NJ Politics Digest: Bridgegate Mastermind Avoids Jail Time

David Wildstein. PolitickerNJ for Observer

It might not be the last word on Bridgegate, but there was something resembling finality on Wednesday as David Wildstein, the mastermind behind the politically-inspired revenge plot, walked away without a prison term.

Christie, meanwhile, seems to have changed his stance on back pay for state workers affected by the recent government shutdown. The governor will sign a bill paying workers for time they missed due to the shutdown, if the Legislature sends him a bill to do so. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the issue Thursday.

And another poll shows Phil Murphy with a commanding lead over Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in the governor’s race. Murphy is up by 27 points, though voters complaining about state government still aren’t paying much attention to the race, a Monmouth University poll found.

Quote of the Day: “I in no way condone or minimize what you did. … But it is important to note that only you have made an attempt to rectify some of your wrongs, unlike others in this case.” – U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton.

Wildstein Avoids Prison Despite Lead Role in Bridgegate
David Wildstein — the brains behind Bridgegate — was sentenced to three years of probation on Wednesday nearly four years after the infamous traffic jam that came to define Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Bridgegate Mastermind Avoids Prison. Is This Justice?
David Wildstein, the penitent one. Who knew?
The once-arrogant architect of the Bridgegate plot came back to the federal courthouse in Newark on Wednesday to say he was sorry. And as he often demonstrated during his years as a political dirty trickster, Wildstein did not hold back this time as he donned his rhetorical sackcloth.
The Record Read more

Wildstein Sentence Doesn’t Dispel Doubts About Bridgegate
Gov. Chris Christie marketed himself for years as an unvarnished truth teller.
The Record Read more

NJ Gov Race: Murphy Leads Guadagno by 27 points in New Poll
Phil Murphy has a commanding, 27-point lead over Kim Guadagno in New Jersey’s race for governor, according to a new poll from Monmouth University. But neither candidate is well known among New Jersey voters, the poll found.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Christie Supports Paying State Workers for Shutdown
Gov. Chris Christie supports paying state workers for time they missed during the three-day government shutdown, if the Legislature sends him a bill to do so, his spokesman said Wednesday as a back-and-forth between Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto continued.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

NJ Democrats Challenging Lance, Frelinghuysen Rake in Funds
Mikie Sherrill, the former federal prosecutor and Navy veteran challenging Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11), on Wednesday announced that she has received donations totaling $245,957 in the two months since announcing her candidacy.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

NJ Gov Race: Guadagno Releases 2016 Tax Returns
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and her husband made a combined $306,375 in 2016, according to income tax returns announced Wednesday and now online.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Murphy Still Doesn’t Like Atlantic City State Takeover
Phil Murphy was still critical of a state takeover of Atlantic City on Wednesday as he toured the resort with local officials left with little power.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Corzine, in Comeback Mode, Teaching College Students in UK
Former Gov. Jon. Corzine is teaching a college class in the United Kingdom this week as he continues a comeback to public life.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Wray: I’ve Given No Loyalty Oath to Trump
Christopher Wray sailed through his confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the next director of the FBI, winning support from both sides of the aisle for his frequent pledges to remain independent of political pressure — coming from President Donald Trump or anyone else.
Politico Read more

Following ‘Communist’ Remark, Petition Demands Christie Hold Town Hall in Montclair
A petition asks Gov. Christie to hold a town hall meeting in Montclair following comments he made about the township on the popular sports radio station WFAN.
The Record Read more

Outgoing Amtrak Boss Optimistic Gateway Will Be Funded, But Not By Private Investors
Amtrak’s outgoing CEO said Wednesday he is optimistic that the Gateway project, including a new tunnel under the Hudson River, would be funded.
The Record Read more

Amtrak CEO Promises Commuters’ ‘Summer of Hell’ Will end by Labor Day
Amtrak’s outgoing chief executive pledged Wednesday that New Jersey commuters’ “summer of hell” will end by Labor Day.
NJ.com Read more

Draft Water Plan Leaves Critics Dissatisfied
For the past few years, the environmental community has badgered the Christie administration to update the decades-old state water supply master plan, a task it finished two months ago.
NJSpotlight Read more

$220 million Offer Made for Atlantic City Revel, Firm Claims
A New York City-based private equity firm has tendered a $220 million offer to purchase the former Revel, according to Alex Fredericks, director of operations for Digital Launch, the company representing the firm.
Press of Atlantic City Read more