NJ climate crisis activists lobby Congress
Ananya Singh is 16.
The climate crisis is a very real threat to my generation.
Soak the Rich graphic in yellow
NJ ranks 12th-highest in income inequality.
And NJ has a budget crisis.
Babs Siperstein at 2016 Democratic Convention
Honoring the late Equality Rights Heroine BABS SIPERSTEIN
Gov. Murphy’s eulogy
The Political Power of Women’s Anger
WATCH. Before pink pussy hats, Hillary, the Midterms.
History of ignoring women’s anger to keep organizing down. Boom, like that. WATCH.
Covington Catholic HS boy
That white boy smugness.
Do you know it as well as Jim Keady does?
Green New Deal House protest
Green New Deal is PRIORITY.
Where does our new House delegation stand?

Latest Posts

Smoke Free — First Hand Account

An interesting thing happened when the butts snuffed out of bars and restaurants in Blue Jersey last night.  I was coming home from a Patty Griffin concert in Collingswood and decided to see the ban’s effect for myself.  It was a Good Friday indeed.  I stopped in at Triumph in Princeton at about quarter to twelve.  Tom the brewmeister, explained they were allowing their patrons to smoke anything they wanted (provided it was legal) for the last two hours.  Alright one guy had a Cubano, but I really couldn’t verify that one through smell alone. 

Reporters ready for Jr. Primary

So it looks like Paul Mulshine of the Star Ledger is practicing his questions for the upcoming primary and I found it a very entertaining column…

“Sen. Kean, how would you feel if an illegal alien doctor were to be mowed down with a .50-caliber semi-automatic assault weapon while performing a partial-birth abortion on a minor without her parents’ consent?”

Or something like that.

and then there’s this jewel…

And then there’s the chance that the ultra-liberal New Jersey Supreme Court will enrage conservatives by issuing a Massachusetts- style edict recognizing same-sex marriage between now and June 6.

Could be fun. For me, anyway, if not for Tom Kean Jr.

When I called his people for comment, spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said the candidate doesn’t want to comment on the contro versy other than to say he won’t be debating Ginty. Great idea, but it’s a bit late. The debate has already begun.

Mulshine is exactly right. The debate has begun and it’s one Jr. had hoped to avoid. He will have to take positions and actually let people realize he isnt his father. Should be interesting to watch him do this tapdance.

What question would you ask?

Vas didn’t know about special election & blames Corzine

I knew about the special election being on election day.  I must have read it in the paper or on politicsnj.com  Why didn’t Vas know?  Because he didn’t get the letter time?  I don’t know if blaming Corzine is gonna hold up.  And the headline goes a little far no?  The honest to goodness backroom deals aren’t public knowledge.

I’ve been thinking about Vas not filing to run for the special election.  That would mean Sires could win the special election, in theory, and serve until January, and Vas could win the full term taking over less than two months later.  It would be pretty bizarre.  I’m not saying it’s likely.  Kinda reminds me of when we had four governor’s in two weeks, two over the Thxgiving holiday after DiFrancesco imploded when the Senate was 50-50.

House candidate alleges backroom Corzine deal

A spokesman for congressional candidate Joseph Vas is charging the Corzine administration with concealing a special election from Vas to favor his opponent, Assemblyman Albio Sires.

Governor Corzine ordered the special election to fill what will be less than two months remaining for the 13th Congressional District seat left vacant when Robert Menendez was appointed to the Senate. Another election, held on the same day, will determine who fills the House of Representatives seat for the two-year term that begins in January.

“When Joe Vas picked up candidate papers for filing just days before the filing deadline, he found a letter, dated one month previously, notifying him of a special election,” said Vas spokesman Barry Brendel. “Why was this election kept hidden from Joe Vas for a month?

“Do you think Albio knew about it? I’m saying he did.”

Corzine, who has endorsed Sires, initially argued that a special election in the spring would be too costly — at least $2.6 million, not including overtime for county clerks. But in a proclamation issued on March 2, Corzine ordered the election to fill the seat for about six weeks, from November to January.

Brendel said it was done “in secret,” and Vas didn’t find out about it until last week, only days before the April 10 filing deadline.

“Here’s what I can tell you,” said Corzine spokesman Brendan Gilfillan, “The Division of Elections informed all candidates of the need to file for the special elections the same day that they made the special elections petitions available. I think that was March 31st.”

Sires’ spokeswoman Julie Roginsky said that was when the assemblyman found out about the special election.

“When he went to file on the 31st, they said [Sires] also had to file for the special election in separate petitions,” she said. “That’s the first that we knew about it. Luckily, we went to file early to make sure that everything was copasetic. But that’s quite an allegation that he [Brendel] is making against the governor.

“I’m not going to speak for the governor,” Roginsky said, “but I would say that anyone who thinks that Governor Corzine would stoop to that does not know Governor Corzine. And it’s offensive to imply that either he or [former] Speaker Sires would do something like that.”

Through their press secretaries, Sires and Vas both said they were not available to comment.

Although Vas still had time to file the paperwork for the special election, Brendel said the short notice prompted the Perth Amboy mayor not to enter but to concentrate on winning that seat for the two-year term that begins in January.

Special elections will be held at the same time as the primary on June 6 and the general election on Nov. 7. When voters go to the polls for the June 6 primary in the 13th district, which runs from North Bergen to Perth Amboy, they are likely to find a thoroughly confusing ballot.

The June 6 primary ballot will feature Sires against Vas for the full term that begins in January. But it will also have Sires against James Geron, a Guttenberg resident who is running only in the special election.

Geron, a Paterson public school administrator, said he was notified about the special election by mail.

“About a week to 10 days before the filing date, anyone who requested a petition for the two-year term was notified” about the special election, Geron said. “The only inconvenience was that you had to go out and get another few hundred signatures … on the second petition.”

He said that although he was originally considering running for the two-year term, he decided to run only for the unexpired term “because I do have a strategy that may give me the edge. As an underdog like me, I look for an opportunity like the special election to be given a chance.” He said serving just a few weeks would be “a great honor.”


In November, the winner of the Sires-Vas Democratic primary will face John Guarini, a Jersey City Republican who is running only for the two-year term. He is uncontested in the GOP primary.

Brendel acknowledged that at one point Vas had called for the special election, but one held in March, to give the 13th District representation for about 10 months. The district has been without representation since Menendez moved to the Senate on Jan. 18.

But since this special election will select a congressman for about six weeks, and since Vas was given short notice, he decided not to run.

“If we had a month’s notice, we certainly would have considered it differently,” Brendel said.

Vas’ decision not to compete in the special election has led to charges by Sires’ camp that Vas is “ignoring the needs of the district” and “putting politics ahead of policy.”

“Despite his repeated claims that issues in Washington deserve immediate attention, Mr. Vas’ actions clearly demonstrate that he does not believe the voters of the 13th Congressional District deserve to be represented in Washington this fall,” Roginsky said. “What assurances do we have that he will adequately represent them in the future?” she said.

Brendel said Sires, also the mayor of West New York, was reluctant to support a special election. “When we could have had a special election and have the seat for 10 months, Albio Sires refused to support it,” Brendel said. “And now he is trying to make a case out of supporting one for six weeks? Give me a break!”

“This is classic Albio Sires. He’s only comfortable with a special election that is a result of a backroom deal.”

Wells Keddie, Labor Educator and Activist, Dies at Age 80

New York governor Al Smith was often called “The Happy Warrior,” but the man I know who was best suited to that title was Wells Keddie, a labor studies professor, stalwart union member and social activist at Rutgers University. Keddie, who died recently at the age of 80, was a fighter without rancor — there was something about his temperament that allowed him to be affable and welcoming even with his opponents. Even when he was up to his eyebrows in academic infighting and negotiations with the university (he was a bulwark of the American Association of University Professors), Keddie came across as a serene man enjoying life to the hilt.

He was also a walking encyclopedia of labor history and its lessons — lessons that have become more relevant than ever, with unions everywhere on the ropes and the Republican administration in Washington apparently intent on recreating the predatory mores of the Gilded Age. I last spoke with him about a year ago, as I was starting a round of research into a Hudson County labor war of the early 1930s, and I could hear he was suffering from a condition that left him barely able to speak. That was the unkindest cut of all for a man who was one of the championship talkers.

April 15, 2006 News Roundup

  • Politics NJ’s count of how races are going to swing is up. Currently the U.S. Senate race is listed in the “Toss Up” category but with a chance of moving towards the “Leans Democratic” column.
  • After switching from Democratic to Republican parties candidate for East Hanover Town Council, Philip Maenza , is still not fully accepted as a true GOP member by sitting council members. They feel that Maenza is running on the Republican ticked, not because his values have changed, but because he has a better chance of winning as a Republican in Morris County.
  • Staunch environmentalist, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ6), is calling for expedited cleaning of PCBs in the Raritan River that have been harming fish and have the potential to harm humans as well. PCBs were outlawed and are now classified as a possible carcinogen that  can cause nervous system disorders.
  • The smoking ban went into effect at 12:01 this morning. No smoking in bars, racetracks, bowling alleys, clubs and concert halls are just some of the provisions of the ban. Sorry smokers, maybe now is a good time to quit, no?
  • Governor Corzine’s sales tax hike has hit a major speed bump. Legislators from both sides of the aisle are strongly opposing it, and now rumors have started that it may not have enough votes to pass through the State Senate.

    Happy Saturday!!!

  • Review of a Message

    A few days ago, I reviewed Camille Abate’s “Open Letter”.  Today, I’ll do the same with Paul Aronsohn’s “Message”.

    I’ll remind everyone:  I don’t live in the 5th and I’m not employed by anyone or asked by anyone for any response.  This post, like every post, simply reflects my opinion, based on the studies I’ve either read or conducted my self.

    Aronsohn raises over $200K in first quarter 2006

    According to an April 14th electronic filing with the FEC, Paul Aronsohn for Congress raised nearly $214,000 in the first quarter of 2006. The filing, which was signed by campaign manager Parisa Sabeti, makes official the contributions which had been rumored in excess of $200,000. After expenditures, the Aronsohn campaign had $135,125.31 cash on-hand.

    A scan of the FEC disclosures site did not turn up contributions for Mr. Aronsohn’s Democratic opponent in the primary, Camille Abate, who declared her candidacy late in the quarter. The deadline for filing is April 15th.

    For the same quarter, incumbent Scott Garrett (R) received just over $139,000 and had a total of $375,627.36 cash on-hand at the end of the reporting period.

    Gary Schiavone OUT in NJ-04

    I just recieved an e-mail from Gary Schiavone, the Democratic nominee to take on Congressman Chris Smith in NJ-04. In it, he says the following:

    “I am writing to everyone concerned to announce that I have reconsidered my run for Congress, and I will not be running for the United States Congress this year, due to conflict with my current employment and The Hatch Act (5 U.S.C. 1502-1508) which restricts the political activity of individuals principally employed by state, county, or municipal executive agencies in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States or a federal agency. Under this law, I cannot accept or actively seek this public office, and I am officially declaring myself not a candidate for this position (U.S. Congressman) or for any public office, so as not to be in conflict with The Hatch Act.  I am asking all concerned who have assisted me in the planning, not to participate on my behalf in any activities directed toward me seeking any ele cted office. 

    Thank you once again, Gary Schiavone”

    News Roundup Friday April 14

  • UPDATE:I can’t believe I missed this MOST EXCELLENT John Farmer column regarding the latest Sy Hersh revelation that Bushco are gonna nuke Iran.
  • Happy Birthday! BANG!
  • It seems that leaving government to work for the  side you were supposed to be working against is not just a phenomenon limited to DC political appointees. Former DEP head, Brad Campbell, is going to work for a law firm that handles “development” projects.
  • They had their carrots, now here come the sticks. Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Camden school districts will undergo “tough” state audits. No word yet if these “tough” audits will be of the same level of “toughness” we have grown accustomed to in this “tough” state.
  • Parsippany High Schoolers are going to be suspended for slandering fellow students and teachers using MySpace.com. Michael Cino’s lawyers have not been contacted for comment on wether or not they will represent anyone in this case.
  • After 7 months since the Bergen Record did an excellent job of exposing the toxic waste dump that Ford left behind in Ringwood, The EPA has once again put that site back on the Superfund list. This is now the 6th time this site is on the list. No word as to wether or not this 6th time, it will be clean and carcinogen free.
  • Cory Booker sues Newark for creating an $80 million dollar slush fund. Way to go!
  • Fred Snowflack gets letters!
  • Despite attempts to protect casino workers from second hand smoke, the smoking ban goes into effect tonight at midnight. Sorry smokers. Look at the bright side, its springtime and beautiful outside! In other news, Atlantic City scientists have discovered that human beings become immune to airborne carcinogens simply by entering a Casino.