Johnson on 2018 Plans: ‘I’ve Heard from Serious and Thoughtful People’

By Max Pizarro | August 9, 2017

Insider NJ

 

Jim Johnson, the attorney and former assistant secretary of the treasury from Montclair who ran a never-say-die progressive campaign for governor and lost in the June Democratic Primary, wouldn’t rule out a run for county executive next year when prodded by InsiderNJ amid ongoing countywide rumblings.

A source earlier this week noted that an emissary or two connected to the Black Ministers of Essex County poked Johnson on his prospects for a 2018 run against powerful incumbent Executive Joe DiVincenzo.

“I think it’s fair to say that I’ve heard from serious and thoughtful people, including, most importantly, my family, about what my next steps should be,” Johnson told InsiderNJ, but elected not to elaborate further on the matter.

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Can Sheila Oliver Run for Assembly and LG at Same Time?

By Christian Hetrick • 08/02/17

Observer

Sheila Oliver and Phil Murphy.

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Democrats plan to run Sheila Oliver for lieutenant governor and for re-election to the Assembly in the 34th legislative district this November, arguing that state law allows her to seek both offices at the same time, even though she would only be able to occupy one of them.

New Jersey law generally bars candidates from appearing twice on the same ballot.

But, technically speaking, the state regulation at issue bars candidates from accepting “a nomination by petition” for more than one office in a single general election. Since Oliver was selected by Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy — and not nominated by petition — Democrats say the regulation does not apply to her or any lieutenant governor nominee.

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Masonic Unity - From Paper to Practice

By essexcountypolitics.com

August 5, 2017

Screen_Shot_2017-08-05_at_10.46.12_AM.png

Inside the Freemasons' Hall, United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), From Left to Right:
Bro. Mike Binsted, Provincial Assistant Grand Scribe Ezra - Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch
Bro. David Walker, Worshipful Master - Orion In The West Lodge No. 415
Bro. Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. Bethel Lodge No. 10, F & AM - PHA Orange, NJ

London - This month, Former Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. a member of Bethel Lodge #10, Orange, NJ, a local subset of the Prince Hall Masonic organization, made history by being the first member of the Lodge to cross an ocean and visit the The United Grand Lodge of England.

Freemasonry, a fraternal order historically shrouded in secrecy, with various organizational bodies dating back to the early 1700s, had a membership which was once closed to blacks.  Accordingly, Freemasonry in the United States has maintained a split along racial lines for centuries due to racial divides.  Although significant changes have been made, the racial gap was never completely bridged. However, Masonry in the State of New Jersey has shown significant leadership in its quest to have racial unanimity within its fraternal order by addressing segregation and lack of mutual recognition between the two State Grand Lodge Masonic bodies.

Specifically, The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New Jersey formed a Pact with its Caucasian counterpart the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, aboard the Battle Ship New Jersey on September 22, 2002 to establish a level of mutual recognition.  The United Grand Lodge of England had also listed New Jersey’s Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge as a recognized body on its website.  Former Mayor Hawkins’ historic visit to Orion in the West Lodge No. 415 & New Welcome Lodge No. 5139 of London, England, proved that fraternal masonic recognition was indeed in practice and transcended racial lines.

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Court reinstates Bridgegate records suit against Christie administration

TRENTON -- A state court on Thursday revived a public records fight against Gov. Chris Christie, finding members of his administration could be on the hook for civil penalties for withholding e-mails about the Bridgegate scandal from the media.

The three-judge appeals panel reinstated two lawsuits brought by North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record newspaper, alleging the Governor's Office engaged in a pattern and practice of hiding public documents in violation of state records law.

The news organization had filed a series of requests under New Jersey's Open Public Records Act for e-mails exchanged between members of the governor's staff and the Port Authority just a few weeks after the lane closures that would become a national scandal.

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With a New Jersey E-ZPass It’s E-Z to Pay Higher Tolls in New York City

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Thaw for Senior Freeze Property-Tax Relief Frozen Out of 2018 Budget

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Guadagno Announces Carlos Rendo as Running Mate

By Alyana Alfaro • 07/27/17

Observer

Carlos Rendo and Kim Guadagno.

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WEST NEW YORK — Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno announced Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo as her running mate on Thursday, reconfiguring her gubernatorial campaign as a pitch to the large bloc of Hispanic voters in New Jersey who are not represented on the Democratic ticket.

Rendo, 53, and his family fled the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba under political exile in 1966, when he was 2 years old. He is the only Republican Hispanic mayor in New Jersey and an immigration lawyer with deep ties in Hudson County, a Democratic stronghold in New Jersey.

“As a young boy, my family was forced to flee communist Cuba and the atrocities of the Castro regime,” Rendo said Thursday at a restaurant in the heart of New Jersey’s Cuban community. “Today I stand before you as living proof that it is still possible to live the American Dream.”

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Oliver Goes After Guadagno in Debut as Murphy’s Running Mate

By Christian Hetrick • 07/26/17

Observer

Sheila Oliver.

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Former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver quickly went on the attack against the Christie administration at her announcement as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor on Wednesday, offering herself as a stark contrast to the current lieutenant governor: Republican gubernatorial nominee Kim Guadagno.

Oliver, a state assemblywoman from East Orange, debuted as Phil Murphy’s running mate at a news conference in Newark attended by dozens of high-ranking Democratic officials. The two candidates hugged and praised one another, and Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, described it as a pairing of “two like-minded souls.”

Oliver, 65, had harsh words for the “Christie-Guadagno administration,” which she said “strangle-holded” the state for the last seven and a half years. In a possible preview to her attack-dog role on the campaign trail, she pledged to be a “very different lieutenant governor” from Guadagno, who has focused on being a liaison to New Jersey’s business community.

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Phil Murphy, Sheila Oliver, and the Rehabilitation Opportunity of the Essex County Democratic Party

By Max Pizarro | July 26, 2017, 5:30 pm | in Columnist

INSIDER NJ

 

NEWARK – Essex experienced something on the order of a full systems collapse in the Chris Christie era, which began with the elimination of its own Senate President Dick Codey, ostensibly in exchange for empowering Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo with Speaker Sheila Oliver, and ending up without Oliver, or the money sought for county programs, and finally shackled like a dumb beast to the priorities of South Jersey and a preposterous, scandal-hampered GOP presidential ambition.

Egos irritated by having to lump themselves in the Codey camp or the Joe D. camp, went in their own directions, a condition epitomized by Oliver – jettisoned as speaker – pulling the ripcord on her own renegade run for the U.S. Senate in 2013 against the county-backed Cory Booker. “Somebody needs to get to her, DiVincenzo said into a cellphone when he heard about Oliver’s petition drive just as Booker walked onto a stage with former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley to present as the statewide face of a new generation. There was also state Senator Nia Gill’s 2012 hotdog campaign in the face of the same line occupied by the county-backed Donald Payne, not to mention Ras Baraka’s Magic Bus campaign for Newark Mayor in 2014. Under all of it curdled Codey’s bitterness – “George! George!” – over having been ejected from the senate presidency in favor of Iowa and Camden, even as DiVincenzo – in a display of bipartisanship – embraced Christie’s 2013 reelection bid, and Codey’s nemesis, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), wore the tires out on his car driving up to Essex to party with friends who saw him as the successor to Christie in Drumthwacket.

That ongoing bar brawl dumpster fire in neighboring Essex enabled Assemblyman Vincent Prieto of Hudson County to step over the ruckus and – with state Senator Nick Sacco’s (D-32) assistance – cut the deal with South Jersey for leadership. That was back in 2013, the same year South Jersey operatives landed in Jersey City and helped Steve Fulop become mayor over another Codey ally named Jerry Healy.

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Phil Murphy and Sheila Oliver, Two Faces of the Democratic Party

By Christian Hetrick and Salvador Rizzo • 07/25/17

Observer

Sheila Oliver.

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Phil Murphy and Sheila Oliver will share the same gubernatorial ticket in November, but they represent two starkly different currents in the Democratic Party.

Murphy, 59, was born to a working-class white family in Massachusetts and earned an economics degree at Harvard University, then made millions at Goldman Sachs. He has never held elected office but served as President Barack Obama’s first ambassador to Germany and made his name as a prolific fundraiser for national Democrats.

Oliver, 65, is a black woman born in Newark who graduated from Lincoln University — a historically black college — then received a master’s degree in planning and administration from Columbia University in 1976. Over two decades, she has served at every level of New Jersey government: as a member of her local school board in East Orange, as an Essex County freeholder and administrative official, and as a state lawmaker and Assembly speaker.

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