Morning News Digest: November 20th

At signature AC event, Murphy teams up with Bon Jovi to talk middle class

ATLANTIC CITY – At his signature event of this year’s annual League of Municipalities conference, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany and prospective gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy teamed up with rock star and personal friend Jon Bon Jovi for a discussion on New Jersey’s middle class economy. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




In A.C., Sweeney, Fulop host dueling League of Municipalities parties

ATLANTIC CITY – From Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, two Democratic New Jersey politicians who have dominated the speculation about the 2017 gubernatorial race participated in the staged fun befitting of the New Jersey League of Municipalities conference stage: dueling parties meant to demonstrate statewide power. (Boanmo/PolitickerNJ)




Dem Chairman Stellato’s party shows all roads to Trenton go through Bergen as Fulop, Murphy show up

ATLANTIC CITY – Two members of the potential 2017 Democratic gubernatorial candidate sweepstakes arrived minutes apart at Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato’s League of Municipalities conference party at the Borgata on Wednesday, underscoring the importance of New Jersey’s most populous county in any statewide power scheme. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Next door in Bally’s in the Marlborough Room, Bollwage holds court

ATLANTIC CITY – Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage threw his head back and laughed at the influx of people banging through the double doors on the sixth floor of Bally’s and into the Marlborough Room. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Trio of urban leaders projects northern AA alliance

ATLANTIC CITY – The parking garage looks like an aircraft carrier pile driven into the moon, another one of the absurd architectural mysteries of this embattled gaming city, where stairs through paranoid-inducing circuitries suggest The Parallax View. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Still too early to answer the big question, Murphy says amid A.C. politicking

ATLANTIC CITY – His appearances at select League of Municipality cocktail parties may have the New Jersey political world abuzz this week, but Phil Murphy isn’t budging when it comes to answering the question: will he run for governor? (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




A new regional alliance emerges at the League of Municipalities

ATLANTIC CITY – Central Jersey’s status as a distinct geographic entity may still be a matter of debate, but standing on a stage set at the front of a ballroom of gigantic proportions last night, three leaders of Central Jersey’s constitutive counties sought to put a definitive end to the question of whether it might be considered political one. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Awkward: Fulop and Murphy camps navigate the downstairs pub scene

ATLANTIC CITY – The trick to politics is to make it look like you’re enjoying yourself even when your skin is crawling. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




NJ Attorney General launches separate probe in killing of CEO, wife

New Jersey’s attorney general is conducting his own shadow investigation into the shocking September deaths of a politically connected hospital CEO and his wife, ABC News has learned. (Margolin/ABC News)




Chris Christie’s political confidant and New Jersey pension overseer resigns

As Chris Christie draws closer to a run for president, there’s intensifying scrutiny of donations flowing to his political organizations from executives at financial firms that manage ever-larger slices of New Jersey’s $80 billion state pension system. Now, the Christie political confidant at the center of many of those questions is resigning. (Sirota/International Business Times)




Political Insider: was there a comet over the League of Municipalities convention?

Once, it was recorded in Ancient Rome that a comet augurs the arrival of Caesar (not the casino hotels). Now League of Municipalities convention parties herald possible future governors. (Torres/PolitickerNJ)




Port Authority still charging NJ Transit $1 per year for prime parking lot

NJ Transit is still paying the Port Authority only $1 for valuable land it uses as a commuter parking lot in North Bergen — continuing a controversial deal struck in 2012 that came to exemplify the overlapping public and private interests of former Port Authority Chairman David Samson, who resigned under pressure this year. (Boburg/The Bergen Record)




NJ Senate President Sweeney meets with urban mayors as politicians speculate on Christie’s successor

While Governor Christie gathered with fellow governors and a few possible presidential contenders in balmy Boca Raton, Fla., on Wednesday, lawmakers and officials in the unseasonably arctic downtown of Atlantic City turned their focus to the next legislative session and who might succeed Christie in 2017. (Racioppi/The Bergen Record)




Stile: GOP governors grateful to Christie – to a point

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Governor Christie basked as the fellow panelist praised his largely successful, coast-to-coast campaign for Republican governors this year. (Stile/The Bergen Record)




Pallone gains top House committee post

A close election for a leadership post on a powerful committee became an outlet for House Democrats to vent unhappiness with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. (Jackson/The Bergen Record)




N.J. mayors vent anger at legislative leaders at League of Municipalities

ATLANTIC CITY — New Jersey’s legislative leaders got an earful today from angry local officials during an event at the State League of Municipalities Conference. (Friedman/NJ Advance Media for




Chris Christie hedges on Obama immigration plan

Boca Raton, Florida (CNN) — Chris Christie — a self-styled truth teller with a penchant for political combat — was notably cautious Wednesday when pressed on President Barack Obama’s plan to issue immigration executive orders. (Hamby)




Chris Christie is back

If I fix this, you have to start the story with it,” Chris Christie told me, yanking the string of the venetian blind in the diner window. We were eating a late lunch at a place called Howley’s, next to a motor lodge on South Dixie Highway, in West Palm Beach. It was the last Sunday in October, nine days before the midterm elections, and the 4 p.m. twilight was beaming directly into the eyes of the governor of New Jersey. Christie’s communications director, Maria Comella, had already tried and failed to lower the blinds, inadvertently bunching them up even more. I had given it a shot, too. Finally, Christie rose and maneuvered himself across the booth to make his own attempt. Walking with a slight limp, which he occasionally does after sitting for a while, Christie grabbed the strings, one in each hand, tugged a few times and grunted. Then, after a final jerk, the blinds fell splendidly into place. (Leibovich/The New York Times)




Chris Christie: government shutdown talk ‘hysteria’

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Republican governors are steamed about President Barack Obama’s proposed executive action to change immigration enforcement, but they’re not clamoring to shut down the government over it. (Sherman/Politico)




Driving in New Jersey is becoming positively Orwellian, by George

It’s been 30 years since the 1984 that George Orwell warned us about. But in retrospect that was something of a golden era, at least for drivers. (Mulshine/The Star-Ledger)




Chris Christie makes time for private meetings with GOP donors amid packed Florida schedule

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Gov. Chris Christie’s packed schedule at the annual Republican Governors Association conference has included private meetings with wealthy GOP donors. (Arco/NJ Advance Media for




At League of Municipalities convention, potential governors work the late shift

With 125 workshops and panels, the annual League of Municipalities Convention offers important learning opportunities. But for networking and power-broking, it’s the parties and receptions that matter most, especially if you’re thinking of a run for statewide office. (Cruz/NJTV)




Casino workers demonstrate over Taj Mahal closure

The deal to revive Revel casino has apparently just gone south. Press of Atlantic City is reporting that prospective buyer Brookfield is backing out. (NJTV)




Assembly panel to debate Transportation Trust Fund

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — State lawmakers plan to convene once again to discuss a solution to New Jersey’s pending transportation trust fund budget gap. Morning News Digest: November 20th