The fledgling replacement for NJN took a big and much needed step toward credibility this week when it announced the hiring of the “Dean of the Statehouse Press Corp,” Michael Aron, who joined the Foundation for New Jersey Public Broadcasting (FNJBP) as vice president of News and Public Affairs and chief political correspondent.
New Jersey’s chief proponent of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples presided over a successful rally in Hoboken and applauded as state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) vowed another legislative run at marriage equality in New Jersey.
Few insiders expect the LD11 senate race to get competitive, citing state Sen. Jennifer Beck’s (R-11) popularity in the district, but Beck’s challenger, an attorney from Freehold, received a boost this week when state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) publicly mentioned the 11th as potentially competitive this year. It may be no more than a head fake designed to get the GOP to focus on 11 so Democrats can play harder in the 2nd. Certainly Monmouth Republicans aren’t convinced 11 will be anything close to competitive.
Philadelphia Magazine, which every year releases a Best of Philly issue, tapped the NJ legislature’s Senate President as the “Politician Who’s Ahead of the Curve’’ for Best of Philly 2011.
Republican challenger Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R-2), Egg Harbor Twp., attacked Whelan this week for collecting $6,000 as secretary to the mayor of Ventnor a decade ago, throwing the incumbent Democrat into self defense mode. Sources close to Ventnor government said Whelan did act as an advisor to the then-mayor, but Whelan’s capacity as a friend of big development looking to quash 30 acres of low income housing with eminent domain while staying in the pension system was hardly a storyline the senator wants dredged up in mid-summer.
Citing family matters, the LD 8 assemblyman who replaced state Sen. Dawn Addiego in the Assembly announced he would resign from the Assembly and scrap his plans to run for a full term.
A standoff at the highest levels of government between President Barack Obama and the Republican Congress has incumbents everywhere on edge in New Jersey. What they thought were can’t miss re-election bids a month ago may now be curtains as the potential for an all-out federal meltdown on the debt threatens to intensify a throw-the-bums-out response by the voting public.
District 1 Democrats
As he heads toward the November election, state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) must confront the thrashing antagonisms of a former local party chairman from Ocean City intent on making the case that Van Drew is too cozy with Republicans. Van Drew told PolitickerNJ the chairman was a single issue non-factor but the fact that the senator must cope with intra-party havoc at this time can’t be anything other than a headache.