Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral race

BAYONNE – Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith.

“It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark,” said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a Smith fundraiser at the Bayonne Golf Club that included Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20), state Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-20), state Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31), Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal and New Jersey Laborers Union leader Ray Pocino. “I am going to be as helpful as humanly possible over the next month of the campaign.”

There were initial reports that Fulop was behind insurgent candidate Jimmy Davis, a Bayonne police captain, because Smith, the former Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) chair, backed former Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy in last year’s mayoral election instead of Fulop.

But other reports indicate that Tommy Bertoli, the Jersey City mayor’s number one field operative, is working with Smith, not Davis. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral race | Politicker NJ

Governor Christie files direct appointments

State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors

Master HVACR Contractors

Appoint Kevin S. Clark (Galloway, Atlantic)

Appoint the Honorable William C. Barham (Monmouth Beach, Monmouth)

Executive Branch of State Government Representative

Appoint the Honorable Thomas C. Pitcherello (Bordentown, Burlington)

Elevator, Escalator and Moving Walkway Mechanics Licensing Board

Labor Organization Representative

Appoint Dennis O’Neill (Iselin, Middlesex)

Elevator/Escalator Manufacturing Representative

Appoint Scott D. Wallace, Jr. (Stafford, Ocean)

Elevator/Escalator Installation and Maintenance Representative

Appoint Edmund J. DeFilippis (Watchung, Somerset)

Elevator/Escalator Architectural Design Representative

Appoint James Boydston (Bloomfield, Essex)

read more by following the link below.

Governor Christie files direct appointments | Politicker NJ

Elizabeth Ward Races: Dasilva prevails in residency court case

The courts and streets intersect with a vengeance in Elizabeth politics.

In advance of the June 3rd Democratic Primary election where six ward seats are at stake, a Superior Court Judge this afternoon ruled in favor of Elizabeth Council candidate Armando Dasilva in a residency case.

The City Clerk of Elizabeth filed a complaint against DaSilva, an ally of the Elizabeth Board of Education, claiming he doesn’t live in the 3rd ward where he seeks a vacant seat.

Dasilva recently separated from his wife, which prompted the complaint.

Two city employees signed affidavits that he was seen coming out a building in a different ward – even though he had a drivers license, bank statement and other documentation showing he had moved within the ward.

The candidate also shares the house with his wife, a Dasilva ally pointed out. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Elizabeth Ward Races: Dasilva prevails in residency court case | Politicker NJ

Unlikely trio — Christie, Fulop and Fishman — brought together at Jersey City event

An unlikely trio of key figures in the George Washington Bridge scandal were brought together Thursday during a Jersey City event aimed at finding ways to help addicts re-enter society after they commit crimes.

The conference was hosted by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who has accused Governor Christie’s campaign of retaliating against him for not endorsing the governor last year.

Governor Christie, whose administration continues to be dogged by allegations of political payback, addressed the assembly to speak about treatment initiatives for addicts.

And U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, whose staff has subpoenaed Christie’s office and re-election campaign, was also in attendance.

The trio managed to avoid any awkward moments.

While Fulop openly greeted Fishman with a warm handshake and smiled as they shared a few words, there was no public embrace or discussion between the mayor and the governor and they never shared the stage. And Fishman left before Christie spoke.

Fulop said he spoke briefly with Christie in the kitchen just next to the conference room, which the governor’s security team used to bring Christie in and out of the event. It was the first time since Fulop’s July 1 inauguration that the two men had been in the same place and the mayor said the conversation focused on the conference. (Hayes and Phillis/The Record)  






NJ lost 1,300 jobs in March; unemployment rate ticks up

The loss of 1,300 jobs in March puts New Jersey down 1,900 jobs for the year, as even traditionally strong sectors such as health and leisure lost ground.

The state lost 600 government jobs and 700 private jobs in March, the second monthly fall in a row for the private sector, according to the monthly employment report released Thursday by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Unemployment, which stood at 7.1 percent in January and February, rose to 7.2 percent in March – above the national rate of 6.7 percent, the department reported.

Adding to the bad news, revised numbers for February showed that employment in the state fell by 1,100 more jobs than first reported, losing 4,800 instead of the previously announced 3,700 jobs.

“I think we sum up the report by saying that New Jersey’s labor market is going nowhere slowly,” said Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at the accounting firm CohnReznick. “Nothing stands out as a reason to be optimistic about where we are going.”

The 1,900 jobs so far this year is particularly weak compared to the 18,800 jobs added in the same period in 2013. New Jersey has recovered just 93,000, or 36 percent, of the 258,000 jobs lost in the recession and its aftermath.

In comparison, New York has recovered all of the 330,000 jobs it lost in the period and added about 164,000. Connecticut has regained about half of the 119,100 jobs lost. As of March the U.S. had recovered all the private sector jobs it lost.  (Morley/The Record)  

Codey calls on Rutgers to fire athletic director Julie Hermann

TRENTON — Less than a year into the tenure of Julie Hermann, the athletic director at Rutgers University, state Sen. Richard Codey is calling for her dismissal.

In a letter today to the university president, Dr. Robert Barchi, Codey said that since Hermann was named to the post in May, “there’s been hardly a moment without controversy,” referring to allegations of verbal abuse by volleyball players she had coached at the University of Tennessee, and a lawsuit in Tennessee that claimed an assistant to Hermann was fired because she was pregnant.

“The latest incident involvesHermann telling a journalism class that she was essentially happy to hear that The Star-Ledger was having financial difficulties just a few weeks before the newspaper laid off (167) people,” Codey wrote. She said it would be ‘great’ if the newspaper died,” Codey wrote.

“Why the vitriol?” he said. “The newspaper and other news organizations dared to hold Hermann and the university accountable for its decisions.”

The senator has never been a friend to Hermann, who was hired in the aftermath of a scandal involving the abuse of Rutgers basketball players. The incident led to the dismissal of the coach, Mike Rice, and the resignation of Hermann’s predecessor, Tim Pernetti. Last year, Codey said Hermann should never have been hired, and called on Barchi to resign. (Friedman/Star-Ledger)  



Christie names Seton Hall dean as ombudsman in response to bridge scandal review

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie today named the dean of the Seton Hall University Law School to serve as an independent ombudsman to keep watch for wrongdoing, bolster ethics training and improve email communication policies within the governor’s office.

The selection of the dean, Patrick Hobbs, came in response to recommendations included in an internal review of Christie’s officecommissioned by the governor in the wake of the September lane closings at the George Washington Bridge.

Hobbs said in an interview today that he was approached about the job by the governor’s chief counsel, Christopher Porrino, and has had a series of conversations with him and Christie about the job and its independence from political influence.

“I would not have taken on this role if I did not have those assurances from the governor,” he said. “He wants me to come in and do what I think needs to be done, and I’ll have all the resources and autonomy to do that.”

The governor’s office said Hobbs, who has led the law school since 1999, will be an impartial outlet for employees to raise concerns about misconduct and assist in evaluating and revising policies for how employees communicate via email.  (Baxter/Star-Ledger)  







From the Back Room

McGreevey expresses no desire to be power broker in Newark mayoral race

Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey might remember that former Newark Mayor Sharpe James played a significant role in helping him to get that title. But regarding the highly contentious Newark mayoral race between candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries, McGreevey told on Thursday that he has no interest in picking a side.

“No thank you,” said McGreevey as he greeted well-wishers after serving as moderator at a conference at St. Peter’s University in Jersey City about prisoner reentry, an issue that the former Garden State governor has been very active in for the past several years.

Both Governor Chris Christie and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop spoke at the conference. Both prominent politicians have sought McGreevey’s advice.

But McGreevey still maintained that Newark will have to figure itself out before its May 13 municipal election.

“Those days are over,” McGreevey said.  (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

McGreevey expresses no desire to be power broker in Newark mayoral race | Politicker NJ

The Stackification of Paterson?

Looking into Passaic County from Hudson, two sources close to Hudson politics grudgingly acknowledged fascination with the Paterson mayor’s race and found at least one comparison.

“If Andre Sayegh wins, he will have to be popular with Hispanics to win re-election, and that means he will have to outwork everyone, which means he’s going to have to become the next Brian Stack,” said one of the sources.

An Arab American, Sayegh is trying to win the May 13th election in a majority Latino city, which prompts the invocation of Stack, who built a political machine to protect himself in majority Latino Union City.

There’s a May election in Union City, too, incidentally.

But no one’s paying attention because no one believes that Stack – who last year backed the re-election of Republican Gov. Chris Christie – can be credibly challenged in the town he runs.

The other source drew a line between Sayegh – if he wins – and former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler, who ran and won without a majority, which insiders foresee for the winner of the eight-contestant Paterson mayor’s race.

The Stackification of Paterson? | Politicker NJ

Analysis: Don’t count Christie out as Prez contender

Don’t count Gov. Chris Christie out as a presidential contender, argues a piece in U.S. News and World Report following the release of a Fox News poll.

Take a look at the piece here.

Analysis: Don’t count Christie out as Prez contender | Politicker NJ

Jeffries highlights ‘Family’ in new campaign ad

The campaign for Shavar Jeffries for Mayor announced that their first television commercial will begin airing today.

Entitled, “Family,” the :30 second cable spot highlights the Newark mayoral candidate’s biography, accomplishments and his family: his wife, Tenagne, and his children, Kaleb (9 years) and Naomi (7 years).

An independent expenditure group funded two other cable TV ads run in Newark to advance Jeffries’ candidacy. This is the first ad from the campaign.

AKPD Media produced the ad and crafted the message. The media consulting firm is recently known for their award-winning commercial for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign last year featuring his son, Dante. AKPD Media, and its principles, including John Del Cecato, also led the execution and creation of President Barack Obama’s campaign message and media.

Jeffries highlights ‘Family’ in new campaign ad | Politicker NJ

Trenton mayor’s race: Worthy campaign funds surge according to filed ELEC report

Trenton mayoral candidate Walker M. Worthy, Jr. raised more than $75,000 during the most recent fundraising period, boosting his total campaign contributions to date to close to $110,000, according to a written statement issued by his campaign.

The uptick in Worthy’s fundraising efforts have left him with more than $42,000 cash on hand with less than four weeks to go before the May 13 Trenton mayoral election. Worthy is competing against several other notable candidates in the Trenton mayoral race, including Eric Jackson, director of the Department of Public Works and Urban Development in Plainfield and the former Trenton Public Works director, and former Trenton Police Director Jim Golden.

The election will be the first municipal election to take place in Trenton since the conviction and subsequent removal of former Mayor Tony Mack after he was found guilty of federal bribery and extortion charges in March. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Trenton mayor’s race: Worthy campaign funds surge according to filed ELEC report | Politicker NJ Morning Digest: April 18, 2014