Winners and Losers: Week of Wisniewski

WINNERS

John Wisniewski

When Bill Baroni (see below) resigned today as deputy director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee said he was glad Baroni agreed with him. After determining the non-existence of traffic studies Baroni said caused lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, Wisniewksi called for the resignation of the deputy director and his aide David Wildstein.

Loretta Weinberg

The Senate Majority Leader from LD37 initially called for the issuance of subpoenas to find out why officials closed traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge, and made the charge of a “cover up,” resulting in the departure of Baroni and Wildstein.

Kathe Donovan

Ahead of her 2014 re-election bid, the Bergen County Executive secured the endorsement of Bergen County Republican Organization Chairman Bob Yudin in a display of unity within the ranks a long-fractured Republican Party.

Bob Yudin

The Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) chairman won Donovan’s endorsement in exchange for his support for her candidacy in next year’s county executive contest.

Deb Gramiccioni

Baroni’s resignation opens up the position of deputy director at the Port Authority for Gov. Chris Christie’s director of the Authorities Unit.

Joe DiVincenzo

The powerful Essex County executive kicked off his campaign Monday in pursuit of a fourth term, and did so with the strong endorsements of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-10), and many others.

Aimee Belgard

Another week without a Republican candidate in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-3) benefits the Burlington County Freeholder, who has the support of Burlington Democrats.

William Moen

Team Booker tapped the Assemblyman Angel Fuentes aide to serve as assistant director of constituent services in charge of South Jersey.

LOSERS

Chris Christie

Two of the governor’s top political allies submitted their resignations following continuing investigations by Chairman John Wisniewski of the Assembly Transportation Committee into allegations that Port Authority brass shut down traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge as payback to the mayor of Fort Lee, who had refused to endorse the re-election of the Republican governor. Wisniewksi made clear today that he still wants answers. “Mr. Baroni’s resignation was overdue and a good thing for New Jersey,” the chairman of the Transportation Committee said in a statement. “His inability to be clear, professional and honest meant he was no longer going to be effective in his role, if he ever was effective. But make no mistake – our investigation into what happened with these lane closings will continue.”

Bill Baroni

A former state senator, the deputy director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey resigned today after telling Trenton lawmakers that the port closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge to complete a traffic study. Other Port Authority aides denied the existence of the study as Wisniewski charged.

David Wildstein

Identified as the person responsible for overseeing the lane closures to exact political payback on the mayor of Fort Lee, and like Baroni the target of document subpoenas issued by Wisniewski, Baroni’s aide also resigned. Wildstein is the former editor of PolitickerNJ.com.

Juan Donoso, Kirk Nelson and Frank Capece

A state grand jury this week indicted respectively the former Elizabeth Board of Education member, Board Attorney, and outside board counsel on charges that they covered up a false application filed by Donoso’s wife for the federally funded free lunch program. The jury charged Donoso in a five-count indictment with two counts of official misconduct (2nd degree) and one count each of tampering with public records or information (3rd degree), tampering with or fabricating physical evidence (4th degree), and hindering apprehension or prosecution (4th degree).  Nelson and Capece were named in a separate six-count indictment charging each of them with two counts of official misconduct (2nd degree) and one count each of conspiracy (2nd degree), tampering with public records or information (3rd degree), tampering with or fabricating physical evidence (4th degree), and hindering apprehension or prosecution (4th degree). 

Bergen Democrats

The peace forged this week by Donovan and Yudin bodes well for the Bergen County executive’s contest, while the Democrats as yet do not have a candidate to run against Donovan.

Steve Lonegan

The former mayor of Bogota said he would run in CD3 if the heads of the party want him, and this week former Burlington County GOP Chairman Glenn Paulsen said publicly that he would work against Lonegan becoming the nominee to run for the seat currently occupied by U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-3).

Winners and Losers: Week of Wisniewski