Morning Digest: July 17th

Gubernatorial Gutcheck: Names on the Dems’ shortlist and their strengths and weaknesses

Strengths: He has the bully pulpit as senate prez; he just picked up the endorsement of the Building Trades, and you can drop the guy in a roomful of 100 people all of whom want to nibble on his ear about something he probably doesn’t want to hear, and he has a graceful way of making them all feel like he’s listening. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Who will serve as Chris Christie’s next chief of staff?

TRENTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks will consider Kevin O’Dowd for the position of state attorney general. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Atlantic City, Steve Sweeney, and the statewide “kaleidoscope of politics”

TRENTON – In 2011, standing side-by-side beneath the bare bones girders and iron scaffolding of a half-built Revel Casino, Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) doubled-down on a bet placed 30 years earlier: that Atlantic City, once imagined a Las Vegas-style getaway for the Northeast region but since fallen on hard times, could survive as New Jersey’s sole gambling mecca. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Sources: Chivukula in line for BPU spot

The always federally game Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-17) might be serving his last term in the legislature, sources say. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Christie gets another chance to connect with Iowa voters

Governor Christie goes to Iowa on Thursday for another trip to the home of the earliest 2016 presidential contest, presenting himself to potential voters there after a series of actions as governor on issues from gun control to education reform that may improve his appeal with conservatives. (Hayes, Stile/The Bergen Record)



New Jersey’s weak economy opens Christie up to political attacks on the road

As Gov. Chris Christie crosses the country in coming months as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, he is expected to tout his plans to change New Jersey’s indebted pension system and his opposition to new taxes as hallmarks of his economic record. (Dawsey, Haddon/The Wall Street Journal)



Liberals assessing 2016 race as Clinton weighs bid

WASHINGTON   — As Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes her book, liberals in the Democratic Party are elbowing into the 2016 presidential conversation, pitching a populist message on the economy and immigration. (Thomas/The Associated Press)



Atlantic City: Playing one last card

THE CARDS have been stacked against Atlantic City for years. This resort city in New Jersey lost its casino monopoly in the region when neighbouring states began legalising gambling a decade ago. Gaming revenues have been steadily falling ever since. In 2012 Pennsylvania, which opened its first casino in 2006, edged out Atlantic City to become the nation’s second-largest gambling market. New Jersey no longer holds all the aces. (The Economist)



Christie calls ‘bull’ on allegation that his persona inspired bridge scandal

Gov. Chris Christie today had a simple answer as to whether his tough guy persona had created an atmosphere that made senior aides think it was okay to close off access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. (Friedman/The Star-Ledger)



Chris Christie embarks on multi-city Iowa tour

Shaking hands with political donors, speaking directly with voters and forging potential allies are all on the docket for Gov. Chris Christie in Iowa today. (Arco/NJ Advance Media)




New Jersey governor Chris Christie looked like the G.O.P.’s brightest presidential prospect on September 9, 2013, when the orange safety cones on the George Washington Bridge were mysteriously re-arranged, closing several toll lanes. (Burroughs/Vanity Fair)



Federal highway funding offers short-term fix for NJ roads

Federal highway funding is safe for the next 10 months, but that’s all. (Aron/NJTV)



Tensions rise in Jersey City following death of rookie cop

Mayor Steven Fulop was still talking tough today, ignoring criticism that his administration had been heavy-handed in taking down a street memorial to the man alleged to have shot police officer Melvin Santiago this week, an incident that has become national news. (Cruz/NJTV)



Advocates push for bail reform to help non-violent offenders

Toni Beaupre’s in Hudson County Jail. She says she took off in her dad’s car, and he called police. Arrested, charged with receiving stolen property, she doesn’t have a court date. Her bail’s $1,500. It might as well be a million. (Flanagan/NJTV)



Will Atlantic City casino closings make Christie ’16 bid more of a gamble?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to revitalize the casino-dependent economy of Atlantic City and the rest of southern New Jersey suffered another major setback with the announcement last weekend that the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino will likely close its doors in September. (Weber/FoxNews)



Four accused of lying on Sandy aid forms

Four people were charged Wednesday with allegedly filing bogus applications for Hurricane Sandy-related federal relief funds. (Wigglesworth/



Assemblyman Cryan joins students in call for tuition freeze

Assemblyman Joseph Cryan joined students today in calling for Rutgers University’s board of governors to freeze tuition at this afternoon’s meeting. (Heyboer/The Star-Ledger)



Robert Roe, New Jersey Congressman called ‘Mr. Jobs,’ dies at 90

Robert A. Roe, who as a congressman from New Jersey for 23 years played a key role in financing projects to expand the nation’s highway and mass transit systems and to combat water and ground pollution, died on Tuesday at his home in Green Pond, N.J. He was 90. (Fried/The New York Times)





CD12: Eck has cash edge on BWC right now

Republican Dr. Alieta Eck has more money in the bank right now than her CD12 general election opponent, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15), according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). (Politicker Staff)



Another Connection Linking Campbell to Stepien – Rudy

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal‘s Heather Haddon broke the story that FLS Connect – which currently employs Bill Stepien, the former Christie campaign manager fired in the wake of Bridgegate – had been hired to do some work for the re-election campaign of Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan. (Kim/PolitickerNJ)






Learning to live with a downsized Atlantic City

In 2006, the casinos in Atlantic City took in more than $5 billion in revenue. This year, total revenue will likely be about half of that amount. The results are devastating to the city. What happened? (Busler/

  Morning Digest: July 17th