PolitickerNJ News Digest: June 10th

Muhammad-Ali[1]

It’s Friday, and in New Jersey talk is on the court awarding Gov. Chris Christie another big win on public pensions and who might be good picks for the GOP and Democratic VP slots.

Quote of the Day:“We don’t want a young student in one of our schools hearing these things and believing that their own elected officials are supporting these types of statements.” – Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse and Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino, explaining their reasons for leaving the GOP.

Dissecting the High Turnout of the NJ Primary
During Tuesday’s primary election, over 1.25 million voters turned out to the polls to cast ballots, according to preliminary data from NJ Spotlight. That number is more than twice the amount of people who showed up to vote during the 2012 primary and the 2008 primary where president Obama was first elected.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Following Supreme Court Ruling, Sweeney Defends COLA Legislation
Following Thursday’s state Supreme Court ruling on cost of living adjustments for state employees, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) defended the legislature’s 2011 legislation allowing the state to delay COLAs for public employees. A reverse ruling could have forced the state to make those adjustments, and increased the state’s unfunded pension liability to $17.5 billion.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Donnelly Blasts Supreme Court Decision on Pensions
The New Jersey Supreme Court today upheld a law freezing cost-of-living adjustments for retired government workers.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Lesniak Bangs the Drum for Elizabeth Warren as Clinton’s VP Choice
Asked today whom Hillary Clinton should choose as her running mate, veteran state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) offered the name of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Weinberg Backs Booker for VP on Clinton Ticket
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) favors Senator Cory Booker as a running mate for presumptive Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Rice: Trump Wants to Dog but Can’t Take Getting Dogged
State Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) said he doesn’t believe Hillary Clinton should pick Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as her running mate, and wants the presumptive nominee to take her time and not allow herself to get pressured into making a choice.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

GOP Chairman Emeritus Kuhl Favors Kasich as Trump’s Running Mate
Hunterdon County GOP Chairman Emeritus Henry Kuhl will attend his tenth GOP convention in a row in Ohio this summer, where he will serve as a Donald Trump delegate.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

NJ Building Trades Council Issues its Endorsements
The NJ State Building & Construction Trades Council today announced its endorsements for the November 2016 Presidential and New Jersey Congressional elections, picking Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for its top of the ticket choice.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Trump’s Judge Statement Forces Hackensack Electeds to Bail on GOP
Hackensack’s Mayor and Deputy Mayor filed change of party registration forms with the Bergen County Board of Elections today, ending their affiliation with the Republican Party and officially becoming political Independents. As first reported by the Record, Mayor John Labrosse and Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino both said they were leaving the Republican Party primarily because of racially charged statements made by Donald Trump. Both were elected in 2013 on a reform ticket. They issued the following joint statement:
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Bills to Increase Voter Turnout Clear Senate Committee
Two bills to drive voter turnout advanced in committee Thursday, and will go on to the Senate floor. The first, originally sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) in the lower house, would allow 17 year-olds to vote in primaries when they are on the cusp of reaching eighteen before the general election. While that bill cleared committee in a unanimous vote, a second to offer automatic voter registration with new and renewed driver’s licenses passed by a narrower 3-2 margin.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Sweeney and LD11 Assembly Dems Announce Bill Creating School Funding Commission
— State Democrats announced new legislation Thursday that would create a commission to solve New Jersey’s school funding formula. The issue has been a policy flashpoint for both sides of the aisle, with lawmakers pointing to an inequitable distribution of state funding to districts whose has changed significantly in theirs since allotments were decided.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Bill Mandating Disclosure of Civil Forfeiture Income Advances
A bill to require county prosecutors to provide annual reports of assets seized through civil forfeiture to the Attorney General advanced in a Senate committee Thursday in a unanimous vote. The New Jersey ACLU weighed in with testimony in support of the bill, saying that it would bring transparency and accountability to a practice that has become a cornerstone of police departments’ funding in recent years.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Gottheimer Issues Debate Challenge to Garrett
CD5 Democratic challenger Josh Gottheimer this week fired off a letter to U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5) challenging the Republican to a series of five debates between now and the election.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Colligan Decries Supreme Court Pensions Ruling
Today the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Governor Chris Christie was within his authority to take away cost of living adjustments from retirees. The pension adjustments based on inflation, commonly known as COLA, were stripped away from retirees by Governor Christie in 2011.
Pat Colligan, PolitickerNJ Read more

Senator’s chilling account of closed-door N.J. political threat
When you hear about death threats, the backdrop is usually a power struggle in the mob, or a really bad marriage.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger Editorial Board Read more

Atlantic City still hasn’t received state bridge loan
Gov. Chris Christie may have signed rescue bills for this city, but the nearly broke resort is still running out of money.
Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City Read more

Pranks, slurs and infighting: A look inside the Kean University police
Kean University’s administration grappled for years with infighting and bad behavior within its police force, including racially and sexually charged pranks, alleged abuse of overtime and other wrongdoing, court records and documents obtained by NJ Advance Media show.
S.P. Sullivan, NJ.com Read more

Christie stands by Trump, rejecting racist label again
Donald Trump stands accused of building a presidential campaign on continued racist, sexist and xenophobic attacks, but his campaign is no worse than those run by two founding fathers, George H.W. Bush or Al Gore, according to Governor Christie, one of Trump’s biggest supporters.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Paterson council condemns city administration for lack of input on hotel deal’s collapse
City Council members sharply criticized Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ administration for not presenting them with an emergency strategy on how to address the sudden collapse of the much-anticipated deal for a hotel next to St. Joseph’s hospital.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

Monmouth clerk to review ballots returned to voters
– A Monmouth County election official says she will review vote-by-mail envelopes to see if they should be redesigned after several voters say their ballots were mailed back to them.
Susanne Cervenka, Asbury Park Press Read more

Howell official under criminal investigation
Howell’s land use director was fired on June 7 and is now under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, but township officials won’t say why.
Kala Kachmar, Asbury Park Press Read more