NJ Politics Digest: Prepare for a Pair of Governors at Bridgegate and How Low Can Christie’s Numbers Go?

It’s Wednesday, and at the Bridgegate trial, there’s a chance that the governor’s of New Jersey and New York could be called to testify. Discussion about this week’s bombings and arrest continues, while local Muslim leaders have decried the attacks.
Meanwhile, a new poll shows Christie is among the most unpopular governors in the country, a new report sheds light on what was behind efforts to make EpiPens a must-have item for students with allergies and NJSpotlight reports on double dipping in the state’s sheriff’s races.

Quote of the Day: “I thought it was really weird. I thought it was cloak and dagger.” – Fort Lee’s police chief Keith Bendul, testifying about the security measures the George Washington Bridge’s general manager insisted on before meeting to discuss the Bridgegate traffic jams.

Christie, Cuomo on potential witness list for Bridgegate trial
Governor Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appear on a list of more than 300 witnesses who may be called to testify in the trial over the George Washington Bridge lane closures.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Past, present Fulop allies among potential Bridgegate trial witnesses
Some current and former associates of Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop may be called to the witness stand in the ongoing trial related to the George Washington Bridge lane closures.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Bridgegate trial: Fort Lee police chief describes clandestine meeting with GWB manager
As testimony got under way at the Bridgegate trial in federal court on Tuesday, Fort Lee’s chief of police described a clandestine meeting he had in a municipal parking lot with the general manager of the George Washington Bridge on the first day of the lane closures that snarled traffic at the world’s busiest bridge for five mornings in September 2013 and ultimately derailed the presidential hopes of Governor Chris Christie.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

Christie among the most unpopular governors in the country, poll finds
According to Morning Consult, New Jersey voters give Christie a 29 percent approval rating and 68 percent disapproval rating. That’s down from a 36 percent approval rating in the spring, and not far behind the two worst ranked governors.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Straub wins CRDA concession, site plan approval for Revel/TEN
Glenn Straub won a rare concession from the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which Tuesday removed a disputed condition and approved an amended site plan for the former Revel, newly renamed TEN resort.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Cape May pays $369K to settle suit with openly gay former cop
A openly gay former Cape May police officer reportedly has settled a discrimination lawsuit against the Jersey Shore town for $369,000.
Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Read more

Christie hosts radio show, as Bridgegate trial resumes
A day after federal prosecutors alleged in court that he knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures while they were happening, Gov. Christie said Tuesday that he was tired of the episode.
Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Read more

If Christie Budges on TTF Will Sweeney Follow?
The seemingly endless struggle to find new revenue for the state Transportation Trust Fund may have inched closer to resolution in the past week, as Gov. Chris Christie apparently moved away from his firm position on a sales-tax cut. It remains to be seen if Senate President Stephen Sweeney will move toward him as well, or whether the state Legislature will look instead to short-term measures and wait for a new governor to be elected to solve the TTF problem long-term.
John Reitmeyer and Chase Brush, NJSpotlight Read more

State heavily redacts emails on Atlantic City’s finances
Ernst & Young has billed taxpayers $1.56 million for its analysis of Atlantic City’s finances, but the state has rejected records requests for the firm’s work and heavily redacted emails of one the firm’s employees.
Christian Hetrick, The Press of Atlantic City Read more

Christie’s ‘defense team’ long ago anticipated he’d need the Sgt. Schultz Defense
Uh-oh. It’s the Sergeant Schultz Defense.
Sgt. Schultz was the German prison camp guard from the TV series “Hogan’s Heroes” whose big laugh line was: “I know nothing! I see nothing!”
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

Bridgegate bombshell: Christie knew all along. Say good-night
Since the heady days after his landslide re-election in 2013, Gov. Chris Christie has absorbed one blow after another, falling from grace in such epic fashion that it would be painful to watch if he didn’t so richly deserve it.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger Editorial Board Read more

Muslim leaders condemn violence, say it doesn’t reflect Islam
Muslim faith and community leaders from across New Jersey decried the bombing attacks in New York City and Seaside Park and stressed their cooperation with law enforcement during a press conference outside Elizabeth City Hall Tuesday.
Hannan Adely, The Record Read more

Arrest warrant: Suspected bomber stabbed family member, threatened him with gun
A Union County grand jury declined to indict suspected bomber Ahmad Rahami for allegedly stabbing a family member and threatening him with a gun in an Aug, 2014 incident in Elizabeth, according to court documents obtained by The Record.
Jeff Pillets, Tariq Zehawi and Andrew Wyrich, The Record Read more

Mylan CEO’s mother used position with education group to boost EpiPen sales nationwide
After Gayle Manchin took over the National Association of State Boards of Education in 2012, she spearheaded an unprecedented effort that encouraged states to require schools to purchase medical devices that fight life-threatening allergic reactions.
Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today Read more

Christie unfreezes $33M in spending he tied to N.J. public worker health care cuts
Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday released more than $33 million in funds for social programs he withheld to spur cuts to employee health care.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Signaling a truce, Port Authority and West Side officials announce ‘comprehensive planning process’
The Port Authority and the West Side elected officials who have been engaged in a protracted battle over plans for a new bus terminal in Midtown Manhattan appear to have signed some sort of peace treaty.
Dana Rubenstein, Politico Read more

Sheriff elections across N.J. dominated by ‘double-dippers’
Jim McDonald is weeks away from hitting a jackpot in New Jersey’s election sweepstakes as a new double-dipping county sheriff.
Mark Lagerkvist, NJSpotlight Read more

Report: Toxin made famous by Erin Brockovich prevalent in NJ water
The tap water for nearly 200 million Americans, including most of the Jersey Shore, contains a toxin that can cause cancer even from relatively little exposure, according to a report released Tuesday.
Russ Zimmer, Asbury Park Press Read more

Former Perth Amboy police chief found not guilty on all charges
Former Perth Amboy Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz was found not guilty by a jury Tuesday on charges of witness tampering and using police department mechanics to repair personal vehicles.
Spencer Kent, NJ.com Read more

Passaic police director is suspended amid personnel investigation
Passaic’s public safety director Richard Diaz was suspended with pay this morning for allegedly interfering with a personnel investigation that involves complaints of sexual harassment lodged by a female employee.
Richard Cowen, The Record Read more

Wayne paints blue line in support of police
The township has joined with many other municipalities across New Jersey in acknowledging the importance of their police departments.
Debra Winters, The Record Read more

Borough administrator in Saddle River to retire
Saddle River Borough Administrator Les Shenkler has announced his retirement.
Stephen Lepore, The Record Read more

Paterson council looks to remove zoning board members boycotting meetings over bias claims
City officials once again are weighing the removal of two Paterson zoning board members who have boycotted its meetings for the past year over allegations of prejudice.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

North Jersey teacher should be fired for bullying students, arbitrator rules
An arbitrator has ruled that a gym teacher at George Washington Middle School should be fired for incidents in which he allegedly bullied students.
Sara Jerde, NJ.com Read more

Opinion: Just how low can Christie go?
Gov. Chris Christie’s approval ratings have hit another all-time low, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. And don’t expect them to improve any time soon — not after prosecutors and defense attorneys on the opening day of the Bridgegate trial Monday both contended that Christie, contrary to nearly three years of his repeated denials, was aware of the George Washington Bridge lane closings as they were happening.
Asbury Park Press Read more