NJ Politics Digest: Yes, That Was a Russian Spy Plane Over Bedminster

President Trump. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Gov. Chris Christie had to deal with a photographer in an airplane when he tried to get some sun at the beach during a government shutdown over the July 4th weekend. Now President Trump has to deal with pesky overflights while on vacation, as the Russian Air Force flew over Trump’s Bedminster country club on Wednesday. The overflight is allowed under a longstanding treaty, but Vladimir Putin seems to be trolling Trump.

Sen. Bob Menendez’s bribery trial will go forward after a federal judge refused to dismiss corruption charges against him. Menendez’s lawyers argued the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of a corruption conviction for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell invalidated the indictment against the senator. But a judge said that can’t be determined until the case goes to trial.

And New Jersey political junkies have a new date to look forward to: Oct. 16, which is when Democrat Sheila Oliver and Republican Carlos Rendo will square off in a lieutenant governor candidate debate.

Quote of the Day: “Losing August is like a shore town losing the entire month of summer.” – Pilot Mike Pirot, who is losing business because of flight restrictions due to Trump’s 17-day stay in Bedminster.

Judge Declines to Toss Out Menendez Corruption Charges Before Trial
A federal judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss corruption charges against Sen. Bob Menendez before trial, rejecting an attempt by the senator to get his indictment tossed out.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Leonard Would Become Youngest NJ Assemblyman if He Wins
Bill Leonard, a Glen Rock councilman, says he is prepared for a tough battle in the district, which is currently represented by Democratic incumbents: state Sen. Bob Gordon and Assemblymen Tim Eustace and Joe Lagana. If he wins in November, Leonard, 25, would become the youngest member of the New Jersey Legislature.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

NJ Lieutenant Governor Candidates Will Debate in October
The two candidates for New Jersey lieutenant governor, Republican Carlos Rendo and Democrat Shiela Oliver, will face each other at Montclair State University on Oct. 16 for a candidate debate, the only time the two will participate in a public discussion before the November 6 election.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

N.J. election officials mum on cooperation with Trump voter commission
New Jersey appears not to have shared any of the information that President Trump’s voter fraud commission first requested in June, and state election officials won’t clarify their stance on the commission’s work or say if they will cooperate.
The Record Read more

Murphy Campaign: Oliver Taps Swanson-Tucker to Serve as Campaign COS
Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-34), selected Terry Swanson-Tucker to be her chief of staff on the Murphy for Governor campaign. Swanson-Tucker worked as campaign manager for East Orange Councilman Chris James, who himself served as Oliver’s chief of staff when the assemblywoman served as speaker of the General Assembly.
Insider NJ Read more

A change is coming on climate change to NJ governor’s office
Both of the major-party candidates running to replace him – Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Democrat Phil Murphy – say they support returning New Jersey to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which the state helped create, then walked away from in 2011.
NJ101.5 Read more

Unarmed Russian Air Force jet overflies the Pentagon, Capitol, CIA
A second flight by the same jet is planned for between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, when the Russian jet will overfly Bedminster, New Jersey, where President Donald Trump is vacationing, according to two people familiar with the US government-approved flight.
CNN Read more

Trump’s New Jersey visits hurt local airports, officials say
Business at Lincoln Park Airport has been hurting lately, and area pilots said it’s all due to President Donald Trump’s presence in the area. The dip in profits and flights coincides with Trump’s visits to his Bedminster property.
The Record Read more

Stephen Sweeney’s next fight: Forcing towns to share PILOT revenues with schools
One area he will continue to pursue is legislation to force municipalities that grant tax abatements to developers to share any payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) revenue they receive with their school districts.
Burlington County Times Read more

Does Tepic Growth in Personal Income Mean NJ Recovery Not As Hot As It Seems?
A booming stock market and steady low unemployment both in New Jersey and at the national level suggest a strong and vibrant economy is firmly in place. But a closer look at the pace of personal-income growth in recent years reveals there’s still some room for improvement compared with prior decades.
NJSpotlight Read more

Law Caps Size of Student Loans to Keep Them From Overburdening Borrowers
A new law will limit the amount New Jersey college students can borrow from the state’s student loan program in an effort to prevent them from burdening themselves with debt and rein in the state authority that writes the loans.
NJSpotlight Read more

NJ Takes Steps to Expand Medical Marijuana Program
For the hundreds of thousands of people suffering from chronic pain, migraine headaches, and anxiety, another opportunity for relief could come later this year.
NJSpotlight Read more

In court, U.S. Army Corps at a loss for solutions to Margate’s dune lake
Confronted with photos of deep ponding behind newly constructed dunes on Margate beaches, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager was at a loss for solutions Wednesday even as the Corps asked a federal judge to allow it to continue further into Margate.
Inquirer Read more

Dedicated Revenue For Anti-Smoking Programs In New Jersey One Vote Away
A move to allocate one percent of New Jersey’s tobacco tax revenue to smoking cessation programs is one step away from becoming law.
CBS Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Yes, That Was a Russian Spy Plane Over Bedminster