The murder of an Assemblyman: A Prostitute, a Pimp, and a guy from Hoboken

Here’s a classic story about Hudson County politics:  it involves a prostitute, a pimp, a Hoboken politician, and murder. Silvio Failla was a first-term Assemblyman when he was murdered by a prostitute and her pimp outside a bar in Neptune.  He was a 62-year-old undertaker who spent two decades as the executive director of the […]

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New Jersey’s Team of Rivals

Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to appoint Jim Johnson to lead the administration’s efforts to get Atlantic City back on its feet, marks a rarely-used “Team of Rivals” tactic of picking former opponents for key positions.  Johnson, a former U.S Undersecretary of the Treasury, finished second in the 2017 Democratic gubernatorial primary. The last governor to […]

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NJ’s history of winning the second time around

Jack Ciattarelli, who told the Associated Press that he expects to run for governor again in 2021, is following a familiar model of making back-to-back bids for statewide office.  Ciattarelli sough the Republican nomination for governor in 2017. Tom Kean, Jim Florio, Christine Todd Whitman and Jim McGreevey all lost statewide races before finally winning […]

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Kean endorses Hugin

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) endorsed Bob Hugin for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. “Bob Hugin is a man of great character and accomplishment. His experience as a Marine veteran, self-made business leader and generous philanthropist more than qualify him to represent New Jersey in the United States Senate,” Kean said.  “His […]

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The Life and Times of Jeff Bell

Jeff Bell’s upset victory over four-term U.S. Senator Clifford Case in the 1978 Republican primary was one of the great political campaigns in New Jersey history.  Bell was a 35-year-old speechwriter for Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential campaign, and Case became the only incumbent U.S. Senator in New Jersey history to lose a primary. Bell, who […]

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The Life and Times of Paul DiGaetano

There was a time back about a generation ago when Paul DiGaetano was a bright, rising star in New Jersey Republican politics.  He he was one of the most powerful politicians in the state.  Some Republicans openly fawned over the idea of a young, blue-collar, Catholic, Italian-American Republican running for statewide office.  He was likeable, […]

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Kean has issues with Murphy free college plan

State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) says that Gov. Phil Murphy’s offer of a free community college education sounds great, but that nothing is free. “At a time when the State is already struggling to fund our schools, the additional cost to already overburdened New Jersey taxpayers would be immense,” Kean said.  “We should […]

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GOP leaders caution Murphy on taxes

New Jersey Republicans came close to ending Gov. Phil Murphy’s honeymoon today with a statement from the party’s big three — State Chairman Doug Steinhardt, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Westfield) and Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) —  announcing a “shared commitment to protect New Jersey families form the dangerous agendas of Democrats at […]

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Kean calls for bi-partisan approach

As Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union) prepares to work with his third Governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, some insiders believe he’ll like his job better.  Kean had a strained relationship with Chris Christie, who tried to oust him two days after his re-election. Christie’s failed coup created some resentment among some GOP Senators who […]

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Onetime Byrne foe turned into supporter

A considerate paid notice placed on the Star-Ledger obituary page is an indication of how highly even former political rivals have come to remember Brendan Byrne, the two-term Governor of New Jersey who died last Thursday at age 93. Peter Levine was a real estate developer who helped finance Rep. Bob Roe’s challenge to Byrne […]

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