NJ News Digest: Elected Officials In Legal Fight Over What Assemblyman Called Mayor

It’s Thursday, and in New Jersey there’s a debate over what constitutes free speech and what is harassment after the mayor of Roselle objected to the slur used by an assemblyman against her.
Also, the state is a place where old fights never go away, as witnessed by proponents of measures to expand casino gaming and remove legal notices from newspapers vow to continue pushing for their passage.
Gov. Chris Christie might not have secured a spot in Washington, but Atlantic City casino owner Carl Icahn is now serving as an advisor to Donald Trump. And, in this holiday season, a New Jersey church is being told to stop giving the homeless shelter on cold nights, even as New Jersey reduces the aid it gives to struggling families.

Quote of the Day: “Should there be a national ban on governors being allowed to write books?” – Senate President Steve Sweeney, defending a measure that would have loosened state ethics regulations so Gov. Chris Christie could write a book.

Is it a crime to call a woman this? Mayor says yes, pushes her court case
Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Union) faces a petty disorderly person’s charge of harassment that carries a $500 fine, but the money isn’t the point, said Roselle Mayor Christine Danserau.
Tom Haydon, NJ.com Read more

N.J. town to feds: We need $$$ to help guard Trump
If Donald Trump visits his golf club in Somerset County for seven weekends each year, it will cost the host town $1 million over four years in overtime costs to help with security, township officials have told their congressman.
Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com Read more

North Jersey casino foes say fight is not over
Trenton’s Bad Bet, a group funded mainly by New York casino interests, is back this week vowing to fight efforts to bring more gambling around the state.
John Brennan, The Record Read more

N.J. newspaper bill not dead, Sweeney says
New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney won’t rule out revisiting legislation that could threaten a source of revenue for the state’s newspapers and cost up to 300 jobs.
Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Christie’s presidential super PAC still in business
Chris Christie’s super political action committee designed to help him win the Republican presidential nomination has outlasted Chris Christie the presidential candidate.
Star-Ledger Read more

Devastating fallout for Christie. Why didn’t he see lunacy in the scheme?
Huddling with legislative leaders to craft secret deals, one of which would relax ethical guidelines so the governor could sign a book contract, understandably outraged the public
Carl Golden, NJSpotlight Read more

‘You both stink,’ say N.J. voters to Dems, Republicans
‘You’re both awful,’ seems to be the message Garden State voters are sending the two major political parties, with about half saying they think the parties are “so misguided as to threaten the nation’s well-being,” according to a new FDU Public Mind poll.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Carl Icahn closed Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Now he’s advising Donald Trump.
Investor Carl Icahn, who recently closed the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City after employees walked out over health insurance and other benefits, was named Wednesday as a special adviser to incoming President-elect Donald Trump on overhauling federal regulations.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Atlantic City’s water board says vote to give themselves $3K gifts ‘never existed’
This vote was unusual – even by Atlantic City standards.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

NJ court nixes call to heighten rules for authenticating Twitter posts
The appellate division of the New Jersey Superior Court rejected Twitter user Terri Hannah’s complaint that her conviction in a violent shoe attack on a rival should be tossed out — on ground that the Twitter post should never have been admitted into evidence against her.
Katie Park, Asbury Park Press Read more

Port Authority offers free airport bus service to Laguardia Airport
Getting to Laguardia Airport during the peak holiday travel rush may just be a little easier.
Rajeev Dhir, NJ.com Read more

State employee grabbed woman’s hijab, Newark mayor says
A state employee has been suspended without pay after he allegedly grabbed a Muslim woman’s hijab off her head and threw it to the floor, officials said.
Andrew Wyrich, The Record Read more

NJ church told it’s not allowed to take in the homeless from the cold
A Roman Catholic church in this Bergen County borough has been ordered to stop housing homeless people in its basement.
Sergio Bichao, NJ101.5 Read more

Essex County houses of worship help aid refugees
A coalition of houses of worship in Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, and Montclair is continuing its work in helping refugees. And more houses of worship and individual volunteers are welcome to help out.
Erin M Roll, The Record Read more

Feds: Obamacare enrollment ahead of pace in NJ
New Jerseyans have signed up for Obamacare at a faster pace than last year despite concerns that the law will be repealed by the incoming administration, federal officials said Wednesday.
Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press Read more

Lawmakers: Reform municipal court system
Reforming the state’s municipal court system will be a top priority next year, lawmakers say, after a recent Asbury Park Press investigation exposed how local courts were being used by towns to boost revenue and often unfairly punish, even imprison, the poor.
Kala Kachmar, Asbury Park Press Read more

What’s Coming For NJ Taxpayers
Phasing out the estate tax gives big breaks to the richest, while cutting the sales tax benefits everyone a little.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

N.J. mayor acquitted in MRI kickback scheme
Dr. Felix Roque, a physician and mayor of West New York, was found not guilty Wednesday of a charge that he took kickbacks to refer his patients to an MRI lab.
Steve Strunsky, NJ.com Read more

Two Chesters, 1 police force
The governing bodies of Chester township and borough unanimously voted on Tuesday to create a combined police force that will serve and protect both municipalities, according to borough Mayor Janet Hoven.
William Westhoven, Daily Record Read more

Prosecutor: Somers Point ex-council member indicted in $195k Sandy scam
– A grand jury has indicted Somers Point contractor and former City Council member Ralph Triboletti III on theft and other charges, alleging that he bilked two Tuckerton clients for a total of $194,860 between 2015 and 2016.
Alex N. Gecan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Christie calls for addiction stigma end
Republican Gov. Chris Christie says it’s time to quit the notion that there’s shame in being addicted to drugs.
Associated Press Read more

Those rumbles at the Jersey shore? Sonic booms and the occasional earthquake
Along the Jersey Shore, they are called “sonic booms.”
And the rumbles and shaky tremors that seem almost as frequent as nor’easters have been known to slide glassware right off shelves and rattle doors and windows. The booms – there have been three this year – often mystify coastal residents about their source.
Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Read more

Lobbyist named head of Miss America Foundation board
A Washington lobbyist and former aide to the first President George Bush has been named chairman of the board of the Miss America Foundation.
Associated Press Read more

Assembly approves Jersey City birth certificate bill; gov’s signature next
Jersey City residents are another step closer to avoiding a trip to Trenton for a copy of their birth certificate.
Ron Zeitlinger, The Jersey Journal Read more

NJ News Digest: Elected Officials In Legal Fight Over What Assemblyman Called Mayor