Morning Digest: September 4th

Highlighting bipartisanship, Booker toys with challenger Bell at packed North Jersey campaign kickoff

GARFIELD – Kicking off his re-election toward a full six-year term, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) threw elbow slam after elbow slam into politically disconnected Republican challenger Jeff Bell then waved off a question about how and where he’s stood up to entrenched power. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




On second leg of tri-city tour, Booker says Bell “represents the failed politics of the past”

PERTH AMBOY – At his second stop on a tri-city tour to officially kickoff his re-election bid for U.S. Senate here today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) attempted to draw a clear distinction between his own campaign and that of his competitor, Republican Jeff Bell. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Christie announces partnership with social media platform ConnectAmericas on first leg of Mexican tour

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s first accomplishment of his three-day Mexico trade mission tour came today after he signed a partnership agreement with, a social media platform that connects Latin American and Caribbean enterprises with business resources and opportunities throughout North America, according to the governor’s office. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Sweeney on Christie’s Mexico tour: ‘I hope whatever he’s doing helps’ New Jersey

EWING – On the eve of what’s being billed by Gov. Chris Christie’s office as a “trade mission” to Mexico —  but what many see as a critical foreign policy test run as the Republican explores a presidential primary bid — Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) last night wouldn’t question the motives of his political compatriot across the aisle, saying only that he hopes “whatever he’s doing helps” the Garden State. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




The GWB Files: Chris Christie and the lane closures at the world’s busiest bridge 

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” (The Bergen Record)




Vivid recollections show Port Authority cops’ concern with GWB lane closures

On the second day of the George Washington Bridge lane closures last year, a Port Authority police officer stationed at a gridlocked intersection picked up the two-way radio in his patrol car. The closures were creating “hazardous conditions” on Fort Lee’s streets, he told fellow officers according to his own account, and the lanes needed to be reopened. (Boburg/The Bergen Record)




Christie focuses on energy policy in visit to Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Governor Christie offered a full-throated defense of the Keystone XL oil pipeline Wednesday, saying it would become a part of a “North American energy renaissance” in his pitch for a continental energy policy to Mexican business leaders. (Hayes/The Bergen Record)




Cardinal to lead St. Pat parade with 1st gay group

NEW YORK (AP) — There is no more natural spot for Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan — a proud, ebullient Irish-American — than grand marshal of the city’s historic St. Patrick’s Day Parade. But the honor now has an added significance: Parade organizers said Wednesday they will allow the first gay group to march under its own banner.




Booker blasts Bell, Bell blasts Booker as U.S. Senate race begins

Sen. Cory Booker was doing his best to sound like the guy running from the outside, rather than the establishment candidate with a multimillion dollar war chest and support that goes all the way to the White House. (Cruz/NJTV)




Asm. Wisniewski: new report on GWB closures is troubling

An old political scandal’s resurfaced. The Record reports it’s obtained exchanges among Port Authority police about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge a year ago that indicate the police were in on it. When an officer radioed the traffic was causing hazardous conditions and lanes had to be re-opened, his supervisor allegedly told him to “shut up” and then instructed him not to discuss the apparently secret operation on an open channel. An attorney representing the police has given records of the conversations to lawmakers investigating the bridge scandal. Assemblyman John Wisniewski told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that the report is troubling. (NJTV)




The Politico 50

Our list of the thinkers, doers and dreamers who really matter in this age of gridlock and dysfunction. (Politico)




5 questions on Obama’s ISIL political strategy

President Barack Obama’s message on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant remains a high-profile muddle, but now he’s about to face another set of challenges: how to sell Congress and the public on his ideas for fighting the group. (Gerstein, Nather/Politico)






Kelly: Welcome to Atlantic City, N.J.’s capital of glamour and despair

ATLANTIC CITY – In this city of huge contrasts and outlandish symbols, it was just another day. On one side of town, hundreds of jobless casino workers brought their collective fears to the Convention Center on Wednesday to hear advice on what sorts of new careers they might pursue. (Kelly/The Bergen Record)




Tone it down, tough guys: Chris Christie and other pols should stop posturing

Our governor is in Mexico, ostensibly to promote trade but also to burnish his foreign-relations credentials. They’re pretty much nonexistent. That could be a problem when he makes what looks like an inevitable run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. (Mulshine/The Star-Ledger)

Morning Digest: September 4th