Lautenberg won’t likely run for reelection

If recent hearings in the U.S. Senate are any indication, New Jersey’s junior senator, Frank Lautenberg, is not likely to run for reelection.
He kept talking behind the scenes about how the atmosphere in Washington, D.C. has changed and the spirit of cooperation that once made public service a privilege has vanished.
At age 87, Lautenberg is decades older than the state’s senior U.S. senator, Robert Menendez, and he served prior to Menendez taking office. Lautenberg actually retired once, only to be called back into service when Robert Torricelli dropped out of the Senate race in 2002.
His potential second retirement has to be good news for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who would like to run for the U.S. Senate.
Booker has some good friends in high places, such as state Sen. Ray Lesniak, Republican Gov. Christopher Christie, and, of course, state Sen. Sandra Cunningham.
Although some people would like Booker to run for governor against Christie in 2014, most believe that state Sen. Steve Sweeney is going to make that run with the support of South Jersey’s political boss, George Norcross.
Meanwhile, Cunningham still has to make up her mind whether she intends to run for mayor of Jersey City in 2013. Reports suggest that she is combing the city for support. If she does run, you may see incumbent Mayor Jerramiah Healy throw his support behind her, if only to spoil the chances of Councilman Steve Fulop, who has already declared his candidacy.
Healy’s opposition to the proposed gas line has won him a lot of praise, since his statements and his actions have shown his ability to truly lead if he has a mind to.
“This is the mayor he should have been all along,” said one source.

Hoboken hospital sale would be big win for Zimmer

Getting out from under the weight of the Hoboken University Medical Center disaster would be a big win for Mayor Dawn Zimmer, even if having the hospital remain open may have little or no effect on the general public – especially if the hospital can’t come to an agreement with more than one of the prominent insurance carriers.
The deal was more about saving the hundreds of jobs that the hospital generated than about the need to have a hospital in Hoboken. Unlike Bayonne, which is geographically isolated and therefore needs a hospital within its boundaries, Hoboken residents have more options.
Many of the jobs retained by saving the hospital are local jobs, which translates into active voters for or against the administration, depending on whether the hospital is saved or not – perhaps explaining why the Zimmer administration is willing to give them discounts on parking that other workers coming and going from the city won’t enjoy. There seems to be a double standard when it comes to residents and resident workers as opposed to those who come from out of town.

Fundraisers galore in and around Hudson

Perhaps the most interesting of all the fundraisers conducted in and around Hudson County recently was the one held at the W Hotel in Hoboken for Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, a tip of hat to the Zimmer administration and other supporters of the Christie Administration. More importantly, it may also be testimony to a revitalized Republican Party in Hoboken, and other parts of Hudson County.
Then there was North Bergen Mayor and State Sen. Nick Sacco’s annual ball An old pop tune by Rick Nelson, “Garden Party,” may best describe it. Anyone who is anyone in Hudson County just had to be there – except, of course, State Sen. and Union City Mayor Brian Stack.
Some people believe that Sacco and Stack are the political equivalent to matter and anti-matter, and foresee the end of the known universe if the two antagonists come together in the same place for any length of time.
But there were plenty of people who weren’t afraid to rub shoulders with Sacco at the Venetian in Garfield. This included possible gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Steve Sweeney, the powerful state Sen. Paul Sarlo, and the state’s senior U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. In fact, more than 1,800 people showed up to eat, drink, and be merry, and dance to the 20-piece orchestra.
While hardly the turnout Sacco got, Ray Velazquez and his running mate Kalimah Ahmad for Jersey City council-at-large had a fundraiser at Puccini’s last week, bringing out the Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, his chief of staff and Jersey City council member Bill Gaughan, and Jersey City Mayor Healy. State Sen. Cunningham stopped in briefly, but did not endorse either of the candidates.
Perhaps the most anticipated fundraiser was held on Oct. 25 in Jersey City for Councilman Steve Fulop, which brought out an amazing array of people that included all or nearly all the at-large council candidates, as well as Sacco, Freeholder Chairman Bill O’Dea, and about 1,000 people in total. Stack was rumored to have been in the room, but none of those who reported about the events actually saw him.

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