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Tag: Norcross

Declare Your Allegiance

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

HBO’s smash hit ‘Game of Thrones’ series is back on the air, Save Jerseyans, and if you’re anything like me, you love every minute of it.

Of course, you and I don’t need to transport ourselves to the fantastical realm of Westeros for an ample supply of corrupt, greed, scheming, perversion, violence and intrigue. We live in New Jersey! Did the Starks close the Wall to punish political enemies? Did the Lannisters sell kidneys on the black market? The Game of Jersey is a game without equal.

Whose side are you on? Declare your allegiance with one of the six Facebook profile badges posted below…

House Christie:

House Christie

House Norcross:


Another Ballot Petition Snafu

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Garry Cobb

Garry Cobb

Garry Cobb is the latest high-profile 2014 candidate to run into ballot petition problems, Save Jerseyans.

It’s a little complicated so follow along carefully: Cobb needed to file two sets of petitions this time around for both the general election AND the special election to replace Rob Andrews, as did the other Democrat and Republican challengers in CD1.

What does this mean? Unless Garry Cobb gets 200 write-in signatures on June 3 as permitted by N.J.S.A. 19:14-2.1, then he’ll appear on ballot just once in November, in the general election column, but not for the special, setting up a situation where Cobb could theoretically win the general election but lose the special election, a set of circumstances whereupon Norcross would fill Andrews’ vacated seat from Election Day until the new Congress convenes in January 2015.


Norcross Draws Primary Challenge

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

DonkeyFrom CBS News:

Logan Township Mayor Frank Minor is expected to announce his candidacy for the open seat. He’s been in office 11 years and also works as a top official at the Delaware River and Bay Authority.  The only announced Democrat in the race, state senator Donald Norcross, has much of the announced official party support. But Minor is undaunted.

“I don’t have the resources to compete with the Norcross machine obviously. We’ll run a spirited campaign,” Minor tells KYW Newsradio. “We’ll run a campaign based upon the issues and the qualifications and we’ll run a campaign with whatever resources that I have at my disposal.”

Presumptive GOP nominee Garry Cobb is formally launching his campaign on Monday as reported first by Save Jersey.


UPDATE: Cobb to Challenge Norcross

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog


We reconfirmed today’s big CD1 news tonight, Save Jerseyans: our sources were right; Garry Cobb is a candidate for Congress! I caught up with him at the Camden County Republican Committee meeting in Haddon Township…

Garry Cobb


Nothing is ever smooth for the South Jersey GOP… ever…


Greenwald Professes Trust in Christie

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Lou GreenwaldAssembly Majority Leader Lou “Empty Suit” Greenwald (D-6) addressed the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey legislative on Wednesday night, Save Jerseyans, at a well-catered reception held at the popular Mansion venue in suburban Voorhees Township (Camden County).

Sources at the event report he expounded on the cookie cutter things you’d expect a politician to discuss with a business group, including but not limited to the importance of developing South Jersey’s medical and educational infrastructure to benefit the regional economy.

But he also expressed concern over the ongoing Bridgegate kerfuffle… and expressed his hope (real or feigned) that the investigation remain non-partisan moving forward…


Save Jersey’s Donald Norcross Interview

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Donald Norcross

Donald Norcross

Who is Donald Norcross?

Everyone wants to know (or at least get to know the family’s most powerful member) now that the relatively low-key 5th Legislative District state senator is the clear favorite to succeed Rob Andrews following Tuesday’s surprise resignation.

There’s no better way to begin your introduction than by way of a nearly 20-minute interview. We don’t interview many Democrats, it’s true, but we made an exception two years ago…

By way of background, the hugely-controversial attempted merger of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University forged strange battle lines in New Jersey politics. Save Jersey bloggers strongly opposed the original Rutgers-Rowan merger. George Norcross III, Donald Norcross’s brother, was the leading political force behind it. With that backdrop, in May 2012, our Managing Editor Brian McGovern visited Senator Norcross at his Audubon district office to discuss the many ins and outs of the merger proposal as it stood at that time.

Watch below the fold:


UPDATE: Andrews Will Resign Feb. 18th

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Rob Andrews

Claiming that an ongoing House ethics inquiry “played no role at all in his decision to resign,” Save Jerseyans, veteran South Jersey Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ01) announced his pending resignation today at a presser in his Haddon Heights district office.

He will remain on the job until February 18th, after which time a vacancy will occur. Andrews also endorsed state Senator Donald Norcross (D-5) to replace him at the press conference, brother of party boss and media/medical mogul George Norcross III.

Andrews will head the Washington, D.C. office of the mega law firm Dilworth Paxson.

Leading potential GOP candidates include former NFL star Garry Cobb (R-Cherry Hill) our own Susanne LaFrankie (R-Haddonfield), formally a reporter for ABC’s Philly station.

Tuesday’s original story from the Inky:


Norcross Defends Christie

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie and NorcrossSorry, Senator Weinberg. New Jersey’s most powerful Democrat has a message for his national party and other Dems (like Loretta Weinberg) seeking to make hay out of the NY/NJ Port Authority flap: build a bridge and get over it.

h/t Washington Post:

George Norcross III, an influential Democratic figure in South Jersey and a sometime Christie ally, said Democrats should “be focusing on their own candidates and their own profile.”


Norcross Faction Pitches $29M Inky Buyout

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

norcrosssupermanThe struggle for control of one of our region’s largest print dailies is progressing to a considerably more intense level of internal warfare, Save Jerseyans.

Save Jersey obtained a copy of the following press release which is circulating in The Philadelphia Inquirer universe today authored by the Echo Group, LLC, spokespersons on behalf of the majority owners of Interstate General Media, a group which includes South Jersey Democrat chieftain George Norcross III.

It’s worth a read in its entirety; power politics and big money working in tandem is something to behold:

Today, the majority owners of Interstate General Media (IGM), who together hold 58 percent of the company and represent four of six directors, announced they are offering to purchase the minority share of the company owned by Lewis Katz and Gerry Lenfest in order to end the current dispute between the groups and provide stability to the company.

The following is a statement from George E. Norcross, III and William P. Hankowsky, two of the majority owner group of IGM.


The Choice

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie and NorcrossIf there is one image floating around online that sums up the odd-ball nature of New Jersey’s 2013 Election cycle, Save Jerseyans, then this it.

Chris Christie (center) is seen standing in what appears to be a box at Sunday’s Eagles game in Philadelphia with a Democrat consultant (left) and South Jersey Democrat Chieftain George Norcross III (right).

The photo was tweeted out to the world by Susan McCue, a former top Harry Reid staffer and president of “The Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security,” a Democrat Super PAC that has been running hard-hitting smear ads against NJ GOP legislative candidates.

So there you have it, folks. We have two parties on the ballot in New Jersey’s Election 2013 but they’re not the ones that you’re used to deciding between.

On the Left are the North Jersey far-left Democrats (Buono, Weinberg, Gordon, etc). To the Right is a grand alliance between Governor Chris Christie’s political organization and New Jersey’s ethically-challenged but ideologically moderate Democrat party bosses.

There’s your choice.

NYT Takes On Norcross

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

norcrosssupermanAmerica’s preeminent liberal newspaper is picking a fight with New Jersey’s most powerful Democrat, Save Jerseyans.

Go figure.

The New York Times published a very interesting piece on Sunday which takes a hard look at recent management turnover at The Philadelphia Inquirer (they’re calling it an “ownership war”); the author concludes that South Jersey Party Boss and part-owner George Norcross III is right at the center of it:

While the battle may seem like one more bit of denouement for an industry on the wane, it is less a business story than a fight for the soul of not just an institution, but of a city as well. Philadelphia deserves better.

Soon after the purchase, Mr. Norcross quickly became involved in every aspect of the operation, down to choosing vendors for coffee and copy machines, according to several employees, who declined to be identified because they have been told not to speak to reporters.

Among other changes, Mr. Marimow was instructed to reduce the opinion section, based on research commissioned by Mr. Norcross.

Working through the publisher, Mr. Hall, Mr. Norcross installed his 25-year-old daughter, Alessandra, to run the Web site,, even though she had no experience as a media executive.

Click here to continue reading…

Philadelphia Magazine weighed in with their own story suggesting that Norcross was none-too-pleased with former editor Bill Marimow’s alleged resistance to integrating marketing research into the Inky’s reporting.

Trunk Launches 2nd TV Attack Ad

New GOP Challenger Commercial Slams Sweeney Over Fenimore Landfill, Ethics

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

LD3 GOP Senate Challenger Niki Trunk is taking another crack at Senate President Steve Sweeney in her latest TV spot, Save Jerseyans:

Efforts by Sweeney’s caucus to hold up the Fenimore legislation has been a regular avenue of attack for this year’s LD3 Republican slate which includes Freeholders Larry Wallace (R-Gloucester) and Bob Vanderslice (R-Salem), candidates for Assembly.

It hasn’t been easy. Trunk and other competitive New Jersey Republican legislative candidates have come under a withering paid media assault financed by the independent committee “Fund for Jobs, Growth & Security” reportedly backed by powerful Democrats including South Jersey’s George Norcross III.

Keep it here forall of the latest state senate race news…

Rebellion Behind Machine Lines?

Last Tuesday night, Save Jerseyans, the Camden City school board denied the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy its application to build a charter school in Camden.

The proposal was backed by the Democrat South Jersey powerbroker of the same name and endeavored to create a five-school campus serving up to 3,000 students in the Lanning Square neighborhood of Camden.

Thankfully, the school board did the right thing by rejecting the KIPP Cooper Norcross plan because of its overreaching goal.

However, the interesting story here is the unexpected push back against the South Jersey Machine by other Democrats…


Save Rutgers: Christie to Sign Rut-Row ‘Collaboration’ Bill Today

Today is the day. After months of battling back and forth with students, faculty, and concerned citizens in South Jersey, Governor Christie will be signing a new Rutgers bill that is immensely watered down from the vision he outlined in January of this year.

Throughout the spring, Governor Christie and certain South Jersey Democrats connected to George Norcross were adamant that Rutgers and Rowan merge into one school for a number of reasons outlined in our extensive coverage of the issue, which you can read in its entirety here.

Proponents of this plan said that it was imperative that the law be passed before July 1, 2012. The bill itself did pass the legislature just in time, but after polling indicated that this was Governor Christie’s least popular initiative to date, with only 19 percent of New Jerseyans on board, he backed off and delayed his signing off on the bill. It was almost as if he had forgotten that the issue even existed.

The final version of the bill to be signed today does not contain a merger provision at all. Instead it contains a plan for collaboration between Rutgers Camden and Rowan that will benefit the new Cooper Medical School in Camden, and hopefully benefit the two parent campuses as well. A previous version of the bill created a joint Rut-Row Committee that would have total control over both schools. This was a thinly veiled attempt at a merger and did not fly with certain members of the legislature, or the students fighting the deal.

By the time the bill had passed it was changed to allow the joint committee to merely oversee the joint programs between Rutgers Camden and Rowan, an idea first floated in the media here at Save Jersey.

The signing of the bill today will set into motion months of planning for a transition to a new Rutgers system, which will lose some control over its Camden campus, but will bring UMDNJ into the fold.

Governor Christie will be signing the bill in New Brunswick, but will be making scheduled stops in Newark and Camden today as well.

Save Rutgers: Rut-Row Bill Passes Both Assembly and Senate

This afternoon the Rut-Row Bill passed the New Jersey Senate and Assembly by wide margins.

In the Senate the vote was 29 – 10. Most of the Nays were Northern Democrats at war with the Norcross Machine. Senator Diane Allen (R-7) also voted no, for which I congratulate her on her courage to go against the Governor’s wishes.

In the Assembly the vote was 60 – 18 in favor of passage. Assemblyman Cryan and his crew of Democrats were bulk of the Nays here.

As I stated in my earlier post today, the bill that passed both houses in Trenton is substantially different from the one we got to look at a few weeks back.

The new bill, which was most recently amended this afternoon before the vote, took a suggestion I had previously made and ran with it. That suggestion was the scrapping of the Joint Rutgers Camden – Rowan Board that would have total control over both campuses, and instead replacing it with a joint board that oversees only the joint programs and is ultimately subject to the control of each individual school. That amendment was made in full, making the merger much less of one at all and the final plan far easier to swallow.

With what this final bill turned out to be, we may very well have saved Rutgers Camden for now, which is something everyone, from the faculty and students to citizens in South Jersey, should all be proud of. However, our work is not done, and now we must fight on to make sure Rutgers Camden remains free from the clutches of political machines.

As this chapter in the Rut-Row saga ends, I want to thank everyone who read and shared my articles on what was an issue that hit close to home for me. Together we directly shaped how this legislation turned out and beat back what was set to be a unilateral takeover of Rutgers Camden. That was no small feat for anyone involved.

The bill will now go to the Governor’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. A court challenge is likely if any loose ends remain, since one has essentially been in the planning stages since January when this was first announced. Of course when that happens you can come right here to Save Jersey for the latest.

Save Rutgers: Bill Hits Budget Committee, Amendments Being Added, Lautenberg Reemerges

Today is June 25th, we are officially 6 days away from the supposed deadline for the Rutgers Camden Rowan Merger deal to be signed into law.

Over the last six months this plan has faced tremendous hurdles, and to be honest, the proponents of the plan, while the continue to press on, have stumbled over every single one. I have said it before, and I will say it again, the likelihood of this deal going through before July 1 is slim to none.

The Assembly Budget Committee meets today, which is not unlike any other Monday or Thursday in June. However, today they will be hearing testimony and discussion on the Rut-Row bill. Keep in mind, this is the budget committee. The committee that deals with how much money the state is going to spend on things in the coming year. Also keep in mind that this bill, unlike most that come before the budget committee, does not have the slightest estimate attached for how much it will cost.

In other words: The Rut-Row bill should be a non-starter for the Assembly Budget Committee.