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Booker endorses Giblin, but effects uncertain


NEWARK, May 31 -  Just days after Newark Mayor Sharpe James endorsed Essex County Freeholder President Joe DiVincenzo’s run for the Democratic nomination to be county executive, Newark City Councilman and former Mayoral candidate Cory Booker endorsed DiVincenzo’s opponent, former Democratic State Chairman Tom Giblin.

“I believe that Tom Giblin is the man for the job,” said Booker on the steps of the county Hall of Records. Booker, like James, was dressed casually for the event, wearing khakis and a gray polo shirt.

Booker also endorsed the slate of freeholder candidates running on Giblin’s slate. “Enough is enough, it is time for us to flee the past and get away from machine candidates,” Booker said, “we desperately need a reform movement in this county.”

Of Giblin, Booker continued, “he’s a man I’ve sat with and who has made a commitment to Essex County to change politics as usual and to embrace and energize young leaders in Essex County.”

Giblin told a small assembly of reporters that “Tom Giblin and Cory Booker spell good government.”

Giblin, however, stopped short of endorsing the council candidates on the Booker team who are running in the June 11 runoff election, a week after Tuesday’s primary. Nor did he endorse Booker’s anticipated mayoral run in four years.

“I’m not sure why Cory would do this,” said a prominent New Jersey Democrat later that day at a Newark fundraiser for Sen. Robert Torricelli. “If Giblin doesn’t win, he’s only endorsed a losing candidate while pissing off the man who might be the next county executive [DiVincenzo]…there’s no real upside in this for Booker at all.”

But another source told a story of frustration within the Giblin campaign at Booker’s apparent reticence to jump into the divisive county executive primary contest. “We did a lot of work for him behind the scenes, and he should have come out for us earlier,” the source said. A source close to the Booker camp scoffed at that suggestion, however. “Giblin waited until the last minute to endorse us.”

Sources agreed that the effects of a Booker endorsement could be significant, but differed on whether it helped Giblin or DiVincenzo. “Either it energizes James’ people to work harder for DiVincenzo, or it makes white suburbanites feel warmer toward Giblin,” said the Democratic source. “This was a risky endorsement to do and it might have been better left unsaid.”

Booker said that he hoped the endorsement would tell voters that Giblin was interested in “real reform.”

Asked how he felt about former Sharpe James campaign manager James Benjamin’s presence in the Giblin campaign, Booker said that he “had not spoken with Benjamin.”  Benjamin is running Giblin’s election day GOTV.  “You have to cobble together a coalition in an election; Sharpe James and I slugged it out but the election is over and this is a testimony to Tom Giblin’s ability to form a coalition.”

“Democratic politics in Essex County is like square dancing,” says Giblin.  “You’re always changing partners.”

Brian Murphy can be reached at  

Click here: Star-Ledger endorses DiVincenzo

Littell says he won't sponsor
McGreevey corporate tax plan



TRENTON, May 30 - Just one day after signaling that he would support Governor James E. McGreevey’s corporate tax plan, State Sen. Robert Littell (R-Sussex), the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Co-Chairman, today issued a statement backing away from that pledge.

“Yesterday, I extended an olive branch to the Governor and his administration by offering my support and sponsorship of what they have billed as a loophole-closing corporation business tax proposal. My intent in making this offer was to encourage a bipartisan discussion in developing a fair and equitable plan to close loopholes," said Littell, who noted that he has not yet received a copy of the bill or details of McGreevey's plan.

“I have now notified the administration that I will not sign on to a bill I haven’t seen, and moreover, I have decided to either introduce a strict loophole closure bill or offer amendments to the administration’s bill.”

"We welcome Senator Littell's commitment to fix the business tax and we will work with him toward that end," said McGreevey spokesman Paul Aronson. 

Although Republican Senate Co-President John Bennett (R-Monmouth) denied that Littell was pressured to change his position, he did acknowledge it was a surprise to him.

“Bob called me at the end of the day yesterday to tell me about it, and he decided to do his own bill that would close loopholes,” Bennett said. “There was some concern within the caucus among senators who thought that Littell’s announcement was tantamount to an approval for the measure.”

“On a one-to-ten scale, this was a ten,” said one senior Republican about Bennett’s surprise at Littell’s announcement. “He was completely blown away.” The source indicated that while Bennett did not pressure Littell directly, his fellow Republican senators did the job for him. “There weren’t any threat of punishments made, but I think his fellow committee members called him and made him realize that he can be bipartisan without being a co-sponsor of the bill.”

Littell yesterday said that he would co-sponsor McGreevey’s proposal, which has not yet been released in bill-form, with Democratic Majority Leader Bernard Kenny (D-Hudson), casting doubt on Littell’s contention today that the lack of a bill was his motivation for backing away from the bill.

“This was a shock to everyone,” said one Republican senator, “we haven’t signed on to this yet.” “I’m not sure what he was offered for his concurrence, but it couldn’t have been enough to drag us along for the ride.”

Following today’s brief Senate voting session, Sen. Richard Bagger (R-Union) said that Littell, “would be withholding his support based on the lack of details” in McGreevey’s proposal. “The devil is in the details,” Bagger added.

About an hour later, after a closed-door meeting with several other GOP Senators and members of the GOP leadership staff in his State House Annex office, Littell attended the Senate Labor Committee meeting. About a dozen staff members remained in his office, however, releasing the statement soon after.

“They put the screws to him, I hear,” said another GOP senator. “If he goes along with this, so does the rest of the caucus, and we’ll have no bargaining power at all with this administration.”

Rick Shaftan, a Sparta-based conservative political consultant, predicts that Littell's dalliances with the Democratic Governor might result in a primary next year.  "Any dimwitted political consultant could beat this guy. I think a primary fight is too ripe to be avoided for him," Shaftan said.  

In recent weeks, McGreevey’s press releases have touted Littell as a bipartisan legislator, contrasting him to Bennett. “But Bennett is the leader in this caucus,” said the senator, “and I think he got what he wanted the next day.”

Brian Murphy can be reached at  

23-year-old McGreevey cousin takes on Democratic establishment in Elizabeth Council race


ELIZABETH, May 29 - Riding over potholes in Elizabeth’s Fifth Ward, Tony Teixeira sees opportunities for improvement. “A Councilman is a lobbyist for his ward,” he says, “and if I’m elected, I’m putting the people of my ward first.”

Teixeira -- who answers his cellular phone as "Tony Tex” --  is fighting to win the Democratic nomination to represent the Fifth Ward on Elizabeth’s city council, a part-time position that pays $18,000.  He is challenging incumbent Councilman Tony Monteiro.  A third candidate, William Gallman, a 61-year-old Union County employee, is running on the organization line.

The 23-year-old Teixeira, who became a U.S. citizen just a little more than a year ago, is something of a political prodigy.  He has been doing political work on behalf of the Democratic Party since his high school days. “After my first campaign, I was bitten by the political bug, and my life hasn’t been the same,” he says. 

He also claims a political pedigree among Democrats: his first cousin is Dina Matos McGreevey, New Jersey's First Lady.  Teixeira's parents, who emigrated from Portugal in the late 1970’s, live down the street from Governor James E. McGreevey's in-laws.  

The McGreevey's have not endorsed any candidates in the Elizabeth race.

 “I’m basically running because I’m Dina’s cousin,” he joked during the car ride, before explaining that his real motivations are much more serious.   "I grew up in this town, and I now own a home and a business here," Teixeira said.  “I think the job of a city councilman extends beyond just showing up at meetings and voting against have to ask yourself, ‘what can I do for my ward?’ and show some real leadership.”

Teixeira faces a tough campaign on Tuesday.  “Tony and Gallman have worked this race hard,” says Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage. “If he can mobilize the African-American vote, Gallman can win it, but Tony will get support from Portuguese and Hispanic voters.” The ward, which Bollwage represented for ten years before being elected mayor in 1992, is about 30% African-American, 40% Hispanic and roughly 10% Portuguese according to 2000 Census figures. 

Gallman, an African-American, won the party nomination with support from twelve of the eighteen county committee members in the ward; all twelve were African-American.  The other six supported Teixeira, while none of the party leaders backed the re-election campaign of Monteiro, 37. 

Teixeira was reluctant to directly criticize the incumbent, Monteiro, but the mayor has no such reservations. “I haven’t endorsed in this race, but I am endorsing the challengers,” Bollwage said, “I want to see the incumbent lose; he gives politicians the worst name possible.”

Bollwage and Teixeira claim that Monteiro has been inconsistent and mercurial in his positions. “He tells you one thing at 1:30, tells somebody something else at 3:30 and says another thing by 5:30,” Bollwage said, “I think you should at least have time to change your underwear before you start changing your positions.”

“I think people deserve a councilman who will be upfront and honest with them, and who will return phone calls and be realistic," Teixeira said.   Neither Monteiro nor Gallman returned phone calls seeking comment.

Teixeira points to the expansion of a Waste Management trash transfer facility in the Fifth Ward as an example of failed leadership. “When the wind blows, you can smell this place for blocks,” Teixeira says as he lowers the car window while driving past the wide, squat building as garbage trucks rumble by. On a warm May afternoon, the breeze carries a distinctive combination of rotting effervescence. “It isn’t enough to just vote against something like this; if I was Councilman, I’d be organizing people to protest this. If they arrest me, so be it, but they won’t arrest a councilman and his people over and over again for protesting that their neighborhood smells like trash.”

But with only six days left before the election, Teixeira’s attention is focused on the primary. In heavily-Democratic Elizabeth, the primary winner is all-but-guaranteed victory in November.

The Fifth Ward race is one of the most expensive in recent memory. “I haven’t seen dynamics like this since my four-way race in 1982,” says Bollwage. Teixeira estimates he will spend nearly $30,000 before the race is done, with all three candidates spending nearly $100,000.  MORE

Click here to read Brian Murphy's past stories 

News Briefs 

Updated on 06/03/02 11:29 AM


Gloucester lawyer seeks GOP nod to challenge Andrews... South Jersey Republicans, who were unable to recruit a congressional candidate to run against Rob Andrews in the 1st district by the April  8th filing deadline, are seeking to nominate attorney George Gallenthin through a write-in campaign.  To win the GOP nomination, Gallenthin, a Paulsboro resident who practices law in Pennsylvania, must receive at least 100 write-in votes in Tuesday's Republican primary.  (06/03/02)


McClellan wins endorsements for Mercer Dem chair... The Mercer County Democratic Committee voted on Saturday to endorse Richard McClellan for County Chairman.  The vote of the panel, which includes all thirteen Municipal Chairs, the Acting County Chairwoman, and a representative of the Democratic Freeholders, was unanimous. The other candidate in the race, Princeton Borough Democratic Municipal Chairman Andrew Koontz, was not nominated.  McClellan, a former Executive Director of the county party organization, is now Hamilton Mayor Glen Gilmore's top aide.  (06/03/02)


The Trentonian has endorsed Douglas Forrester in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. (06/03/02)


Burlington Dem mailer makes Essex, Kentucky look tame... Burlington County Democrats have a heated primary for Freeholder, and the county organization is using a direct mail piece to question the sanity of two two longtime gadlflies opposing the party candidates. Click here to view the mailer (06/02/02)


Passaic Democratic Freeholder will mount independent bid... Georgia Scott, a two-term Democratic Freeholder from Passaic County who was dumped by party leaders earlier this year, will announce on Monday that she will file petitions to seek re-election this fall as an Independent.  Control of the Freeholder Board is up in November, and Scott's independent candidacy could pull votes away from her former party and help the GOP regain their majority.  (06/02/02)


Michael Shapiro: Let's put the Office of Government Integrity to the Test... "New Jersey has a long history of political corruption and unethical conduct committed by both political parties," says columnist Michael Shapiro, who offers some suggestions.  Click here to read Shapiro's column (06/02/02)


The Star-Ledger has endorsed Diane Allen in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.  Click here to view the Star-Ledger editorial (06/02/02)



Republican U.S. Senate debate between Diane Allen and John Matheussen on News 12 New Jersey: Friday at 9AM, Saturday at 8AM, and Sunday at 11:30 AM.  Jim McQueeny is the moderator; panelists are News 12 reporter Tom Layson, Rutgers Political Science Professor Ingrid Reed, and reporter Brian Murphy.


Former Governors Jim Florio and Don DiFrancesco will be on Diner Politics with Laura Jones (cn8 - The Comcast Network)

Roger Bodman, Michael Murphy, Dave Murray and Rick Thigpen join Michael Aron on On the Record (NJN)

PoliticsNJ reporter Brian Murphy co-hosts Power and Politics with Jim McQueeny (News 12)


Garrett gets Forbes endorsement in 5th district... Former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, a resident of Bedminster, said today that he supports Assemblyman Scott Garrett for the GOP nomination for Congress in the 5th district.  Click here to read Garrett's press release (05/31/02)


Booker backs Giblin for Essex Executive.... Newark City Councilman and former mayoral candidate Cory Booker has endorsed Tom Giblin for the Democratic nomination for Essex County Executive in the June 4th primary. Click here to read Giblin's press release (05/31/02)


The Trenton Times has endorsed Diane Allen in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Click here to read the Trenton Times editorial (05/31/02)


Poll says most New Jerseyans oppose Newark arena plan... Nearly seven out of ten New Jersey voters believe that the government should not help finance a new arena for the Devils and Nets in Newark, according to a poll released today by Fairleigh Dickinson University's The Public Mind.  57% oppose the move of the arena from the Meadowlands to Newark, and just 22% say they will be more likely to attend sporting events if the arena moves.  Click here to view the FDU survey results (05/31/02)


Forrester continues to lead GOP field, new poll says...  With five days left before Republicans select their nominee to challenge U.S. Sen. Bob Torricelli, millionaire businessman Douglas Forrester holds a 13 point lead, 39%-26%, over  State Sen. Diane Allen, according to a KYW-TV/  Courier-Post poll released tonight.  State Sen. John Matheussen trails with 14%.  


But the poll shows Torricelli and Allen  in a statistical dead heat, with Torricelli leading 43%-41%.  Torricelli leads Forrester by 10 points, and Matheussen by 12.  Click here to read Alan Guenther's story (05/30/02)


In letter to Republicans, Pennsylvania Senator backs Forrester... Saying that he is breaking his own policy of endorsing in primary elections, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania has endorsed Douglas Forrester for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in New Jersey.  Santorum, a conservative who is known in parts of South Jersey, Mercer, Hunterdon, Sussex and Warren counties that share some media outlets with Pennsylvania, sent a letter to Republican voters seeking support for Forrester.  Santorum and Forrester have at least one  thing in common: they both use Brabender, Cox and Mihalke as their media consultants.  (05/30/02)


Commerce and Industry Association invites Fox to join debate... Congressional candidate Brian Fox has been invited to participate in a debate of Republican candidates seeking the open 5th district house seat. "We would be happy to hear Brian Fox's views, and apologize for any misunderstanding that was perceived, the CIANJ said in a statement today.  Click here to read the CIANJ statement | Click here to read Fox's press release (05/30/02)


Commerce and Industry Association excludes Fox from congressional debate... One of the five candidates seeking the GOP nomination for Marge Roukema's 5th district House seat is complaining that he was the only candidate not invited to participate in a debate tomorrow in Bergen County.  The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, the sponsor of the debate, says that  Brian Fox, a 25-year-old marketing executive making his first bid for public office,  was not invited because he is a "minor candidate," The Record reported today.  


Participating in the debate are State Sen. Gerald Cardinale, Assemblymen Scott Garrett and David Russo, and New York University Professor Akram Yosri.  Only the three legislators are considered contenders; Yosri and Fox are both running at about 1% in polls conducted by the Cardinale, Garrett and Russo campaigns.  Few political pundits are calling this race for Yosri, and all five candidates were included on a New Jersey Network debate last weekend.

Click here to read Fox's press release (05/30/02)


Littell backs down ...  Just one day after saying he would co-sponsor Gov. James E. McGreevey's plan to raise corporate taxes in New Jersey, Republican Sen. Robert Littell (R-Sussex) says he has changed his mind and won't back the bill.  Littell is the Republican Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. (05/30/02)


Still, more from Kentucky... A local prosecutor in rural Kentucky reports allegations that some votes were bought for drugs.  "What it takes to get the attention of some voters now is no longer a case of beer or $10 or $15.  Now it's a handful of OxyContin," the Prosecutor told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "For 150 years, we worried about cash and liquor, which is why we close liquor stores on Election Day." Click here (05/30/02)


The New York Times has endorsed Diane Allen in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.  Click here to read the NY Times editorial (05/30/02)


The Ocean County Observer has endorsed Diane Allen in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.  Click here to read the Observer editorial (05/30/02)


Kennedy will step down as GOP Chairman... The Gloucester County Republican Chairman, Harry Kennedy, will not seek re-election to a fourth term as County Chairman, the Gloucester County Times reported today.  Possible successors include: GOP Executive Director Bud McBride; Swedesboro Councilman Gerry Michael; and Sean Kennedy, the Chairman's son, who is managing John Matheussen's campaign for U.S. Senate.  Click here to read Brian Arrington's story (05/30/02)


Does this sound familiar... George Steinbrenner may not be the only one threatening to leave unless a new facility is constructed.  Click here


Take the BGIA Trivia Challenge... The Business and Governmental Insurance Agency and is proud to present the DC Sweepstakes.  Every month through  the fall, we'll post trivia questions prepared by the PoliticsNJ staff.   This year, one lucky (and smart) New Jerseyan will receive pair of roundtrip flights to Washington DC and get a White House tour,  exclusive Capitol Hill tour, and dinner at Old Ebbit Grill.  The winner of each month's trivia challenge will be eligible to participate in the final round, which takes place in the fall. Last year, BGIA sent Business and Industry Association staffer Sara Bluhm to Disneyworld.  BGIA and PoliticsNJ wish all good luck and fair play, the winner gets a free trip to DC for a dayCLICK HERE!


More from Kentucky... Connie Hancock, the Floyd County Property Valuation Administrator who was the subject of an X-rated negative TV ad, won the Democratic primary yesterday by a 50%-30% margin.  Click here for election results | Click here and view the Hancock and May commercials (05/29/02)


David Rebovich: Republican primary secondary to many voters...  "No one had to say it," said columnist David Rebovich.   "Like most debates, this one did not see any new policy positions enunciated, no new attacks initiated, and not a heck of a lot that could help voters draw clear distinctions between the three candidates.  Even if any of this had occurred, with the debate being aired on both the Philadelphia and New York ABC-TV affiliates on a holiday weekend not many folks would likely have seen it anyway." Click here to read David Rebovich's column (05/29/02)



Odds all favor DeGise
Littell stance no small matter
Generational Battle Turns Nasty in Alabama Primary
Glen Gilmore knots those school ties
Mayor honored yesterday with renaming old City Hall
Hartmann sentenced to six months in jail
Latino is point man for ward's political clout
GOP poised to choose challenger to Torricelli
Voters to pick end to heated exec race
PACs flex muscle in local campaigns
DiVincenzo over Giblin
New Jersey Notebook
In N.J., GOP Seeks to Reclaim Lost Ground

Divisive Race Echoes a Past Loss for Democrats

Nasty race is nearing the end
GOP hopefuls united against Torricelli
Soaries, Jones face off in District 12 primary
Seven of nine freeholders see challenge in primary
Forrester battles late challenge
Strategists count on low turnout in GOP Senate race
Candidate Q & A-Sumers wants to lighten tax burden on small business
Chiusano: GOP is not stealing campaign signs
Three Republicans vie for right to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Torricell in what some consider one of the dullest primary elections in years
Primary down to the final sprint
Candidates gear up for local primary
Resources put Forrester ahead in GOP Senate race
Governor seeks delay on casinos
Tours of Governor's mansion on hold
Analysis: Governor treading carefully on budget
Labor negotiations bill put on hold
For supermarkets and retailers, Governor's tax plan is no sale
Voters likely will ignore primaries
Pennsville GOP pick Sennstrom, Barnhart
Teaneck mayor stepping down in favor of colleague
Carteret mayoral and council races strongly contested in primary
Plenty of local races, but not much choice
Wide range of tests on tap on primary day
City riverfront rebirth continues
2 vie in Hightstown primary
2 Dems seek seats in Hopewell; 3rd pulls out of race
Development vote splits GOP in Moorestown
Rosenello gets backing in N. Wildwood
GOP factions head for showdown
Four Democrats vie for two Township Committee seats
County Democrats to choose strategy to break near 20-year Republican stranglehold on the county Board of Freeholders
Business and recreational opportunities tops list of priorities for candidates
Candidates gear up for local primary
12 Monmouth County towns have primary contests
Primary contests Tuesday in 4 Ocean County towns
Kerry's Campaign Video: A Preview of 2004 Bid?
GOP Seeks to Ease Curbs on Churches in Politics
Hayes Faces Trio of Determined Dems
Clinton may raise $10M
As Cash Flows, Republicans Win, Survey Says
Junior Tuesday
Another Plan, Another Battle Over Redistricting
Fletcher expected to run for Governor
Pataki Rival Fails in Effort to Win Spot on Party Line
At the races
Court clears way for Capitol protests
5 Democrats Qualify for Mass. Primary
Primaries Target Governors' Seats
Md.: Little Room for Error
Dump Dem Bums
RNC Paid Ousted Chief $32,000 for 'Consulting'
Richardson Given Free Pass While N.M. GOP Fights for Ticket


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