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Author: James Beattie

College Student Tackles Bayonne Politics

Bayonne Council Candidate Herrera Would ‘Travel’ From DC If Elected

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

Daniel Herrera

Daniel Herrera

21 year-old Bayonne First Ward Council candidate Daniel A. Herrera says that he and his running mates want to “change the local politics, because if you want to influence the national politics, it starts at the local level.”

A junior at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC, Herrera acknowledges that if elected, he “would have to travel” in the first year of his term between school and Bayonne due to his college schedule.

Herrera says he was approached last July by Anthony Zanowic, the mayoral candidate at the top of his ticket.


Lagana Replaces Wagner

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

NJ Assembly ChamberOn Thursday night in North Jersey, Save Jerseyans, the District 38 Democratic Committee nominated Paramus Council President Joseph Lagana to replace outgoing Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, an incumbent who is not seeking reelection to spend more time with her family.  The committee could not muster a quorum the previous week.  

That minor hick up aside, this is a formidable candidate that should not be brushed aside, although the GOP still has a golden opportunity to take back Wagner’s seat in November.

Here are a few points to consider:


Potential LD38 Dem Candidates

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

The LD38 GOP Convention in March 2013 (Photo Credit: James Beattie)

The LD38 GOP Convention in March 2013 (Photo Credit: James Beattie)

Incumbent Democrat Connie Wagner has made the move to step aside in favor of a new face in District 38, Save Jerseyans.

Sources close to Wagner who spoke to Save Jersey are saying that she is making the move “to spend time with her family.”

A new Democrat nominee will be on the June 19th ballot alongside Assemblyman Tim Eustace of Maywood and Senator Bob Gordon of Fair Lawn. The Dems will face GOP challengers Fernando Alonso of Oradell on the Senate side and Assembly Candidates Mayor Joseph Scarpa of Rochelle Park and Joan Fragala of Fair Lawn.

Republican sources in and around District 38 who are observing Wagner’s surprise departure are not saying all that much, other than acknowledging Wagner’s clear ability to draw votes for the Democrat ticket and how her departure could negatively impact the ticket.  One thing is for sure: either way, this is still not a shoe in for the GOP!

Save Jersey is just as curious as you to discover who will replace Connie Wagner in November.  Let’s take a look at a few potential Democrat candidates whose names have surfaced:


The New Face of NJCR’s

Meet the New Jersey College Republicans’ Diverse New Leadership for 2013

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

Earlier last week, Save Jerseyans, I had the chance to meet up with the newly-elected Chairman and Co-Chairwoman of the New Jersey College Republicans, Felix Marte and Christina Catalano.  We discussed how they came to be involved in politics, what their goals are for the organization statewide, how they intend to expand CR membership on the Garden State’s college campuses, and the importance of creating a “big tent” Republican Party.  


Still No Plan from Buono

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

TelevisionCampaign ads are a lot like zucchinis, Save Jerseyans: they reveal a lot, but often not everything.

Nevertheless, in her first slew of campaign 2013 ads (mostly online-only ones), Barbara Buono has done little but attack Governor Christie and, in her most recent release, educated the public on how to pronounce her last name (it is pronounced BWO-NO for all you kids out there).

I’m sure some focus-group believed it was a fun ad. However, we have yet to see an outline of a substantive solution to New Jersey’s problems from the challenger’s camp, leading one prominent New Jersey Democrat to wonder of the direction of the campaign:

They are just attacking Christie, which fine at first. But now there’s no education plan, no tax plan; there’s no thinking outside the box!”


What Does Sanford Say About 2014?

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

MarkSanfordWay down in the Palmetto, State Save Jerseyans, former Governor Mark Sanford is taking his seat in South Carolina’s First Congressional District, the same seat he occupied before assuming that state’s Governor’s mansion for two terms.  He defeated businesswoman Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, brother of Stephen Colbert, resident of Montclair who is well known for his antics on The Colbert Report (and a parishioner of the same Church as my grandmother!).

A significant amount of money was poured into this race to try and help Colbert-Busch create a sort of “Scott Brown Effect” exposing Sanford for all his public mishaps including his affair during his time as Governor, i.e. along the Appalachian Trail, as well as other potentially damaging revelations.

Nevertheless, Sanford returns to Capitol Hill claiming 54% of the vote to Colbert-Busch’s 45%, leaving several Democratic analysts to wonder in the coming days to ask themselves some tough electoral questions ahead of 2014.  


Donovan Back at the Reins

After Prolonged Health Scare, Bergen’s GOP County Executive Returns to Work

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

donovanThis week marked an emotional return for Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan who had been hospitalized for back pain and subsequently in upstate New York for therapy.

County Administrator Ed Trawinski and Chief of Staff Jeanne Baratta have been filling in her stead for five weeks while she was recovering (and continues to recover in outpatient therapy).

Donovan spoke to county employees gathered in the main foyer at One Bergen Plaza in Hackensack, reports The Record:

Thank you all for you kindness, your prayers, your cards…“Thank you all for doing so well to keep the county running. I paid attention every single day to what was going on. I know all of you worked very, very hard.”

Donovan will continue a part time schedule for up to two months. The County’s business won’t take a pause in the interim. Challenges that lie ahead include pay-to-play ordinance re-reform, a Sheriffs/County Police merger, and working with the Freeholders on a new budget. She will also make her political return on Friday with a welcome back soiree at the Bergen County Republican Organization Headquarters in Hackensack.

Save Jersey at Bergenfield Town Hall

GOP Governor Holds 106th Town Hall Meeting in Bergen County

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie Bergenfield Line

4/18/13 line outside of Chris Christie’s Bergenfield town hall location… almost two hours before the event begins!

Follow us on @SaveJersey and @JamesGBeattie this afternoon as @GovChristie visits St. John the Evangelist, Bergenfield for a town hall meeting, Save Jerseyans.

A number of topics could easily come up as New Jerseyans from far and wide take to the mic, and we may hear more of Governor Christie’s thoughts on the Boston Bombing, Gun Control, taxes, the economy, Earth Day, education, Campaign 2013; you just don’t know!

We may even get a couple questions on development in the community, the ongoing battle with the community center, and something else relevant to the local populace. Anything is possible…

Cold and Detached

A Quick Look at President Obama’s Less-Than-Presidental Behavior This Week

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

Angry ObamaIf you needed proof that our President was cold and detached from whom the people he has sworn to protect, look no further than the sad excuse for a press conference he had in reaction to the Amendment to the Gun Legislation which failed to pass on Wednesday afternoon in the Senate, Save Jerseyans. 

As you know, the “bipartisan” supported measure failed to garner the 60 votes needed on Wednesday, failing 54-46.

What was particularly alarming? In the middle of an investigation (now thankfully concluded!) for two suspects who left four dead and nearly 200 wounded at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon, the President found time to issue a shrill condemnation of the U.S. Senate (a body controlled by his own party) for voting against new gun controls. He can’t turn off his political animal instincts much like his allies in the media


A Debate ‘Til the End

As the Thatcher Funeral Nears, the Iron Lady’s Passing Continues to Catalyze Strong Reactions

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

Thatcher in TankWe will lay to rest a truly great “iron” lady on Wednesday, Save Jerseyans, who once said of Parliament, “I love argument. I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me – that’s not their job.”

Not much changes! Since we learned of the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher last week, we have had a diversity of reaction and reflection on her life and time as Prime Minister from around the globe.

Former Reagan Economic Adviser Art Laffer and foreign policy legend Henry Kissinger had nothing but glowing things to say about her during On the Record with Greta Van Sustren. Our friend and Heritage Foundation researcher Dan Kochis also offered his thoughts on Thatcher’s effect on young conservatives.

God knows in the wake of events like Monday’s terror attack at the Boston Marathon, we could use more leaders with the Iron Lady’s iron backbone. But not everyone is celebrating her life.


Passaic GOP Sheriff Primary

Feenan Must First Face Ciser for a Chance to Challenge the Democrat Incumbent

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

Wooden Ballot BoxEarlier this year, Save Jerseyans, we told you about the Passaic County Sheriff race as Republicans searched for a candidate to challenge incumbent Sheriff Richard Berdnik.

Frank Feenan, formerly of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, emerged early and was given the GOP line to challenge Berdnik.  Before then and ever since, Feenan has been laying the groundwork for a general election campaign and wasn’t expect to face any detours heading into November.  Now it seems as though November is not the only hurdle facing Feenan. June suddenly looms large.  

The Passaic County Clerk’s office confirmed for me yesterday morning that retired Clifton Lieutenant and karate instructor Patrick Ciser will challenge Feenan for the GOP nod this June.  

We will be sure to inform you of any updates in the days ahead…

McGreevey Documentary Review

‘Fall to Grace’ is an Incomplete Tale

By James Beattie | The Save Jersey Blog

McGreevey and CorzineYears after the downfall of his less-than-inspiring governorship, Jim McGreevey is the star of an all new HBO documentary “Fall to Grace” that premiered on the network last Thursday. The documentary was filmed by the daughter of Nancy Pelosi, Alexandra Pelosi, and follows McGreevey in his day-to-day life as an Episcopal priest in waiting.

The former Governor speaks candidly about his experience “coming out” as a gay man and how his struggle with that aspect of his life played a role in his ultimate political implosion. Pelosi also followed McGreevey ministering to female prisoners at the Hudson County Correctional Facility including those with histories in drugs, alcohol, and gangs. At one point, McGreevey tries to track down an ex-inmate to help her find employment. You’ll have to watch to see what happens, Save Jerseyans.