NJ Politics Digest: Why Taxpayers Are On The Hook For Another Christie Attorney

It’s Tuesday, and New Jersey residents are on the hook for even more of Gov. Chris Christie’s Bridgegate legal fees – this time as he battles a citizen’s complaint against him.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post has reported President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law and rumored Christie nemesis, Jared Kushner, complimented the one of those behind the traffic tie-up for the plan.
There’s lots of concern throughout the state how New Jersey will fare if Trump repeals Obamacare and makes changes to Medicare. State Senate President Steve Sweeney is calling for the hiring of more judges as part of a bail reform plan and Moody’s is saying that the state takeover of Atlantic City’s finances has saved the resort from default for at least the next year.

Quote of the Day: “The intent of laws such as New Jersey’s is to insulate public officials from harassing legal complaints, while drawing the line where the public official acts outside his official duties. My sense of the matter is that the answer to whether Gov. Christie can continue to expect taxpayer help turns on how much evidence there is of any malice on his part.’’ – Michael LeRoy, a professor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations, and College of Law, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, on regulations requiring taxpayers to fund Gov. Chris Christie’s personal lawyer in the Bridgegate case.

Guess who pays for Chris Christie’s personal lawyer?
New Jersey taxpayers have already shelled out millions of dollars on attorneys representing Gov. Chris Christie’s office in the federal Bridgegate investigation. But now they’re on the hook for another $10,000 to pay for Christie’s personal defense lawyer.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Christie won’t take press questions at ‘press announcement’
Gov. Chris Christie scheduled a “press conference” for Tuesday in the statehouse rotunda in Trenton — his first since the George Washington Bridge lane closure trial began and since Donald Trump’s election as president.
Ryan Hutchins, Politico Read more

For Trump son-in-law and confidant Jared Kushner, a long history of fierce loyalty
Jared Kushner was just an undergrad at Harvard when politicians began receiving big-dollar campaign donations bearing his name.
Shawn Boburg, Washington Post Read more

Watch this video, Donald Trump, before you put Chris Christie in charge of Energy
There are reports that our governor is still in the running for a number of cabinet positions in the Trump administration.
One such position is Secretary of Energy.
The minute one of my conservative spies heard that, he directed my attention to the above campaign video Christie put out as virtually the first position he took in his first statewide campaign.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

What happens in N.J. if Trump kills Medicaid expansion?
If President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Congress carry out their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the loss of federal Medicaid funding could mean a loss of health coverage for more than 500,000 New Jersey residents.
Lindy Washburn, The Record Read more

How health-care politics affects more than 500,000 in N.J.
President-elect Donald Trump and many Republicans say they want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — leaving New Jersey residents and the rest of the nation uncertain about their future health-care coverage.
Nicole Leonard, The Press of Atlantic City Read more

Prominent member of Kellyanne Conway’s family is surprised she’s gone ‘off the reservation’ re Romney
J. Garfield Demarco, the long-retired Burlington County GOP patriarch, isn’t surprised that his cousin, Kellyanne Conway, is a political superstar.
Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Read more

Feds: Railroads slow to make progress on train technology
Federal regulators say railroads across the country are making slow, uneven progress in installing sophisticated train-control technology that’s seen as an antidote to crashes involving speeding and other human factors.
Associated Press Read more

Former Christie aide Comella advising N.Y. Gov. Cuomo
Maria Comella, once a top aide to Governor Christie during his rise to Republican stardom but who publicly defected from the party because of Donald Trump, has been working with Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and is expected to join his administration.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Will N.J. hiring 20 new judges actually save you money?
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) on Monday announced that he’ll introduce legislation by the end of the year that will add 20 new judges in New Jersey, part of a broader effort to reform the state’s bail process.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

State Hopes to Establish Prices For Natural Resources Damages
If the state established standards for restoring damaged marshes, contaminated drinking supplies, and other natural resources would it be better compensated by polluters who caused the harm?
Tom Johnson, NJSpotlight Read more

Activists Call For Accountability In Police Shootings
Activists are continuing to press for greater transparency and accountability from New Jersey police officers in the wake of recent shootings in Maurice River and Paterson.
Hank Kalet, NJSpotlight Read more

Federal monitor of Newark police to address city residents on progress
Residents’ questions about how a federally-mandated consent decree and monitor are changing the city’s police department will be answered at a community forum Monday night.
Jessica Mazzola, NJ.com Read more

N.J. takeover of Atlantic City spares town from going broke, Moody’s says
The state takeover of Atlantic City was seen as a “credit positive” for the financially struggling city, a bond credit rating agency said Monday.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more
How Catholic hospitals get away with letting pensions go broke
Pensions have been on their way out for a long time.
They’re expensive for employers, and they require lots of rule-following and reporting.
Karin Price Mueller, NJ.com Read more

Alice Paul’s burial site now has women’s rights advocates ‘traipsing around’
When suffragist Alice Paul was buried in 1977 in a Quaker graveyard tucked away in Cinnaminson, there was no marker to show where she was laid to rest.
Jan Hefler, Inquirer Read more

Opinion: Take muzzle off Guadagno
Gov. Chris Christie said on a radio show appearance last week that he and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno have an agreement that she will not bring up any disagreements she has with him in public without first getting his permission. Seriously?
Asbury Park Press Read more

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