It’s not considered likely that Senator Bob Menendez will resign as a result of the bi-partisan admonishment he received from the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics. NJ and Washington Democrats have become a much more forgiving people since Senator Bob Torricelli was forced out of office after his admonishment 16 years ago.
As Bret Stephens wrote in a Trump bashing piece in the NY Times yesterday, America’s standards have declined over the years. Menendez’s admonishment for trading the power of his office for luxury travel and massive campaign contributions will likely blow over as the Democrats and their media partners continue their mission to destroy the Trump presidency.
If Menendez resigns, Governor Phil Murphy gets to appoint someone to fill the vacancy until January. That person would run in Menendez’s place for a six year term in the November election. Who would Murphy choose? Read the rest of this entry »
O’Scanlon slams Codey’s “ignorant” opposition to retired LEOs carrying guns
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that will allow virtually anyone who ever wore a badge in New Jersey to carry a firearm after they retire. The new bill, signed Thursday, substantially adds to the list of those who can carry firearms in New Jersey to virtually all former uniformed law… Read the rest of this entry »
Governor Chris Christie has consistently thumbed his nose at New Jersey Republicans
Governor Chris Christie continued the transition of the Executive Branch of New Jersey’s State Government back to the Democratic Party today with his announcement that Charles A. Richman will become Acting Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs on Friday when current Commissioner, Richard Constable, leaves government service after 13 years. Christie’s announcement said that Richman will be formally nominated to succeed Constable in the Commissioner’s post.
Richman, a career New Jersey bureaucrat with 40 years experience, served in the cabinets of Governor Brendan Byrne and Governor Richard Codey, on a acting basis.
Throughout his second term as Governor, Christie has appointed high profile Democrats to fill cabinet level and other important goverment positions when vacancies have occurred.
TRENTON — Some 800,000 people, working and retired, are beneficiaries of New Jersey’s pension system, a collection of funds going deeper into the red. It’s a system that Gov. Chris Christie, in his State of the State address last week, called “ an insatiable beast.” In boom years, New Jersey leaders shortchanged the pension system, and… Read the rest of this entry »
Don’t count on it happening. Senator Bob Mendendez as already survived a recall effort, an FBI investigation while Chris Christie was U.S. Attorney, Tom Kean JR and Joe Kyrillos. There’s little reason, so far, to think Menendez won’t survive his latest scandals involving illegal campaign donations and gifts, a sex offender illegal immigrant intern and allegations of engaging with prostitutes and underage girls in the Dominican Republic.Why would Menedez resign? It’s not as if he tweeted nude pictures of himself, or anything as bad as that.
For a senator to be expelled requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate. The Senate Select Committee on Ethics has not responded to State Senator Sam Thompson’s complaint about Menendez filed last November. There is no reason to think the Democratically controlled Senate will even consider censuring Menendez, much less expelling him, unless the FBI’s current investigation results in an indictment and/or conviction.
But if Menendez’s seat in the Senate were to become vacant this year, it would put New Jersey politics into a fabulous turmoil that would be fun to cover and generate unprecedented blog traffic. “Peter Williams,” if you’re reading, please cooperate with the FBI and bring the Domincan girls with you to the USofA!
Two former New Jersey political powerhouses joined NJTV’s Michael Aron on his weekly show, On the Record, this week to discuss the 2013 gubernatorial race, the 2014 U.S. Senate race and to reminisce about the good old days… the governors they served under and how the climate has changed in Trenton since the days when they held power.
Democrat Joe Doria served in the State Assembly from 1980-2004. He was Speaker in the 1990-1992 session. Doria left the Assembly after losing the Democratic primary in 2003. In 2004, he was elected by the Hudson Democratic Committee to fill the State Senate term vacated by the death of Senator Glenn Cunningham, who was also the mayor of Jersey City. Doria also served as mayor of Bayonne from July of 1998 through October of 2007. He resigned from the Senate and as mayor when Governor Jon Corzine nominated him to become the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, one of the most powerful Cabinet positions in the State. His public career came to a sudden end in July of 2009 when Corzine announced his resignation as DCA commissioner after his home was raided in the Operation Bid Rig sweep the resulted in 44 arrests. Doria was never arrested and the U.S Attorney’s Office cleared him of all charges in October of 2011.
Republican John Bennett is chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Committee. He served in the State Legislature for 24 years, 10 in the Assembly and 14 in the Senate. While a Senator, Bennett was co-president of the chamber with Richard Codey during first two years of the McGreevey administration. Bennett was Acting Governor for 3 1/2 days, during the week between the Whitman/DiFrancesco administration and the McGreevey administration when New Jersey had five governors…DiFrancesco, Codey, Bennett, former Attorney General John Farmer and McGreevey.
Bennett’s career as a senator came to an end after he was defeated at the polls by Ellen Karcher, then a member of the Marlboro Township Committee. The Asbury Park Press ran Bennett out of office with a relentless series of articles, over a period of months, over a billing irregularity while he was Marlboro’s Township Attorney. Bennett was cleared of any wrong doing by the Feds in March of 2007.
Bennett is collecting a $90,000 annual pension from his years in the legislature and a plethora of part time law appointments tacked together to provide a handsome income.
Former Acting Governror Richard Codey told The Star Ledger that he will not seek to Democratic nomination for Governor, saying that a statewide campaign would be too much on his family life.
“After talking with my family, friends and other advisors and weighing the impact of a campaign on my family life, I have decided not to seek the nomination,” Codey said. “I want to thank my friends and supporters throughout the state who encouraged me to run and provided counsel during this process.”
Codey said he would seek reelection to the State Senate.
PolitickerNJ reports that Senate President Steve Sweeney’s is still mulling entering the gubernatorial fray and that his decision will be announced by the end of this month.
A Democratic source familiar with Sweeney’s thinking told MoreMonmouthMusings that Sweeney will not be a candidate.
That will leave State Senator Barbara Buono, who declared her candidacy in early December, as the likely nominee to attempt to deny Governor Chris Christie a second term.
In a Quinnipiac poll published on Wednesday, 68% of New Jersey voters said that Christie deserves a second term. Christie beats Buono 63%-22% and Sweeney by 61%-25%. Only Codey, who finished Governor Jim McGreevey’s term as governor, would keep Christie under 60%, losing 59%-28%.
A Quinnipiac poll released this morning shows Governor Chris Christie’s sky high approval ratings are continuing to rise.
79% of New Jersey voters, including 70% of Republicans, approve of the verbal lashing Christie gave to House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican House over the delay in emergency funding for the Hurricane Sandy recovery. Voters approve of the overall job that Christie is doing my a measure of 74%-21%. 94% approve of Christie’s overall response to Hurricane Sandy.
But, if the election was held today, Christie’s down ballot coattails would be weak. By 48%-39%, New Jersey voters want the Democratic Party to retain control of the State Legislature, despite the Legislature’s weak approval ratings.
Only 40% approve of the job the State Senate is doing. 37% approve of the Assembly’s performance.
30% approve of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s performance, 25% disapprove and 45% don’t know enough to say. Only 21% approve of Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver’s performance, 18% disapprove and 61% don’t know enough to say.
In the race, or lack thereof, for the Democratic nomination for governor, former Acting Governor Richard Codey would easily win a primary over Senator Barbara Buono, the only declared candidate. Despite Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal’s strong support, Buono would only receive 10% of primary votes. Sweeney also gets 10%, but Codey gets 28%. 45% don’t know how they would vote.
Christie easily beats all Democratic challengers, 2-1 or better. Christie gets 35% of the Democratic vote.
In the 2014 race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator, Newark Mayor Cory Booker returns the spanking by beating Senator Frank Lautenberg 51%-30%. Most voters like the job that Lautenberg is doing, but think he is too old.
Former Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye is the new president of the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club.
Kaye takes over from Wayne Pomanowski who served as president for the maximum two years allowed by the club’s bylaws. 1st Vice President Gerri Popkin and 2nd Vice President Bob Burlew were unable to step up to the presidency due to other obligations. Howell Chairman John Costigan, the club Sergeant-At-Arms, declined the post because he is running to replace Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett on the GOP State Committee. Pomanowski said he suggested Kaye to Bennett.
Bennett said that Kaye was the unanimous choice of the club’s trustees at their January meeting. All other officers, except Pomanowski, retained their previous club offices. Pomanowski remains on the board.
The choice struck me as odd given 1) the wealth of up and coming talent in the Monmouth GOP and 2) Kaye’s rocky historical relationship with Govenor Chris Christie including the controversy surrounding Kaye towards the end of his distinguished 23 year career as Monmouth County Prosecutor.
Camden Democratic Boss and King of the World George Norcross joined Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin “Pro-Buono” Gopal in endorsing State Senator Barbara Buono as the Democratic nominee for governor.
Norcross told PolitickerNJ that Buono is “a high quality candidate, and in the absence of anyone else, the party ought to rally around her and move forward.” He said he applauds Buono for getting into the gubernatorial race when no one else has. Can you feel the love?
While Gopal praised Buono’s guts in his endorsement on Tuesday, Norcross had choice words for the lack of guts of Senator and former Acting Governor Richard Codey. Codey has not announced his gubernatorial candidacy, but many Democrats expect that he will jump into the race soon.
“I’ve never had any confidence in Dick Codey’s courage and I don’t expect that to change,” Norcross said. “I think he likes to have people say ‘run Dick run’ and I think at the end of this period we will look back and say ‘this looks like the Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers fiasco that played out over four cycles and the party will be in a position where we don’t have a standard bearer and aren’t in a position to compete in the election this year.”
Norcross compared Codey to the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz and said his gubernatorial aspirations amount to nothing more than a “theatrical presentation.”
Codey took Norcross’s bash as a school yard challenge. The anti-bully lobby would be proud.
“I had the guts to take him on and I’ve been doing it since 1993,” Codey said in response. “He’s done a good job of trying to wreck this party so he can run everything in concert with the governor. As he said very famously, no matter who runs, I win. That’s the attitude we have to change.”.
Despite the lack of an announcement, News12 reported Wednesday night that Codey is a candidate. The former Acting Governor sounded very much like a candidate on the cable new station, discussing how Governor Christie could be beat and how he would defeat him.
Norcross’s endorsement of Buono is a good indication that his protege, Senate President Steve, “The Kitten” Sweeney will not be a candidate for governor.