NJ Politics Digest: Judges Hand Port Authority Win Over Whistleblower

The Port Authority has been at the center of numerous scandals. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

It’s Thursday, and another setback for efforts to cleanup the scandal-plagued Port Authority, as a state appeals court ruled the bi-state agency is exempt from state whistleblower protections.

As state officials begin hearings on a new budget, its events in Washington – not Trenton – that are receiving a lot of attention. Meanwhile, the race to replace Gov. Chris Christie is still largely up in the air, with state voters largely undecided who they’d like to see taking the helm at the statehouse.

Quote of the Day: “Our Legislature tried to fix this by passing the new Port Authority reforms, which Chris Christie of course vetoed because he and Governor Cuomo use the Port Authority for political purposes,” – Attorney Nancy Erika Smith.

Port Authority ruled immune to N.J. whistleblower law
The Port Authority cannot be sued under a New Jersey law that provides whistleblowers some of the strongest rights in the country, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Cuomo lacks power to establish Port Authority inspector
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey “will have no obligation to comply” if New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo succeeds in a controversial bid to establish his own handpicked watchdog to oversee the multi-billion-dollar bi-state agency.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

$90,000 paid in town whistle-blower case
The borough government has agreed to a $90,000 settlement with a former employee who claimed she was ostracized after she alleged misconduct of a co-worker.
Mike Davis, Asbury Park Press Read more

Trump looms large in first hearing on 2018 state budget
President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress loomed large Wednesday during the first of many legislative hearings on Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed $35.5 billion budget for the coming fiscal year.
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

NJ Dems, GOP united against Russian hacking, splt on investigation
Democrats and Republicans in New Jersey’s delegation in Congress agreed Wednesday that a federal indictment accusing Russian agents of hacking millions of Yahoo accounts showed that Moscow cannot be trusted.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Poll: Christie approval at 19 percent, many voters want him to take sports radio job
Gov. Chris Christie’s approval remains in the teens, according to a new poll — though he’s so far been spared the embarrassment of setting a new record for the most unpopular governor in memory.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Poll: Who’s leading in N.J. gubernatorial race?
Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are still the leading candidates in their primary battles but both are still being soundly defeated by “undecided.”
Mike Davis, The Record Read more

LD12 Senate Candidate Haney of Old Bridge Goes off on Middlesex convention Process
Former Middlesex County Freeholder Art Haney savaged the process tonight as he looked to take and out state Senator Sam Thompson (R-12).
InsiderNJ Read more

Middlesex GOP Screening Committee Submits Ciattarelli and Guadagno to Committee As a Whole
On the second and final ballot tonight, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli defeated LG Kim Guadagno for a majority of support ffrom the executive committee of the Middlesex County Republican Organization, but failed to secure a two thirds majority to land the committee’s backing.
Max Pizarro, InsiderNJRead more

Tensions flare as Guadagno, Ciattarelli prepare for a fight in Middlesex
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has so far dominated the Republican pre-primary, where insiders pick which candidates get the coveted “county line” that gives them favorable ballot placement.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

No joke. Joe Piscopo weighs gubernatorial run
Record political columnist Charles Stile discusses the possibility that comedian/talk show host Joe Piscopo might run for New Jersey governor. In this episode of On the Record, we also hear excerpts from Stiles’ interview with Piscopo. The former Saturday Night Live comic assesses his chances and discusses whether to run as a Republican or an Independent.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Snow: Former local weather service boss fires back at Christie
At his news briefing Tuesday, as our Maddie Hanna reported, Gov. Christie took a shot at the government meteorologists in Mount Holly and Upton, N.Y., who cover New Jersey.
Tony Wood, Inquirer Read more

Trump taps another from N.J. for top federal post
Another New Jerseyan may soon join President Donald Trump’s administration after Trump this week nominated J. Christopher Giancarlo to serve as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — a top financial regulatory post.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

VW Settlement Could Be Windfall for NJ
The state is beginning to map out how it will spend the $65.3 million it is entitled to stemming from a settlement involving Volkswagen’s cheating on diesel emissions tests on millions of vehicles.
Tom Johnson, NJSpotlight Read more

N.J. lawmaker presses NFL on reported painkiller abuse
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asked the National Football League and Drug Enforcement Administration about reports that the league did not properly administer painkillers to its players.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Passaic continues homeless outreach in city after storm
The city’s executive order to keep the city’s homeless population off the street during this week’s storm succeeded in giving temporary shelter to 22 of Passaic’s 37 known homeless residents through an arrangement with St. Mary’s General Hospital.
Nicholas Katzban, The Record Read more

New Jersey Hall of Fame consolidated
The New Jersey Hall of Fame Advisory Commission and the New Jersey Hall of Fame corporation are no more now that Governor Christie has signed into law a bill that dissolves those entities in favor of operation by the Charles Edison Foundation in Newark.
John Brennan, The Record Read more

N.J. Dems pick new candidate in close state Senate race
New Jersey Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo on Wednesday dropped out of a competitive race to represent Atlantic County in the state Senate.
Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Roxbury attorney Heather Darling announces Morris freeholder run
Roxbury attorney Heather Darling, a former member of the township Zoning Board of Adjustment and Environmental Commission and a former competitive bodybuilder, is the latest candidate to announce a primary election campaign for the Republican nomination for one available Morris County freeholder seat.
Peggy Wright, The Record Read more

Offend a woman and she might run for your political seat, Jersey shore freeholder finds
Bolstered by the uproar that ensued over a-woman’s-place-is-in-the-kitchen social media postings by an incumbent Atlantic County freeholder, an Egg Harbor Township woman on Wednesday announced that she intends to run as a Democrat against him for his seat in the November election.
Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Read more

Toms River taxes may rise; no more Sandy aid
Nearly five years after superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the township, the powerful storm is still having a negative influence on Toms River’s finances.
Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press Read more

Hillsdale mayor blames DPW for ‘terrible’ road conditions
Mayor Doug Frank criticized the borough’s Public Works Department for their “poor performance” handling Tuesday’s snowstorm, claiming they did not salt the roads early enough and failed to keep up with the high volume of snow.
Brett Carroll, The Record Read more

Editorial: Election watchdog gets its teeth back
New Jersey regulates how political candidates can raise and spend campaign money, but if no one is enforcing the law, the rules are meaningless. That’s been the case with the Election Law Enforcement Commission, the state’s campaign watchdog.
The Record Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Judges Hand Port Authority Win Over Whistleblower