NJ Politics Digest: Preparing to Say Goodbye Obama, Hello Trump

Friday is fast approaching, and so it’s time for those in New Jersey to prepare for Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States and to look back at Barack Obama’s legacy in the Garden State. The inauguration is the subject of some strong words from Trump opponents in the state’s congressional delegation and demand for tickets to the event is mixed among residents and political insiders.
All this played out against the backdrop of celebrations marking Martin Luther King Jr. day in the state.
Since Gov. Chris Christie is not among those following Trump to Washington, speculation continues about his future and whether or not the governor will join the ranks of the media he seems to despise.

Quote of the Day: “We had more tickets than demand. We will be giving some tickets to other members.” Michael Burns. spokesman for U.S. Rep. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., on lack of demand for inauguration tickets in his district.

Barack Obama and a mixed legacy in New Jersey
Jacquel Summerlin was in fifth grade in 2009 when the school he attended in Asbury Park’s southwest quadrant got a new name: Barack H. Obama Elementary School.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Booker attending inauguration, but will be Trump critic
Sen. Cory Booker said Monday he will be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration this week even though he expects to be one of the president-elect’s “most fearsome opponents” in the Senate.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

NJ NAACP president on Trump, John Lewis, MLK
When Donald Trump criticized Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis on Twitter as “all talk” and “no action,” the President-elect only calcified the mistrust that Richard T. Smith, president of the NAACP’s New Jersey State Conference, harbors for him.
Russ Zimmer, Asbury Park Press Read more

MLK’s dream of racial equality shows gains and losses
When the country elected Barack Obama as its first black president, Jeffrey Richardson of Englewood had high hopes that attitudes toward race and race relations would improve and that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a more equal America was closer to becoming reality.
Monsy Alvarado, The Record Read more

Members of Congress handing out inauguration tickets
Some gave them out first-come, first-served. Others held lotteries. Sen. Cory Booker did a little of both.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Congresswoman skipping Trump inauguration — I’m ‘standing up for this democracy’
A member of the New Jersey congressional delegation who’s among about a dozen Democrats planning to skip President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday said she has no regrets — and that’s she’s trying to help protect democracy.
Dan Alexander, NJ101.5 Read more

Sad Cowboys fan Chris Christie hints at sports radio gig
Following the Dallas’ last-second loss to the Green Bay Packers, Sportsradio 94.1 WIP host Glen Macnow shared a now-classic 2013 photo of two dejected fans: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Rob Tornoe, Inquirer Read more

Atlantic City mayor rips Christie as an ‘enemy of civil rights’
Last year, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian suggested Gov. Chris Christie was seeking to set up a “fascist dictatorship” in his city.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

What we know about the federal probe of Jersey City police
The Jersey City Police Department was rocked last week by news that 12 officers were stripped of their weapons and put on modified duty, an action the city linked to an ongoing federal probe of the city’s off-duty jobs program for cops.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Report: 25% of Morris households can’t afford to live in county
Rising costs are putting basic necessities out of reach for 37 percent or 1.2 million New Jersey households, according to the United Way ALICE Report released by United Way of Northern New Jersey.
Michael Izzo, Daily Record Read more

Ex-N.J. treasurer: Port Authority should disband its police department
Sometimes a possible solution to a complex problem is so obvious that it never attracts the serious attention and consideration it deserves. So it may be with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD): After decades of studies, reports, and news articles documenting the PAPD’s high costs and manifest dysfunction, why not get rid of it altogether?
Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, NJSpotlight Read more

Wisniewski gubernatorial campaign comes to Red Bank
Assemblyman John Wisniewski met with key Jersey Shore Democrats on Sunday night, hoping to gain momentum against party favorite Phil Murphy in his push to be New Jersey’s gubernatorial nominee.
Amanda Oglesby, Asbury Park Press Read more

Water commission post stays in Kolodziej family
Following the death of former mayor and longtime Clifton public servant Gloria Kolodziej last month, the city tapped her son to fill the vacancy she left on the Passaic Valley Water Commission.
Tony Gicas, The Record Read more

Free college? One man’s vision reaches Long Branch H.S.
Kescy Mathurin is an upbeat, resilient 31-year-old with an important job — she counsels adults with mental illness. There is one phone call, however, that inevitably brings the Marlboro resident down.
Jerry Carino, Asbury Park Press Read more

N.J. trucking company owner arrested over $1M in unpaid tolls
The owner of a New Jersey trucking company that allegedly racked up more than $1 million in unpaid tolls over 13 months has been arrested, just as he was about to board a plane for Aruba.
Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Read more

N.J. native Crowley won’t take Trump job after plagiarism charges
Conservative media commentator Monica Crowley, a New Jersey native, said Monday she will not take a job she was scheduled to assume in President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration, days after she became the center of plagiarism accusations.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

The B Street Band withdraws from inaugural ball, cites ‘gratitude’ for Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen’s music will not soundtrack Donald Trump’s inaugural celebrations after all.
The B Street Band, a long-running Boss tribute act based in Belmar, announced Monday it will not play the Garden State Inaugural Ball in Washington Thursday, after a weekend of intense criticism and thousands of emails from around the world.
Bobby Olivier, NJ.com Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Preparing to Say Goodbye Obama, Hello Trump