Winners and Losers: in the Aftermath of Philly

Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20), right, foreground, leads the Roselle delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20), right, foreground, leads the Roselle delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

WINNERS

Cory Booker

Okay, he’s not Shakespeare. Or even Robert Penn Warren. Phrases that once soared for him metaphorically now have a foam rubber feel, as if the halls he fills are the equivalent of industrial strength packing boxes on a corporate deadline. At times when he speaks you keep waiting for him to reveal that he’s wired to his own Burger King headset, a la self-help guru Tony Robbins. But the junior senator was the only New Jersey Democrat to land a prime time speaking spot at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) last week. Granted, it was on Monday, and if you’re from New Jersey, you’ve heard it all before, but Booker’s speech left CNN’s anchors all but choking back tears. It’s fluff – but on a national scale. And admit it. Even if you felt the speech was pure fudge, it’s gratifying to be able to have someone from New Jersey command the national political stage – for a reason other than Bridgegate fallout.

Chris Porrino

The senate this week confirmed Governor Chris Christie’s choice to serve as attorney general for the State of New Jersey.

John Currie

At last week’s DNC, New Jersey’s Democratic State Party Chairman carried himself with the gravitas, humility and overall leadership savvy one expects from the leader of a state party. It was a fine moment for those who have known Currie and learned from him to watch him at the microphone on the floor of the DNC representing the Garden State.

David Tepper

Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) war with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) puts the Better Education for Our Kids charter schools chief in position to scrape up an ally in the 2017 gubernatorial contest.

Christopher Gramiccioni

The Senate this week voted 30-4 to confirm the Chris Christie nominee to begin a five-year term as Monmouth County Prosecutor at a salary of $165,000.

Nurses at Shore Medical Center

The New York State Nurses Association and the Shore Nurses Union this afternoon announced a contract victory that keeps RNs at the highest levels of patient care standards, wages and benefits in New Jersey. The four-year deal provides for wage increases that put Shore RNs at the highest pay levels in the area. Provisions in the contract also provide for the retention of retirement benefits in a climate where many employers are eliminating them.

J.T. Aregood

PolitickerNJ’s South Jersey-based political reporter took up residence at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia last week to supply eye poppingly fast updates on all the political activities from the floor of the DNC.

LOSERS

Frank LoBiondo

LoBo will have to work extra hard this year in the face of a Democratic challenger who has the perfect opportunity to continually invoke shaky top-of-the-ticket presence Donald Trump. As the Republican nominee for President staggers out of a bad week, dragging sinking poll numbers, the 2nd District Congressman must fend off the combination of a belly up Atlantic City and the fact that he’s taken money from Trump.

The Ringwood Council

The local governing body from Passaic County this week blocked a ballot question to have a referendum on the Recycling Center, citing what they called technical defects in the ordinance, and prompting outraged denunciations of “shameful” by the Sierra Club.

Lawrence Durr

The longtime committeeman, mayor and planning board member from Chesterfield Township received his sentence for filing fraudulent ethics disclosure forms that failed to disclose his financial relationship to a developer.  According to the state Attorney General’s Office, a state investigation revealed that Durr entered into an undisclosed deal to sell transferrable development rights on a 104-acre farm to the developer, and then used his official positions to advance the developer’s plan to build a major residential and commercial project at another site in the township. Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert sentenced the 66-year old Durr to four years of probation, conditioned upon him serving 364 days in the county jail.  The jail term will be suspended if he meets all of the requirements of his probation.  However, if he fails to meet any of the requirements, Durr will go to jail.  Durr also agreed to forfeit $250,000 to the state.

Atlantic City

The beached whale one-time gaming paradise let off another geyser of gloom with the news this week that the Trump Taj Mahal will close its doors at the the end of the summer. The shuttering of the Taj represents the fifth Atlantic City casino closing since 2014.

John L. Hochberg

The State Board of Medical Examiners (BME) imposed a five year license suspension and $60,000 in civil penalties on the former prison doctor whose “gross negligence” contributed to the death of an inmate under his care while he was the Medical Director at Northern State Prison in Newark in 2009, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. In its Final Decision and Order, the BME concluded that Hochberg’s failure to provide potentially lifesaving intervention for the inmate, who was critically ill, constituted a breach of even the most minimal standards of care. The BME found that Hochberg also engaged in repeated acts of gross negligence, malpractice, and/or professional misconduct in the care of four other patients he treated for chronic pain at his private clinic, Ortho Neuro Rehab Associates in South Amboy, from 1984 to 2003.