Morning News Digest: February 18th

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Veteran operative Castner takes charge of expanded Gibbons’ Trenton law office

Powerhouse lawyer-lobbying practice Gibbons P.C today announced that William J. Castner, Jr., will serve as the new leader of its Government Affairs Department. In addition, the firm has added four new lawyer-lobbyists to join the existing members of the department. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Veteran operative Castner takes charge of expanded Gibbons’ Trenton law office | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

59% of New Jerseyans say Christie wouldn’t make a good president

As Gov. Chris Christie prepares for a 2016 presidential run in the midst of declining ratings at home, 59 percent of New Jersey voters say he would not make a good president, according to this morning’s Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Just 34 percent believe Christie would do well in the Oval Office.

59% of New Jerseyans say Christie wouldn’t make a good president | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Baraka on Newark’s Triangle Park project: “We need ratables”

NEWARK – Newark Mayor Ras Baraka clarified his view of the future for a project that has stirred debate in recent weeks: Triangle Park.

There has been a more than decade-long effort to build Triangle Park, a park meant to provide a pedestrian link between Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood, Penn Station and the Prudential Center arena and spur downtown development. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Baraka on Newark’s Triangle Park project: “We need ratables” | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Baraka, defiant on Texas ruling halting Obama immigration order, declares Newark “a free zone”

NEWARK – Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, hours after a federal judge in Texas temporarily halted U.S. President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration late Monday night, said that the administration of New Jersey’s largest city would stand by the president’s move.

“We understood that there would be some kind of barriers put in place to try to prevent [Obama] from sheltering some five million undocumented Americans that could benefit from this. I don’t think locally it’s going to slow us down a bit,” said Baraka on Tuesday in comments to the press just before hosting a round table of urban mayors on immigration reform at Essex County College. “We’re going to more forward with our plans to try to bring our undocumented community into safety here. We’re a free zone over here in Newark.” (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Baraka, defiant on Texas ruling halting Obama immigration order, declares Newark “a free zone” | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Steve Sweeney and public labor: Perfect together?

On Thursday, in a packed conference room on the first floor of the statehouse, Trenton’s top Democrat and figure most associated with big labor in the state unveiled his latest legislative endeavor: a new concept to deliver more “patient-centered” healthcare to tens of thousands of New Jersey public sector workers. Clad in dark suit and yellow tie, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) described the concept in his usual characteristically candid and plain-spoken way, calling it a more “personalized” approach to healthcare in the state, like the kind he “had as a young man.” It would “actually improve care, and reduce costs,” for workers and physicians alike. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Sweeney and public labor: Perfect together? | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Human Services Commissioner Velez leaving Christie Administration

Traveling out of state today, Governor Chris Christie announced the departure from his administration of Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez.

First appointed to her post in 2007 by then-Gov. Jon Corzine, Velez continued on Christie in March 2010. She is the longest serving commissioner at the department. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Human Services Commissioner Velez leaving Christie Administration | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

Chris Christie’s No Apology Tour

Chris Christie’s had a terrible February. He fumbled a big foreign tour meant to make him seem more presidential, getting tripped up responding to the latest measles panic and giving an answer that made him seem decidedly unprepared for the national stage. His approval ratings in New Jersey hit an all-time low, and he faced new questions about a federal corruption investigation and his lavish travel tastes (Linhorst/Politico)

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/02/chris-christies-no-apology-tour-115269.html#ixzz3S6J5oL1Y

 

 

Gov. Christie Under Pressure to Fix New Jersey’s Transportation Woes

New Jersey’s roads are crumbling, its bridges are being closed and the state may soon run out of money to fix them.

As Gov. Chris Christie eyes a run for president, he faces a strained budget and a politically tricky transportation challenge back home: Democrats are urging him to agree to an increase in the gasoline tax, one of the lowest in the nation, to fund repairs and new projects.

Raising taxes likely wouldn’t play well for the Republican governor among conservatives nationally or in New Jersey, where polls show people overwhelmingly are against a new tax. (Dawsey/Wall Street Journal)

http://www.wsj.com/articles/gov-christie-under-pressure-to-fix-new-jerseys-transportation-woes-1424214458

 

 

 

 

Morning News Digest: February 18th