PolitickerNJ News Digest: June 13th

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How to start a new week in New Jersey politics? How about by reaching out to targeted voting blocks or trying to solve the persistent problem of school funding? That’s just a few of the many things to catch up on before the action begins again in Trenton today.

Baraka Encourages African Americans to Shape Politics
African American community and civic leaders descended on the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Friday for the beginning of a summit focused on how to find innovative solutions to issues facing African American communities.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

In LD11 Dems’ School Funding Proposal, a Complex Overture to 2017
The stakes for the most recent of New Jersey’s few competitive legislative districts became clear this week as freshman Assembly members Joanne Downey and Eric Houghtaling (both D-11) unveiled their sponsorship of a plan to fully fund the state’s public schools. The move reveals one strategy by which state Democrats will combat blowback from a likely gas tax increase when voters go to the polls in 2017, and offers an early glimpse of the pointed attacks likely to fly between the eleventh district’s new lawmakers and incumbent state Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11).
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Women’s Political Caucus Honors John Graham With ‘Good Guy’ Award
On Thursday, the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey (WPCNJ) honored Democratic Party influencer John F.X. Graham with their “Good Guy Award.” The award was presented during the group’s annual fundraiser which also honored a number of New Jersey’s women legislators and others involved in NJ’s political world.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Hal Bozarth, Executive Director of the Chemistry Council of NJ, has Died
Hal Bozarth, executive director of the Chemistry Council of New Jersey and a highly respected longtime political insider, has died.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Of 16 N.J. superdelegates, 2 uncommitted: the Norcross brothers
As he celebrated a hard-fought win in his congressional primary against 25-year-old challenger Alex Law on Tuesday night, Rep. Donald Norcross shared the room – and the spotlight – with a watch party for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Emma Platoff, Inquirer Read more

Road-repair probe yields little; charges unlikely over Port Authority’s use of $1.8B
A criminal probe into the use of $1.8 billion in Port Authority funds to repair New Jersey roads appears to have hit a dead end, according to several sources close to the investigation and experts in such issues.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

Plan to clear N.J. forest land divides environmentalists
A plan to help endangered birds by cutting down dozens of acres of state forest on Sparta Mountain represents a radically different approach to land management for New Jersey — and has bitterly divided New Jersey’s major environmental groups.
James M. O’Neill, The Record Read more

Kelly: Race to the bottom: labels as weapons
Some years ago I knocked on the front door of the Englewood townhouse where Al Sharpton was living. A woman who answered the door looked me over, then turned and yelled up the stairs.
Mike Kelly, The Record Read more

Opinion: Bridgegate’s ‘John Doe’ will be N.J’s most significant political figure
When the usual end-of-the-year vote is taken to designate the most significant political figure of 2016, I intend to mark my ballot for John Doe, the unindicted co-conspirator who wishes to remain both unindicted and unidentified.
Carl Golden, NJSpotlight Read more

An unusual way for N.J. lawmakers to vote
Usually, when a committee of the state Legislature considers the fate of a bill, lawmakers on the panel vote simply by saying “yes” or no.” Or, maybe, “yay” or “nay.”
The Auditor, NJ.com Read more

It’s official: Christie to lead N.J. delegation at Republican convention
Gov. Chris Christie will chair the 51-member New Jersey delegation to the Republican National Convention and a top ally will sit on the panel that will write the rules for the quadrennial gathering.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

New president? Sure. But House, casinos also on NJ ballot
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will capture most of the spotlight ahead of the November general election, but in New Jersey, voters will also pick their 12-member congressional delegation and whether to gamble on approving casino expansion.
Associated Press Read more

Sanders protesters to camp in N.J.
Some Bernie Sanders supporters are planning to camp out in South Jersey while protesting at the Democratic National Convention here next month.
Erin Serpico, Inquirer Read more