Morning Digest: September 8th

Bergen County Exec’s race: Donovan does diner politicking as race enters red zone

PARK RIDGE –  The Park Ridge Diner sits on the corner of Kinderkamack Road and Park Avenue. The avenue there was renamed James Gandolfini Way after the late actor who played the iconic cable television role of Tony Soprano, and who grew up in this Bergen County borough. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Is New Jersey’s GOP ignoring Jeff Bell?

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) kicked off his fall re-election campaign this week by reaming his opponent, Republican Jeff Bell, over all the things a popular, liberal-minded incumbent might take issue with in a policy-minded conservative who’s spent the last 30 years of his political life living in Washington D.C. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Source: in contested Burlington Freeholder race, Howarth out and O’Brien in for GOP

Burlington Republicans will make a switch next week in one of the most watched Freeholder contests in the state, where control of the board is up in an off year. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Welcome to Passaic, New Jersey, Mr. Governor

The Governor of New Jersey wants the Governor of Puebla to visit New Jersey, but Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle is actually the one who can welcome Christie. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Bramnick: Latest Bridgegate reports still ‘show nothing’

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21), long a vocal critic of the state legislature’s investigation into ‘Bridgegate’, the scandal surrounding the closing of commuter lanes at the George Washington Bridge late  last year, said he still isn’t sure the controversy’s latest developments reaffirm any legitimate wrongdoing on the part of officials close to the operation, including Gov. Chris Christie. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




WINNERS and LOSERS, Week of September 1st

Tom MacArthur The Republican candidate for Congress in the 3rd District received the support of both the Laborers and the Carpenters in his bid to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-3). (Politicker Staff)




Analysis: One year later, GWB lane-closure scandal still unfolding

One year ago this week, questions about traffic cones at the entrance to the world’s busiest bridge set off a cascade of revelations that stunted Governor Christie’s political ascent, launched a continuing federal grand jury investigation and led to impending reforms at the Port Authority. (Boburg/The Bergen Record)




Congress coming back, must act to avoid shutdown

WASHINGTON  — Lawmakers are streaming back to Capitol Hill after their summer vacation for an abbreviated September session in which feuding Democratic and Republican leaders promise action to prevent a government shutdown while holding votes aimed at defining the parties for the fall campaign. (Taylor/Associated Press)




Exclusive: Dems to rip Christie with ‘Bridgegate’ anniversary ads

Democrats are making sure this is one anniversary New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s constituents won’t forget. The Democratic National Committee is launching a geographically-targeted ad blitz on Monday, the one-year anniversary of the scandal known as “Bridgegate,” to remind New Jersey and New York commuters about the epic traffic jams that ensnared thousands of people during four days in 2013. E-mails made public have since shown that some of the Republican governor’s staffers and allies ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge — seemingly for political retribution. Christie, who recently visited Mexico, strengthening rumors that he will make a 2016 bid for president, has denied any prior knowledge of the plot. (Frumin/MSNBC)




Year after bridge lanes closed, Chris Christie bruised, but back to normal self

NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears to have largely moved past the lane-closing scandal that rocked his administration and threatened to derail his political career one year later. But many outside his tight inner circle are still waiting for investigations to conclude before making up their minds. (Colvin/The Associated Press)




Port Official: Trenton wanted George Washington Bridge lane closures

Hours after he angrily reversed now-infamous lane closures at the George Washington Bridge almost a year ago, Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, arranged for a private meeting with a top appointee of Gov. Chris Christie, to demand an explanation of the incident. (Mann/The Wall Street Journal)




Maine Gov. LePage to attend fundraiser with Christie

TRENTON — Maine Gov. Paul LePage is heading to New Jersey to raise money alongside Gov. Chris Christie. (AP)





Stuart Rabner could make history as longest-serving chief justice of N.J. Supreme Court

TRENTON — You don’t see him on TV or lighting fires on social media. But Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the New Jersey Supreme Court is likely to become one of the most influential legal minds of his generation — leading a court known for its groundbreaking decisions and writing authoritative opinions that often become models for states far beyond Jersey’s borders. (Rizzo/The Star-Ledger)




Democratic leaders to hammer at lane closures

FORT LEE, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey and national Democratic Party leaders are marking the anniversary of lane closures near the George Washington Bridge with an event to criticize Gov. Chris Christie. (AP)





Stile: Christie trying to recapture his star power

Bradford Freeman, a California investor and prominent Republican fundraiser, recalled a 2011 business conference packed with “high powered” people buzzing about Chris Christie, the charismatic New Jersey governor and his promise as a future presidential candidate. (Stile/The Bergen Record)




Political Insider: Hudson County’s electoral landscape marred by duds

Alas, for Hudson County the upcoming November Election Day looks like one of the most boring in memory. (Torres/The Jersey Journal)

Morning Digest: September 8th