Author Archive: Rosi Efthim

News Roundup & Open Thread Dem State Conference Edition Friday, Sept. 25, 2009


  • This is the first Dem State Conference in AC in 2 years, as last year was the national convention in Denver. Schmoozing has begun, and today’s capped off by a dinner honoring Gov. Corzine, with Special Guest VP Al Gore. Conf schedule here. Registration here (no, it’s not too late).

    Major police & fire unions endorse Corzine

  • Despite Christie’s law enforcement background.

    We’re close to approval on a new United States Attorney

  • Senate Judiciary Committee sends the nomination to the full Senate. May Paul J. Fishman show better judgement than the last USA.

    NJ offers new guide for disabled

  • Helping families navigate services, agencies and programs available for disabled adults.

    To take care of their families at home

  • Over 5,000 New Jerseyans have received paid family leave so far.

    No-knock search warrant played a part in the Lakewood incident

  • Four officers in the law enforcement task force were wounded in the gun battle during a raid on suspected gun traffickers.

    “Students, this is your workplace.”

  • Actress Cicely Tyson comes to East Orange, to dedicate the 2nd school named for her.

    This is the way you do transparency at meetings?

  • Hillside residents have clamored for years for Council meetings to be broadcast on local cable. Now, with their electeds still feuding, there are cameras in the room, but they’re pointed at the audience.

    Union advocates boycott of Rutgers speech

  • Union representing administrators, and two AFSCME locals representing 2,300 clerical, lab and maintenance workers call for boycott of RU President Richard McCormick’s annual address.

    New Jersey’s independents

  • Will they act like Democrats this year? Or is this the year it shifts?

    For Obama team, Corzine race is a hands-on project

  • There’s no shoving him aside, like NY’s Gov. Patterson. White House operatives are fully engaged in NJ.


  • Jersey City: Councilwoman Nidia Lopez asks the court to drop any challenge to her NJ residency. But she’ll pay back taxes in FL.
  • Jersey City: JC official 3 reappointed by Jerramiah Healy to run the city’s largest department.
  • Burlington Twp: If you’re Michelle Malkin, you’re going to think this is incredibly important.
  • Bridgewater: An entire little neighborhood goes up, courtesy Habitat for Humanity.
  • Bayonne New light rail station unlikely to be named for former councilman.
  • News Roundup & Open Thread for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009


  • Tonight the 2009 Democratic State Conference kicks off in AC with an 8pm welcome party hosted by Atlantic County Dems, Sen. Whelan, County Execs Tom DeGise, Joe DiVencenzo & Dennis McNerney & 10 county parties. Hands will be shaken, notes will be taken, and before the night is through, there may be dancing. Register here.
  • Meanwhile, dealers at the venue hosting state Dems stays a union shop.

    Sundance Channel’s Brick City Movie about Newark

  • The 5-night documentary series Brick City last night saw the murders of 3 college students, challenges for the police, a non-profit for Jayda, and the difficult birth of a new High School. Newark Councilman Ron Rice chronicles each night’s film. He’ll post his latest this morning.

    Who Do I Have to F**king Bribe to Get an Award?

  • It’s been a rough summer in Jersey City. Amazing that somebody in Democratic politics still has a sense of humor.

    Once again, Christie’s professional & financial conduct raises questions

  • Christie was owning stock in Cendant Corp. while investigating Cendant Corp. And Cendant pops up in the profile of one of the deferred prosecution agreements Christie was called to testfy before Congress on.

    Mulshine looks at Christie and sees ….

  • Very little.

    NJ Lockerbie families, unsettled

  • Unhappy Libya’s leader welcomed on American soil. So’s a Red Bank rabbi.

    ACORN sues the Rutgers grad sting prankster

  • Sting operation, on viral video, led to ACORN’s loss of White House support.

    Law enforcement

  • State police: Disciplinary actions: down. Citizens’ complaints: lowest in 5 years.
  • NJ Supreme Court-ordered inquiry into how cops use live and photo lineups, an effort to prevent wrongful convictions.

    Follow the money …

  • Here’s a map.


  • New Brunswick: Battle over competing public ballot questions is over. Empower Our Neighborhoods won, voters to consider a ward system in the city.
  • Hoboken: Candidate Waiters files objection to petitions of Zimmer, Mason.
  • Edison: Two more members of Jun Choi’s administration prepare to leave, as his term comes to a close.
  • Mt. Holly: Goes solar to save energy.
  • Cumberland County: Health officials mistrust census figures on teen pregnancy.
  • Milford: Former Riegel Paper Company plant added to EPA’s federal most polluted list.
  • Bayonne: Longshoremen’s union concerned about tech’s impact on jobs.
  • Montclair: Ban on overnight parking survives.
  • Point Pleasant Beach: Coast Guard drilling and prepared.
  • Rush Holt supports ENDA

    In full disclosure, I once upon a time worked on Rush Holt’s campaign staff. But more importantly, I used to live in the congressional district he represents, NJ-12. But not anymore. Screw redistricting. I wanna live in Rush Holt’s world again.

    This is Holt during today’s hearing on the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) before the House Education & Labor Committee:

    The federal ENDA would bar job bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s based on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination by employers based on race, gender and religion. ENDA extends those protections to persons, based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are some exemptions: armed services, veterans’ service groups, religious entities, and groups with less than 15 employees.

    New Jersey already has a transgender equality law.

    Christie held stock in a company he was investigating as US Attorney

    Well, well, well. Not two hours ago, as I write this, I said I hoped the Corzine campaign would shift away from personal snipes about tangential stuff like Christie’s girth, to more substantial questionable stuff on the guy’s wobbly ethical compass.

    Like maybe today’s news that Christie held stock in a company even while investigating them as United States Attorney. Star-Ledger:

    Chris Christie bought and sold stock in a travel and real estate company while it was under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office he led at the time, according to public records. Christie, now the Republican candidate for governor, purchased shares of Cendant Corp. in 2004 and sold them in 2005, according to financial disclosure reports he filed with the Justice Department. In 2002, his office had renewed an investigation into Cendant, leading to fraud convictions of two of its former top executives in 2005 and 2007.

    What I haven’t seen anywhere today is that Cendant’s name also pops up in the list of the seven deferred prosecution agreements Christie was called to testify about before Congress, the day Christie went (briefly) to Washington:

    — John Carley. A former Cendant Corp. vice president and Federal Trade Commission lawyer under President Reagan, Carley was on Sen. John McCain’s 2008 New York fundraising team. He oversaw a nonprosecution agreement involving Stryker Orthopedics.

    Why do the same names keep popping up in Chris Christie’s history? Why are so many of them Bush insiders, or high donors to marquee Republican campaign’s like John McCain’s? Doesn’t Christie know anybody else?

    Christie’s answers today on how he came to be holding Cendant while also investigating Cendant seem a little unsteady to me. He acknowledged he saw Cendant on his disclosure reports, but says his financial adviser bought and sold the stocks without his knowledge. He denies making either decision himself. It all sounds plausible. But given Christie’s incredibly casual attitude towards financial disclosure and to the truth in general when he has something to gain or lose, this deserves all the scrutiny in the world.  

    New Corzine ad: If

    Starting today, the Corzine campaign has a new 30-second ad going up on broadcast tv. Called If, the ad spotlights the questionable ethical behavior which has contributed to Chris Christie’s rising unfavorables, as more information about him reaches more voters. The ad focuses on his eyebrow-raising history of committing serious driving offenses and getting off without a ticket or penalty, failing to disclose a sizeable loan or even pay taxes on the interest. The kind of thing you or I would get nailed on in a New Jersey minute.

    There’s been some grumbling that attention to Christie’s driving record is a distraction. But I think it’s key. I lived through Richard Nixon. I’m not down for politicians in an executive capacity deciding they’re above the law. So on substance, I like this ad. I also appreciate that it’s sourced and referenced – which I hope you’ll take a look at – it’s all after the jump.

    Real Clear Politics picked up on the only quibble I have with the ad: playing the weight card on Christie. I think the coy reference in the script – “throwing his weight around” – cheapens the impact and brings it down to a more schoolyard, too-personal, ridicule of the style Ann Coulter made famous and I can do without. We get it. He’s a fat, fat man. Move on to why the fat man would make a lousy governor. There’s plenty to work with.

    Documentation and sourcing for this ad – well worth reading – is after the jump.

    News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009

    2009 Democratic State Conference starts tomorrow in AC

  • Conf schedule here. Registration here.

    NJ affordable housing

  • Gov. Corzine says NJ has created or preserved 30, 284 affordable housing units over the past 3 years.

    Federal watch of NJ state troopers ends

  • Judge ends federal monitoring after 10 years, generated by incidents of suspected racial profiling, after major changes were made in law enforcement policy, Last month, Gov. Jon Corzine signed legislation mandating state oversight to prevent racial profiling.

    Port of Paulsboro: Major job creation

  • Gov. Corzine attended the groundbreaking: $250 billion port project expected to create 2,500 jobs & 800 construction jobs and to impact approximately 20,000 other jobs in the area.

    House votes to extend unemployment benefits

  • 27 states with unemployment over 8.5%, including NJ,  will see a 13-week extention of benefits.

    Hudson County

  • Money (how it’ll be spent) splits Dems.

    A pledge not to run

  • Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney acknowledges signing a letter 2 years ago promising not to run for Senate President. Depending on who you listen to, it’s mischaracterization, or the promise didn’t mean “forever.” Whatever it is, it threatens to break into the governor’s race.

    Chris Daggett is counting on disillusionment

  • Disputing published polls, the independent expects to pick up a lot of voter fall-off from both major candidates

    Shoe Leather alert

  • Bayonne’s city council elections are non-partisan, but John Cupo, the first candidate to declare, touts the endorsement of the state & county Republican chairs. And he’s just turned in 12,670 signatures on his nominating petition (he needed 100). There’s only about 36,000 voters in Bayonne …

    Okay, polling guys, but then get right back to politics, k? tnx

  • Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll: 86% of those polled said Bruce Springsteen, 60 years old today, should keep on rocking for as long as he wants.


  • Hunterdon County: Sheriff Deborah Trout, the target of an unsuccessful recal effort, won’t seek re-election.
  • Lincoln Park: Former CFO sentenced to 5 years in prison for stealing $21K from borough.
  • Chatham: Affordable housing proposals sought for properties in a 1,000-foot zone around the train station.
  • Belvidere Mayor Charles Liegel and his family are traveling to Norfolk, Va. for the trial of the man accused of murdering his son, a US Army Reservist.
  • Lawrence: Contaminated farm gets $3 million state DEP grant for cleanup.
  • Salem County: $800K funding from NJ Dept. of Community Affairs aimed at fighting homelessness.


  • News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, Sept.22, 2009

    Corzine, Christie, on immigration

  • Compare ‘n contrast.

    Pallone, out front early and strong against Christie

  • And maybe earning himself the next Senate seat in the process.

    Rush Holt, predicts

  • We get the public option. And gets a calm Town Hall where residents aren’t shouted down by tea party folks.

    John Adler (D?)

  • No healthcare reforming. Barney Frank opposing. Most conservative Democrat bragging. Immigration status checking….

    Bob Menendez

  • In a congressional hearing on foreclosures called by Sen. Menendez, HUD Secretary tells him many homeowners’ request to loan servicers for modifications “fall into black holes.”
  • Allowing guns on Amtrak is “ludicrous”.

    Jon Corzine

  • Says no conflict of interest in his private hedge fund investment.

    No change in your ballot for Nov. 3

  • Judge tells Chris Daggett: Too late.

    Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

  • You can now jog from Hoboken to Jersey City.

    Blue Jersey’s NJ Media Watchdog Series

  • We’re taking a look at some of the coverage our news media are putting out this campaign cycle. Part One, examining Star Ledger, dropped yesterday, with Part Two later this morning. What do you think of how our newspapers are doing?

    New Jerseyans are not leaving the state

  • Not so much, says the nation’s oldest moving van company.


  • Hillsborough: That rumble in the sky was F-15s, scrambled to protect Obama.
  • Newark: Will forgive interest & penalties on delinquent taxpayers, to help avoid foreclosures.
  • Jersey City: New Jersey Policy Perspectives says overuse of tax abatements is robbing the city of taxes and burdening non-abated residents.
  • Central Jersey: Unemployment numbers better there than national & state.
  • South Amboy: Muni taxes jump 38%?
  • Scotch Plains: Chair of town Democrats suing township council for illegally closing public meetings.
  • Hoboken: Angel Alicea denies taking bribe.
  • Atlantic Highlands: Public meeting tonight on the contaminant cleanup at the former Atlantic Highlands Manufactured Gas plant.
  • News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2009

    Pallone, out front early and strong against Christie

  • And maybe earning himself the next Senate seat in the process.

    John Adler, middle

  • No healthcare reforming. Barney Frank opposing. Most conservative Democrat bragging. Immigration status checking….

    Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

  • You can now jog from Hoboken to Jersey City.

    Blue Jersey’s NJ Media Watchdog Series

  • We’re taking a look at some of the coverage our news media are putting out this campaign cycle. Part One, examining Star Ledger, dropped yesterday, with Part Two later this morning. What do you think of how our newspapers are doing?  
  • News Roundup & Open Thread for Monday, Sept. 21, 2009


  • The Christie campaign appears to have adopted the countdown strategy the Corzine campaign has used to try and squeeze answers out of Christie.

    More Obama, please

  • The President may be heading back here for Jon Corzine.

    Next NJ Govy, whoever he is

  • Faces a mountain of work on his desk on Day One.

    Obama’s impact in the NJ & VA governors races

  • Only 2 states have governors races in this cycle. An analysis of the approach and relationships campaigns in both have with the President.

    For the Governor’s signature

  • Democratic legislation targeting online harassment of kids – already approved by Assembly and Senate- are expected to be signed by Gov. Corzine.

    Codey v. Sweeney

  • Charlie Stile looks up and sees Sarlo in the catbird seat, ready to cut deals and move up.

    Corruption fallout

  • A Hudson County Board of Elections investigator pleads guilty to accepting payments to introduce Solomon Dwek to public officials and candidates.
  • Former Jersey city Housing Authority commish pleads guilty to federal corruption charges, with part of his dirty work seeing illegal campaign contributions go to Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s re-election.


  • Cumberland County: Why all the new funny money?

  • Jersey City In the Newport community, who has the right to call their residents’ group “Newport Neighborhood Association? It’s complicated.

    rtment complex the “Newport Neighborhood Association.”

  • Old Bridge: School kids take a day to call for international Peace.
  • Closter: Benefit payouts to a fired administrator are questioned.  
  • Weekend News Roundup & Open Thread for Sept.19-20, 2009

    NJ’s first-ever LG debate is Oct. 8

  • Got questions?

    National health care debate

  • Hitting home in Jersey.

    State DEP science panels

  • Some environmental groups fear a pro-development lean.

    A registry of dead indigents from NJ psychiatric hospitals

  • Sen. Codey intends to restore some dignity for dead mentally ill.

    Concrete walls, chain link fence and spray paint

  • Public art in New Brunswick can help create community.

    South Orange woman’s affair with John Edwards raises legal questions

  • Were payments to Rielle Hunter made to keep her silent? Were campaign finance laws broken? And is Edwards close to acknowledging her child as his, as Hunter may be moving from NJ to NC?

    Air Force & EPA plan for McGuire AFB superfund site cleanup

  • No word on start date,  cost or time to completion. But there’s a plan.


  • Ridgefield: Mayor Suarez recall effort, headed to court.
  • Cherry Hill: Going hybrid.
  • Sayreville: Dems choose Pallarndo to replace Stanley Drwal in the race for Council.
  • Hunterdon County: A bear, a vehicle, and the kind of story you don’t read about Jersey City.
  • Perth Amboy: Foreclosed homes to be bought, renovated and sold below-market by lottery as affordable housing.
  • Roselle Park: Approves budget with 5% tax hike.
  • Westfield: Whopping big house earns state’s first Gold rating for energy efficiency.
  • Gloucester County:
  • Fair Haven: OMG rats!