PolitickerNJ News Digest: Aug. 11th

The crowd at Wednesday's event

The crowd at Wednesday’s event

It’s Thursday, and Bridgegate is back in the news to haunt Gov. Chris Christie. Meanwhile, the fight to expand casino gaming in the state is getting more attention, and there’s talk of convening a summit to craft a compromise on raising revenue for the state Transportation Trust Fund. For this and our roundup off all the state’s political news, read on.

Quote of the Day: “He just flat out lied about senior staff and Stepien not being involved,” – Christina Genovese Renna, former aide to Gov. Chris Christie, in a 2013 text message during a Christie press conference where the governor denied any knowledge of his administration’s involvement in the Bridgegate conspiracy.

Court Papers: Christie Lied, Aide Said

A top aide to Gov. Chris Christie “privately told a colleague in late 2013 that the governor had lied to reporters when he said none of his senior staff or campaign manager had any knowledge of the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, according to court papers filed early Wednesday,
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

First Ads Emerge from Opposing Sides of North Jersey Casino Debate

The public campaign over North Jersey casinos is beginning in earnest. Ads from groups for and against expanding casino gaming into North Jersey start airing this month in the run-up to a November ballot question, when voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution and allow two new casinos outside of Atlantic City.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Fulop: 2017 NJ Governor’s Race Talk a ‘Distraction’ Ahead of Prez Race

Amid reports that allies of South Jersey Democratic Party leader George Norcross have called upon New Jersey’s Democratic Party chairs for a meeting next Wednesday–allegedly to assess support for Senate President Steve Sweeney’s potential gubernatorial run–PolitickerNJ asked Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop for his thoughts on the meeting.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Bothered Prieto Calls for a TTF Summit

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) released the following statement Wednesday on the need for a Transportation Trust Fund Summit to resolve the ongoing stalemate:
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Currie Objects to Timing of Dem Leaders Meeting, and to His Omission from Invite

New Jersey Democratic State Committee and Passaic County Chairman John Currie this afternoon reacted to a PolitickerNJ report that a number of Democratic county chairs are preparing for a meeting next week to assess the gubernatorial primary election scheduled for June of 2017.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Murphy Meet and Greet Event in Newark Catches Team Baraka’s Attention

Days after Mayor Ras Baraka began laying the tiles for a local game plan to catapult Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop into Drumthwacket, retail politics competitor Phil Murphy generated a crowd at the Priory in Newark last night at an event attended by three busloads of seniors and former Governor Dick Codey..
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Mapp to Run for Reelection in Plainfield in 2017

Amid backroom discussions about possible legislative slates in Union County if Democrats find themselves in a three or four-way gubernatorial primary next year, Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp intends to run for reelection next year, he told PolitickerNJ.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Byram Residents Call for Referendum After Town Authorizes $11 Million

A group of five long term residents of the small township of Byram in Sussex County have issued a call for a referendum on November’s ballot. The referendum aims to allow voters to reject an approved up to $11 million expenditure for a new municipal building by putting it to a public vote.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Monmouth Poll: Is the Country FUBAR Politically?

The vast majority of voters say the country is greatly divided and many are also concerned that the country could suffer lasting damage if people who did not share their own principles came into power. Paradoxically, most voters claim to have a fair amount of confidence in their fellow Americans’ political judgment, although this sentiment has been on the decline recently. The latest Monmouth University Poll also found that many Americans feel their personal way of life is under threat from a variety of sources, with Islamic terrorists and Donald Trump prompting greater concern than illegal Mexican immigrants and Hillary Clinton.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

After 2nd Amendment Comment, Middlesex GOP Chair Defends Trump, Upbraids Clinton

Middlesex County GOP Chair Lucille Panos defended Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump amid calls for him to step out of the contest following his comments about the 2nd Amendment and his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Supreme Court Makeup Could Have Big Impact on Campaign Finance Law

Lost in the chaos over history’s most unconventional presidential campaign is the issue of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jeff Brindle, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie’s security team has billed taxpayers $2M for out-of-state trips since 2010

Governor Christie’s security team has billed state taxpayers $2 million for dozens of trips outside New Jersey since 2010, new invoices show.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Ex-Christie aide may have destroyed Bridgegate evidence

The former co-chairs of the legislative committee that looked into Bridgegate are calling on the state attorney general’s office to investigate whether a former aide to Gov. Chris Christie should be charged with intentional destruction of evidence for deleting text messages.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Who is Chris Christie’s Bridgegate accuser?

Christina Genovese Renna quit her job in the Gov. Chris Christie administration in 2014 shortly after she was among dozens of individuals and organizations ordered to produce documents under subpoenas in the George Washington Bridge scandal investigation.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Prosecutors subpoena Jersey City Mayor Fulop to testify in GWB scandal trial

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a likely Democratic candidate for governor next year, has been subpoenaed by prosecutors to testify in next month’s trial of two people charged in the George Washington Bridge scandal.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Christie responds to Bridgegate revelations

Gov. Chris Christie made his first public comments Wednesday on the latest George Washington Bridge scandal revelations a short time after the news broke that a former aide had accused him of having “flat out lied” about his knowledge of his staff’s involvement in the lane closures.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Christie wants U.S. Supreme Court to rule on sports betting

Gov. Chris Christie thinks the U.S. Supreme Court should decide whether New Jersey can legalize sports betting.
Associated Press Read more

Opinion: Did Sweeney forget the difference between extortion and leverage?

Tough negotiations are the trademark of New Jersey politics.
Accusing a group of committing bribery and extortion because they are seeking an official action which supports the group’s priorities will only invite more complaints from un-endorsed candidates whose positions differ from the groups.
Edward Buttimore, Star-Ledger Read more

Editorial: No Smoking Gun in Bridgegate Texts

The contention in a new court filing that a former aide to Gov. Chris Christie said the governor lied about his knowledge of his administration’s involvement in the George Washington Bridge lane closures isn’t a smoking gun, but it raises new questions about what Christie knew about the bridge lane closings and when.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Long lines at N.J. motor vehicle offices prompt legislative hearings

Ranking state legislative leaders announced hearings as early as next month in an effort to fix a failing state computer system that has helped create extra-long lines at many of New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission offices this summer.
John Chichowski, The Record Read more

For Menendez, whose daughter is pregnant, Zika gets personal

Like most Jersey politicians, Sen. Bob Menendez is rarely at a loss for words.
Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com Read more

Marketing U.S. Citizenship and Childbirth Services at Meadowlands Hospital

A company based in the Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center has been advertising online to Russian citizens, encouraging pregnant women to come to the Secaucus facility to give birth — a process that makes the baby automatically eligible for U.S. citizenship and connects the hospital to a growing and relatively unknown international phenomenon known as “birth tourism.”
Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight Read more