Feature Right

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, popular, and incredibly ambitious. Jump ahead thirty years, and sadly for him, the only thing
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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 focus on increasing college affordability by helping students to graduate on time, and creating more
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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 all levels of government and to promote the Republican ideas that will make our state
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Murphy orders NJ Transit audit

Gov. Phil Murphy today signed an executive order that will require an independent audit of New Jersey Transit. “This is an agency that must be boiled to its essentials and put back together again,” Murphy said. One reality the new governor must consider is that audits take time – months at best, if everything run smoothly – and NJ Transit riders could grow impatient before the process of fixing public
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Whitman skips Murphy Inaugural

There's probably nothing to read into this other than a quick mention: Christine Todd Whitman was the only one of the state's seven living former Governors not in attendance at Phil Murphy's inauguration.  Tom Kean, Jim Florio, Donald DiFrancesco, Jim McGreevey, Dick Codey, Jon Corzine and Chris Christie were there.  Also recognized was Ruthi Byrne, the widow of former Gov. Brendan Byrne, who passed away earlier this month at age
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The legend of Patrick Pasculli

The photo Ravi Bhalla tweeted today of four Hoboken mayors having lunch at Del Frisco’s Grille reminded me of a classic freshman legislator story.  Since this was swearing in week in Trenton, it’s an appropriate time to retell it. This is a two mayors named Peter Cammarano kind of story, and to be clear, we’re not talking about former Hoboken Mayor Patrick L. Pasculli, who is in Bhalla’s photo. This
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Judiciary shrinks to 11 members

The Senate Judiciary Committee will have two less members this year, with Senate President Steve Sweeney and Minority Leader Tom Kean agreeing not to fill the seats of two Senators who did not seek re-election. The powerful panel, which must approve all gubernatorial nominations before the full Senate votes on them, will go from thirteen members to eleven.   Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) and Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) retired from the upper house
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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 didn’t like being pushed around.  It also created a permanent rift between Christie and his
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Farewell to Ray Lesniak

Raymond Lesniak cast his final vote in Trenton on Monday – the final chapter of a 40-year career in the New Jersey Legislature.  The current generation knows him as a progressive leader; older people like me also recall, with approbation, the that the first half of his career was spent as an especially powerful party boss who navigated Democrats through the days when Union County was one of the most
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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. [caption id="attachment_671" align="alignleft" width="182"] Peter Levine made what might be the largest individual campaign contribution in New Jersey history.[/caption] Peter Levine was a real estate developer who helped finance Rep. Bob