Morning News Digest: December 23rd

Steve Adubato and Governor Chris Christie joke around before the taping of a live, one-hour interview on WNET and NJTV, and also later broadcast on WABC. (Photo: PolitickerNJ)

Steve Adubato and Governor Chris Christie joke around before the taping of a live, one-hour interview on WNET and NJTV, and also later broadcast on WABC. (Photo: PolitickerNJ)

Essex Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley has died

Essex County Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley has died. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Magyar joins Sweeney’s staff as policy and communications director

Mark Magyar is the new director of policy and communications for Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) in the Senate Majority Office. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Behind the scenes at Steve Adubato’s WNET-NJTV interview with Chris Christie

Viewers of the governor’s 1-hour live television interview by Steve Adubato, Jr., saw a humorous, engaged, but very careful chief executive, someone determined not to be goaded into making any news, despite many attempts by a host with whom he clearly shares a special rapport. (Kurson/PolitickerNJ)




Sources: Taliaferro on deck in LD3

Democrats in South Jersey’s third legislative district are close to selecting a replacement for outgoing Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-3) in the legislature’s lower house, according to sources involved in the deliberations. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Christie dings Obama on Cuba, Sony hacks: ‘Typical of this president’

New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie laid into President Barack Obama on a live TV broadcast tonight, continuing his criticism of the administration’s recent decision to ease relations with Cuba by calling the move an “awful deal” — then slamming the top Democrat for not being “assertive” enough in the wake of last week’s computer hacks into Sony Pictures. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Echoing de Blasio, Christie calls for respect in wake of NYPD shootings

Gov. Chris Christie took a page from the book of a prominent New York Democrat when asked for his response to the recent murders of two NYPD officers on Monday. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)




Frisby officially announces LD15 assembly bid

TRENTON — Mercer County Freeholder Samuel T. Frisby announced on Monday that he will be seeking to fill the 15th Legislative District Assembly seat vacated by U.S. Rep.-elect Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12). (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)




Rutgers 2016 Poll of NJ voters: Clinton 49%, Christie 39%

In a 2016 mano-a-mano between Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New Jersey voters continue to give Clinton a double-digit lead, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)




Labor leader Kehoe going to Tonio Burgos

Former President of the Southern New Jersey Building Trades, Jim Kehoe is retiring after 27 years in labor leadership and as business manager with UA Local 322. (PolitickerNJ)




Stile: Unresolved N.J. issues could hurt Christie’s national run

Throughout his time in Trenton as both governor and oft-touted candidate for president, Chris Christie has taken positions that are popular with conservative voters in key primary states but out of step with New Jersey’s moderate mainstream. (Stile/The Bergen Record)




Homeless man fights New Brunswick begging ban

In downtown New Brunswick, a man stops and chats with wheelchair-bound John Fleming and offers him money. (Hill/NJTV)




Lawmakers look for incentives to keep Mercedes in Montvale

With 1,000 employees and more than 40 years at this campus, Mercedes-Benz has become somewhat synonymous with Montvale, New Jersey. News of a potential move has state and local lawmakers scrambling to find incentive packages tempting enough to make them stay. (Vannozzi/NJTV)




Cuba says it might not turn over fugitive cop killer Chesimard

HAVANA — Cuba said Monday that it has a right to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, the clearest sign yet that the communist government has no intention of extraditing America’s most-wanted woman despite the warming of bilateral ties. (Associated Press)





Who had the worst week in Washington? Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)

President Obama shocked the world this past week by announcing that the United States would move toward normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than five decades of embargoes and travel bans. (Cillizza/The Washington Post)

Morning News Digest: December 23rd