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A chance to chat with congressman over coffee in Warren County

Rep. Josh Gottheimer is continuing his “Cup of Joe with Josh” town hall series.

A coffee klatch with a congressman? Warren County residents can start their Saturday that way.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat whose 5th Congressional District includes northern Warren, will be at the Crossroads Diner at the corner of Routes 46 and 519 in White Township for his “Cup of Joe with Josh” series of town hall meetings, his office announced Friday.

The event begins at 9 a.m.

Gottheimer has held similar events around the district, billed as a way to hear what is on constituents’ minds.

The Democrat is serving his first year in Congress after defeating Republican incumbent Scott Garrett in November. The district also includes parts of Sussex, Passaic and Bergen counties.

Steve Novak may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @type2supernovak and Facebook. Find on Facebook.


Fed Ed Gets Dem Nod With Four Percent

When my father was defeated in his bid for re-election as NorCo DA, radio stations  were still providing independent news coverage. So it was a radio reporter who stuck a microphone in my Dad’s face to ask for his reaction. “The people have spoken…

Primary Election Day in Pa.: What you need to know

Polls are open for the Pennsylvania primary election from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

It’s primary Election Day in Pennsylvania.
Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and as races go,…

Probe of FBI chief’s firing ‘harder to resist,’ Republican Charlie Dent says

“It is now harder to resist calls for an independent investigation or select committee,” says the Lehigh Valley congressman.

Charlie Dent, a Republican representing the Lehigh Valley in Congress, on Wednesday reacted to President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying the president’s rationale must be more clearly explained and that an independent investigation may be the next step.

Comey was investigating possible connections between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. However, the White House cited Comey’s handling of last year’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as the cause for the abrupt termination Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Trump axes FBI’s Comey in midst of Russia probe

Dent’s full statement, released Wednesday:

“Director Comey always struck me as a decent and honorable man who was put in an extremely difficult situation. His firing by President Trump is both confounding and troubling, and it is now harder to resist calls for an independent investigation or select committee. The President must provide a much clearer explanation as to the timing and rationale for this action. Additionally, more information is needed about how the Director’s firing will impact the investigations by the FBI and both branches of Congress.”

Another Pennsylvania congressman, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, released a statement Tuesday evening calling the president’s actions “Nixonian.”

“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein must immediately appoint a special counsel to continue the Trump/Russia investigation,” Casey said. “This investigation must be independent and thorough in order to uphold our nation’s system of justice.”

This is Nixonian. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to continue the Trump/Russia investigation.

— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 9, 2017

Hard to square Sessions recommendation to fire Comey with his “recusal.”

— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 9, 2017

Sen. Corey Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, also said Tuesday that an independent prosecutor is now necessary.

“The president of the United States just fired the person who was investigating his campaign, which should set off alarm bells across the country,” Booker said. “The last time a presidential firing raised this many questions, America was in the middle of the Watergate crisis.”

Booker: FBI chief’s firing should ‘set off alarm bells’

Meanwhile, Republican leadership in Washington resisted calls for independent probes.

“Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday morning on the Senate floor, per the New York Times, “which can only serve to impede the current work being done.”

The Times said that few Republicans with the exception of Sen. John McCain of Arizona have called for the installation of an independent investigator or commission.

The AP reported that Trump said on Twitter that his dismissal of Comey — who came under withering criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation — would be validated after “things calm down.”

Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017

Steve Novak may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @type2supernovak and Facebook. Find on Facebook.

Campaign Signs in East Allen Township

The purpose of an election is to get people top vote for you, not piss them off. Someone might want to tell that to East Allen Township Supervisor candidate Georgiann Hunsicker and her husband. They’ve been planting campaign signs in people’s yards wit…

2 N.J. Republicans could face trouble with voters after Obamacare repeal vote

A Washington-based publication said 20 House Republicans, including two in N.J., suddenly became more vulnerable.

Watch video

WASHINGTON –The road to re-ele…

100 days in, Trump rallies backers in Pa. and claims ‘change’

Even as he appealed to Pennsylvania voters who helped elect him, Trump seemed caught between his role as an outsider candidate and a now-elected negotiator.


Disclaimer missing from judge’s campaign signs ‘unenforceable’

The Northampton County District Attorney’s Office has reviewed several similar cases during past elections.

Campaign signs for a Bangor area judge lacking a required disclaimer are fine because of an “unenforceable” law, the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office says.

zito.jpegDistrict Judge Alicia Rose Zito (Courtesy photo | For 

The issue was brought to the attention of Dee Rumsey, the county’s chief elections registrar, following an emailed complaint from resident Kris Lytle.

Lytle accused Distict Judge Alicia Rose Zito of either not stating that the communication to the public was authorized or, if not authorized, not revealing the name of the person or organization financing the expenditure.

The issue has been addressed in the past before the U.S. Supreme Court and while the provision remains on the books in Pennsylvania, it is unenforceable as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to engage in anonymous political free speech, District Attorney John Morganelli stated in his review of the complaint.

The prosecutor said there have been similar complaints in the past, such as complaint in 1993 filed at his office during the race for county executive. A candidate then sent out a mailer without the disclaimer and the U.S. Attorney’s General’s Office ruled there was no criminal intent on the part of the candidate to violate provisions of the election code.

The Northampton County District Attorney’s Office went on to rule on similar cases not containing the disclaimer. Morganelli said Zito’s case falls into the same category.

“Although, the Pennsylvania statute still has the language on its books, that particular section has been deemed unenforceable and most likely unconstitutional,” he said.

Zito was appointed on July 13 to serve in the office vacated after Judge Todd Strohe died in 2015. She announced in January she will run to retain the seat.

Her father, Leonard Zito, serves as a senior judge in Northampton County. She was an adjunct professor at Northampton Community College from 2004 to 2006, teaching courses in criminal law, American legal systems and Constitutional law.

Besides Zito, six others are on the primary ballot for Bangor-based District Court 03-3-03. They are Heather Fehnel, Cody Hendershot, Tony Lupo, Jason LaBar, Ty J. Comunale and Dominick Marraccini.

The court covers Bangor, Pen Argyl, Roseto and Portland boroughs and the townships of Lower Mount Bethel, Plainfield, Upper Mount Bethel and Washington.

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @pamholzmann. Find on Facebook.

Lehigh Tp Polling Place Moved … to Moore Tp

As a result of numerous complaints about the Grange Hall in Pennsville, NorCo elections officials chose a new location – a church that they thought was still inside the district. It’s actually in Moore Tp, 3/4 of a mile from the Lehigh and Moore Towns…

N.J. lawmaker ends her GOP primary challenge to former ally

Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus is ending her challenge to Sen. Steve Oroho.

ANDOVER TWP. — State Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus is calling off her Republican primary challenge to S…