NJ Politics Digest: ‘Normal New York City Conversation’

A “normal New York city conversation” captured in real time. (Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Gov. Chris Christie must have some pretty wild exchanges when he ventures east across state lines. Weighing in on the meetings and calls between former FBI Director Jim Comey and President Trump, Christie waved off concerns and argued that the president was having a “normal New York City conversation” when broaching a sensitive investigation about Russia and his advisers with Comey.

Sen. Cory Booker had a much harsher take, raising the possibility of impeachment for the first time. Comey, meanwhile, will give a damaging account of his “normal New York City” conversations with the president when he testifies before a U.S. Senate committee today.

It all means that back on the home front, the governor’s race will continue to struggle for public attention amid the daily drama in Washington. But for those who want the big-picture view of what went down in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, here’s an Observer story about how the party’s nominee, Phil Murphy, built his steamroller campaign.

Quote of the Day: “What you’re seeing is a president who is now very publicly learning about the way people react to what he considers to be normal New York City conversation.” – Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie: Trump’s comments to Comey were ‘normal’
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sits down with Nicolle Wallace to discuss James Comey’s upcoming testimony, Christopher Wray’s nomination as FBI Director and the Russia investigation.
MSNBC Watch interview

Trump Picks Christie’s Bridgegate Lawyer for FBI Director
President Trump has chosen Christopher Wray, a former Justice Department official during the George W. Bush administration who later represented Gov. Chris Christie during the Bridgegate scandal, to be the next director of the FBI.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Christie says Trump merits ‘extraordinary’ credit for picking Wray for FBI chief
Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday praised President Donald Trump for nominating attorney Christopher Wray — the lawyer who represented the governor during the Bridgegate scandal — for head of the FBI.
Tom Haydon, NJ.com Read more

On Murphy’s Road to Victory, No Stone Left Unturned
Behind the millions of dollars, the sterling resume, the upbeat TV ads and the sleek campaign apparatus, what has become apparent over the last three years is that Phil Murphy is one of the shrewdest political tacticians in the state, leveraging every asset he could to take over the New Jersey Democratic Party and become its nominee for governor.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Guadagno Begins Post-Primary Tour of NJ
The day after winning the Republican nomination for New Jersey governor, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was on the campaign trail, making two stops on Wednesday to talk about her plans to cut taxes and make the state more affordable.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

With primaries won, Murphy and Guadagno resume campaigns
Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno wasted little time celebrating their Primary Day victories.
Nicholas Pugliese and Catherine Carrera, The Record Read more

Actually, there are 7 people running to succeed Christie as N.J. governor. Meet them here.
New Jersey voters on Tuesday night picked their Democratic and Republican nominees in the race to succeed Chris Christie as their governor — but they’re not the only candidates.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Cory Booker raises impeachment talk against Trump
Cory Booker is invoking the “I” word — impeachment.
Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Read more

National groups already on the attack in N.J. governor’s race
That didn’t take long.
Just hours after Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Kim Guadagno won their respective gubernatorial primaries, the national governors groups representing both parties went on the attack.
Brent Johnson and Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Murphy comes out swinging against Guadagno, pledges to support Planned Parenthood
A day after clinching his party’s nomination in the race to succeed Gov. Chris Christie, Democratic hopeful Phil Murphy pledged to restore the millions of dollars the outgoing Republican governor cut from Planned Parenthood during his administration.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

N.J. bill for Medicaid would soar by $810M under Trump Obamacare repeal
New Jersey taxpayers would have to pay an extra $810 million to cover the 560,000 residents now receiving health care under the Medicaid expansion that the House Republican legislation would repeal, according to a new study.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Report: Sea rise means more tidal flooding this year for Jersey Shore
Shore areas could see 10 percent to 20 percent more tidal flooding this year because of continued sea level rise and a potential El Niño, according to a new federal report.
Frank Kummer, Inquirer Read more

Middlesex adopts policy limiting county cooperation with ICE
On the same day U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement criticized the county jail for ignoring immigration holds, the Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted an official policy limiting the county law enforcement’s corporation with the federal agency.
Craig McCarthy, NJ.com Read more

No Trump bump for challengers in Camden County, where primary politics were all local
Challengers in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for local offices in Cherry Hill and Gloucester Township hoped a President Trump-spawned surge of energy would help them disrupt a status quo long maintained by their party’s powerful Camden County organization.
Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Read more

How a N.J. man climbed the Fox News ranks and became the network’s new star
New Jersey transplant Eric Bolling knows a thing or two about chaos, having put in his time and sweat in the trading pits of the New York Mercantile Exchange before forging a career in broadcasting.
Vicki Hyman, NJ.com Read more

N.J., Pa. sharing prescription data
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are now fully reciprocal, allowing physicians and pharmacists to check whether patients are doctor-shopping for painkiller prescriptions or picking them up at multiple pharmacies. Both are signs that they may be addicted to opioids or are selling them illegally on the street.
Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Read more

Wayne votes ‘no confidence’ in councilman after tirade; requests resignation
Despite a statement read by Councilman Richard Jasterzbski that he would not step down from his council post, the council passed a vote of “no confidence” and requested the official’s resignation after he launched a crude tirade at a Republican volunteer.
Jessica Presinzano, The Record Read more

Morris County Freeholder board will have historic female majority in 2018
Roxbury resident Heather Darling, who won the GOP nomination for a Morris County freeholder seat in Tuesday’s primary election, was the top vote-getter in most of the county’s largest municipalities.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

Deeb wins Morristown Rep. Mayor bid with write-in
With about two-dozen votes, longtime council member Alison Deeb won the Republican nomination for Morristown’s mayor in Tuesday’s primary election.
Michael Izzo, Daily Record Read more

Blackface photo ignites anger; Brick schools promise action
It hardly caused a stir when a white middle school student donned blackface for an end-of-year celebration in the school gymnasium.
Amanda Oglesby, Asbury Park Press Read more

EDITORIAL: No tweedle-dee, tweedle-dum in November
In the past two gubernatorial elections, Republican Gov. Chris Christie was able to overcome the huge Democratic edge in registered voters, winning easily in 2009 and overwhelmingly in 2013.
Asbury Park Press Read more