NJ Politics Digest: Christie Offers Bridgegate Lawyer as US Attorney

Gov. Chris Christie. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gov. Chris Christie reportedly offered one of his Bridgegate defense attorneys, Craig Carpenito, to be the next U.S. attorney for New Jersey. But the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Christie’s pick is likely to be thwarted by Jared Kushner and that Greenberg Traurig lawyer Geoffrey Berman is in the advanced stages of vetting for the post.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto waited until Friday at 5:45 p.m. to announce he’s seeking another term as the leader of the lower house. The New York Times points out that the Democratic primary is a race to the left and has profiled six of the major primary candidates.

And the Star-Ledger endorsed Phil Murphy in the Democratic primary for governor, at no cost to his $20 million campaign, and with no sign this endorsement will be retracted.

Quote of the Day: “I’m convinced that he’s nuts. I thought he belonged in an institution. He was crazy before he became president. Now he’s really crazy.” – J. Brien Comey, father of Jim Comey, on President Trump.

Christie hits Kushner roadblock again — this time over U.S. attorney appointment
Gov. Christie is pushing to have a former colleague and Bridgegate lawyer appointed as U.S. attorney for New Jersey, but he faces stiff headwinds from within the White House, where the governor has frequently clashed with President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to interviews with a dozen political and legal sources familiar with the maneuvering.
Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Christie’s Lottery Plan Could Be a Winner, Democrats Say
Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to fold the New Jersey lottery into the cash-starved pension system for public workers is gaining some steam in the Legislature, with a leading Democratic senator saying he will likely be a sponsor.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Prieto Seeking Another Term as NJ Assembly Speaker
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced Friday evening that he’s running for another term as the leader of the lower house in Trenton, likely setting up a leadership battle with Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex).
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Undocumented immigrant arrests up 20 percent in NJ; deportations up 30 percent
Immigration arrests are up 20 percent and deportations have increased 30 percent in New Jersey over the past year as enforcement officers nationwide work to fulfill the president’s promise to crack down on illegal immigration.
Monsy Alvarado, The Record Read more

NJ Bill to Legalize Marijuana Gets Cautious Reception
A new bill to legalize marijuana in New Jersey is getting mixed reviews, with some questioning its prohibition on home-growing and its treatment of low-level drug offenders.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Hetrick Joins Observer NJ
Christian Hetrick, an ace reporter who cut his teeth covering Atlantic City, will be joining Observer’s New Jersey politics team on June 6 — primary day.
Observer Read more

Dangerous words for N.J. governor candidates Guadagno, Murphy: Christie, Goldman Sachs
Chris Christie brought Kim Guadagno fame.
Goldman Sachs brought Phil Murphy fortune.
But now that Guadagno is the Republican front-runner and Murphy the Democratic favorite in the race to be New Jersey’s next governor, those parts of their resume — once considered assets in a campaign — hang around their necks like scarlet letters.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Democrats in New Jersey Governor’s Race Court Progressive Vote
With the heart of his campaign platform coming under repeated attack from Democratic opponents, Philip D. Murphy tried to claim a potent ally.
Nick Corasaniti, New York Times Read more

Profiles of Six Candidates for New Jersey Governor
A look at the candidates hoping to replace Chris Christie.
Nick Corasaniti, New York Times Read more

What You Really Want to Know About the Candidates for New Jersey Governor
Gov. Chris Christie is on his way out. Primaries are on June 6. Here’s what matters — and a few things that don’t — about six candidates vying to replace him:
New York Times Read more

NJ State House Renovations Won’t Begin During Legal Battle
Attorneys for Gov. Chris Christie told two state judges today that demolition and construction work for a $300 million state house renovation would not begin until after a court hearing scheduled for June 14.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Aetna Wants Out of NJ Individual Small Group Market
Tens of thousands of Aetna members will likely be forced to find new health insurance next year if the company withdraws from New Jersey’s individual and small-group health insurance markets as planned, triggering what could be the largest single disruption in years.
Lilo Stainton, NJSpotlight Read more

Cook Moves Frelinghuysen’s District to the Left
Rep. Rodney Frelinhuysen’s (R-11) controversial yes vote on the American Health Care Act and a fundraising letter he sent targeting one of his constituents have shifted the dynamics of his district ahead of the 2018 midterms, according to an analysis by the Cook Political Report released Friday.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

In hometown of Allendale, James Comey is no ‘nut job,’ but principled career man
Comey’s father turned Trump’s harsh opinion of his son against him, calling the president’s credibility into question.
“I never was crazy about Trump,” J. Brien Comey, 86, a Republican and a former borough councilman, said in an interview. “I’m convinced that he’s nuts. I thought he belonged in an institution. He was crazy before he became president. Now he’s really crazy.”
Mike Kelly, The Record Read more

As he heads out the Statehouse door, Christie’s looting us one more time
I have no artistic ability. If I did, I would draw a cartoon of rats deserting New Jersey’s sinking ship of the state. The first rat heading down the mooring ropes would have the governor’s face.
Paul Mulshine, NJ.com Read more

Bill would divert Jersey City abatement revenue to schools
The public-school district would receive revenue from tax-abated properties under a measure up for initial approval by the City Council this week.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Why do so many people want to be mayor of Atlantic City?
Inside the cafeteria of the Uptown School Complex, it was sweltering and claustrophobic. Every chair was filled, and latecomers took more from a cart brought in by a school custodian.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Jersey City municipal ID program set for final vote
A municipal ID program intended to help residents who entered the country illegally is ready for final adoption at this week’s City Council meeting.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Immigrant activist: ‘I’m not afraid’ of ICE
Alejandra Morales’ phone rings all day.
Steph Solis, Asbury Park Press Read more

In a South Jersey Democratic stronghold, local concerns fuel a party insurgency
When I ask Ann Boyle to name the biggest issues in Gloucester Township, she has the answer ready.
Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Read more

Our endorsement in the Democratic primary: Phil Murphy
The Democratic nominee for governor this year will start the general election campaign with an enormous advantage: the widespread disdain for Gov. Chris Christie, and the mess he has made of the Republican brand.
Star-Ledger Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Christie Offers Bridgegate Lawyer as US Attorney