Winners and losers: Week of Feb. 14th

WINNERS

Kevin O’Toole

The politically shrewd Essex County Republican demonstrated his value – both as a confidante to Gov. Chris Christie and as his own savvy statewide brand – when his election year fundraiser on Wednesday night coalesed 750 people in the little suburb of Cedar Grove.

Michael Kempner

The powerful Democrat indisputably emerges as the main fundraising chief in New Jersey for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Bill Layton

Once out on his feet as Burlington County GOP chairman during President Barack Obama’s 2008 ascendency, Layton broke two more countywide Democrats this week to further reanimate Republicans enjoying the era of Gov. Chris Christie.

Jan Gilhooly

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the former secret service agent, former Department of Homeland Security advisor and Christie Transition Team member from West Orange to head the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.

Nick Sacco

The Senate Transportation Committee chairman successfully powered through a bill rolling back toll hikes on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike now that the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) tunnel project is done.

LOSERS 

Burlington County Demorats

The shaken party fielded yet another jarring blow this week as the county surrogate and county clerk both decided they had taken enough of a clubbing on the losing team and changed their affiliations to Republican in a re-election year. About all that Burlington Dems had to celebrate in recent months was the planting of a plaque in front of the house of former Gov. Richard J. Hughes in Florence.

Roberto Rivera-Soto

The agony continues for the embattled state Supreme Court Justice this week as the state Senate passed a 21-3 resolution calling for his resignation if the Assembly does not proceed with an impeachment hearing.

State employees

Gov. Chris Christie wants government employees to pay 30 percent of their health insurance premiums. The Democrats’ response? Senate President Steve Sweeney wants a graduated plan that would require higher and higher contributions with each passing year. Either way, public workers would have to pay more.

Tony Mack

It just gets worse and worse for the mayor of Trenton. This week, The Trentonian reported that Mack is the subject of an FBI probe concerning the campaign contributions of the Atlantic City law firm Cooper Levenson, which subsequently – briefly – received a city contract.

Winners and losers: Week of Feb. 14th