A deal struck between Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) will allow Christie’s Supreme Court nominee to be heard by the Senate this month. The deal would remove Patterson as the nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice John Wallace and re-nominate her to replace Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto.
Maybe it’s only a case of the guillotine blade getting stuck on the way down and a brief delay before he gets chopped, but the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals this week ruled in the former Olympic champion’s favor when it remanded the case to District Court and affirmed Lewis’ place on the 8th Legislative District ballot until that federal court rules in his case. William Tambussi also won this week. All along, it’s been this South Jersey attorney doggedly at the forefront of Lewis’ fight to remain on the ballot, first as he argued against the initial residency lawsuit filed by Burlington County Republicans and later as he ran Secretary of State Kim Guadagno’s rejection of Lewis’ New Jersey residency argument into the appeals courts.
As part of his deal with the Governor, the Senate President was able to stand by his commitment to not filling the seat of former Justice John Wallace prior to March 2012 when Wallace would have faced mandatory retirement. According to Bergen Record columnist Charles Stile, Sweeney as part of his deal with the guv agreed to move on Christie nominees next March for Wallace and Justice Virginia Long, but Sweeney will very probably continue to control the Senate agenda next year.
The Republican presidential prospect from Minnesota landed the endorsement this week of Peter Kane of Summit, formerly the statewide director of the 2008 Mike Huckabee for President campaign.
Two out of three of his candidates lost the Schools Advisory Board race, but two of the North Ward Democratic leader’s allies on the ten-member board this week landed the spots of chair and vice chair. It’s called a backup plan. Adbato’s acolyte, too, had a good week. Sources embedded in the crowd at Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo’s fundraiser later said DiVincenzo probably didn’t raise $300,000. They said it would be unlikely that he hauled in $200,000. But the point was not to raise money so much as to pack an enormous room with people from everywhere and project strength in numbers. Wounded by a story last month that detailed his simultaneous dual collection of a salary and retirement pension, the powerful Essex County Democrat chest-thumped at the lectern this past Tuesday to let everyone – including South Jersey Dem boss George Norcross III, who was in the room – know that he’s still alive.
The 7th District incumbent Assemblyman won’t have a primary challenge after all, as Willingboro Councilman Ken Gordon suddenly dropped out of the race.
Yeah, again. The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered the state to repay the full $271 million in funds expended on the ARC Tunnel scuttled by Gov. Chris Christie last year. The governor said this week he “ain’t” paying it back, the feds are going to have to come and get it. The state has already spent nearly $800,000 on outside counsel for its legal battle over repaying money to the federal government over the Access to the Region’s Core Tunnel project.
When the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals gave Carl Lewis new life with its ruling, a palpitation went through the ranks of LG allies. Guadagno, after all, wrote the decision denying Lewis a place on the ballot, but this case is not going away. Will she end up on the stand before the drama is over? Keep in mind, this is a fluid situation, and Guadagno could very possibly- even probably, given District Judge Noel Hillman’s reasoning – pull a quick reversal that buries Lewis once and for all and launches her into the winners’ circle – as soon as sometime next week.
The state’s biggest city received a new schools superintendent this week, but also lost Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy, the Chicago-bound lawman who almost reinacted the final scene of High Noon at his press conference this week, all but taking off his badge and throwing it on the carpet in front of the local townspeople before getting in the buckboard with Grace Kelly. McCarthy had a controversial run at his office and now leaves – apparently happily – as the crime-riddled city heads into the summer months while Attorney General Paula Dow refused to say Thursday whether Newark’s police force – cut last year of nearly 170 officers – is of sufficient size to deal with crime.
Veteran state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37) continued her fight this week against the Christie administration, which does not plan to include $1 million to treat lower-income women at health centers – a sum that would be matched by $9 million in federal funds. Weinberg questioned the priorities of an administration that would cut women’s healthcare funding while seeking $200 million in business tax cuts.
Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC)
The firings continued at the Democratic Party patronage pit that Gov. Chris Christie most relishes punishing. The Christie administration-appointed PVSC Executive Director Wayne Forrest showed 11 security detail workers the door this week to further shake up the already tremulous agency.
A continuing occupant of this list, the mayor of Trenton suffered yet another blow this week when cops busted his chief of staff for heroin possession.