PolitickerNJ: Aug.9th

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It’s Tuesday, and state voters won’t have a chance to weigh in on mandatory payments into the state pension system as lawmakers miss a deadline to place the measure on the ballot. Meanwhile, the focus of the 2017 gubernatorial campaign was on Newark, which could prove key in picking which candidate is selected to represent the Democrats next year.

Quote of the Day: “Hopefully we (Essex County Democrats) will be together. In case that doesn’t work out. we will weigh our options,” – Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, on his support for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Fulop.

Baraka All In with Fulop Guv Candidacy; Hopes to convince Key Essex Dem Leaders

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka craves peace.
But he’s ready for war.
With all sides sharpening as the state heads toward at least a three-way 2017 Democratic Primary for Governor and Essex County stands forth: ground zero for political intrigue as the most Democratic Party-populous county, Baraka wants Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop to be the next governor of New Jersey.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

LD16 Bar Notes: The Bateman Imbroglio

Republican sources say Senator Kip Bateman has another reelection run in him (2017) before he settles into judge’s robes.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

A 2017 Pickle: In LD28, Rice Loves Baraka but Can’t Support Fulop

Pick an identity.
Vietnam War solider.
Undercover police detective.
Brick City politician.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Concealed Carry Debate Continues for Bill Rolling Back Changes to NJ Statute

The debate over whether New Jersey should broaden its concealed carry permit application continues. Lawmakers heard public testimony Monday on a bill from Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) that would roll back changes to the state’s “justifiable need” statute. Governor Chris Christie’s administration changed the language in the statute to include “serious threats” to a person’s life in April.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

NJEA Demonstrators Flock to State House as Pension Bill Delayed Another Year

Teachers represented by the New Jersey Education Association converged on the steps of the New Jersey State House Monday, the same day that a key procedural deadline passed for a bill from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) that would mandate payments into the state’s underfunded public pension systems. Sweeney faced pressure from the group last week as the deadline approached, with members of the NJEA threatening to withhold campaign contributions to state Democrats if he declined to post the bill in time to get its accompanying ballot question on this year’s ballot.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

2017 Rumbling: Fulop and Baraka Amp up Essex Battle Plans

Here they come.
Sources told PolitickerNJ this morning that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka got face to face on Friday and shook hands on a commitment to assemble a 2017 Line B to run with Fulop in the Democratic Primary.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Amid Sweeney Drama, GOP Deputy Mayor Questions Zwicker’s NJEA Ties

Last week, Senate President Steve Sweeney stirred up controversy when he called for an investigation of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) after the groups claimed they would forego making campaign contributions until a controversial pension question made it onto the November ballot. While few in the New Jersey Assembly have come forward detailing their stances on Sweeney’s move, Montgomery Deputy Mayor Ed Trzaska issued a challenge to Democratic LD16 Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker: pick a side.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

2017 GOP Developments: Russell Going Statewide

Chris Russell cut his political teeth in Burlington County, one of the underground operatives who helped the GOP secure what in this century has been one of the most reliably operational political organizations in the state.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Menendez on Clinton’s TPP Stance and Recapturing Working Class Voters

Presidential hopefuls Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have both planned economic speeches this week. Both will speak from Detroit, Michigan but Trump will give his proposal on Monday and Clinton her proposal on Thursday.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Booker, Menendez Host U.S. Surgeon General at N.J. Hospital

U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez have long been working to raise awareness and advance policies to combat the ongoing opioid/heroin epidemic that has been plaguing New Jersey and the country. In their most recent effort, the two welcomed U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy at the Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston for a Monday forum on the topic.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Challenger Takes a Shot at Congressman Frank Pallone Over Website

A first-time congressional candidate in New Jersey’s 6th congressional district took aim at 28-year Democratic incumbent Frank Pallone for an incomplete page on the U.S. representative’s website. Republican Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, an elected School Board Member in Atlantic Highlands, called attention to the blank ‘Issues’ page of Pallone’s website Monday as he released his own platform.
PolitickerNJ Staff Read more

Hudson County threatens lawsuit over stalled N.J. roadway projects

Hudson County may sue the state Department of Transportation over Gov. Chris Christie’s shutdown of hundreds of road projects statewide, with County Executive Tom DeGise calling the governor’s move draconian and political.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Is N.J. too tough on college loans? Lawmakers think so

As his mother wiped away tears, Dan Liebenthal told a panel of New Jersey lawmakers Monday that falling behind on his student loan payments robbed him of a future.
Adam Clark, NJ.com Read more

Christie condemned by N.J. LGBTQ activists over NBA all-star comments

Gov. Chris Christie’s mockery of the NBA’s decision to relocate its annual All Star game from Charlotte, N.C., as “grandstanding” in response to a state law that wipes out anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people has drawn a sharp rebuke from a New Jersey human rights group.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Lawyers that cleared Christie in GWB scandal ask judge to block them from trial testimony

Eight lawyers from a New York firm whose state-financed investigation cleared Governor Christie of blame in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal are asking a judge to block them from testifying at the upcoming corruption trial of two of the governor’s former allies.
Peter J. Sampson, The Record Read more

N.J. lawmakers move toward invalidating Christie plan for right to carry handguns

Lawmakers moved closer Monday toward invalidating regulations proposed by Governor Christie’s administration that would allow more people to legally carry a handgun in New Jersey.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Jackson: Quitting is not an easy way out: Torricelli case a warning for GOP

A lead in the polls had turned into a double-digit deficit, the media were out for blood and party leaders started to panic that a landslide defeat at the top of the ticket would bury down-ballot candidates, too.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Doblin: Christie, the Trump Whisperer up on Brokeback Mountain

Last week, there was talk of an intervention inside the Trump campaign. Whether it was true or not, it made for some good talking-head conversation on cable. Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, had a very bad week. He attacked Gold Star parents and House Speaker Paul Ryan and claimed to have seen a video showing a money transfer in Iran for U.S. hostages. He admitted he was wrong about the video.
Alfred Dobbin, The Record Read more

How much money would needy school districts lose under Christie’s funding plan?

Fourteen school districts in Monmouth and Ocean counties would lose nearly $89 million in state aid under an overhaul of the school funding formula being pushed by Gov. Chris Christie, according to a report released Monday by the Education Law Center.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Booker, Menendez talk heroin at St. Barnabas

With heroin deaths up 160 percent in New Jersey since 2010 and more than 1,200 overdose-related deaths reported last year, Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker are appealing to the medical field to help curb the crisis.
Michael Izzo, Daily Record Read more