PolitickerNJ News Digest: May 25th

Clinton (center) at the Newark event. From left: Councilman Luis Qiintana, Councilman Carlos Gonzalez, Councilman Anibal Ramos, Councilman John Sharpe James, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, and Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres.

Clinton (center) at the Newark event. From left: Councilman Luis Qiintana, Councilman Carlos Gonzalez, Councilman Anibal Ramos, Councilman John Sharpe James, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, and Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres.

It’s Wednesday, and talk over reforming the Port Authority continues, polls give some bad news to Hillary Clinton and Gov. Chris Christie and the drama in Atlantic City continues, even as the state deal to save the town moves forward.

Quote of the Day: “We all want to make the Port Authority more accountable and transparent and eliminate opportunities for abuse,” – Sen. Tom Kean Jr., calling for his colleagues to approve reform legislation similar to that approved by New York lawmakers.

Senate Legislative Oversight Committee Discusses Port Authority Reform
The Senate Legislative Oversight Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the agency that has been at the forefront of the legislative discussion in both New Jersey and the neighboring state of New York, the Port Authority. The hearing featured officials from PANYNJ and topics discussed ranged from a new Port Authority bus terminal, future trans-Hudson commuter capacity needs and ways to keep pace with the growing demand of commuting capacity.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Where is Sweeney-Weinberg Going if Bergen gets Brutal?
It’s two weeks away, so let’s talk about the 2016 New Jersey Primary.
No, actually, let’s instead hone in on the 2017 gubernatorial contest.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

FDU Poll: Sanders Beats Trump in NJ by Wider Margin Than Clinton
It must be the influence of Wiz.
Bernie Sanders handily beats Donald Trump in New Jersey, according to today’s statewide survey of registered voters from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind finds. The poll finds that if the election were held today, over half (57%) would support Sanders over Donald Trump (33%). Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton still bests Donald Trump by double digits, but her lead is cut to 48-37
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

O’Scanlon’s Remarks on Women’s Health Draw More Fire from Pintor Marin
The feud between two Assembly members from opposite sides of the aisle continued Tuesday as Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29) fired off a letter to Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) criticizing the Monmouth Republican for his claims about the state of women’s healthcare in New Jersey. Women’s health has been a politicized topic in New Jersey ever since Governor Chris Christie dropped nearly $7.5 million in funding for women’s healthcare from the state budget in 2011.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Chelsea Clinton Campaigns for Hillary in NJ
Just blocks away from the entrance to the George Washington Bridge, the Fort Lee Senior Center was bursting at the seams with supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. The crowd was there to see Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the presidential hopeful, stump for her mom and answer questions about what a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean for New Jersey and the U.S.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

In Bloomfield, Lopez Rails Against Claims His Assault Charges Pending
Last Friday, Bloomfield mayoral candidate Joseph Lopez released a statement blasting the team of incumbent Mayor Michael Venezia for a statement made by a Venezia spokesman claiming that assault charges filed against Lopez after an altercation with Bloomfield resident Daniel Chalet (relative of indicted councilman Eli Chalet) following a January city council meeting were still pending. According to Lopez, those charges have been dismissed and, therefore, should not be fodder for statements made during the primary race.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Phil Murphy and Michael Murphy
As if it weren’t already messy enough, Phil Murphy hadn’t been in the 2017 gubernatorial contest a week yet when a source snidely pointed PolitickerNJ in the direction of longtime Trenton insider Michael Murphy. “He’s interested in running for governor,” the source said.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Wenzel Trying to Get Something Going in Fortress Frelinghuysen
Attorney Joe Wenzel last night formally kicked off his 11th District Congressional Campaign in Parsippany surrounded by Democratic Party pooh-bahs and their associates.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

After AC Compromise, Lingering Rancor Between Mayoral Hopefuls on Council
Though Atlantic City avoided an immediate state takeover of its finances Monday when Assembly and Senate leadership agreed to grant the ailing gaming capital 150 days to balance its 2017 budget, rancor over the months of delay remains between members of its city council. Councilman Frank M. Gilliam, who expects to run against Council President Marty Small in the Democratic mayoral primary when Mayor Don Guardian goes up for reelection in 2017, said Tuesday that he doesn’t believe the wait was worth the the end result.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Norcross Attacks Alex Law on Charter Schools, Pointing to Father’s Union Opposition
The primary campaign between progressive newcomer Alex Law and incumbent U.S. Representative Donald Norcross in New Jersey’s first congressional district continues to get uglier as the June 7 primary draws closer.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

N.J.’s Greediest Hater
Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly’s controversial nomination to the New Jersey Parole Board continues to smolder in Trenton and beyond. Painted by many as the NJ’s consummate patronage pig, Jack Kelly has spent three decades mooching off taxpayers in various taxpayer-funded public-sector jobs, most of which he’s demonstrably unqualified for.
Jay Lassiter, PolitickerNJ Read more

NJ Folk Singer Handy: Democrats Must Unite to Stop Trump
He’s been strumming that guitar for years now on the last grassy patches of a dreary strip mall swampland, black beret on backwards and the familiar clear voice out of Montclair singing his signature tune, “Vote,” while New Jersey puts up its most dismal election turnout numbers in history.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Half of N.J. say they ‘dislike everything about Governor Christie,’ poll says
For the third time in about a month, another poll released Tuesday showed a record number of New Jersey voters disapprove of Gov. Chris Christie’s job performance.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

ACLU: Atlantic City deal raises civil rights concerns
At least one group isn’t happy with the compromise legislation to help save financially struggling Atlantic City.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more
Elections official: Some mail-in votes in Paterson’s 2nd Ward election were invalid
An unspecified number of vote-by-mail ballots cast in the city’s controversial 2nd Ward election were invalid, according to Passaic County Superintendent of Elections Sherine El-Abd.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

Mahwah mayor, top cop accused of plot to discredit a rival
Mahwah’s mayor and police chief were behind a plot to discredit a public works official and political rival, pressing false allegations that he viewed pornography on a township computer that ultimately led to his death, a lawsuit alleges.
Peter J. Sampson, The Record Read more

Report: Legal pot sales could generate $305M in yearly tax revenues
As Governor Christie scrambles to fill a $1 billion hole in the state budget, supporters of marijuana legalization released a report Tuesday estimating that the drug could generate $305 million in yearly tax revenue.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more
Atlantic City gets a breather while Prieto earns some political clout
Governor Christie used to boast how he crafted enduring and bipartisan deals along a “boulevard of compromise.”
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

Lawmakers to vote on banning smoking on N.J. beaches
State lawmakers will take another shot at banning smoking on New Jersey beaches and other public areas when the state Senate on Thursday takes up a revised version of a bill vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.
MaryAnn Spoto, NJ.com Read more

Where poor blacks subsidize rich whites, a remedy
Jersey City has not updated the value of homes and businesses in town for 27 years.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger Read more

Appeal nixed for ex-N.J. mayor who admitted repeatedly raping young girl
A disgraced former Marlboro Township mayor serving a 25-year sentence in a Delaware state prison for raping a young girl has reportedly had his appeal rejected by the Delaware Supreme Court.
Rob Spahr, NJ.com Read more

N.J. court to hear dispute on affordable-housing numbers
The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division will hear arguments June 6 on whether municipalities have an obligation to zone for affordable-housing units that they did not allow between 1999 and 2015.
David O’Reilly, Inquirer Read more