Obamacare has insurance brokers excited and wary for future

By Dan Goldberg/The Star-Ledger
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on October 13, 2013

When the new health insurance exchanges opened on the first of the month, Obama administration officials hailed it as “a historic day” when millions of Americans would have new access to affordable health insurance for themselves, their families and their small businesses.

David Oscar, an insurance broker in Montclair and a past president of the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters, said insurance brokers he knew had a different name for Oct. 1.

“We called it ‘Dante’s Inferno,’ ” he said. “It was the seven levels of hell.”

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Wednesday's Special U.S. Senate Election: for Booker, double versus single digits

By Max Pizarro | October 14th, 2013

If Cory Booker wins on Wednesday by less than double digits, the GOP sees a less than formidable adversary ahead of next year’s regularly scheduled election.

They’re sniffing the air ahead of Wednesday.

“I’m surprised,” said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21). “Cory Booker was not as strong as people predicted.”

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Mayoral candidate Baraka and Newark's council back Booker for Senate

By Matthew Arco | October 14th, 2013

Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s Senate campaign received the backing Monday of the Newark City Council.

Council President Luis A. Quintana and Councilmen Augusto Amador, Ras Baraka, Carlos Gonzalez, Anibal Ramos, Jr., Ronald Rice and Darrin Sharif issued a statement in support of the mayor’s bid for the U.S. Senate.

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Where it stands: Booker v. Lonegan and the U.S. Senate Special Election

By Max Pizarro | October 13th, 2013

Booker campaigning today at the Portuguese Social Club in Elizabeth.

 

This coming Wednesday’s race for U.S. Senate started in ho-hum fashion, with insiders declaring Cory Booker the winner while heralding the arrival of no-hoper Steve Lonegan as someone who could supply entertainment value during an otherwise moribund election season.

Booker’s people appeared early to be the only ones un-amused.

They weren’t about to allow their candidate to play the straight man to what they saw as Lonegan’s coming movement conservative antics. Opting for a very light schedule of press avails, they took a kind of high road delight in being able to justify avoiding Lonegan.

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Where Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan stand on the issues

By Matt Friedman/The Star-Ledger
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on October 13, 2013

 

lonegan-booker-issues.jpg
From gay marriage to their mayoral records, Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan are at odd on almost every political issue. (Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)

 

Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan are about as far apart ideologically as you can get. Here’s where they stand on the major issues, drawn from their own words.

The economy

Booker: Supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 and investing in more programs to combat child poverty, including government payments to low-income children for a college fund. Wants to implement more regulation on Wall Street to prevent another financial meltdown and invest more in research and development.

Lonegan: Believes regulations are suffocating businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, keeping the economy in the doldrums. Wants to sunset all federal regulations after 10 years and then re-examine them to see if they’re still necessary. Opposes raising the minimum wage, and has called for eliminating it altogether and allowing market forces to decide.

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N.J. Supreme Court agrees to hear Christie's gay marriage appeal

By Salvador Rizzo/The Star-Ledger
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on October 11, 2013

 

Standing in front a dozen television cameras and a bank of microphones, Cindy Meneghin (center) asks her longtime partner Maureen Kilian (right) to marry her during a news conference outside the headquarters of Garden State Equality in Montclair hours after a state judge ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey. Meneghin said the two women from Butler were high school sweethearts and have been together for 39 years. 9/27/2013 (Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger)

 

TRENTON — The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal in New Jersey’s ongoing same-sex marriage case and indicated today that it would not decide the case until next year.

A state trial judge, Mary Jacobson, ruled Sept. 27 that same-sex couples were being denied equal rights in New Jersey in the wake of a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June and ordered the state to allow same-sex marriages starting Oct. 21.

The state's highest court also agreed to hear an emergent appeal to decide whether same-sex marriages may proceed on Oct. 21 as Jacobson ordered, or if they will be put on hold until the entire case is decided next year.

 

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Judge Says New Jersey Can Begin Allowing Same-Sex Marriages in Two Weeks

The New York Times

A judge on Thursday cleared the way for same-sex marriages to start in New Jersey in two weeks, dismissing the state’s request to prevent the weddings until after an appeal of the court decision allowing them is completed.

“There is no ‘public interest’ in depriving a class of New Jersey residents their constitutional rights while appellate review is pursued,” wrote Judge Mary C. Jacobson of State Superior Court in Mercer County, who also wrote the decision last month that ordered the state to allow same-sex marriages. “On the contrary, granting a stay would simply allow the State to continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest.”

The state immediately requested that the appellate division grant a stay. It had already asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear the appeal on an expedited basis; the court has not said yet whether it will do so.

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Newark mayor's race: Ras Baraka rolls out his public safety plan

By James Queally/The Star-Ledger
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on October 10, 2013

Newark City Councilman and 2014 mayoral hopeful Ras Baraka, seen here in a file photo, listed more community initiatives and gang intervention as key components of his public safety plan.

 

NEWARK — Speaking to a packed room of more than 100 supporters inside a city library, Newark Councilman and 2014 mayoral hopeful Ras Baraka unveiled his public safety agenda today, a plan heavy on social improvements and gang intervention.

Flanked by former Gov. Richard Codey and Councilwoman Mildred Crump, Baraka said he will establish a gang interdiction program known as "Project Chill" and call for police to concentrate their efforts in the high-crime South and West wards, something he said has been lacking in recent months.

"I asked the police director ... (with) all the resources you have, why are they not here?" Baraka asked to cheers from the crowd.

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NY Times, again, endorses Booker for Senate

By Matthew Arco | October 10th, 2013

After receiving the newspaper’s endorsement during the Democratic primary, Newark Mayor Cory Booker has again been endorsed by The New York Times.

The NY Times’ editorial board issued its endorsement for Booker as he and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan enter the final stretch of New Jersey’s special Senate election. The newspaper endorsed Booker when he ran against three other Democrats over the summer to fill the seat vacated by the death of former Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

The newspaper cited Booker’s ability to bring national attention to Newark that brought jobs and money to the city, in addition to his ability to cross aisles and work with Republican officials such as Gov. Chris Christie as reasons for the endorsement.

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Sarah Palin To Campaign For Steve Lonegan In New Jersey Senate Race

john.celock@huffingtonpost.com

 

Sarah Palin will go to New Jersey Saturday to headline an event for Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, days before the state's Oct 16. special election.

Lonegan's campaign and the Tea Party Express announced Wednesday night that Palin, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee, will appear at a rally at the New Egypt Speedway in South Jersey Saturday afternoon. The announcement comes a week after Palin announced her endorsement for Lonegan, a tea party favorite, in his race against Democrat Cory Booker.

Lonegan used the announcement to criticize Palin's former opponent, Vice President Joe Biden, for pulling out of a Friday rally for Booker to deal with the ongoing federal government shutdown.

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