NJ Politics Digest: Chris Christie Has a New Job on TV

Chris Christie. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

He’s only been out of office a few weeks, but former Gov. Chris Christie has landed a gig as an occasional contributor to ABC News, according to a report on NJ.com.

Christie is no stranger to the microphone. While in office he had been a regular fill-in co-host on WFAN’s Boomer and Carton show and had once been rumored to be in the running for a job at the station. The former governor had reportedly also been in discussions with CNN and NBC before settling on the ABC deal. Christie’s first assignment on the network is reported to be providing comment on President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union speech tonight.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s announcement on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election has politicians on both sides of the aisle scrambling to take in the new political landscape in the once solid-Republican 11th District. But Frelinghuysen’s decision could also have a broader impact on the region, as his walking away from the chairmanship of the powerful House Appropriations Committee could be a severe blow to the planned $13 billion Gateway Tunnel project, which he had championed.

And the state Assembly has a new member, as Democrat Britnee Timberlake was sworn in Monday to fill the seat vacated when Sheila Oliver became lieutenant governor.

Quote of the Day: “It became painfully clear that Frelinghuysen couldn’t please both his constituents and the Republican leadership. He spent his career working his way into that position of influence, and then it all came crashing down,” — Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen Announces Retirement from Congress
New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11), a 23-year incumbent and chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced Monday that he will retire from Congress at the end of his term, avoiding what would have been his toughest re-election bid.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Phil Murphy Directs New Jersey to Rejoin Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Monday to make New Jersey rejoin a regional pact that seeks to rein in carbon emissions, reversing a decision by former Gov. Chris Christie that pulled the state from the program.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Chris Christie Joins ABC News as a Contributor
Former Gov. Chris Christie has landed a TV gig, NJ Advance Media has learned. Christie has been hired as an occasional contributor to ABC News, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
NJ.com Read more

Gateway Tunnel Dealt Another Blow With New Jersey Lawmaker’s Resignation
After getting snubbed by the Trump administration, Amtrak’s $13 billion Gateway Tunnel is losing one of its chief backers in Congress too.
Bloomberg Read more

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen: 5 Fast Facts about the Retiring Congressman
Rodney Frelinghuysen, the 71-year-old representative of New Jersey’s 11th District, announced his plan Monday to retire at the end of his term. Here are five things to know about the Republican congressman.
The Record Read more

Editorial: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen Will Exit the House
After winning 12 terms in the House of Representatives, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen will retire. That bombshell came early Monday, and while not completely unexpected, it will have repercussions in Congress and New Jersey.
The Record Read more

Moran: Rewards for Rodney’s Faustian Bargain: Disgrace, Retirement
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen served in Vietnam, even though as a man born to extreme wealth and privilege he probably could have escaped it by claiming he suffered from, say, bone spurs. So, give him that.
NJ.com Read more

Pros, Cons of State Bank Addressed at Hearing
The state’s bankers are concerned with Gov. Phil Murphy’s state bank idea, saying it is an unnecessary move that could disrupt the local network of banks.
ROI-NJ Read more

Terror Legislation Named for New Milford’s Darren Drake
Rep. Josh Gottheimer announced Monday that he will introduce federal legislation aimed at preventing ISIS-inspired lone-wolf terrorists from renting trucks and vans to carry out attacks like the one that killed borough native Darren Drake.
The Record Read more

James Drake Shares What He Hopes to Tell President
James Drake, father of Darren Drake, the only New Jersey victim of the October 31 terrorist attack on the Hudson River Greenway, in Manhattan, shares what he will tell Donald Trump if he speaks to him tomorrow in Washington, D.C.
The Record Watch

Bergen County ‘Dreamer’ Will Attend State of the Union with Booker
A Bergen County woman who came to the United States from Mexico when she was seven and who has temporary protection from deportation will be Sen. Cory Booker’s guest at the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, his office announced Monday.
The Record Read more

‘We’re Just as American as Everyone Else’: N.J. ‘DREAMer’ Invited to State of the Union
As President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday, a New Jersey “DREAMer” will look on from the House Chambers.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Groups Push N.J. to Provide Legal Assistance to Those Facing Deportation
Amid a growing crackdown on immigration by the Trump administration over the past year, Gov. Phil Murphy is seeking to provide increased protection for those being targeted.
NJ.com Read more

Michael Doherty, Donald Trump’s Loyal, if Lonely, Man in New Jersey
Sometimes Michael J. Doherty feels lonely. After all, it’s not easy being Donald Trump’s most vocal supporter in decidedly anti-Trump New Jersey.
The Record Read more

Can Murphy Use These Suggestions to Turn NJ Transit Around?
Recommendations that could become part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s blueprint to save NJ Transit, which he called a national disgrace last month, were revealed Friday in a report from his transition committee that looked at transportation issues.
NJ.com Read more

Super Bowl 2018: New N.J. Gov Is About to Piss Off Eagles Fans (Just as Christie Did)
The revelation should not come as a surprise. Phil Murphy did, after all, grow up in Needham, Mass., where his sports allegiances were crystalized long before they were convenient for his political career.
NJ.com Read more

Flying a Patriots Flag in This N.J. Town? That’s Not Allowed, Mayor Jokes
If you have a flag that has a colonial or Patriots logo, you may find it hard to take a shower or wash dishes, at least according to a letter sent in jest by a South Jersey mayor to a neighbor.
NJ.com Read more

Meet Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver’s Replacement in the N.J. Assembly
Britnee Timberlake, previously New Jersey’s only black female county freeholder director, is now the newest member of the state Assembly.
NJ.com Read more

NJ Murder Rate Lowest on Record
Murders in New Jersey plunged by the biggest amount in decades in 2017, with the murder rate apparently reaching its lowest level in more than a half-century of record keeping, preliminary data shows.
NJ101.5 Read more

No Drug Testing for Cops Puts 1.4M New Jerseyans at Risk
At least 1.4 million New Jersey residents live in municipalities served by police departments that don’t mandate random drug testing for officers.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Police Cadets Booted from Academy after Several Caught Drinking, Sources Say
A group of cadets was kicked out of the Cape May County Police Academy after the fall class was caught drinking just before they were set to become officers in departments across the state, according to two police sources with knowledge of the incident.
NJ.com Read more

The Duties, Pay and—for Most—Pensions of N.J.’s 21 Sheriffs
Instead of hearing “muzak”, callers on hold for the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office are informed that the position of sheriff dates back a thousand years and is rooted in the Middle English terms “shire,” or county, and “reeve,” a representative of the crown, as in Robin Hood’s Nottingham nemesis.
NJ.com Read more

N.J. Addiction: State’s Record on Battling Opioid Epidemic
In 2017, New Jersey took some big steps to battle the opioid crisis.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Ocean Resort, Hard Rock Casinos Plan Internet Gambling in N.J.
New Jersey’s thriving internet gambling market is about to get bigger.
Associated Press Read more

‘Aggressive’ Online Protest Forces N.J. Church to Move Talk by Priest
A “vocal and aggressive” online protest has forced a Hunterdon County parish to withdraw its offer to host a lecture by the Rev. James Martin, a popular Jesuit priest known for his views on reaching out to gays in the Catholic Church, parish officials said.
NJ.com Read more

From Annapolis to Congress? These 3 Women Know Tough Missions
Elaine Luria commanded an assault ship with a crew of 400 that patrolled the Persian Gulf for hostile Iranian vessels. Amy McGrath was the first female Marine to fly in an F-18 fighter jet in combat, dropping bombs over Afghanistan and Iraq. Mikie Sherrill was certified as a Navy helicopter pilot only after passing an underwater crash simulation in which she was blindfolded, turned upside down and forced to find the sole exit door.
New York Times Read more

Women Are Breaking Ground in N.J. politics. Here’s Why
New Jersey’s annual Women’s March on N.J., held earlier this month in Morristown, served as a reminder that the push for equality continues.
NJ.com Read more

N.J. Moves Toward Banning Sales of Menthol Cigarettes
Sales of menthol cigarettes would be prohibited in New Jersey, if a proposal endorsed Monday by the Assembly health committee makes it into law.
NJ101.5 Read more

Brookdale Tuition Increasing 2.2 Percent Next School Year
Brookdale Community College tuition will increase 2.2. percent starting July 1, adding an extra $153 a year to a full-time student’s education costs.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Bordentown Police Chief: Hate Crime Case Sparks Big Changes and a ‘New Norm’
Bordentown Police Chief Brian Pesce has undertaken aggressive new policing measures in an effort to undo the harm caused by a hate crimes case against former police chief Frank Nucera Jr.
Inquirer Read more

Newark Pastor: Legalizing Weed Would Hurt Children, Urban Communities
While Gov. Phil Murphy views legalization of marijuana as a positive step forward for social justice, I believe it will be just the opposite for the poor and marginalized communities in New Jersey.
NJ.com Read more

Golden: Murphy Retreats on Millionaire’s Tax
In the span of 24 hours last week, New Jersey Policy Perspective, the left-of-center think tank based in Trenton, urged the legislature to enact an increase in the tax on incomes over $1 million, claiming millionaires will receive a windfall under the new federal tax reform/tax cut legislation, and Gov. Phil Murphy announced his administration will join in a lawsuit claiming the law punishes millionaires by forcing them to pay higher taxes.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Editorial: As N.J. Prepares to Face Fiscal Reality, Sweeney Showing Leadership
There is always hope that elected leaders will act responsibly and not spend too much more than the revenue they have, and not tax so much that it hobbles the economy.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

Editorial: Medical Marijuana Program Needs Fixes after Christie Sabotage
Among Chris Christie’s emotional deficits, the most galling was his bizarre indifference to human suffering, and as proof, you only have to revisit how New Jersey’s medical marijuana program stagnated—in every way possible—on his watch.
NJ.com Read more

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