Who’s Up and Who’s Down: The Week the Hammer Came Down on the Carpenters


Steve Sweeney

If his political endgame is weakening those connecting pieces of Governor Phil Murphy’s fragile empire, the Senate President notched a win with the dissolution this week of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters. That was a group with obvious close ties to the Governor. Now – barring an insurrection by the tripped up executive treasurer – it’s over. NJ Building Trades Prez Bill Mullen – a key Sweeney ally – could also quietly pocket the win.

Tom Andes

The Mayor of Denville this week drew a strong crowd to his campaign kickoff, which included three Republican candidates for Congress in CD11: Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26), JAG Officer/banker Tony Ghee, and businessman Peter DeNeufville.

Amy Rosen

Governor Murphy this week tapped Rosen – a member of the Board of Directors of NJ Transit – to fill an empty seat on the Port Authority of New York and Jersey.

Babs Siperstein

The Assembly this week passed the Babs Siperstein Law, named by Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3) for the Democratic Party activist, solidifying transgender rights in the State of New Jersey.

Augie Amador

The considerably well-oiled North Ward Democratic machine emerged from a sit-down this week with the allies of Augusto “Augie” Amador with plans to help get the East Ward Councilman across the finish line on June 12th. Amador’s up against it as he tries to beat challenger Anthony Campos, and the precedent of Newark runoff elections suggests he could even be mortally wounded, but he won’t go down alone, buttressed now by the North’s promise of resources and bodies.


John Ballantyne

The Executive Treasurer of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters got taken out executive style this week, as the union dissolved and rearranged the once powerful New Jersey outfit around him, serving warning to anyone who ends up on the wrong side of a deepening New Jersey Democratic Party political divide.

Lizette Delgado Polanco

Not technically gone but tenuous now with Ballantyne out, the celebrated political director of the NRCC – vice chair of the Democratic State Committee – finds herself clinging to the wreckage of empire.

Frederick Murphy

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s campaign treasurer pleaded guilty in federal court this week to wire fraud, bank fraud and tax evasion.

Phil Murphy

The dissolution of the Ballantyne-led Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters boomerangs- not only on Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie – but on the Governor. Murphy had backed Ballantyne to chair the Sports and Exposition Authority and relied on his support in key early moments of his tenure, as when the labor leader backed Murphy’s choice of Tim Sullivan to head up the state’s Economic Development Authority.

Erik Lowe

The former commissioner with the now-defunct Paterson Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA) this week admitted his role in two schemes to steal funds from the authority, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. Lowe pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit extortion under color of official right and one count of extortion under color of official right.


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