PolitickerNJ News Digest: Feb. 18th

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It’s Thursday, time to explore where Gov. Chris Christie’s political ambitions might take him next, where Cory Booker’s literary ambitions have taken him and what Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions might mean for local candidates.

Quote of the Day: “That is not leadership – it is partisanship – and the American people understand that too,” – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, on Republican plans to block President Barak Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

Senator Chris Christie? Why the Governor Might Appoint Himself

In Tuesday’s annual budget address, Governor Chris Christie included the fact that the next Governor’s election is “630 days away.” That gives the sitting Governor 630 days to salvage a legacy that has been tainted by the Bridgegate scandal as well as a failed presidential run that took him out of the state for a significant portion of the last year. A recently released poll has Christie’s approval ratings tanking, putting him at the lowest levels of his tenure at just 29 percent approval.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

What Will a Trump Lead Mean for South Jersey Republicans?

With a new Monmouth poll released Wednesday showing Donald Trump maintaining a 35 percent lead in South Carolina’s Republican primary, a campaign whose success seemed to hinge on sheer entertainment value has gone further than anyone would have predicted months ago. With the anti-establishment moment in presidential politics playing out on the national stage, will South Jersey’s Republican incumbents down the ballot stand to gain or to lose?
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

The Foiled Sanders Play for Baraka Love

On paper, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka probably has more in common with Bernie Sanders than Hillary Clinton, but fast accelerating New Jersey politics prevent him from endorsing Sanders.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Legislative Preview: February 18th

The Assembly will be in session tomorrow, with bills tackling education and foreclosure relief for veterans going to the floor. See Thursday’s notable bills below, and listen to live proceedings at the legislature’s website. The session will be at 1:00PM in the Assembly Chambers.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

PolitickerNJ Book Review: ‘United’ by Cory Booker

Twitter and its various public social media manifestations inspire little confidence that literary life exists in the province of Generation X and its leaders, who with every passing day show less and less evidence that they were ever readers, and so we approached with real dread the prospect of wading into the 46-year old U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s new book, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good.
PolitickerNJ Editor, PolitickerNJ Read more

McKeon Slaps Christie Over TTF Omission, Pension Contribution

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-27) joined the rounds of counter-arguments following Tuesday afternoon’s budget address from Governor Chris Christie. Taking shots at Christie for declining to take a firm stance on the beleaguered Transportation Trust Fund, McKeon also called the governor’s claim to making the largest pension contribution of the last five governors “a major stretch of the truth.”
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Bloomberg Poll: Trump up 19 points Over Cruz in South Carolina

In a new Bloomberg Politics South Carolina poll, Donald Trump holds a 19-point lead over Ted Cruz among those likely to vote in Saturday’s Republican primary.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Menendez Denounces Republican Opposition to Obama SCOTUS Nomination

New Jersey’s embattled U.S. Senator Bob Menendez issued a statement Wednesday calling for his Republican colleagues to judge President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court on his or her merits. Republicans in the Senate have vowed to block any candidate that Obama chooses, arguing that a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia should not be named until after Obama leaves office in eleven months.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Union County’s Razo Tapped to Lead Latino Caucus for NJ Young Dems

The New Jersey Young Democrats Executive Board voted to establish – for the first time – a Latino Caucus, which will be chaired in the interim by Pamela Razo, vice president of the Union County Young Democrats and former chief of staff to Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22).
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie Supporter Tosses Lifeline to Sinking Jeb!

Republican fundraiser Bobbie Kilberg, a longtime backer of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, today endorsed former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for president.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Poll: Americans Divided on Whether W. Kept Country Safe

Former President George W. Bush campaigned with his brother Jeb on Monday two days after front-running billionaire tycoon Donald Trump slammed the brothers with the 2017 presidential primary argument that W. made America less, not more safe, as evidenced by the Sept. 11 attacks.
A new Morning Consult survey released today shows 34 percent of all respondents said Bush’s policies kept us safer, while 35 percent said he kept us less safe. Twenty percent of voters said they didn’t think his policies made any impact.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Cole up for Challenge of LoBo in CD2

Software engineer Dave Cole announced his run for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Friends of John Sheridan Want Cause of Death Changed to ‘Undetermined’

The 2014 deaths of John and Joyce Sheridan in their Skilman home never made sense to those who looked at the case up close, including their dogged son attorney Mark Sheridan, and now a group of nearly 200 prominent New Jerseyans— among them three former Governors, a former State Supreme Court Justice, two former state attorneys general and a former chief state prosecutor.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Feds say co-conspirator list in GWB case should not be made public before trial

The public does not have the right to know the identities of people suspected but not charged with involvement in the politically-motivated closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge — at least not yet.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

Appeals court hears oral arguments on New Jersey’s sports betting law

A four-year, uphill legal battle by Governor Christie and state legislators to create a path for Atlantic City casinos and the state’s racetracks to offer Las Vegas-style sports betting continued on Wednesday in a Philadelphia courtroom.
John Brennan, The Record Read more

3 key issues in Christie’s budget and how they could affect you

Here is a look at three key issues from Gov. Chris Christie’s Tuesday budget speech that could have a big impact on New Jersey residents.
Samantha Marcus and Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

N.J. mayor facing ‘scrutiny’ for helping Cuban migrants come to U.S.

One New Jersey mayor’s mission to bring Cuban migrants to the U.S. is drawing scrutiny from foreign officials, according to a report.
Laura Herzog, NJ.com Read more

Lawmakers redo Atlantic City takeover, casino tax bills

What once was billed as a state takeover of Atlantic City is now being sold as an “intervention.”
Associated Press Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Feb. 18th