The deal Gov. Jon Corzine and Gov.-elect Christopher Christie struck on lame duck appointments today means that Corzine’s Chief of Staff, Edward McBride, will become a Superior Court Judge, and State Treasurer David Rousseau will get a pension-boosting seat on the Mercer County Board of Taxation. It will also move some judgeships through, including Kay Walcott–Henderson, Corzine’s Assistant Counsel, who has been nominated for an Administrative Law judgeship. It also means that about a half dozen Democrats serving on key state authorities and commissions will remain in place until Christie picks a replacement that is confirmed by the Senate. Among the survivors: Carl Goldberg (New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority), Frederick Butler (Board of Public Utilities), Raymond Pocino and David Steiner (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey). Look for Christie to replace most of them soon – provided the Democratic-controlled Senate approves his picks – and watch for Pocino to survive for a while.
The deal does not include every pending Corzine appointment, which means individual Senators can still exercise senatorial courtesy to block a confirmation vote before the Democratic Governor leaves office on January 19. Two former Democratic State Senators, Gordon MacInnes (nominated to the Rutgers Board of Governors) and Ellen Karcher (nominated to the Public Broadcasting Authority) won’t need to make it through the Morris and Monmouth delegations, respectively; former Senators can’t be blocked.
There is no deal for Corzine aide Joshua Zeitz, a former Democratic congressional candidate from Burlington County who was nominated for the College of New Jersey Board of Trustees. There is also no deal for former Passaic County Freeholder Tahesha Way, who was nominated for an Administrative Law judgeship; GOP State Sen. Kevin O’Toole can block here, although it probably benefits Republicans to take Way, a surprise loser in her re-election bid last month, out of the political arena. O’Toole has courtesy over Way, who lives in his district, and not over Way’s running mate, Evangeline Gomez, a Democrat from Hawthorne who was also picked for the Rutgers Board.