Putting Camden County First (in Essex!): The Sequel

Essex County Freeholders today voted to extend the insurance contract for Conner Strong and Buckelew, the firm of South Jersey Power Broker George Norcross III, but did not approve a new three-year contract for the boss.

The vote for an etension was 8-1, with Freeholder President Brendan Gill voting “no.”

“I think to give them time to shop,” said a politics watcher.

The South Jersey-based power broker who got behind Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo at the outset of his 18-year career as executive, Norcross – and ward Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) – late last year failed to prevent Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman LeRoy Jones from cutting a deal with Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie sooner than prioritize Norcross’ Southern Strategy.

Five Legendary War Correspondents with New Jersey Ties

Stephen Crane (1871-1900). The Newark native (pictured) covered the Spanish American War, including the actions of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.

Richard Tregaskis (1916-1973). The Elizabeth native chronicled the U.S. Marine Corps invasion in his celebrated Guadalcanal Diary.

William Warren Wade (1918-2006). Born in Manhattan, the future war corrspondent who flew in bombing runs over Europe cut his teeth as a cub reporter in Bergen County.

Chris Hedges (1956-). Now a Green Party candidate for Congress in CD-12, the Princeton-based former New York Times reporter covered wars in the Middle East.

Daniel Pearl (1963-2002). The Princeton native worked the Southeast Asia Bureau for the Wall Street Journal. He was kidnapped in Pakistan and murdered.

chris hedges

Nearly 20 Years After ‘War is a Force,’ the Political Questions that Haunt Us

“Aristotle said that only two living entities are capable of complete solitude and complete separateness: God and beast. Because of this the most acute form of suffering for human beings is loneliness.”
― Chris HedgesWar Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning

Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we face fundamental political questions.

Has our enforced solitude reasserted the loneliness our species dreads, which makes war more likely as  a reset on the other side (if there is one) of the pandemic?

Has the decadence of the last two decades made those civilian and epicurean appetites of our gilded age a more centralizing force than it was in Hedges’ heyday?

Or is there a middle way?


An Intellect Surfaces in NJ: Green Party Member Chris Hedges

The news of intellectual heavyweight Chris Hedges launching his congressional candidacy in CD-12 as a Green Party member prompted ho-hums from the New Jersey political establishment, a two-party duopoly (to quote Ralph Nader), in this case unable to process the paradigm of Hedges’ core thinking – or even ‘thinking’ generally.

If War is a Force that Gives us Meaning, New Jersey Politics is a depleted husk that intensely means the opposite of what it purports.

In any case, this will be hard viewing, as Hedges speaks in sentences, not slogans, prioritizes people not machines, and engages ideas (wait, what) rather than Twitter…

Stateside Affairs Welcomes New Team Member

Stateside Affairs welcomed a new team member to its ranks, LisaMarie Gaeta, who will serve as a social media and public relations manager.

From the firm’s announcement: ‘She has a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations from RIT. With a decade of marketing experience, she is passionate about social media marketing and has a strong background in managing social media across numerous industries. She strives to provide a quality experience over just quantity. Her clients haven’t only gained more followers, but have experienced a direct ROI as a result of her efforts.’

Murphy in the Oval Office.

Report: Bellmawr Gym Owners File Federal Lawsuit Challenging Murphy’s Closure Order

According to a Courier Post report: ‘The owners of a Bellmawr gym have filed a federal lawsuit challenging Gov. Phil Murphy’s authority to close their business during the pandemic state of emergency. The lawsuit on behalf of The Atilis Gym contends the governor’s actions are unconstitutional and threaten the firm’s survival.’ Read the report here.

Larry Hamm

AC Mayoral Candidate Thomas-Fields Opts to Bracket with U.S. Senate candidate Hamm

Pam Thomas-Fields, candidate for mayor of Atlantic City, ground zero for politics in the July 7th Democratic Primary, will bracket off the line with progressive U.S. Senate candidate Larry Hamm.

Awarded the organization line by the chair of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee, Thomas-Fields’ opponent, Mayor Marty Small, will apparently bracket with Presidential candidate Joe Biden and CD2 candidate Amy Kennedy; although there was at first a little turbluence around the mayor’s position.

Hamm’s opponent, incumbent U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), is bracketing off the line with CD2 candidate Brigid Harrison, Kennedy’s rival to go up against incumbent U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2).

The Hamm-Thomas-Fields bond was not unnatural.

They apparently met at a candidate’s form where Hamm represented Bernie Sanders and Thomas-Fields served as a surrogate for Kamala Harris. They got along. Also, like Hamm, Thomas-Fields originally hails from Newark.

CD2 Dem Harrison Ran a Republican House Campaign in PA in the 1990s

Running in a combative Democratic Primary for the Second Congressional District seat occupied by U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2), Brigid Harrison managed theRepublican primary race election for Ellen Fisher in PA 166th House District in the early 1990s. She was Brigid Callahan at the time. The Montclair University political science professor tweeted about it in 2017 to then-Governor Chris Christie, noting “When you were getting married, I ran a Republican campaign in PA against the architect of the Pa. Abortion Control Act.” Sparked by the Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy to more actively identify with the Democratic Party, and later embarrassed by the Presidency of Donald J. Trump, Harrison has not made a secret of her GOP roots, pointing out to InsiderNJ earlier this year that her late father was a Republican councilman in Runnemede. She also ran for Atlantic County Freeholder (as a Democrat) in the early 1990s.

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