sheriff Leo McGuire, Surrogate Michael Dressler and Freeholder David Ganz — are standing with indicted party chairman Joseph Ferriero, saying there is no reason for him to resign as County Chairman. Gov. Jon Corzine, U.S. Rep. Steven Rothman (D-Fair Lawn), Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan, and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) have already said Ferriero should resign. (PolitickerNJ)


Lautenberg leads Zimmer by 11 points

Democrat Frank Lautenberg has an 11 point lead over Republican Dick Zimmer in his bid for a fifth term in the United States Senate and has passed the magic 50% mark, according to a new Marist College Institute for Public Opinion poll released tonight. Among likely voters and including leaners, Lautenberg is ahead 51%-40%. (PolitickerNJ)


Obama, McCain in dead heat in N.J.

Another poll shows the race for New Jersey's 15 electoral votes tightening: Barack Obama leads John McCain by three percentage points, 48%-45% among likely voters including leaners, according to a Marist College Institute for Public Opinion poll released tonight. (PolitickerNJ)


A trail of witnesses

Not surprisingly, few people want their names linked to a high-profile political-corruption trial. But starting tomorrow, when testimony is scheduled to begin in the trial of powerful former State Sen. Wayne R. Bryant, some of New Jersey's political elite might not have the choice. (Philadelphia Inquirer)


7th District race becomes key

Upstairs at a Kenilworth restaurant, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today greeted donors to the tune of $50,000. At a Colts Neck home next week, guests can pay $5,000 apiece for a photo with President Bush. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)


Deep in debt

Joe Ferriero's Bergen County Democratic Party is still in power – but swimming in red ink. Campaigns financed and micromanaged by the Bergen County Democratic Organization over the last four years are saddled with $925,000 in unpaid debts and loans, according to Election Law Enforcement Reports filed in July. (Charles Stile, The Bergen Record)


Challenger cites LoBiondo's record

Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo, seeking an eighth term in office, is widely popular in the sprawling 2nd Congressional District.

He's often seen at local events from muskrat dinners to county fairs and regularly announces federal grants for fire companies and other organizations in the seven-county region. (Trish G. Graber, Gloucester County Times)


Democrats say Bush fund-raising to visit to N.J. will backfire

Cash-strapped New Jersey Republican candidates in two of the tightest congressional races in the country are bringing in President Bush to headline a joint fund-raiser, delighting Democrats who say that tying themselves to a president with low approval ratings will work in their favor. (Cynthia Burton, Philadelphia Inquirer)


Bitter Senate battle in the past

Top state Democrats didn't wait long before getting behind U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews when it became official last week that he was back on the ballot for re-election. (Pete McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)


Mayor's appeal cites free speech

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy says Bradley Beach police officers violated his First Amendment rights to free speech when they arrested him in a June 2006 altercation outside his sister's bar. (Paul Koepp, Jersey Journal)


Gloucester County GOP targets a Bryant ally

The corruption trial of former state Sen. Wayne Bryant, a prominent South Jersey Democrat, is giving the Gloucester County Republican Party hope of capturing its first seat in county government in a decade. (Jan Hefler, Philadelphia Inquirer)


Trenton's 12-week hiatus is at an end

Since New Jersey lawmakers were last seen in Trenton, Olympians flocked to China, hurricanes slammed the South and the faithful from both political parties pumped up presidential candidates in Denver and St. Paul. The summer silence at the Statehouse ends tomorrow, when the Legislature returns from a 12-week break. Leaders hope to spend the rest of the year fine-tuning a new housing law, tightening ethical standards and passing long-delayed reforms of the government's power to seize property through eminent domain. (Robert Schwaneberg, The Star-Ledger)


Commissioner makes case for toll hikes

TRENTON — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority last week unveiled a toll increase proposal that would raise $11 billion to fund widening projects on the Turnpike and Parkway and help fund a new rail tunnel into Manhattan. (Associated Press)


Hoboken says it will add interpretations to council agendas

HOBOKEN – City officials say they'll try to make City Council meeting agendas easier to understand by including "interpretive statements" explaining unclear items and offering the public the full text of proposed legislation at the beginning of meetings. (Amy Sara Clark, The Jersey Journal)


Clintonites' disappointment fading

TRENTON — Once it became clear Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton would not be the Democratic presidential candidate, loads of her supporters were so indignant that they swore they would either sit at home on Election Day or vote for Republican John McCain. (Michael Rispoli, Gannett)


Voter registration deadline looms near

The last day to register to vote in the November presidential election is Oct. 14, and officials are urging new voters to register, absentee voters to apply for ballots, and overseas voters and members of the military to prepare to vote electronically if they wish. (Meir Rinde, Trenton Times)


Passaic County cites rewarded grants for recycling

New Jersey municipalities got their annual reminder last week that it pays to recycle.The Recycling Tonnage Grant program, administered by the state Department of Environmental Protection, awards annual grants based on the amount of different materials that municipalities record as recycled. (Sarah Schillaci, The Herald News)


Attorney Democrats' choice for freeholder

Morris County Democrats have selected an attorney from Mendham Township to run for freeholder, after the party's original candidate withdrew from the race and decided instead to seek a local office. (Kristen Alloway, The Star-Ledger)



  Wake-Up Call: Monday, September 15, 2008