Morning Digest: July 18th


Select Committee on Investigation: Egea deleted text to Christie on Foye, Baroni hearing

TRENTON – Searching hard for the smoking gun in their investigation into a traffic snarl that had Fort Lee gridlocked for four days, the Select Committee of Investigations zeroed in on a mysterious text message their latest witness, Chris Christie’s incoming Chief of Staff Regina Egea, sent to the governor in the midst of the controversy last year. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



In Bergen bookstore, expectations high for Hillary Clinton as New Jersey voters anticipate 2016 presidential run

RIDGEWOOD – Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saved her words for those who came to Bookends bookstore in Ridgewood on Thursday to have a copy of her latest book, “Hard Choices,” signed in person, not the press. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



More subpoenas could be coming for unnamed Port Authority police sergeant, Wisniewski says

TRENTON – More subpoenas could be coming in the Select Committee on Investigation’s probe into the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal, this time for a police sergeant at the Port Authority. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Wisniewski says Egea testimony leaves questions unanswered

TRENTON – At the close of a grueling seven hour testimony given by the front office’s Director of Authorities Regina Egea, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) had a few things to say, but the chief message among them was simple: this isn’t over yet. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Weinberg to Egea: “Do you believe today that there was a legitimate traffic study?”

TRENTON – After a lengthy and somewhat heated back-and-forth over the existence of exclusive access lanes for Fort Lee residents on the George Washington Bridge, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), co-chair of the Select Committee on Investigations, straight-up asked her witness: “Do you believe today that there was a legitimate traffic study?” (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Weinberg backs Hillary Clinton for President, says former Secretary of State would ‘absolutely’ beat Christie in potential 2016 election face-off

TEANECK – On the day that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to arrive at a Bergen County bookstore to sign copies of her latest book, State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) made it unequivocally clear as to what her position is if fellow Democrat Clinton ultimately decides to run for President in 2016. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



Egea Hearing: O’Toole’s reversal on Fulop

TRENTON – State Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-40) enthusiastically backed Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop in last year’s local election. He gave Fulop’s campaign at least $25,000. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Torres appoints Paterson Democratic Committee vice chair to Planning Board

Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres took steps to further neutralize his vanquished May rival in the mayor’s contest last night and make nice with the Democratic Party when he appointed Al Abdel-aziz and Nelly Hidalgo Celi to the Paterson Planning Board. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



ELEC: Party committee fundraising the weakest it’s been in 8 years

TRENTON – The so-called “Big Six” fundraising committees reported the weakest combined campaign finance activity in at least eight years, a sign that independent spending by special interest groups may be taking a toll on traditional fundraising committees, according to an analysis by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). (Politicker Staff)



Ramsey mayor’s race: three candidates vie for open seat in midst of contentious Bergen political season

RAMSEY – One of the most distinctive features of this approximately 15,000-person northern Bergen County borough is the long, rolling lawn in front of the local high school. This November, Ramsey voters will roll into their voting booths with more choices on the ballot than usual. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



GWB scandal: U.S. attorney discounts rumors of imminent indictments

The U.S. attorney investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal today discounted reports that said indictments are imminent. (Sudol/The Bergen Record)


Christie in Iowa pitching for locals, not himself

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was making his way across politically important Iowa on Thursday, but kept the conversation away from his own political future and focused instead on Republicans running here this year. (Beaumont/The Associated Press)



Chris Christie tells Iowans: ‘I preach to the choir so they’ll sing’

CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. – At a private fundraiser here, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told the story about how he thought “preaching to the choir” sounded like a waste of time until a Lutheran minister in Albany explained the phrase in a way that gave it new meaning. Jacobs/The Des Moines Register)



Committee hears from Egea about GWB lane closures

Regina Egea told the Select Committee on Investigation that tensions were so great between Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye of New York and Deputy Director Bill Baroni of New Jersey that when Foye put out an angry email shutting down the Jersey side’s week-long traffic study, she assumed it was just political infighting. (Aron/NJTV)


Focus on slain officer as Jersey City comes together for wake

They came from across New Jersey and nearby states. Under tight security, lined up out the door and down the street in front of the funeral home, paying their respects to rookie cop Melvin Santiago, a young man who lost his life doing a job he loved, in a city he loved. (Cruz/NJTV)



Gov. Christie would consider immigrant children

Gov. Chris Christie says he would consider requests to help immigrant children in New Jersey, but would not encourage families to send them to his state. (AP)



Big buzz for Christie at café in Iowa

A crowd of Iowans at a cafe here swooned over Chris Christie on his debut Iowa trip of the season today, saying his force-of-nature personality would be the perfect fit for the Oval Office. (Jacobs/The Des Moines Register)



Paterson mayor looks to resolve questions about officials’ salaries

For the first time in a decade, Paterson officials are crafting an ordinance that would set the salaries for the mayor, Cabinet members and other non-union city workers. (Maliconico/The Paterson Times)



Would Hillary Clinton skip 2016? She talks about what might stop her

Everyone wants to know if Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to run for president. What would prevent her from doing so? The former secretary of State told Charlie Rose that the prospect of becoming a grandmother could be a factor in deciding against a 2016 campaign. (Camia/USA Today)



Backroom’s new ‘senior political reporter,’ and who they might have hired instead

The Star-Ledger or or New Jersey Media Advance or Staten Island Advance or whatever they call themselves now has apparently hired a new “senior political reporter,” triggering a meshuggah wave up and down press row this week and beseeching looks from Ledger types who heretofore had always enjoyed the insulation of industry heavyweights long flushed into the abyss. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)




Stile: He’s just a visitor, but Christie steals spotlight in Iowa

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The slogan “Building Iowa’s Future” beamed on a projection screen as Terry Branstad, the Republican governor, plodded through a pep-rally speech. (Stile/The Bergen Record)



How the Bridgegate investigation ground to a halt – and let Chris Christie zoom off to Iowa

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie arrived in Iowa Thursday, surrounded by a media gaggle befitting a presidential frontrunner, just as new poll was released showing him trailing Hillary Clinton by a single point. It was Christie’s first visit to the caucus state in over two and a half years, and he unleashed his charms at GOP fundraisers and on Hawkeye locals, assuring them, “I will be back a lot.” (Nuzzi/The Daily Beast)



Chris Christie counts on his charisma

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to be traveling through Iowa today, vacuuming up campaign donations for GOP candidates. He’s also presumably trying to suck up to Iowa Republicans, just in case he decides to run for president in 2016. (Obradovich/The Des Moines Register) Morning Digest: July 18th