Morning Digest: July 16th

Consensus-builder Bob Roe of Wayne: 1924-2014

A portrait of Robert “Bob” Roe hangs prominently in the local municipal building to honor the most distinguished elected official to hail from Wayne, a congressman who served for over two decades in the U.S. House of Representatives, who chaired the House Public Works and Transportation Committee with distinction and left a legacy in his home state and his beloved home town in Passaic County’s high country. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



CD3: Belgard has $616k cash on hand

Running in CD3, Democrat Aimee Belgard brought in over $423,000 from 3,305 contributions and has $615,995.89 cash-on-hand. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



DiVincenzo won’t endorse Christie for prez; Guv won’t leave office until he’s the nominee, Joe D says

WEST ORANGE – It was Gov. Chris Christie, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and a leashed komodo dragon on the pavement outside the new education building, all present to augment the spectacle of a building officially coming to life in the lap of this massive county complex. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)


NJ panel won’t press for summer hearings on GWB lane closures, clears way for federal probe

The legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures is backing off plans for more hearings this summer out of concern that they could interfere with an ongoing federal criminal investigation, its co-chairman said Tuesday. (Boburg/The Bergen Record)



Christie to test presidential hopes in Iowa trip

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey will make his most significant and elaborate return to the presidential arena this week amid indications that, despite his tribulations, his political standing has stabilized and his advisers see a possible path to the Republican nomination in 2016. (Barbaro/The New York Times)



Suit seeks release of Christie’s travel records

As Gov. Chris Christie eyes a run for the White House in 2016, he’s en route to becoming the most prolific traveler in the history of New Jersey governors. (NJ Watchdog)



Christie puts his pension warning in a movie trailer parody

Instead of rolling out a long-touted plan for pension reform, Governor Christie’s office released an action-packed parody movie trailer Tuesday as it promised a summer-long series of promotional events to highlight the state’s pension issues. (Hayes/The Bergen Record)



Booker has raised nearly $3.5M in campaign funds this year

Sen. Cory Booker raised $1.6 million from April through June and had nearly $3.5 million in his account at the end of the quarter, his campaign said Tuesday. (Jackson/The Bergen Record)



NJ Sen. Robert Menendez racks up $700K in legal bills due to investigations

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez has spent about $700,000 on attorneys in an ongoing Justice Department and congressional ethics investigation into his relationship with a prominent donor, according to filings made public today. (Friedman/The Star-Ledger)



Former Christie aide’s consulting firm picks up work in New Jersey

A Minnesota political consulting firm now employing Bill Stepien—a former aide to Gov. Chris Christie who parted ways in the wake of the George Washington Bridge scandal—has gotten some New Jersey work this year. (Haddon/The Wall Street Journal)



Aron discusses Christie’s decision on Common Core standards

Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron and NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams discuss Gov. Chris Christie’s decision on Common Core standards in the state. (Aron/NJTV)



Trucking executives discuss improving Port Newark

Carlos Pinos drives a tractor trailer, picking up and delivering containers full of cargo that arrive by ship at Port Newark. Even on good days, he says the truckers sit in line, diesel rigs idling, waiting to get through the gates and into the container port for pickup. (Flanagan/NJTV)



Plainfield steps up food establishment inspections

Jesse Powell will log a lot of miles walking the streets of Plainfield to inspect hundreds of restaurants and food establishments for safety to comply with state health laws. (Hill/NJTV)



Advocates sue New Jersey, Rutgers for calculations

Affordable housing advocates have sued Gov. Chris Christie’s administration and Rutgers University, accusing them of hiding calculations used to determine how much housing each town should provide for lower-income people. (AP)



Congress asks FIFA to address head injuries following dangerous World Cup collisions

On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL) — co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force — wrote to FIFA President Sepp Blatter urging him to address FIFA’s “inadequate approach toward traumatic brain injury.” (Hayes/BuzzFeed)



Atlantic City’s fortunes wane as gamblers decamp

In January, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel was the first casino to announce it is closing its doors. Then in June, Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced it was shutting its Mardi Gras-themed casino Showboat. Also, the two-year-old Las Vegas-style mega casino Revel, which has never turned a profit, announced it is filing for bankruptcy. Most recently, the Trump Plaza notified their employees it expects to shut down in September. Together, those casinos make up more than 6,000 jobs or 20 percent of the work force. (Miller/CBS)



Reporter who spoke about black families suspended

A white TV reporter who voiced his opinions about black families and relations with police while reporting on a fatal New Jersey police shooting says he’s been suspended from his station and won’t return. (AP)



The risks of Hillary Clinton’s quasi-campaign

Hillary Clinton is not running for president — at least not by her own admission. But it’s been a month since the start of her “Hard Choices” book tour, and nearly all the elements of a presidential campaign have emerged. There are boisterous crowds, speeches, interviews, an appearance tonight on “The Daily Show,” lists with names and email addresses, attacks from the opposition, and gaffes. (Vavreck/The New York Times)



Jon Stewart to Hillary Clinton: ‘You’re running for president’

Hillary Rodham Clinton has faced lots of creative attempts to decipher her plans for a second White House run. On Tuesday night, Jon Stewart tried trick questions about architecture, eliciting a more interesting response than most. (Reston/The Los Angeles Times)



Immigration advocate, detained on Texas border, is released in Visa case

Jose Antonio Vargas, who has chronicled in minute detail the twists and turns of his life as a Filipino living illegally for years in the United States, was detained by the Border Patrol for most of the day on Tuesday and then released with a notice to appear before an immigration judge. (The New York Times)



Rand Paul vs. Rick Perry: sign of nasty 2016 foreign policy debate

The sniping this week between two presumed Republican candidates for president has included cracks about hopeless naïvete, a spat over the mantle of Ronald Reagan and even an insult aimed at Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s hipster glasses. (Decker/The LA Times)





Bob Roe’s campaign manager for his first gubernatorial campaign

When the late U.S. Rep. Bob Roe (D-8) ran for governor in 1979, he enlisted as his campaign manager a man who would go on to become a familiar figure in New Jersey politics. (Editor/PolitickerNJ) Morning Digest: July 16th