Winners and Losers: Week of June 16th


Stuart Rabner

The state Senate this week overwhelmingly officially re-upped the appointment of the chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court despite the protests of some Republicans in the senate, including state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13), who characterized Rabner as an enabler of statewide economic failure.

Lee Solomon

People thought Solomon would endure a more thorough grilling than the re-upping Chief Rabner. Not so. While state Sen. Mike Doherty (R-23) slapped him around somewhat on school funding, Solomon mostly coasted following an exhausting Rabner hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee. On Thursday, after just Doherty and state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-26) voted against him on the full senate floor, the judge and former GOP assemblyman assumed the oath of office as an associate justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Felix Roque

A medical doctor and U.S. Army veteran, the West New York mayor – up for re-election next year – rushed to the aid of a man crushed by the collapsed façade of a building on 60th Street. The man is home from the hospital where the mayor visited him yesterday.

Alieta Eck

The CD12 candidate held a successful fundraiser in Cranbury this week. Many Republican players attended, including special guest former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman. She’s still in a very tough district for a Republican but with the fundraiser this week is at the very least showing a general election game face.

Dick Codey

The 27th District state senator (and former governor) will swear-in his friend and political ally, Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka, on July 1st.

Rob Cressen

Battling a rare disease, the former Ocean County GOP operative found himself surrounded by friends and supporters this week at a rally at the Dublin House in Red Bank.



Chris Christie

Dance moves with Jimmy Fallon aside, the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, cited by Christie in 2011 as the staging area for a statewide economic revival – has gone belly up – filing for bankruptcy this week. Also, an exclusive piece in Esquire details an ongoing federal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office into the Christie administration. Then there’s that budget crisis, where Christie has an upper-hand over Democrats but still has to wear a daily reminder about the state’s fiscal blues.

Jeff Bell

Booker doesn’t make news often these days as he keeps his head down and looks to play out the clock against an underfunded challenger whom no one knows in a bid for a full six-year term in the U.S. Senate. But how frustrating must it be for Bell to see Booker re-surface for some face time with Rand Paul as the junior senator from New Jersey teams up with the nation’s leading movement conservative Republican on a states’ rights case to protect medical marijuana from the feds.

Barack Obama

The president who beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in part because he ran in opposition to the Iraq War this week announced that he must deploy up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to aid struggling security forces in the embattled middle eastern country.

Scott Walker

In front page news this week, prosecutors in Wisconsin say Gov. Scott Walker – presumably hopeful of a presidential run – illegally coordinated fundraising and spending between his campaign and conservative groups to combat recall efforts against him.

Iraq War veterans

As President Barack Obama orders 300 advisers to Iraq to help quell Sunni violence, a Monmouth University Poll out this week showed six percent of New Jerseyans convinced that soldiers who served in Iraq have an easy time finding work.

Rutgers University

The strength of Trenton – in particular Drumthwacket – and weakness of the university again became apparent this week when Rutgers University Dean John J. Farmer, Jr., the school’s general counsel, told the Board of Governors that while he opposes Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) Rutgers bill upping membership of the board from 15 to 19 with the new addition of four political appointees, he would not support litigation by the university against the legislative and/or executive branches. Too perilous.

Joe Biden

A story in Politico detailed how the VP president and head of the U.S. Senate has zero support among his longtime peers toward a 2016 presidential run as the caucus rallies around former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Winners and Losers: Week of June 16th