And so, another year has come and gone in New Jersey

Hard to believe we have arrived at the last year of the first decade of the 21st century. Boy, seems like it was just yesterday that Bush was handed the presidency by the Supreme Court.

And what a year it was! For the folks in the New Jersey news in 2008, we have some parting gifts:

For Dick Zimmer, who could not seem to get any news outlet to cover his Senate race, we leave him a YouTube account, so maybe he can record his own news, and play it for the world to see on his own network [maybe called ‘ZimTV’ ?], along with his very own cardboard cutout of Frank Lautenberg to debate.

For David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno we leave a NJ Turnpike EZ Pass and a subscription to New Jersey Monthly magazine, so they can truly learn what a great state this is and stop making endless New Jersey jokes.

For Leo Donofrio, the attorney from East Brunswick who claimed that Barack Obama does not meet the constitutional requirement to be the president, we leave a tin-foil hat and a subscription to Conspiracy Theory Monthly magazine.

For State Senators John Adler and Leonard Lance, leaving the Trenton Beltway for the Washington Beltway, we leave you the new game Congressman in A BoxTM, that comes with all you need to be successful in Washington: a list of potential campaign donors; a coin to flip for those tough budget votes; a yearly travel pass on Amtrak between DC-New Jersey, a complete list of all the lobbyists on K Street, and set of steel plated back- armor to wear to protect your backs from being stabbed by your fellow Congressman.

For Hunterdon County Sheriff Deb Trout [who is facing a recall effort and just had her office raided by investigators from the County Prosecutor’s Office], we leave a $50 gift certificate for a resume re-write service. Good luck with that job hunt!

For Joe Ferriero, future ex-Chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Committee, we leave a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and an autographed picture of Loretta Weinberg.

For Congressman Steve Rothman, we leave a new Magic 8 Ball for the 2009 campaign season, the old one having been well used predicting that Barack Obama, and not Hillary Clinton, would be the next the next president of the United States.

To Congressman Rob Andrews, we leave a Facebook and MySpace account so he can find new friends – since his run against Frank Lautenberg and the subsequent breaking of his promise not to run again for Congress will leave him with few friends in the New Jersey congressional delegation.

To Steve Lonegan of Americans for Prosperity, we leave….unfortunately not at all, because he’s gonna be back big time in 2009, running for governor again, to annoy us even more than in 2008.

For all the last remaining Hillary supporters in New Jersey who still have not gotten over her loss to Obama, we leave you T-Shirts that read, “I Voted For Hillary, and All I Got was this Lousy T-Shirt” on the front, and “Hillary 2016” on the back.

For all the towns with populations under 5000, we leave you a complete set of the names of all the towns in New Jersey, so you can figure which are the best towns to merge with. Hint: Maybe “Wayne” should avoid merging with “Newton”. “Wayne-Newton, NJ”?

For the all the parting investigative news reporters from the Star-Ledger, we leave you a blogspot.com account, so you can all continue writing, and a Star-Ledger subscription, so that you can judge how bad the paper will become now that you’re all gone.

On a serious note, for Governor Jon Corzine, we leave our thanks for his courage in abolishing the death penalty in New Jersey, and for agreeing to sign a marriage equality bill, once it reaches his desk.

And for all the New Jersey men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, we leave you our wishes that you are home very soon. And to all those dads, moms, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters who gave the ultimate sacrifice – there is nothing more that we can give you but our thanks to you and your families.

Happy New Year.

Joey Novick is an attorney, professional stand-up comedian, professional keynote speaker, and a former 12 year Councilman in Flemington, NJ. From 1996-2000, he served as the County Chair of the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee. As a stand-up comedian and improv actor, Joey has appeared on MTV, Comedy Central, Rascal’s Comedy Hour and One Life to Live, and most recently, with “Laughing Liberally”. He has opened in concert and at comedy club dates for such comedy notables as Jerry Seinfeld, Robert Klein, Lewis Black, Rosie O’Donnell and Ray Romano. He is currently developing a one-man show about life, laughter and local government in the Garden State, tentatively entitled, “Trentoon”.

His blog, NJPoliticsUnusual.com, has been informing NJ’s political insiders for almost “two-thirds of a fiftieth of a century,” and has recognized by Campaigns & Elections and SNJ Business People. The New York Times, AP Newswire, Washington Post, Newark Star-Ledger, ABC News and National Public Radio have all been kind enough to mention his work in comedy and politics every now and then. Joey appears monthly on News-12’s “Power & Politics”, sharing his keen insights on NJ’s elected officials, and has chaired a panel on political humor for the New Jersey State League of Municipalities every year since 1995. He has taken his political humor on the road across the nation, appearing at state municipal league conferences in New York, Maine, Connecticut, Nevada, West Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Kentucky and Rhode Island; as well as at the National League of Cities Conference. His mother, Pearl, lives in Florida, plays canasta almost every day, and is very glad Joey visits her on a regular basis.

And so, another year has come and gone in New Jersey