Winners and Losers: NJ is Awesome (con’t)


Michael Aron

In a column widely praised for its level of detail and analysis, NJTV’s dean of the New Jersey Press Corps deflated the Peter Shapiro storyline as it pertains to Barbara Buono.

Ann Grossi

The Morris County Freeholder has a coalition of GOP establishment support behind her as she attempts to succeed Joan Bramhall as county clerk.

Brian Stack

The mayor of Union City built seven schools in ten years, capitalizing on great relationships with governors from both parties, including Jim McGreevey and Chris Christie, in the ultimate demonstration of political expertise for a worthy end.

Jason Butkowski

After ten and a half years, today was his last day in the Senate Democratic Office. On Monday, Butkowski will begin a new job at Rutgers University, handling communications for the University Human Resources Department. “It has been a privilege and an honor to work with all of you over the course of my career with the Senate Democratic Majority,” Butkowski said in email to friends and colleagues. “Thanks again for all the memories, and all that you do on behalf of the people of the State of New Jersey.”

Joe Oxley

Gov. Chris Christie’s nominee for a Superior Court judgeship survived Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing unscathed, as committee members opted not to ask the former Monmouth County Sheriff and chairman of the Monmouth County GOP a single question about his connection to disgraced developer Solomon Dwek.

Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt

Considering a run for the state Senate seat currently occupied by state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1), the Upper Township Republican businesswoman impressed Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-21) and Cape May County GOP Chairman Michael Donohue on last week’s chamber trip and is well positioned to get the support of her party.

David Turner

Battle-tested in Ohio during the presidential election, the California native and former defensive end for Williams College started last week as communications director for state Sen. Barbara Buono’s (D-18) gubernatorial campaign.

Maurice “Mickey” Carroll

Present in the Dallas PD basement in 1963 for Jack Ruby’s point-blank killing of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, the Quinnipiac University pollster and former Herald Tribune reporter plans to release his eyewitness to history later this year on the 50th anniversary of the event.

Henry de Konick

The Bronstein and Weaver political consultant and campaign operative won a national Campaigns and Elections Reed Award Friday in the case study category for his work on the 2012 Montclair municipal elections.

Jarrett Renshaw  

The Star-Ledger reporter wrote the stories detailing New Jersey’s no-bid $100 million contract with AshBritt, a Florida debris-removal firm.


Chris Christie

The governor raised $500,000 in one night and demonstrated ease going to a prime Democratic Party ally in state Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-33) in a gubernatorial election year. Stack almost endorsed Christie four years ago, then backed incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine in what many considered a surprise move by the 10,000-vote generator. Having already crossed the Rubicon with the Republican governor by calling him the greatest ever, Stack on Thursday urged New Jerseyans to rally around the GOP incumbent. But Christie, who’s used to controlling the narrative, could not escape the entanglement of The Star-Ledger’s AshBritt  headlines, which needled Christie on his supposed strongpoint: Hurricane Sandy reconstruction. Republicans bashed the story, and pointed out that Connecticut – which has a Democratic governor – bid for AshBritt’s services. But the appearance of Christie’s political fundraising allies Ed Rogers and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour – who work for the D.C. lobbying firm employed by AshBritt – making money from Sandy isn’t the narrative Christie wants.

Bob Menendez

Squirming for two weeks under Salomon Melgen headlines, the U.S. senator now faces the prospect of a Senate Ethics Committee examination into his connection to the doctor/donor who allegedly provided Menendez a trip to the Dominican Republic to frolic with prostitutes. Menendez only later paid his airfare after ensuing scrutiny, but now he faces new reports that he pressed the U.S. government to help Melgen’s company. He simply can’t get out from under the story.

Kathe Donovan

The Bergen County freeholders – four Democrats and two Republicans – overturned the Bergen County Executive’s veto on a 6-1 vote — undoing Donovan’s attempt to stop Bergen County Utilities Authority commissioners from collecting $5,000-a-year stipends and medical benefits, according to the Bergen Record.

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff

Threatening a subpoena, Budget Chairman Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-32) this week slapped Christie’s treasurer for failing to appear before his committee to answer questions about the AshBritt contract.

Niki Trunk

The leading contender to challenge Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Trunk resigned suddenly from the Comptroller’s Office amid Democrats’ demand for an investigation. A spokesman for Comptroller Matt Boxer said Boxer was uncomfortable with any employee exploring a candidacy while working for his office.

Maritza Falu

Investigators with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office this week arrested the former Newark City Hall aide as part of an investigation into kickbacks at City Hall – an investigation that does not include Mayor Cory Booker as a target, according to a report by the Star-Ledger.

Ken Gabbert

Democratic Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn and Republican Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan under their respective auspices want to fire Gabbert from his two jobs: Ridgewood Village Manager and part-time commissioner with the Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority. Winners and Losers: NJ is Awesome (con’t)