Author Archive: Rosi Efthim

News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009

Blue Jersey Radio

  • Gov. Jon Corzine is our sole guest on tonight’s Blue Jersey Radio at 8pm.

    Serious Questions about Chris Christie

  • Can you picture getting a whopping $46,000 loan from your boss? Neither can I. But that’s what Michelle Brown got from Christie. What did he get?
  • NYTimes finds that huge loan was never reported by Christie, as required by federal and NJ laws.
  • The government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is calling for an investigation of Chris Christie, who started planning his campaign with Karl Rove, while still US Attorney. Gov. Corzine, talks about this as our guest on Blue Jersey Radio tonight 8pm.

    More on the governor’s race

  • Corzine: The #1, #2, and #3 issue is the economy, said the governor this morning on Morning Joe.
  • Sierra Club endorses Chris Daggett.


  • Revise OPRA? Several towns in Morris are asking the state legislature to amend OPRA to “protect clerks from abusive requestors.”.
  • Camden’s overseer will resign.
  • An administrator of the NJ Home Energy Assistance (HEA) program was indicted with 5 family members on charges they stole $24,086 from the program, designed to help low-income consumers with heating and electrical costs.
  • After several companies successfully challenged property tax assessments, Roseland was $1.9 million in the red. The state’s filling some of that gap with a $1 million award in extraordinary aid.

    M&Ms … now powered by the sun

  • A solar garden at the Mars Snackfood US near Hackettstown will have 28,000 solar panels providing 20% of the plant’s peak power consumption is expected to go online in October.

    90 days

  • Secaucus mayor Dennis Elwell and most of the 44 arrested in the July political corruption sweep get a 90-day window to review evidence and think plea bargain.

    Got any real ideas?

  • Polygraphs for candidates and office-holders were discussed at a GOP public relations event NJ Assembly Republican Policy Committee meeting.
  • NJN reports a financial relationship between Chris Christie and Michelle Brown

    Updated by Jason Springer: Here is the video from the NJN report tonight:

    NJN is reporting that while US Attorney, Chris Christie gave Michelle Brown a loan of $46,000, which she is scheduled to continue paying off at the rate of $499/month to Christie and wife Mary Pat, until 2017. The story is not on their website yet, but was reported in NJN’s evening newscast.

    At the time the loan was granted Brown was fourth in command at the office of the United States Attorney for New Jersey. She is now First Assistant US Attorney. To questions from NJN about the nature of the loan, Christie replied they were friends and he helped her out during a financial pinch.

    But given the mileage Christie is positioning himself to get with an anti-corruption plan he proposes as the Republican candidate for Governor, the timing – coming conveniently right after the massive political corruption sweep in July. That’s magical timing, the kind of advantageous happenstance that’s a lot easier if you have a very close relationship with somebody still in a key position in your old office.

    Christie says there’s nothing improper in the loan.

    Brown already pops up alongside Christie in settings that may be unacceptable in terms of the constraints of her job in the US Attorney’s office, which requires top staffers to refrain from partisan settings, which Rep. Frank Pallone has asked the Justice Department to look into.  

    News Roundup & Open Thread for Monday, Aug. 17, 2009

    Governors Race

  • Fresh off headlining a panel on the economy at Netroots Nation this weekend, Gov. Corzine will talk to Blue Jersey Radio today. We’ll play it for you tomorrow. Here’s the Governor’s shout-out to Blue Jersey at NN09.
  • New York Times examines Chris Christie’s record, going back to his one-time stint as a Morris Freeholder, and finds hypocrisy. He ditched his promises to end no-bid contracts, and approved hundreds of them including many benefitting his contributors. But Christie doesn’t want you drawing conclusions from that, because he’s more “mature” now.

    Pleeeeeese officerrrrrr did I do something wroooooong?

  • Bob Dylan gets stopped by Long Branch PD.

    Buffer zone

  • Farmland preservation and open space purchases by the military are expected to expand a buffer zone between local residents and McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix and Lakehurst Naval Air Station.


  • Corzine signs legislation creating a foundation for veterans oral history projects
  • Almost 3,000 returning NJ National Guard members, look toward their future, after serving in Iraq.
  • Six Wounded Warriors visit Hoboken.
  • A profile of decorated WWII vet Ed Bettino in Ewing Township.
  • Remembering that movie GI Joes aren’t as important as real veterans.

    Go, New Jersey!

  • Yeah, you can take a couple hours off your wall-to-wall obsession to watch some Jersey kids play the game of their lives, tonight, right? The Somerset Hills team is one win away from the Little League World Serious Series. ESPN!

    Global warming

  • It’s finally summer in New Jersey, only 2 months past the solstice (almost). It’s hot. Take it easy out there.  
  • corzine

    Worst recession created by the ppl running against us


    Usa resembles some of the behavior that you have all been following

    Heavy orientation r d

    Karl Rove has laid down a pretty good trump card

    USA office not being run in a non-pol format for a long while. My job to make sure that theme is fully vetted w the public, and whne that happens the public will be propared to

    Turn the govs office in to the way wh run

    Collective bargaining, public ed that doesn’t disperse dollars to “pri”

    This point in the econ cycle, no

    We were prob 10 11 12 down when corruption scandal hit

    We spent time on dpa’s – testimony presented on a silver platter- it’snot just about fing proc but sustaining ppl who submitted to pressure to behave

    90 minutes blackout period on mennendez, to influence the senate race

    ignored r’s in control

    That whole policy implemented by rove bush compromised justice

    Kidney transplant in with corruption

    NYTimnes hasn’t covered NJ politics since beginning ofelection

    It’s completely unknown to the public that ive been a progressive gov for 3.5 yrs


    23 War

    How does that translate to running a state.

    Shrinking pie, 1.8 more on education.Instituted early childhood education, ins. 2ndthe second family paid leave act in US, expanded childrens health ins program (up to 350 percent of poverty for kids, 200 for their parents). So my opponents would say I’m norma rae when it comes to collective bargaining. Expanded all efforts to make sure wimen and minority businesses that involved in state business. Will virtually

    Diverse set of ppl appoiknted to the court

    Sierra club – we’ve installed more

    We wrotethe rule

    Healthins program – elim mandates, so itwill be real retreat in

    Autism anddisabled kids

    Most aggressive ofanywhere in country

    Collective bargaining dissedandpush back

    Service workers will neverhaveopp for — – paid leave out window, death penalty out window, vouchers in, tax structure debased

    Completely different philsolphhical view

    Worst job fordebasing fiscalstructure. We’refiscally irresponsible how they tried tocut retirement age

    Why lib

    It’s hard for me to understand how a law breaker get

    Noon today – Gov. Corzine speaks at Netroots Nation

    UPDATE: This is LIVE with Corzine now, and Adam and I are live-blogging the panel here at Daily Kos. If you have an account there, please recommend the post so it stays up on the front page.

    Here at Netroots Nation, Valerie Jarrett is in the big convention hall being interviewed right now by one of my favorite people, Baratunde Thurston. In less than two hours, it will be Gov. Corzine on that stage, headlining a panel: Building a 21st Century Economy.

    It’s a big deal here. There are 2000 progressive political bloggers here in Pittsburgh and every one of them knows that there are only two governors races in the country in 2009; two chances for a moribund Republican Party to try and generate some momentum for 2010. Virginia’s an open seat. And Jon Corzine is the only incumbent governor in the US up this year. We already know – and so do colleagues here – the GOP’s going to pour in resources in the Garden State.

    That’s why Jon Corzine is such a featured player here, headling on of only 6 plenary sessions: Bill Clinton, Howard Dean, PA Senate candidates Joe Sestak & Arlen Specter, Valerie Jarrett from the White House, and Darcy Burner, and Corzine.

    Adam and I will be interviewing the Governor in a few minutes along with a handful of bloggers including Chris Bowers, Duncan Black, Marcy Wheeler, Amanda Terkel and Joe Sudbay. And – big news – we’ll be bringing you Gov. Corzine on Blue Jersey Radio Tuesday.

    Want to watch Corzine’s session LIVE? Here’s the live stream, Corzine will be on at noon.

    Twittering? Use the hashtag #NN09. If there’s a hashtag for you to lob questions in to the panel, I’ll post it when I know it.

    Free Videos by Ustream.TV

    The big headline here at Netroots Nation is New Jersey

    Picture 2

    Hot damn.

    This is how you want to arrive at Netroots Nation – the former Yearly Kos – the now-massive annual mojo-booster for progressive political blogger titans and titans-to-be. Clammyc – oh, hell, let’s just call him Adam – and I rolled in this afternoon, and promptly started drinking, and connecting up.

    And it’s a buzzy night here right now.  New Jersey is on the front page of DailyKos, in a great diary by Jake McIntyre: NJ-Gov: The Other Shoe Dropping for Christie. So … Chris Christie’s got a little Karl Rove problem. Please go read it, add your own New Jersey-flavored comment, and then shoot that bad boy to 10 of your bestest friends. Especially the ones leaning toward Christie.

    It’s important to understand what the stakes are here: Karl Rove, Republican strategist, architect of the Bush White House, and pit bull for the man who appointed Christie the US Attorney, said on the record to the House Judiciary Committee July 7, 2009, that he spoke to Christie several times over several years. That is, apparently, while he was United States Attorney. US Attorneys are barred by the United States Justice Dept. from engaging in partisan politics while in office. It’s a safeguard to avoid undue influence, impropriety, even the appearance of impropriety. Given that Christie is running on his record as USA, a violation of the Hatch Act further soils his credibility.

    As Jason points out, huntsu had this more than two years ago.

    Word spreads fast here in Pittsburgh. I just walked through the lobby and got high-fived by five people. Everybody knows Jon Corzine is coming to Netroots Nation Saturday. He’ll be here to talk economy, but the buzz has already started that the truth will out when it comes to what Chris Christie doesn’t want voters to know about. Christie was George Bush’s hand-picked – and now we find out, hand-fed – man in the Garden State.

    We’re in the car, on the way to Netroots Nation


    This morning, clammyc and I are hitting the road on the way to beautiful Pittsburgh and Netroots Nation 09. I’m stoked.

    I’m going as one of Democracy for America’s Netroots Nation Scholars. DFA has this fabulous competitive program to underwrite costs for people they think ought to have that opportunity. It’s a savvy way of undescoring deep ties between grassroots political organizers and those of us who ride the interwebs. I’m very lucky they chose me. (Shrugs.)

    If you’ve got the means, throw DFA some coin. They’re sending 40 of us this year to NN09- and that’s all expenses paid.

    Last year, they sent 30. On of them was Jeff Gardner, my buddy and a denizen of this site, and of DFA-NJ, like I am. There was a friendly, but cutthroat competition for votes with one Robert Harding at The Albany Project, which Jeff won, being that he’s awesome. Don’t worry, Robert got to go, too.

    Clammyc’s an old hand at NN, and he’s participating in a session on red districts (for the fighting NJ-5) and moderating this one on PTSD.

    Saturday, we’ll be there to greet Governor Corzine, headlining the keynote panel, on 21st Century economy. It’s a great “get” for Netroots Nation. With just two big state races this year – NJ & VA – the Republicans are focusing a lot of resources here to try and climb out of their hole. That’s a story every blogger at NN09 is going to know. (Barring last-minute surprise, Creigh Deeds, running for the open seat in VA, won’t be there).

    Bill Clinton, Valerie Jarrett, and Howard Dean are also coming. Here’s the full schedule. And some vid from past NNs.

    Blue Jersey’s friends TJ and Ian are coming. You going? It’s not too late – drop us a note  here, so we can be on the lookout for you.

    Here we go!

    News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Bush’s “architect” Karl Rove helped build Chris Christie

  • United States Attorneys are prohibited from partisan political activities. But when Christie was in that capacity in NJ, he spent some of his time seeking out George Bush’s chief political operative, so he could get advice about who he needed to make friends with.

    Somebody call the waaaaambulance!

  • The Sierra Club wants the Republican Governors Association to stop using their logo in an ad it’s hard to imagine they didn’t anticipate would be made.

    Abuse of state contracts?

  • New Jersey State Comptroller picks up some questionable expenditures in an agency overseeing services for disabled New Jerseyans.

    Cost savings

  • By switching prescription plans for NJ’s 800,000 active and retired workers, NJ keeps a whopping $108 million in our pockets.


  • Gov. Corzine is seeking federal disaster funding for farmers in Warren County, and Burlington, Camden, Mercer, Ocean and Sussex counties for damage created by this summer’s bad weather.


  • Union County Jail inmates are on lockdown, following feuds between rival street gangs that escalated to violence.

    On the Waterfront

  • “Total agency breakdown.”

    Carving up New Brunswick

  • How shall the City Council be configured?

    T-t-t-t TUBES!

  • Edison residents can now use the interwebs to get stuff done.

    Health care insurance reform

  • Quinnipiac University Poll: New Jersey voters approve 56 – 39 percent of the job Barack Obama is doing as President, down from 61 – 33 percent July 14. Let’s see … why might that be? Could it be that the huge step forward advocated by Obama is being met with shouty, teabag-driven, disruptive opposition as congressmen try to speak to constituents?
  • Rothman: Goes on the record not being on the record yet.
  • News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Corzine gains ground

  • Three months out, a new Quinnipiac University poll has Corzine trailing Christie by 9 points, 51-42, among likely voters. A mid-July poll gave Christie at 12-point lead. When independent Chris Daggett is factored in, Christie’s lead shrinks to only 6 points.

    Process story

  • Bill Maer in. Jamie Fox in. Yeah, it’s not really about that.

    Ron Chen joins suit against landlord

  • NJ’s Public Advocate is stepping into a case of a disabled woman denied an apartment lease in Mercer County because she can’t pay her rent without NJ’s rental assistance program. Chen joined the case to protect the housing rights of low-income people.

    Rothman and the tea party people

  • Rep. Steve Rothman got interrupted and shouted down at his health care reform event last night.

    Steady paycheck, regular raises

  • As private sector jobs dry up, professionals who never thought they would, turn to teaching.

    Triple-word score

  • Think the Governor’s race goes for the jugular?


  • Getting ready for the national headcount.

    Firing striking workers

  • Local 1199 SEIU says 11 striking workers at 3 nursing homes in Union City, Jersey City & Guttenberg were replaced because they’re on their union negotiating team, or strong union supporters.


  • A recall committee organized to recall the mayor calls shenanigans on the Point Pleasant Beach clerk for nullifying an effort to recall Mayor Vincent Barrella because one of the circulators didn’t sign at the bottom. To court, that will go.

    5 years after Hurricane Floyd

  • Why are the 40,000 square ft. of office space built into Rahway Library still

    mostly empty?

    Lock him up!

  • North Bergen right-wing hate blogger Hal Turner was ordered held without bail in Chicago. Hal Turner wrote on his blog June 2 that 3 federal appeals judge “deserve to be killed” for a decision on handguns.

    Former Springfield mayor and current candidate, dies

  • Two-term committeeman Kenneth Faigenbaum, 57, was running for re-election.