Tag Archive: Milly Silva

What’s Happening Today Tue. 12/03/2013

Events today: Board of State Canvassers meets to certify the results of last month’s general election, noon, in the Statehouse Annex’s Committee Room 5. Communications Workers of America union endorses Councilman Ras Baraka in the Newark mayoral election, 12:30pm at CWA Local 1037′s office in Newark. Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, 9:15am holds its annual summit, with speakers Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera and union executive Milly Silva, 11:30am, Crowne Plaza Monroe, South Brunswick. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker visits Cumberland County.

Where Are They Today?

Gov. Chris Christie resigned his job as New Jersey’s U. S. Attorney in 2009 to become governor. He brought with him an extraordinarily large number of former staff members from the Attorney’s Office. Who are some of these people and where are they today?

  • Paula Dow: Christie’s first cabinet appointee served as NJ’s Attorney General for less than two years and then was named to a NY/NJ Port Authority post by Christie after his nomination of her as a Superior Court Judge ended in a political standoff with the Senate.

  • Phillip Kwon: Appointed First Assistant Attorney General. In 2012 Christie nominated him to the NJ Supreme Court but the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected his nomination and he also took a job at the NY/NJ Port Authority.

  • Marc Ferzan: Appointed Executive Assistant NJ attorney general. Then after Sandy he was appointed Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding – “the Sandy Czar.”

  • Ralph J. Marra Jr.: appointed to the top legal post at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

  • Marc Larkins Appointed Executive Director of the NJ School Development Authority Board.

  • Lee Solomon: Appointed President of the Board of Public Utilities and then returned to one of his prior positions as a NJ Superior Court judge.

  • Robert Hanna: Appointed Director of the Division of Law in the Attorney General’s office and then head of the NJ Board of Public Utilities, replacing Lee Solomon, where he remains today. Christie also nominated him last year to the NJ Supreme Court, but the Senate has not acted on the nomination.

  • Stephen Taylor: Appointed Director of Criminal Justice in the AG’s office.

  • Deborah Gramiccioni:  Appointed Director of the Governor’s Authorities Unit, then Deputy Chief of Staff.

  • Jeffrey S. Chiesa: Appointed Christie’s Chief Counsel. Then in 2011 Attorney General, replacing Paula Dow. Then interim U.S. Senator following Frank Lautenberg’s death and until Cory Booker became U.S. Senator. Chiesa is now with a prominent NJ law firm.

  • Kevin M. O’Dowd: Appointed Deputy Chief Counsel, then in 2011 appointed Chief of Staff replacing Richard Bagger. Yesterday he was nominated to be Attorney General.

  • Charles McKenna: Appointed Head of Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, then replaced Jeff Chiesa as Chief Counsel.

  • Michele Brown: Governor’s Appointments Counsel, then in 2012 CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.  

  • Paul Matey: Appointed Christie’s Senior Counsel; in 2011 he replaced O’Dowd as Deputy Chief Counsel.  

    Make of this what you will: A raiding of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Christie creating a “Law and Order” governor’s office, Christie finding comfort with loyal former employees, etc. These attorneys have played key (successful and unsuccessful) roles in Christie’s administration. However, in 2011 Christie with remarkable candor and bravado said, “It’s my agenda, It’s not Kevin’s agenda or Rich’s agenda or Charlie’s agenda, or Jeff’s agenda. It’s my agenda…”

  • What’s Happening Today Tue. 11/05/2013

    Finally it’s election day. Time to vote and get others to the pollls.

    In the gubernatorial contest we have Senator Barbara Buono and labor leader Milly Silva vs. Republican incumbents Gov. Chris Christie and L.G. Kim Guadgno.

    In the legislative races pundits say that Christie will probably not have much coattails effect, but it remains important to cut off as much of that fleece as possible in order to keep control of the legislature and to demonstrate that Christie is just about Christie, and that he does not and can not help his own Republican colleagues. His cult of personality should not be allowed to trump the deep concerns New Jerseyans have regarding so many of his policies, including property taxes, jobs, economy, marriage equality, minimum wage, environment, and affordable housing. And then there is his behavior: his nastiness to a teacher this weekend is just one example of his rudeness which people find so inappropriate for a governor.

    Below are some of the more interesting legislative races to watch.

    (* indicates the incumbent.)

    STATE SENATE: Democrats hold a 24-16 lead in the Senate. Republicans have been trying hard to pick up seats, but they are not going to win the five needed to be in the majority. With strong Democratic turn-out we can retain 24 seats.

    LD 1: Jeff Van Drew* (D) vs. Susan A. Schmidt (R)

    LD 2: Jim Whelan* (D) vs. Frank X. Balles (R)

    LD 3: Stephen M. Sweeney* (D) vs. Niki Trunk (R)

    LD 14: Linda Greenstein* (D) vs. Peter Inverso (R)

    LD 18: Peter Barnes (D) vs. David Stahl (R) (Barbara Buono’s seat)

    LD 38: Bob Gordon* (D) vs Fernando Alonso (R)

    STATE ASSEMBLY: Democrats hold a 48-32 lead in the Assembly. Taking over the Assembly is way too high a reach for Republicans, but they are still trying to make inroads. Democrats in fact are working hard to add to their numbers with Marie Corfield, Vincent Mazzeo and others.

    LD 2: John F. Amodeo* (R) and Chris Brown* (R) vs. Vincent Mazzeo (D) and Nick Russo (D)

    LD 11: Mary Pat Angelini* (R) and Caroline Casagrande* (R) vs. Edward Zipprich (D) and Kevin McMillan (D)

    LD 16: Marie Corfield (D) and Ida Ochoteco (D) vs. Jack M. Ciattarelli* (R) and Donna M. Simon* (R)

    LD 38: Tim Eustace* (D)  and Joe Lagana (D) vs. Joan Fragala (R) and Joseph J. Scarpa (R)

    A lot of money and time has been spent both for and against Ballot Question # 2 which raises the minimum wage after seven years and is so important to low-income people. A resounding “YES” would be another show of how Christie is so in league with big businessmen and so out of touch with New Jerseyans.  

    When it’s all done and over with: Barbara Buono will hold her after-election event at Novita Bistro & Lounge at 25 New Street, Metuchen, starting at 7:00pm. Christie will hold his event at the Asbury Park Convention Center, a once proud building but now crumbling – perhaps a symbol of where Christie is heading. Just a few blocks away Democrat Edward Zipprich, running for Assembly in LD 11, is holding his teams’ event at the Tides Hotel – a nicer facility with progressives you might like.

    What’s Happening Today Sun. 11/03/2013

    Three more days of GOTV and the election is over: Real Clear Politics in the last three polls indicates that in October Sen. Barbara Buono made substantial gains in reducing Christie’s point spread advantage: +33 (Quinnipiac 10/27) +24 (Stockton College 10/28) and +19  (Farleigh Dickinson 10/30). But time is quickly running out. Shame on the bosses, Christiecrats and Democratic leaders who have been indifferent to antagonistic toward her. Personally I think they deserve a flogging or worse. A lot of people have spent a huge amount of effort trying to convince others that Barbara Buono would be a far superior governor than Christie. It has been frustrating that others just don’t get it. There is always a chance she might succeed on Tuesday and that a strong last-minute GOTV will make a difference.

    Sen. Buono and Milly Silva have a busy schedule today in five counties.

    Barbara Buono: 10:00am, Nutley Democrats Annual Pre-Election Breakfast, The Chandelier, 340 S. Franklin Ave., Belleville;  10;20am, Belleville Democrats Annual Pre-Election Breakfast, The Chandelier, 340 S. Franklin Ave., Belleville;  Paramus Democrats Breakfast, 11:15am, The Venetian, 546 River Dr., Garfield;  Barbara Buono: 12:15pm, Teaneck Phone Bank, 549 Cedar Ln., Teaneck;  1:15pm, Passaic County Phone Bank, Passaic County Democratic HQ, 668 McBride Ave., Woodland Park;  3:00pm, with NJ State Democratic Committee Chairman John Currie and Senator Nellie Pou, Unity Rally, Hamilton and Ward, 101 Ward St., Paterson.

    Milly Silva: 9:30am, Fairview Democrats Breakfast, La Grande Buffet, 127 Bergen Blvd., Fairview;  10:45am, Union Township Democratic Breakfast, Suburban Gold Club, 1730 Morris Ave., Union;  12:10pm, Plainfield Phone Bank, 211 W. Front St., Plainfield;  2:15pm, with  Senator Cory Booker, Malandra Hall, New Jersey Road, Camden.  

    U. S. Sen. Cory Booker will be in Burlington County for two events today on Sunday to help get out out the vote for county and legislaitve candidates. Bring your friends and family members to meet our newly sworn-in Senator. 11:30am, Mount Laurel Rally, Tricia Meadows Clubhouse, 27 Patricia Lane, Mount Laurel;  4:00pm, Burlington City Rally, American Legion Slade-Valentine Post 336, Clarkson & Linden Avenue, Burlington City. We have a chance to turn Burlington County Democratic for the first time in over 35 years.     

    Even Mitt Romney was suspicious of Chris Christie: Authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their book Double Down: Game Change 2012 to be published on Monday write, According to a memo on Mr. Christie who left numerous questions unanswered on his vetting form, there were concerns on a defamation lawsuit against the governor from earlier in his political career, on a Securities and Exchange Commission settlement involving Mr. Christie’s brother, on names and documentation of his household help, on information from his time as a securities industry lobbyist, and on his medical history.

    Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

    What’s Happening Today Thu. 10/31/2013

    Happy Halloween Cory Booker: He resigned at Midnight as Mayor of Newark and will be sworn in at Noon today in the Capitol as New Jersey’s newest U. S. Senator by Vice President Joe Biden. Booker has an appointment with President Obama at 3:00pm. Booker’s predecessor as Mayor, the discredited and imprisoned Sharpe James, has said, “Booker will be a better Senator than Mayor”, which makes sense as his interests seem to be more in policies than management.

    TransOptions Halloween Warnings and Tips: “Costumes, candy and distracted pedestrians walking in the dark are all part of the brew on Halloween night. While enjoying the excitement of trick-or-treating, you’re also four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Here are safety tips for trick or treaters.

    “Nearly 1 Million New Jerseyans Will See Cuts to Food Assistance This Week”: NJ Public Policy further explains that the cut in food assistance is the result of the October 31 expiration of a modest boost in benefits to SNAP recipients that policymakers included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The House seeks even more cuts while the Senate resists. Unfortunately NJ does not have a Representative on the House Agriculture Committee – surprising as there is substantial farming in our State. (Even having “Farmer” Jon Runyan on the committee would be better than nothing, although he sees little need for safety nets.) Paul Krugman in the N. Y. Times says: “It has now become dogma on the right that the expansion of the SNAP program represents some kind of explosion of moocherism, not a safety net program… This despite clear evidence that the recent rise in SNAP participation is overwhelmingly a response to the economy.” President Obama recently named the Farm Bill as one of three major priorities for Congress. It is past time for the Senate and House to reach an agreement.

    New Jersey Coalition for Affordable Power (NJCAP): which consists of the state chapters of  AARP, the Chemistry Council, Citizen Action, the Large Energy Users Coalition, PIRG, the Sierra Club and the Main Street Alliance will hold a conference call today to urge the Board of Public Utilities to reject PSE&G’s proposed infrastructure projects. NJCAP points out: “PSEG CEO gets a 21.7% pay raise in 2012, meanwhile, New Jerseyans are stuck paying some of the highest energy rates in the country and are being asked to foot PSE&G’s $4 billion bill for Energy Strong without questions.” There is no doubt that significantly more investment in NJ’s electrical infrastructure is needed to improve reliability. Nonetheless it seems the plan will generate millions in revenue for PSE&G and might leave millions of families behind. There should be more discussusion of the plan.

    Buono/Silva campaign: Milly Silva: 6:20am, Radio interview with Bob Hennelly, WBAI 99.5 FM;  Barbara Buono: 10:00am, Buono Opportunity Tour: Higher Education, Montclair State University, Kasser Theater, 1 Normal Ave., Montclair;  11:30am Barbara Buono: with Working Families United for NJ leaders, Raise the Wage press conference, Perth Amboy City Hall, 260 High St.;  Barbara Buono: 2:30pm, Radio interview, Around the County Live, WSNJ 1240 AM;  Barbara Buono:  3:00pm, Radio Asia, 103.9 FM;  Barbara Buono: 3:15pm, Raidio iterview, Burns in Your Afternoon, WOND 1400 AM;  Barbara Buono: 5:00pm, Radio interview, WBCB 1490 AM.

    Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10am, Ponzio’s Diner, Cherry Hill;  11am, Gloucester County campaign headquarters, Washington Township;  12:15pm, Elmer Diner, Elmer; 1:05pm, downtown walk starting at Juvante Formal, Vineland;  2:35pm, Cape May County campaign office, Ocean City.

    What’s Happening Today Wed. 10/30/2013

    Our over-achiever governor: Dedicated to obtaining a record-breaking win in Tuesday’s election, Gov. Christie has embarked on a week-long bus tour of retail politics throughout New Jersey. LG Kim Guadagno has her own bus. Christie is not expected to provide much coattails assistance to legislators, but he has begun investing time and money to support Republican legislative candidates in LD 38 (against Sen. Bob Gordon), 18 (against Assemblyman Peter Barnes who is running for Sen. Buono’s seat), and 14 (against Sen. Linda Greenstein.) His tour includes stops in these districts. Christie’s main effort has been to help himself.

    Did Sen. Buono miss an opportunity? Gov. Christie yesterday gobbled up all the news attention with his multiple Sandy-related visits throughout the State while Sen. Buono was silent on the topic. Perhaps, she thought any comments she made would be viewed as sour grapes against a governor who claims Sandy super-achievements. Nonetheless, there are plenty of New Jerseyans who are frustrated over Sandy and would have welcomed constructive comments from her.

    Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund: with Mary Pat Christie as Board Chair, HSNJRF announced it awarded yesterday another $3.1 million in grants for a total of $19.3 million. It is believed to have raised $38 million in donations, so after a year it has awarded only 50% of its monies. Such is a small per cent for a non-profit which bills itself as a “relief fund.” The most recent award and HSNJRF’s stated plan to issue further grants on October 31 are both taking place conveniently just before Governor Christie’s election.

    In both July and October Mrs. Christie said the agency had raised $38 million. It seems odd that this amount did not change at all between July and October. (Possibly some past commitments are delinquent reducing their take while new commitments have been made, but none of this explained.) Neither on its website nor in filings with the IRS nor NJ Charitable Division has HSNJRF indicated how much it has raised, disbursed in grants, or paid out in operating expenses. The lack of transparency and slowness in awarding grants can not be what individual donors expected. It was slow in hiring staff and replete with politically-connected board members and contributors. It has been a disappointment.

    PUBLIC SCHEDULES

    Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 7:05am, The Mark Riley Show, WWRL 1600AM;  Barbara Buono: 8:10am, WNYW Fox 5;  Milly Silva: 6:30pm, 34th Annual Installation & Swearing-In Ceremony of the HBA-NJ Incoming President Anna Maria Tejada, Westmount Country Club, 728 Rifle Camp Rd., Woodland Park;  Barbara Buono: 7:00pm, Reception Honoring Newark Councilwoman Mildred Crump, The Newark Club, 1085 Raymond Blvd., Newark.

    Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:00am, Ritz Diner, Livingston; 11:10am, Beyond the C Restaurant, Linden;  12:30pm,   Fair Lawn Senior Center, Fair Lawn;  1:30pm, Nevada Diner, Bloomfield;  2:45pm, Chowpatty Restaurant, Iselin; 4:00pm, Hunterdon County Republican headquarters, Flemington;  8:00pm, JoJo’s Tavern and Restaurant, Hamilton.

    The Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc.: 11:30am will urge NJ voters not to be “tricked” by opposition deception and to vote “Yes” on Ballot Question #2 to raise NJ’s minimum wage, Liberty Bell City Hall, Circle
260 High Street,
Perth Amboy.

    The White House usher and head groundskeeper: 9:00am, visit Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm to select the White House Christmas tree for this season.  

    What’s Happening Today, Tue. 10-/29/2013

    Today we celebrate the resiliency of New Jerseyans in the face of a catastrophic event with the realization that recovery is far from complete. Chris Christie today celebrates Chris Christie.  

    Under the banner: “Superstorm Sandy – One Year Later: A Stronger New Jersey,” Governor Chris Christie today marks the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall with a series of visits to impacted communities. Those communities do not include the affected areas of Paterson and Hoboken – two Democratic strongholds. According to one report today: “Poor families in Hudson County had the hardest time in the state recovering from Sandy.”

    The press can attend the events, but at none of them is the press allowed to address questions to the Governor. (He hasn’t taken questions from them in over a month.) Such does not prevent protesters from airing their grievances over his mishandling of the recovery effort. In contrast, Barbara Buono’s events today encourage questions from the press.

    The schedule has undergone numerous revisions in the past week. Originally there was no schedule for L. G. Kim Guadagno, and Christie had invited her to attend only one event. (Seems churlish as she might soon be our Governor if Christie resigns to run for President.) Now there is separate schedule with multiple activities for the LG., but she still is on the podium with the governor only once. (He does not seem to like sharing the spotlight with her.) There is another schedule for events to be attended by Mary Pat Christie. Also there is a schedule for administrative staff, some of whom have been censured for poor performance during and after the storm. You can be there to protest, but it is unlikely that they will take any questions. The lengthy schedules are listed below the fold.

    PUBLIC SCHEDULES

    Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 10:30am, East Orange Meet & Greet, Arlington House, 55-57 Munn Ave., East Orange;  Barbara Buono: 12:00pm, Buono Opportunity Tour: Public Education, Nutley High School, 300 Franklin Ave., Nutley;  Milly Silva: 6:15pm, DCBC Chairman’s Roast, II Villagio, 651 New Jersey 17, Carlstadt;  Barbara Buono: 7:15pm, DSC South Asia Caucus, 76 National Rd., Edison;  Milly Silva: 7:30pm, with Chairman Philip Thigpen and Vice-Chair M. Teresa Ruiz, Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman’s Annual Dinner, Mayfair Farms, 481 Eagle Rock Ave., West Orange;  Barbara Buono: 9:30pm, with Senator-elect Cory Booker, Barbara Runs New Jersey, 130 College Ave., New Brunswick.

    Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: See below the fold for the schedules of Gov. Christie, L.G. Kim Guadagno, Mary Pat Christie and administrative staff.

    U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez: 12:00pm, news conference to discuss bipartisan legislation that would extend the number of years over which flood-insurance bills would gradually increase for homeowners losing federal subsidies, Washington, D.C..  

    What’s Happening Today Thu. 10/24/2013

    Our Deteriorating Infrastructure: Two bridges less than a mile from me which I use many times each week are in serious disrepair. Gov. Christie’s concern for and funding of State infrastructure projects is a big problem today and growing more dire as time progresses. “The 113-year-old Midtown Bridge, a heavily traveled link across the Hackensack River between Bogota and Hackensack, has been shut down because of structural issues, authorities said Tuesday.” Last year a state review found “The 41-year-old Anderson bridge between Teaneck and Hackensack required significant repairs, prompting Bergen County officials to lower the allowed weight limit and forcing eleven bus routes serving about 2,000 riders to be detoured indefinitely off the bridge.” Needed repair has not been started.

    Barbara Buono on her website emphasizes she “has  been a strong supporter of the ARC project and understands the value of investing in our infrastructure to make our workers and our businesses more competitive.” Below is what Tri-State Transportation Campaign in an October report says about Christie’s new budget:

    “The analysis  shows that NJDOT is moving further away from a “fix-it-first” approach despite the deteriorating conditions of its existing road and bridge infrastructure … 10 percent of its bridges and 41 percent of its highway pavements are not in acceptable condition…The State plans on investing 25 percent of the Capital Program’s dollars on projects that repair or preserve the State’s existing roads and bridges, down from nearly 30 percent in the 2013 Capital Program.”

    Environmental groups at 12:00 noon will hold a news conference to release a Superstorm Sandy recovery scorecard, grading recovery efforts at the federal and state levels, and identifying what needs to be done, at the Statehouse’s Room 109, Trenton. In the meantime the Senate and Assembly joint environmental committees have held four Sandy hearings across the state. Gov. Christie has done a masterful job of portraying his super-human actions related to the storm, but when it comes to answering hard questions he stonewalls. Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-29), co-chair of the hearings, on NJTV last night said that Richard Constable, DCA Commissioner, and Mark Ferzan, tasked by the Governor to oversee and coordinate Sandy recovery efforts, were asked to testify at the hearings but refused to attend any of them.

    What’s Happening in your District? NJ Spotlight provides a brief overview of the legislative races in each district. Go here.

    PUBLIC SCHEDULES

    Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 11:45am, Middlesex County Retired Educators Association Luncheon, East Brunswick Chateau, 678 Cranbury Rd., East Brunswick.

    Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:00am, campaign stop with Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Caldwell Fire Department, Caldwell;  11:30am, announcement about business tax savings, Vac-U-Max headquarters, Belleville.

    NJPIRG Law & Policy : 10am, with Sens. Sandra Cunningham and Robert Singer, conference call to release a report about which private student-loan lenders generated the most complaints from borrowers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

    What’s Happening Today Wed. 10/23/2013

    Christie’s financial mismanagement: One of the lingering effects of the shutdown is a lack of access to current federal data. The Federal Election Commission’s website, for example, indicates, “We are working to bring this section back online as quickly as possible.” The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of now can only tell us unemployment rates in the states through August. Nonetheless, we don’t need current federal data to show that Christie’s financial stewardship has been a disaster.

    We looked to NJ data where our state has reported on the revenue it has received. In September the State failed to meet its Revenue Budget of $2,557,400,000 by $(37,983,000). In the first three months of the new budget year (July-Sep) it likewise failed to meet its budget of $4,598,200,000 by $(62,040,000). One might think that with a gubernatorial election to be held on Nov 5, and September data to be available in late October the Governor’s officials might have budgeted cautiously in order to present a picture of meeting its budget at election time. Maybe they did, but their projection was flawed, and what we see now might be a harbinger of further failures in meeting their targets. We also know that the state saw a drop of 10,700 jobs in July, and 1,500 in August. Also, the most recent unemployment data we have for N. J. is for August at 8.5%, as compared to 8.1% for CT, 7.5% for DE, 7.6% for NY and 7.7% for PA.

    Christie’s administration has been replete with failures in meeting budgets, lowering unemployment, and strengthening the economy. Today’s Rutgers/Eagleton poll concludes, “Voters remain persistently negative toward Christie’s efforts on what they perceive as the two most important issues facing the state, the economy and taxes.” It’s time for a new governor.

    PUBLIC SCHEDULES

    Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: Due to a scheduling conflict, the press conference on gun violence at Ewing Cemetery has been postponed;  Milly Silva: 7:00pm, Cumberland County Democratic Leaders’ Reception, New Jersey Motorsports Park, 8000 Dividing Creek Rd., Millville.

    Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 1100am, groundbreaking ceremony, the Keasbey redevelopment site for Competitive Power Ventures, Woodbridge Energy Center, Woodbridge;  Kim Guadagno: 6:30pm, speaks at the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, the Wildwood Convention.

    9th LD Debate – Republican Incumbents vs. Democrats: 6:00pm, for Senate: Chris Connors (R) vs. Anthony Mazzella (D), and 7:00pm: for Assembly: Brian Rumpf (R) and Dianne Gove (R) vs Peter Ferwerda III (D) and Christopher McManus (D), both events at The Richard Stockton College, Campus Center Theatre, Galloway.

    Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

    What’s Happening Today Tue. 10/22/2013

    Barbara Buono and Milly Silva to be in six counties today: Your opportunity to catch them in person or watch Buono on the Martin Bashir Show. Both seem more confident, articulate, and comfortable these days. (See schedule below.)

    Supporters of M. E. Exhale Today: With Gov. Christie’s decision yesterday and a sound ruling from Judge Jacobson left in place, M.E. is on solid footing in NJ. Nonetheless, the Legislature should still pass pass a revised M. E. bill.

    The Attorney General yesterday wrote to the NJ Supreme Court saying simply, “Please accept this letter as a withdrawal of the appeal in the above referenced matter [Garden State Equality v. Paula Dow]. With the State no longer pursuing an appeal, the ruling of Trenton Superior Court Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobson on September 27 is left standing. Judge Jacobson’s ruling is particularly nice because it does not include exemptions or restrictions. It states forthrghly that “This unequal treatment requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage to same-sex couples to satisfy the equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution.” In effect same-sex couples should be treated no differently.

    What’s next: The Legislature should pass a revised bill – something equally simple. It should forgo exemptions that seemed necessary in the past to gain passage, like the reliigous exemptions, which the court did not address. (These exemptions based on  the N. J. Constitution freedom of religion clause , I-4, should be no different for same-sex couples than for opposite-sex couples.) Also there may be need to clarify  the status of Civil Unions. As the Supreme Court never actually ruled on the Summary Judgment and left the basic decision at the Superior Court level there would be additional protection for M. E. with the Legislature’s imprimatur. Christie would be hard-pressed to veto what the Supreme Court left standing, but he might quibble with (conditionally veto) the bill, so a veto-proof majority makes sense and should be achievable in this new environment.

    PUBLIC SCHEDULES

    Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 10:45am, Meet the Candidates Event, Rossmoor Clubhouse, 437A Newport Way, Monroe Twp.;  Barbara Buono: 12noon, Campaign event, Hudson County Community College, 70 Sip Ave., Jersey City;  Barbara Buono: 1:00pm, College Forum, Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Rd, Paramus;  Barbara Buono: 4:00pm, Martin Bashir Interview, MSNBC;  Barbara Buono: 6:30pm, Keynote Speech, Rider University, 2083 Lawrenceville Rd., Lawrence Township;  Milly Silva: 7:45pm, fundraiser for Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, Nanina’s in the Park, 540 Mill St., Belleville;  Milly Silva: 8:30pm, Democrats for Hawthorne Campaign Rally, Fire Company #2, 10 Llewellyn Ave., Hawthorne.

    Christie/Gudagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 11:00am, a Sandy housing and rental assistance program announcement, Meadowlands Family Success Center, Little Ferry.

    Reps. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Frank J. Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Rush Holt (NJ-12), and Leonard Lance (NJ-07) with U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Patricia Hoffman and PSE&G President Ralph LaRossa: 11:00am, press conference to hiighlight the need to invest in strengthening our power grid systems to prepare for future disasters, PSE&G Building, 80 Park Plaza, Newark.

    Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage: 11:30am, Press conference on climate change, its impact, and preparation for the future, Elizabeth Marina, intersection of Elizabeth Ave. and Front St., Elizabeth.

    Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com