NJ Politics Digest: A Tale of Trump, Bridgegate and Rescinded Offers

It’s Monday, and with election day fast-approaching there is news that the Bridgegate scandal played a larger role in thwarting Chris Christie’s political ambitions than previously known. Also, as the month ends, New Jersey motorists have one last day of cheap gas prices before a 150-percent increase in the state gasoline tax kicks in and New Jersey vaults to near the top of another list of highest-in-the-nation taxes.
In news of the weird, we have the local school board member who may, or may not be, an internet shock jock and the case of one newspaper that can’t report on the legal case it is involved in.
Throw in bruising congressional battles, Atlantic City’s apparent success at stemming a state takeover and the anniversary of Super Storm Sandy, and there’s lots of news to catch up on from the last two days.

Quote of the Day: “If it was up to him, it would have been Christie,” – an unnamed source, claiming Donald Trump initially chose Gov. Chris Christie as his running mate, but then rescinded the offer under pressure from those worried about Bridgegate.

Trump offered Christie his VP slot — then rescinded it
Donald Trump initially offered the vice-presidential running-mate slot to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie but then withdrew it, sources said.
Aaron Short, NY Post Read more

Trump: I have ‘great confidence’ in Christie despite Bridgegate trial
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Friday he still has faith in Gov. Chris Christie to run his transition team amid the ongoing Bridgegate trial — though he noted he has not been following the matter closely.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

The first Bridgegate verdict: Christie is guilty
Picture a man falling down a flight of stairs backwards, his arms flailing as he tumbles towards his doom.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger Editorial Board Read more

The witnesses Bridgegate jurors never got to hear
Bridget Anne Kelly, now on trial in the Bridgegate scandal, testified she told Gov. Chris Christie on at least three occasions about the 2013 lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that led to her indictment.
Ted Sherman and Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

One loser at Bridgegate trial: Christie
Whatever verdict jurors return in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure case, one clear loser has emerged from the six-week trial: Gov. Christie.
Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Five things we still don’t know about the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal
After six weeks of trial in federal court in Newark, we know more than ever about the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. Testimony from 34 witnesses, supported by hundreds of excerpts from emails, text messages, documents and video recordings, has created a picture in which public officials wielded control over state resources to encourage or intimidate local officials into supporting Governor Christie.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

In Closing Words at Bridge Trial, Prosecution Returns to a Familiar Email
Three years after the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge and at the end of a six-week trial against two former aides to Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey who are accused of orchestrating them, the prosecution closed its case here on Friday by returning to the stark directive that started the whole thing.
Kate Zernike, New York Times Read more

Defense lawyer: Christie-appointed Bridgegate schemer out to ‘deliver heads’
Jurors in the George Washington Bridge lane closure trial must vote to acquit for one important reason: The admitted mastermind of the political revenge scheme is a liar, and even prosecutors say so.
Ryan Hutchins, Politico Read more

Spooky days in ‘Christie world’ thanks to Bridgegate
Maybe it’s just a weird coincidence. Maybe it’s bad karma, Jersey style. But the final legal arguments in the courtroom soap opera known as Bridgegate will likely be spoken on Halloween.
Mike Kelly, The Record Read more

With estate tax vanishing, lawyers expect drop in business
The end of New Jersey’s estate tax — which is being abolished in 2018 as part of a Trenton deal to raise gasoline taxes — will probably mean a drop in business for the state’s estate lawyers, who help well-off families shrink their tax bills.
Kathleen Lynn, The Record Read more

Days of cheap gas coming to a sad end in New Jersey
The end has come for a long-celebrated tradition for Pennsylvania and New York drivers: Starting Tuesday, cheap gas in New Jersey is a thing of the past.
Bruce Shipkowski, Associated Press Read more

Group supporting gas tax question spends $1M
Advocates have spent about $1 million to back a “yes” vote on a constitutional amendment to require every penny of the state’s gas tax be used for transportation.
Associated Press Read more

Is the raunchy radio show host also the N.J. school board member up for election?
Ray Anthony is an Idiot.
He jokes that HIV is a great way to lose weight, refers to a local police officer as a fat pig, and calls a woman who served him the wrong doughnuts a whore.
Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Read more

Clifton AMC To Run Election On Big Screen
Members of AMC Stubs and two guests are invited to watch CNN election results for free at participating AMC movie theaters.
Cindy Capitani, Daily Voice Read more

In Rare New Jersey Swing District, House Race Becomes a Brawl
With a barrage of negative ads and copious outside spending, the congressional race in a crescent of Norman Rockwell-style suburbs and tidy rural villages in northern New Jersey represents one of the region’s most bare-knuckle political fights.
William Neuman, New York Times Read more

What Garrett spent in October trying to save his N.J. House seat
Rep. Scott Garrett, New Jersey’s only endangered House incumbent, spent more than $300,000 a week on media advertising in the first three weeks of October as he sought to stave off his toughest challenge in his seven re-election campaigns.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Will once ‘lost cause’ Atlantic City beat the odds to escape takeover?
The other night, with journalists converging, Mayor Don Guardian was locked out of his seventh-floor office. Nobody seemed to have a key.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Ex-Atlantic City mayor has advice for the Trump addicted
Former Atlantic City Mayor Jim Whelan has a message for America as it heads into the homestretch of an election in which it might find itself having to seriously break its Donald Trump addiction.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Donald Trump would have been comfortable in this gathering of blue-collar Democrats
For a minute there I thought I was at a Donald Trump rally.
The speaker was railing against the Chinese government for dumping steel on the U.S. market. The steel was so defective that entire sections of the new San Francisco Bay Bridge had to be disassembled and replaced, he said.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

NJ Attorney General’s Office prevents Trentonian from reporting on its own case
The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has placed a temporary lid on the free press.
The state’s legal agency filed a civil motion Friday to continue an order that prohibits The Trentonian from reporting on a verified complaint in a child custody case, David Bralow, an attorney representing the newspaper, said.
David Foster, The Trentonian Read more

In this N.J. county, overdose deaths continue to ‘spiral out of control’
The number of overdose deaths in Ocean County is outpacing last year’s figures at an alarming rate, officials said.
Alex Napoliello, NJ.com Read more

Hurricane Sandy Survivors Face New Threat, the State
Hurricane Sandy is still tearing up people’s lives four years after the storm wreaked devastation up and down the coast.
Tom Johnson, NJSpotlight Read more

4 years after Sandy, Christie’s plans have changed
It’s been four years since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put on his blue fleece pullover and got to work dealing with Superstorm Sandy.
Associated Press Read more

Donald Trump had a plan in the ’80s to make Paramus great again
Twenty-eight years before Donald Trump’s turbulent run for the presidency, the developer was trying to win votes in Paramus for a project he vowed would transform the crossroads of the borough, the intersection of Routes 4 and 17.
Joan Verdon, The Record Read more

Ethics committee recommends discipline for judge
An attorney based in Perth Amboy convinced a client to give $250,000 to a woman with whom he had “an intimate relationship” and “had a child who was born of the relationship,” according to a complaint now facing the attorney that came down from a state judiciary ethics committee in the district of Middlesex County.
Nick Muscavage, mycentraljersey.com Read more

Morris freeholder candidates clash on budget, future of Morris View
The team of Democratic candidates aiming to unseat three GOP Morris County freeholder incumbents in the Nov. 8 general election say there’s a lack of transparency in county government and scare tactics being used about the fiscal future of the county-run Morris View Healthcare Center.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

WWII vet asks Trump, Christie to help preserve friend’s farm
A 98-year-old decorated World War II fighter pilot who has lived in the township for 71 year is seeking help from Gov. Chris Christie, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and presidential candidate Donald Trump to make his final wish a reality.
Dave Hutchinson, NJ.com Read more

Article continues below
More from Culture
Metrograph program director Aliza Ma, artistic director Jacob Perlin and founder Alexander Olch.
Behind the Screens: Metrograph’s Head of Programming Aliza Ma on New Retrospective