PolitickerNJ News Digest

Congressman Bill Pascrell.

Congressman Bill Pascrell.

It’s Tuesday, and state legislators have finally began to move ahead with a plan to save Atlantic City, while Gov. Chris Christie vetoes a bill to reform the Port Authority, even as federal judges prepare to rule on the release of the names of state officials who might have participated in the George Washington Bridge closure scandal.

Quote of the Day: “It’s going to be a tough road for us to meet. We’re going to be a good cash cow for the state once again,” – Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, giving a tepid endorsement to a compromise Atlantic City rescue plan.

The Democrats’ War Within the War for 2017
There’s a presidential election going on, but in New Jersey you really wouldn’t know it, where a candidate for governor boldly stepped up and declared his own 2017 aspirations two weeks before a presidential primary.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

AC Compromise Advances in Committee
Lawmakers unveiled a compromise between the two houses over a state takeover of Atlantic City Monday. The new bill will offer the beleaguered resort town 150 days to balance its 2017 budget, far short of the two years Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-32) agitated for throughout his negotiations with Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3). The bill advanced in committee that afternoon in a unanimous vote. Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23) abstained.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Greenwald Credits Sweeney for the End of Gridlock on AC Takeover
The fight may be over, but the rush to claim victory in one of the ugliest and most drawn-out legislative squabbles in recent years is just beginning. After an Assembly committee advanced a compromise measure to allow for a potential state takeover of Atlantic City Monday, Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) credited Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) with laying down the groundwork for that compromise.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Phil Murphy Releases Tax Returns from Past Five Years
Gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy released his tax returns for the past five years to members of the press on Monday.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Local Firefighters Endorse Gottheimer in CD5
Members of the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) gathered in front of Teaneck’s Fire Station 4 on Monday to endorse Democratic Challenger Josh Gottheimer as he prepares to face off against deeply entrenched incumbent Scott Garrett.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

When Hospitals Are also Corporations
US Hospitals started as charitable institutions in the late 1800s, funded by wealthy donors and religious organizations. The mission was focused on health care and care for the poor. It was clear where the money came from, clear where it went.
Ann Twomey, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie vetoes bills including Port Authority reforms
Governor Christie vetoed a series of bills Monday, including a package of reforms for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a measure that would require domestic-violence offenders to surrender their firearms.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Unsealed docs show John Doe wanted federal appeals court hearing closed to public
Court documents unsealed this afternoon reveal how a man suspected of — but not charged with — participating in a conspiracy to close access lanes to the George Washington Bridge tried to prevent the public from attending his forthcoming hearing before a federal appeals court.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

What State Government Jobs Pay
The Star-Ledger examined salaries from the highest- to lowest-paid state employees.
Staff reports Read more

Christie vetoes N.J. domestic violence gun bill – again
Gov. Chris Christie on Monday again vetoed an effort by Democrats in the Legislature to further restrict access to firearms by convicted domestic abusers and those subject to domestic violence restraining orders.
S.P. Sullivan, NJ.com Read more

N.J. senator, LGBT activists call for rejection of Christie nominee
A Democratic 2017 gubernatorial candidate, along with advocates who were depicted in the film “Freeheld,” called for the rejection of Gov. Chris Christie’s nomination to the state Parole Board on Monday.
Alex Napoliello, NJ.com Read more

Does tough talk on taxes hint at Kean’s run for governor?
After 15 years in the Legislature, N.J. Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) has come into his own in Trenton, and tax relief ranks high on his policy agenda.
Paul Brubaker, NJ.com Read more

Lawmakers address security delays at Newark airport
Help is on the way to address long lines and long wait times for travelers at Newark Liberty Airport on the brink of the summer travel season.
Associated Press Read more

Councilman files recount request in contested Paterson city council election
Councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman filed court papers on Monday seeking a recount in the 2nd Ward election he lost by 19 votes to challenger Shahin Khalique.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

Former N.J. attorney general: We are living our founders’ worst nightmare
This may seem an odd year to speak in idealistic terms, as Florence Eagleton did 60 years ago in founding the Eagleton Institute, about “increasing the knowledge of democracy” by “cultivation of civic responsibility and leadership.” Indeed, it’s been impossible to watch this presidential year’s festival of vitriol, slander and outright mendacity without recalling the words of Benjamin Franklin when asked what form of government was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in 1787. “A republic, madam,” he reportedly replied, “if we can keep it.”
John Farmer Jr., NJ.com Read more

The No. 1 problem that could hurt Booker’s VP chances
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker took the microphone at a gathering of a major progressive think tank in Washington and delivered a 25-minute riff, sans notes, of what’s at stake in the fall election.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Ex-Madison councilman testifies against pharmacist
Former physician and ex-Madison Borough Councilman Vincent Esposito testified Monday that he agreed to write a few prescriptions for the addictive painkiller oxycodone at the request of a borough pharmacist who had already dispensed the narcotics without a valid prescription in hand.
Peggy Wright, The Daily Record Read more

Delegates should get only 1 vote, N.J. lawsuit says
With national attention focused on the role of superdelegates in picking candidates, a federal lawsuit filed in Trenton this month sheds light on how voting is conducted at closed local party conventions and how it can escalate political infighting.
Jan Hefler, Inquirer Read more