Fox nomination appears dead

Jeanne Fox doesn’t have the votes to win Senate confirmation for another term as President of the state Board of Public Utilities, according to Senate Democratic sources. The Senate Judiciary Committee has no plans to post Fox’s nomination for a vote, leaving her in holdover status for now. Gov. Jon Corzine nominated Fox in February.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman John Adler, a candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s third district, has said he won’t consider the Fox nomination until after the trial of whistle-blower who claims retaliation for reporting a potentially illegal an $80 million ratepayer-funded Clean Energy account established by the BPU President.

Even if Fox got through Judiciary, she doesn’t have the 21 votes needed for confirmation. The seventeen Republican Senators seem prepared to oppose her, and there are a block of at least five Democratic Senators who don’t appear likely to support her.

Fox can stay on as a holdover until January 2010, when Corzine’s term expires – but the “Hold Me Accountable” Governor, struggling to win the approval of New Jersey voters these days – may have no choice but to cut Fox loose as he approaches his re-election campaign. That won’t be an easy call: one of his principal strategists is Fox’s husband, Democratic political consultant Steve DeMicco. Fox nomination appears dead