NJ Politics Digest: Following Crash, Lawmakers Keep Heat On Transportation Officials

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, and in New Jersey lawmakers are trying to get to the bottom of transportation problems in New Jersey that have, in addition to other things, caused the death of one woman in the Hoboken train crash.
Meanwhile, Atlantic City’s efforts to avoid a state takeover are looking less certain, there’s more drama in the state’s congressional races, and Bridgegate defendant Bridget Kelly is facing some tough questions about emails that helped to bring the alleged politically inspired traffic jam to fruition.
For all this, and the rest of the state’s political news, read on>

Quote of the Day: “The words, and they are obviously why were here today, were not as they are read,” – Bridgegate defendant Bridget Kelly, explaining how her ‘Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee’ email is being misinterpreted in light of the massive traffic tie-up in Fort Lee that followed shortly afterward.

Lawmakers still demanding answers from NJ Transit following fatal train crash
New Jersey lawmakers investigating last month’s fatal train crash in Hoboken are keeping the pressure on state transportation officials, demanding answers to questions on finances and safety they say weren’t adequately addressed at a hearing last week.
Associated Press Read more

Borgata: We did not agree to any tax settlement from Atlantic City
A day after the city of Atlantic City touted a $103 million settlement of more than $150 million owed its biggest taxpayer, Borgata Hotel and Casino, the casino denied any such deal.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Civil Rights leader stumps for Gottheimer in heated Congressional race
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) told a packed room Tuesday that everyone needed to turn out in droves on Election Day to elect 5th District Congressional Candidate Josh Gottheimer.
Sara Jerde, NJ.com Read more

Democratic senators: Move U.S. Women’s Open out of Trump’s N.J. golf course
A trio of Democratic U.S. senators are calling on the United States Golf Association to move next year’s U.S. Women’s Open away from Donald Trump’s Bedminster golf course.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen says he’s voting for Trump
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen said Tuesday that Republican nominee Donald Trump is fit to be president and Frelinghuysen plans to vote for him because he promised this summer to support the party’s nominee.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Rowan University announces water testing plan for lead
Rowan University will begin a comprehensive survey of campus water quality in academic and administrative buildings Monday.
Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Read more

N.J. lawmakers: Boost federal tax credits for working poor
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and New Jersey anti-poverty advocates on Tuesday threw their support behind federal proposals to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless low-income workers.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Extension of light rail to Bergen County seen as priority
The Hudson-Bergen Light rail is on track to head north and provide coverage into Bergen County, though not anytime soon.
Fausto Giovanny Pinto, NJ.com Read more

Question in George Washington Bridge Trial: Who’s Been Fooling Whom?
On certain evenings when her husband has left their townhouse, a woman in London notices the gas lights in her parlor flicker and dim for no apparent reason.
Jim Dwyer, New York Times Read more

Kelly says she used ‘poor choice of words’ in infamous Bridgegate emails
In terse and often testy questioning, prosecutors Tuesday challenged Bridget Anne Kelly’s explanations for the incriminating emails that pulled her into the 2013 lane closure scandal at the George Washington Bridge.
Nj.com Read more

Bridgegate prosecutors focus on pattern of retaliation in Christie’s office
In January 2014, as controversy surrounding the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge was at its peak, Gov. Chris Christie distanced himself from his two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien after he said a document dump demonstrated his former confidante showed “callous indifference” for Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.
Ted Sherman and Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Bridgegate defendant says she was made a scapegoat in ‘Christie world’
It was a momentary skirmish in the long-running battle over truth in the Bridgegate trial. And it began with a question.
Mike Kelly, The Record Read more

Christie declines questions at groundbreaking for Morris County medical center
Governor Christie attended a groundbreaking for a medical center in Morris County on Tuesday, but he declined to discuss sore subjects such as the Bridgegate trial.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

These 2 N.J. universities rank in the top 100 worldwide
A new ranking of the world’s best universities places both Princeton and Rutgers universities in the top 100.
Adam Clark, NJ.com Read more

10 of top 24 commercial toll cheats in Pa. are N.J. businesses
The top two commercial toll violators on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are New Jersey businesses, with eight others making the list of offenders owing $20,000 or more, which the agency made public Tuesday.
Kevin Shea, NJ.com Read more

Elmwood Park Mayor Richard Mola’s years of public service remembered at funeral
It was over a half-century ago that young Richard A. Mola passed by the East Paterson Republican Club and noticed the lack of a window-sign supporting Barry Goldwater, the GOP’s controversial 1964 presidential candidate. Outraged, Mola sought out the club’s president to voice his feelings — and unwittingly changed the future of local politics.
Steve Janoski, The Record Read more

As Clinton, Trump spotlight gender, Rutgers takes aim at ‘glass ceiling’
Nicole Spinella reached a crossroad.
The 33-year-old manager at ProSight Specialty Insurance has three young daughters at home, but she is determined to keep working her way up the corporate ladder, worried that one misstep could stall — or even reverse — her bright career.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Will teacher shortage impact NJ?
A classroom crisis could be on the horizon.
Around the country, schools are having trouble hiring teachers. Experienced professionals are leaving the classroom environment for other fields or choosing to retire early.
Amanda Oglesby, Asbury Park Press Read more

Opinion: I’m a Reaganite who served under Bush and Whitman: I’m voting Clinton
On Nov. 8, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton for president — the first time in my adult life that I have not voted for the Republican presidential candidate.
Alan J. Steinberg, Star-Ledger Read more