PolitickerNJ News Digest: May 19th

The group of those calling for Fidelity to end their support of Garrett.

The group of those calling for Fidelity to end their support of Garrett.

It’s Thursday, and the legislature and governor are still bickering over how to fund the Transportation Trust Fund while Republicans work to fund a big payday for one Ocean County freeholder.

Quote of the Day: “At what point should my concern cause sleepless nights? Are we at that point yet?” – Assemblyman Gary Schaer, on the lack of a plan to fund the state Transportation Trust Fund.

Mutual ‘Disappointment’ Between Legislature and Administration Over TTF
The deadlock between the legislature and Governor Chris Christie’s administration over the state’s nearly insolvent Transportation Trust Fund continued on Wednesday as State Treasurer Ford M. Scudder testified before the Assembly Budget Committee. When the conversation between chairman Gary Schaer (D-36) and Scudder turned to the Trust Fund, blame for the continuing stalemate was mutual between lawmakers and the administration.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

OINK OINK OINK OINK!
Once in a while, a political figure slips up and gives us a proper glimpse at how politics really gets done in New Jersey. They accidentally go and divulge something dishy. That’s what Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore did earlier this year when he addressed the Ocean County Republican Committee:
Jay Lassiter, PolitickerNJ Read more

In CD7, Larsen and Lance Campaigns Trade Barbs
The congressional rematch between U.S. Representative Leonard Lance and Tea Parter challenger David Larsen is getting uglier, with new attack mailers surfacing Wednesday. The new mailers go after Larsen’s conservative bona fides, accusing the four-time congressional upstart of never having voted for Ronald Reagan, cheating on his own taxes and planning to raise taxes on CD7 residents if he takes office.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Women’s Political Caucus Welcomes New President and Board Members
Members of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey (WPCNJ) gathered on Tuesday evening for the group’s annual meeting. The event was held at the Rutgers University Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Eustace to Fidelity Investments: Stop Supporting Garrett
The sidewalk in front of the Fidelity Investments storefront on Route 17 in Paramus was crowded on Wednesday as protesters called on the financial institution to stop financially backing the campaign of CD5 Republican Congressman Scott Garrett.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Murphy to Hold ‘Facebook Live Town Hall’ Thursday
Gubernatorial hopeful Phil Murphy will host an online event Thursday, answering Facebook users’ questions via live video feed. An email from the Murphy campaign welcomed questions on pressing policy debates like raising New Jersey’s minimum wage, lowering the cost of higher education and funding women’s healthcare. Murphy will be answering questions posted to his Facebook page tomorrow at 2:00pm.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie administration reveals plan to close $1B budget gap
Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said on Wednesday that the state budget for the fiscal years 2016 and 2017 face a combined revenue shortfall of close to $1 billion, but that it will be closed with surplus funds and a variety of spending cuts.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Gov. Christie hits a new low in voter approval, poll finds
Governor Christie has hit a new low in voter approval – not only for himself, but among any governor in the nine states surveyed by Quinnipiac University, according to its latest poll.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

List of GWB names blocked again; judge sets hearing on IDs of alleged co-conspirators for June
The highly anticipated release of names of people suspected of — but not charged with — participating in a political conspiracy to close access lanes to the George Washington Bridge has been delayed after an anonymous man won the latest round in a legal battle to shield his identity.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

NJ Supreme Court reprimands Passaic County Superior Court Judge Joseph Portelli
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a public reprimand of Passaic County Superior Court Judge Joseph Portelli, finding that he made inappropriate remarks to attorneys and witnesses who appeared in his courtroom.
Kibret Markos, The Record Read more

Number of insurance co.’s offering coverage in NJ through Affordable Care Act drops to 4
The number of insurance companies offering health coverage via the Affordable Care Act marketplace in New Jersey will dip to four next year when Oxford Health Plans, a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare, pulls out.
Lindy Washburn, The Record Read more

Trump campaign forms fund-raising alliance with RNC, NJ GOP
Donald Trump has signed on to creating a new political fund that can accept up to $449,400 per donor, an amount that would have been illegal in the 2012 election, by uniting his campaign with the Republican National Committee and 11 state organizations, including New Jersey’s.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

N.J. man wins battle to fly Donald Trump flags
In what is being hailed as a victory for free speech, a municipal court judge dismissed charges Wednesday against a West Long Branch man flying flags in support of Donald Trump.
MaryAnn Spoto, NJ.com Read more

Jersey Shore tourism; nobody’s in charge
The Shore is heading into the summer without its biggest marketing arm.
The Jersey Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau has no funding, no executive director and no website, leaving the promotion of the Shore’s tourism industry to Monmouth and Ocean counties – and individual towns and businesses.
Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press Read more

DRPA gives its CEO a $39,393 raise
The Delaware River Port Authority approved a long-planned raise for its chief executive officer Wednesday night.
Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Read more

Treasurer: New Jersey won’t see Exxon settlement soon
New Jersey won’t collect $225 million from the settlement of an environmental lawsuit against Exxon Mobil anytime soon, the state’s top financial official told lawmakers on Wednesday.
Michael Catalini, Inquirer Read more

Kevin Bannon pressured county workers to attend Hughes’ fundraiser, employee says
Mercer County Park Commission Executive Director Kevin Bannon played a major role in fundraising for his boss — possibly a little too much.
David Foster, The Trentonian Read more

New Garden State Equality Director Outlines Initiatives
New Jersey has long been at the forefront in the fight for basic civil rights for the LGBT community. Ending discrimination in jobs and housing, ensuring marriage equality and passing the most comprehensive anti-bullying law in the country have been, in large part, due to the leadership of Garden State Equality.
Mary Alice Williams, NJTV News Read more

Rutgers President Talks POTUS Commencement Speech and the State of the University
In the annual intercollegiate competition to score the top commencement speaker, Rutgers rules. It scored the president of the United States, on no less auspicious an occasion than the university’s 250th anniversary.
Michael Aron, NJTV News Read more

Refugees Welcome, Despite NJ Efforts to Stop Them
The Christie administration may be pulling out of U.S. resettlement program, but it can’t stop refugees from making a home in Garden State — despite governor’s rhetoric.
Colleen O’Dea, SpotlightNJ Read more