Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter Sign Up Thank

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal

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NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is ‘no evidence” that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)




Weinberg on Christie call to “wrap up” state Bridgegate investigative committee: “We have no plans to disband”

TRENTON – State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) sat in the front row of Gov. Chris Christie’s news conference on Thursday where he said that the state Select Committee on Investigation examining the Bridgegate scandal should disband. Weinberg’s response to the governor was equally upfront. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Sources: intensified talks around legislative committee examining Bridgegate spark backroom interpretations

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s that’s-a-wrap call today to the Select Committee on Investigation (SCI) examining Bridgegate laid bare those underground arguments in the halls and chambers of the Statehouse about how lawmakers should proceed. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Chivukula on BPU appointment: I’m ready

TRENTON – Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-17) was riding high in spirits following this morning’s news that Gov. Chris Christie has nominated him to serve as the state’s next Board of Public Utilities Commissioner. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Former Manalapan Mayor found guilty on 11 counts, including wire and mortgage fraud and obstruction of justice

The former mayor of Manalapan was convicted at trial today on charges related to his acquisition of farmland in Monmouth County, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)




Menendez’s bill for Ukrainian military assistance, Russia sanctions, passes out of committee

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 today by a vote of 18 to 0. (Politicker Staff)




Lawmakers, agency reps spar over bill to dissolve Waterfront Commission

TRENTON – Lawmakers, legal counselors and business owners traded fiery words at a Senate Economic Growth Committee hearing today as they debated — and ultimately released — a bill that would dissolve The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, a bi-state regulatory agency created in 1953 to combat criminal activity at the Port of New York and New Jersey. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Christie calls on Joint Investigative Committee into Bridgegate to ‘wrap up’

TRENTON – At his news conference today, Gov. Chris Christie said the Select Committee on Investigation (SCI) should disband. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Assembly Higher Ed Committee releases Cryan’s tuition assistance bill

TRENTON – Not without debate, the Assembly Higher Education Committee this afternoon passed a bill prohibiting a four-year public or independent institution of higher education from increasing the tuition and fees of a resident undergraduate student for nine continuous semesters following the student’s initial enrollment in the institution. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Christie: Mroz and Chivukula to BPU

TRENTON – Governor Chris Christie today announced his selection of two new Board of Public Utilities Commissioners. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Sources: Fox to be new DOT commissioner

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie danced with Jaimie Foxx, but he wants Jamie Fox’s moves. Former McGreevey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox of Lambertville will return to the job, replacing James Simpson as Christie’s new Department of Transportation commissioner, according to three sources. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Investigators find no evidence Christie knew of bridge closing

Investigators said on Thursday that there is no evidence of Governor Chris Christie’s advance knowledge of the George Washington Bridge traffic jam. (Williams/NBC News)





Scots reject independence in historic vote

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scottish voters have resoundingly rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United King
dom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core. (Lawless, Kirka/AP)




725-mile power line project draws skeptics in N.J.

Proponents of a massive upgrade to the regional power grid say it could eventually lead to lower electric rates for customers in New Jersey, though others say it comes with serious environmental costs. (O’Neill/The Bergen Record)





N.J. revealing less about tax revenue

Key information about monthly tax collections has been cut from the Christie administration’s latest public revenue report, a move that lawmakers say could make it harder to figure out if the state is maintaining a constitutionally mandated balanced budget. (Reitmeyer/The Bergen Record)




Christie nominates two key lobbyists, one a Democrat, to cabinet jobs

Two veteran lobbyists — one a Democrat who worked in Gov. James McGreevey’s administration and the other a Republican adviser to Governor Christie — were nominated to head state agencies to which their clients have deep ties. (Hayes, Maag/The Bergen Record)




Lawmakers urge Port Authority reform during N.J. Senate hearing

Legislators pushed for structural reforms to the Port Authority Thursday, targeting an agency that has seen several of its executives resign over the past year in the shadow of the George Washington Bridge scandal. (Phillis/The Bergen Record)





Ukrainian president greets North Jersey supporters at D.C. rally

WASHINGTON — As Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko left the White House gates and approached Lafayette Square on Thursday afternoon, the big crowd gathered there behind barricades — including 60 North Jerseyans covered in Ukrainian blue and yellow — burst into the country’s national anthem. (Park/The Bergen Record)





Chris Christie isn’t just focused on governors’ races as RGA chairman

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s cross-country midterm campaign tour continued this week, but gubernatorial races weren’t the only thing on the mind of the Republican Governors Association chairman. (Wollner/National Journal)





Chris Christie defends NFL Commissioner Goodell

NEWARK, N.J. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is playing defense for embattled NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Christie said Thursday evening he strongly believes Goodell should stay in his job despite mounting criticism over his handling of a domestic violence incident involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. (Colvin/Associated Press)





Municipalities enact paid sick leave

One by one cities around North Jersey are following suit, approving mandatory paid sick time for full- and part-time private employees. (Vannozzi/NJTV)




Teacher’s arrest for mooning diners ‘extremely disturbing,’ Rahway schools chief says

A South Plainfield borough council candidate who bowed out of his race after his disorderly conduct arrest in 2007 became public is now under the microscope at his day job. (Amaral/New Jersey Advance Media)





Travelin’ man: Chris Christie has spent one-third of his term out of New Jersey

TRENTON — As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Gov. Chris Christie has spent all or part of 80 days since being re-elected — a third of his second term — out of state. Most of his trips have involved campaigning and fundraising for the association, but the count also includes such non-RGA travel as his recent three-day visit to Mexico. (Arco, Davies/NJ Media Advance)





Sources: why Fox? 

With the support of Gov. Chris Christie, Jamie Fox is on the fast track to get back to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The question is why? (Politicker Staff0






Chris Christie’s lapdog press: how the New York Times and co are embarrassing themselves

Throughout the months of Gov. Chris Christie’s post-“Bridgegate” crucible, the governor has remained politically viable by tightly controlling his narrative  as he travels to  Iowa and New Hampshire. Even as the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation was taking testimony and U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman was gather
ing facts, Gov. Christie had his quick turnaround “exoneration” in hand. It came in the form of his taxpayer-funded, multimillion-dollar “independent report” by trusted (by him) attorney Randy Mastro. (Hennelly/Salon)








Morning Digest: September 19th