Winners and Losers: Week of Sept. 8th

WINNERS Ray Lesniak Governor Chris Christie this week reversed himself on sports wagering, acknowledging the good sense of a bill


Ray Lesniak

Governor Chris Christie this week reversed himself on sports wagering, acknowledging the good sense of a bill the veteran 20th District state senator had previously seen vetoed by Christie.

Ralph Caputo

The 28th District Democrat, chair of the Assembly Gaming Committee, sponsored the same sports wagering bill in the assembly that Lesniak backed in the senate.

Aimee Belgard

The CD3 candidate picked up veteran operative Mike Muller to serve as communications director. Muller has a built-in interest in seeing Belgard succeed in a tough election; his wife is a candidate for township committee in Mount Laurel, one of the most important towns in the Congressional district.

Bill Layton and Nick Menas

The consultant and attorney for MGM – tossed out of the state four years ago – helped their client win approval by the Casino Control Commission this week to build in Atlantic City. This is volatile given the conditions on the ground and many look askance at any positive outcomes right now in the South Jersey seaside gaming playground, but what happened Wednesday night shows at least a sign of life.

Cory Booker

Granted, unless the incumbent U.S. Senator crushes Jeff Bell by 50 points, observers will find a way to quibble with his political performance. But two polls released this week showed him leading his Republican challenger by 13 points in a year in which President Barack Obama is upside down in New Jersey.

The Baltimore Ravens

The team released its star running back after the public saw the infamous video of Ray Rice punching his girlfriend. Then the team beat up the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 Thursday night. “If you’re made of the right thing, I think adversity can bring you together,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in USA Today. “And our guys are made of the right stuff.”



Chris Christie

What a remarkable week for this governor as he prepares for formal entry into the 2016 presidential contest. He showed Wonder Woman-like bracelet finesse by blocking the Bridgegate lightning bolts chucked his way by Debbie Wasserman Schultz (see below). He also brought in his old frienemy Mitt Romney, who basked in the adulation of an East Brunswick crowd while helping New Jersey celebrate the governor’s birthday and buck up the State GOP’s depleted coffers. MGM notwithstanding, Atlantic City’s continuing floundering might even up the score for Christie this week and put him in the neutral column, but then there’s that downgrade of the state’s credit rating. The International Business Times this week noted Standard & Poor’s downgrade as “a significant blow to Gov. Chris Christie.”

James McClain

The Atlantic County prosecutor came under a heavy battery of talk show circuit criticism for engineering the pretrial intervention program wrist slap for former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice. A video came out this week showing Rice punching his fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator.

Ray Rice

The star running back for the Ravens – and former Scarlet Knight – tried to knock his fiancee’s block off in an elevator, and consequently justly found himself vivisected from his job in the National Football League.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

The national Democrat’s charge of the light brigade bounced off Christie like rubber bullets on the anniversary of the George Washington Bridge scandal. As Wasserman Schultz competed with screaming cliff hawks to be heard, Christie tried to assume the pose of judicious ruler at the head of a table in a belly-up Atlantic City.

Louis Ciardi

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor today this week announced the grand jury indictment of the Toms River man for allegedly attempting to defraud his homeowner’s insurance company by submitting false information that would have enabled him to receive approximately $80,000.

Jim Whelan

The veteran state senator from the 20th District – generally acknowledged in South Jersey circles as one of Atlantic City’s best mayor’s of the modern era, with a knack for simply telling it like it is – finds himself genuinely depressed and dismayed over the condition of his city as it grinds through the losses of at least three casinos this month.

Barack Obama

Most experts applauded the President’s ISIS speech delivered Wednesday night, but he’s upside down in New Jersey, according to a poll released this week by Stockton.

Winners and Losers: Week of Sept. 8th