Morning Digest: August 12th

Prieto responds to South Jersey consulting revelations: ‘That’s the nature of the beast’

TRENTON – Responding to recent revelations that he’s been doing consulting work for a Camden County-based firm with major donor ties to some South Jersey Democrats, Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-32) told PolitickerNJ today that he sees no problem with straddling the public-private career fence, given the nature of New Jersey’s legislature. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



On Prieto’s predicament, state Sen. Norcross says Assembly Speaker’s consulting work has “zero to do” with his leadership position

CAMDEN – Last week, state Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32), who has been an increasingly driven force in the state Legislature on issues such as bail reform, hit a significant pothole. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



State Sen. Donald Norcross: Sweeney can “absolutely” be South Jersey’s first N.J. governor since Florio

CAMDEN – State Sen. Donald Norcross (D-5) told PolitickerNJ on Monday that state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) could “absolutely” be the first South Jersey politician to become governor since Democrat Jim Florio took office in 1990. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



At bail reform signing, Christie calls Washington a “dysfunctional mess”

TRENTON – In the midst of signing a historic bail reform package he and other lawmakers hope will help bring about a fairer criminal justice system in the state, Gov. Chris Christie stopped to compare New Jersey politics with those in Washington D.C. — and concluded the former is demonstrably more functional than the latter. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



On steps of Trenton City Hall, Christie signs long-awaited bail reform package

TRENTON — On the steps of City Hall here today — just a brisk walk down West State Street from his usual haunts in the front office — Gov. Chris Christie signed a long-awaited and hotly-debated bail reform package two years in the making. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Camden Mayor Redd “willing to share” with North Jersey mayors’ anti-crime alliance

CAMDEN – Two weeks after the mayors of New Jersey’s three largest cities announced they are going to partner together to fight crime, the mayor of South Jersey’s largest city said that she was willing to work with the northern alliance to fight the same scourge. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



U.S. Senate race: Booker on Bell: “bridge builders,” not “right-wing ideologues” needed in D.C. as polls tighten

CAMDEN – With recent polls showing a closer-than-expected battle with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Bell, incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) laced into Bell on Monday, implying that Bell is part of the problem, not the solution, to partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C.. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



First debate scheduled in Booker-Bell Senate race

TRENTON — The first debate has been set in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race. Incumbent Democrat Cory Booker and his little-known Republican challenger, Jeff Bell, will face each other in a televised debate on Oct. 25, organized by the League of Women Voters, WPVI-TV Philadelphia and WABC-TV New York. (Associated Press)



Christie OKs $1.3B in water plant protection

ATLANTIC CITY  — New Jersey’s critical water and sewer plants will get nearly $1.3 billion in upgrades and storm protection measures under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Chris Christie. (Parry/AP)



Philly history may hold edge to land 2016 Democratic National Convention

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of five cities bidding for the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia appears to hold an early edge with a track record of hosting the major gathering — not to mention that Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden have family ties to the state. (Associated Press)



Poll finds New Jersey voters split on best way to fix the state pension system

New Jersey voters don’t want to pay higher taxes to put the state pension system back on solid footing, but they also disagree with Governor Christie’s decision this year to cut the state contribution into the fund that covers the retirements of public workers, according to the results of a poll released by Quinnipiac University today. (Reitmeyer/The Bergen Record)



A decade after Jim McGreevey’s ‘gay American’ speech

A decade ago today, even the most grizzled Trenton political veterans gasped when Gov. Jim McGreevey announced to the world that he was a “gay American” and would resign after disclosing an extramarital affair with a man he’d put on the state payroll despite spotty qualifications. (Friedman, Arco/NJ Media Advance, The Star-Ledger,



Gov. Christie returns to Maine to stump for LePage

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is returning to Maine to stump for Gov. Paul LePage.



Sen. Lesniak: sports betting would breathe life back into Atlantic City

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the Sports Betting Bill and Sen. Ray Lesniak told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that sports betting would breathe life back into Atlantic City. (Williams/NJTV)



Christie is all over the map

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has traveled from California to Maine as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a role that has strengthened his national profile and endeared him to GOP candidates across the U.S. (Haddon/The Wall Street Journal)


As governor’s association chair, Christie building national presence

As Gov. Christie travels the country to support Republicans running for governor, he also is charting a course that could bear on his ability to seek the party’s nomination for president in 2016. (Hanna/The Philadelphia Inquirer)



What Hillary Clinton is doing by slamming Barack Obama’s foreign policy

Former Secretary of State and all-but-announced presidential candidate Hillary Clinton offered her most public break yet from President Obama over the weekend, slamming his “don’t do stupid [stuff]” foreign policy and suggesting he had not been aggressive enough in asserting America’s role in the world. (Cillizza/The Washington Post)

Morning Digest: August 12th