PolitickerNJ News Digest: July 8th

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It’s Friday, the end of the week in Trenton, where questions about what comes next for state road projects still linger and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is calling on police and Democrats to speak out against recent police shootings that killed two black men.

Quote of the Day: “It’s time for police, the good and righteous police officers, to stand up against this. … Police organizations can no longer fight civilian review boards, or else they are complicit,” – Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, calling on police organizations to denounce the recent police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.

Baraka: Police Leadership Must Denounce Cop Killings of Two Black Men
The police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge and Minnesota horrified Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who wants police organizations to denounce the killings in no uncertain terms. A backer of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the mayor also wants the Democratic Party – anemic now in its attempts to frame issues, in his view – to strengthen its platform at the convention in Philadelphia to fight for vulnerable minorities.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

TTF Work Stoppage Draws Criticism as Some Call for Compromise Bill
As negotiations over how to fund the Transportation Trust Fund with a gas tax continue to stall, Governor Chris Christie’s decision to halt all repairs and construction until lawmakers reach a consensus is drawing criticism from Democrats and advocacy groups. The state Assembly and Senate failed to reach a compromise between two bills at the end of June.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Atlantic City Council President Fires Back at Trump
Following comments from Donald Trump laying the blame for Atlantic City’s decline on its Democratic city council, council president and likely mayoral hopeful Marty Small is swatting at the real estate magnate for his business record in the shore town. Small also took a shot at Governor Chris Christie for his administration’s inability to improve the gaming capital’s economic outlook.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

NJ Bernie Backer Digs in Against Clinton Candidacy
Amid reports of Bernie Sanders standing at the precipice of endorsing Hillary Clinton, grassroots Bernie organizer David Robinson of Union County told PolitickerNJ that he’s not inclined to follow suit.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Menendez Condemns Plan for Daily Flights from Newark to Cuba
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today reacted negatively to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposal to open up 15 direct commercial airline routes from American cities to Cuba, including a daily flight from Newark-Liberty International Airport to Havana.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

RNC: Count T-Mac In
Freshman GOP U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3) will be at the Republican National Convention this year in Cleveland, according to Congressional Spokeswoman Katie Pudwill.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Memorial Service for Ray Bateman Scheduled for Saturday
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman this week announced that all are invited to attend a memorial service for his father, Raymond H. Bateman, at Raritan Valley Community College. The service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 9.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Trump ‘unlikely’ to pick Christie, according to sources
It is highly unlikely that Gov. Chris Christie will be Donald Trump’s running mate, according to two sources who are advising the Trump campaign and who requested to remain anonymous.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Back from Italy, Christie heading to Miami for Trump campaign event
Just back from a four-day vacation in Italy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be in Miami on Friday to appear with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who is scheduled to deliver a speech there, a spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign confirmed.
Claude Brodesser-Akner and Brent Johnson, NJ.com

Now what? N.J. cities and service groups ask as Christie freezes funding
Gov. Christie’s campaign last year to overhaul pension and health benefits for New Jersey’s public employees hasn’t come to fruition.
Maddie Hanna and Andrew Seidman Read more

Judge: Defendants in GWB case can’t get Christie’s cellphone
Defense lawyers representing two former allies of Governor Christie accused of conspiring to cause massive traffic jams at an entrance to the George Washington Bridge cannot have access to the Governor’s cell phone or to electronic devices belonging to top aides in his administration, a federal judge has ruled.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

Police investigating double suicide at ex-Westwood councilman’s home
Authorities said on Thursday afternoon that they were investigating a double suicide at the home of former Westwood council member Robert W. Miller, who was facing a federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to prostitution charges earlier this year.
Abbottt Koloff and Andrew Wyrich, The Record Read more