2017 Gubernatorial Rumbling: the Politics of this Year’s Walk to Washington
It will be hard once again to avoid 2017 gubernatorial politics on the New Jersey Chamber Train’s Walk to Washington on Thursday.
The 13-car train(wreck) will ferry those occupants attached to at least three candidates: Senate President Steve Sweeney, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy.
Sweeney usually doesn’t ride the train. Instead he takes an earlier trip and heartily greets travelers when they arrive at the Wardman Hotel Bar.
But on the ride itself, Murphy and Fulop and the allies of Sweeney will take advantage of three-plus hours’ worth of touching and feeling. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Prieto declines Bramnick’s debate challenge, won’t take part in ‘sideshow’
Acknowledging the gladiator-like challenge to six debates “anytime, anywhere on his home turf” by his GOP counterpart but refusing to heed it, Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-32) said today he will not take part in any “sideshow” Republicans hope to concoct to distract Democrats from their work this election season. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Menendez and Obama, ‘frenemies’ for life? Not so, says the senator
WEEHAWKEN — Google search the names “Bob Menendez” and “Barack Obama” these last few weeks and you’ll be met with a barrage of headlines that suggest the two Washington Democrats are in the midst of some deep, untenable standoff over every issue known to man. On easing diplomatic relations and lifting trade restrictions with Cuba, the ranking senator and lame duck president stand on opposite side of a great “rift.” In debates over Iranian sanctions, Menendez says Obama’s stance comes “straight out of Tehran.” And over the course of their careers, the two have alternated roles of friends and enemies, leading one publication to declare them, finally, “frenemies.” (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Newark student protest against Anderson continues, teachers union offers support
NEWARK – The protest begun on Tuesday night by students protesting the leadership of Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson continued into Wednesday as union officials offered their support for the ongoing protest.
The sit-in protest, organized by the Newark Student Union and assisted by New Jersey Communities United, occupied the eighth floor of the Newark Public Schools headquarters at Cedar Street in downtown Newark on Tuesday night. There are nine students and two community organizers continuing to protest as of Wednesday afternoon, according to protest organizers. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Hudson County officials and lawmakers back bill to ban tourist helicopters from ‘Wild West’ airspace
WEEHAWKEN — Stonewalled in their efforts at the federal level, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and a scrum of Hudson County politicos announced today the latest push to curtail the growth of tourist helicopter traffic along the Hudson River — this time with a bill in Trenton that would seek to ban tourist helicopters at state-licensed aviation facilities. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
N.J. marijuana legalization supporters launch new advocacy group
NEWARK – A new, broad-based advocacy group that seeks to legalize, tax and regulate the sale of marijuana for adults in New Jersey announced its launch on Wednesday, deeming the state’s current policy toward marijuana to be a failure.
Udi Ofer, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey, said that the new advocacy group, called New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR), brings together New Jersey’s public safety, medical, civil rights and criminal justice reform communities for a common purpose. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Will Chris Christie Play to National GOP by Tying Tax Cut for the Wealthy to Road Fixes?
New Jersey became one of the highest-income, wealthiest states by taking advantage of its location in the middle of the world’s largest markets with convenient access to New York. No other state can make the same claim, but location is only a critical advantage if New Jersey improves and modernizes its roads, bridges and public transit networks. And the Transportation Trust Fund, New Jersey’s bank for transportation capital projects, goes belly-up this July with only enough funds to pay off its surging debt. (MacInnes/Huffington Post)
New Jersey Getting $2.6 Million in New Sandy Relief Grants
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators say $2.6 million in new federal Superstorm Sandy relief grants will be used for repair work at a hospital and a police station impacted by the storm.
Robert Menendez and Cory Booker announced the public assistance grants Wednesday. They say the $2,651,275.80 in funding comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. (CBS Philly)
New Jersey Town Cites College’s $219,000 Table as Burden
(Bloomberg) — In the feud between New Jersey’s Kean University and its hometown Union Township, everything is on the table — including the table.
The school is waging a legal battle to expand on land that the town wants for development. Union Mayor Manuel Figueiredo said allowing Kean to take more property off the tax rolls is as offensive to the public as the $219,000 the state university spent last year on a multimedia room anchored by a custom-made, electronics-loaded conference table. (Varghese/Bloomberg)
Bramnick booked for Stress Factory in March
Long known in Trenton as the lawmaker with a penchant for funny business, Assembly Minority Leader-slash-Funniest Lawyer in New Jersey Jon Bramnick (R-21) will bring his statehouse-renowned comedic talent to New Brunswick later this year for a comedy show at the Stress Factory, according to an announcement today from the Republican’s office. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
More than 40 percent of Republicans won’t back Christie for president: poll
WASHINGTON — More than four in 10 Republicans say they won’t consider backing Gov. Chris Christie for their party’s presidential nomination, the worst ranking among potential GOP candidates, according to a new poll. (Salant/NJ Advance Media)
No deal on gas tax
NEWARK — New Jersey’s Democratic legislative leaders had hoped to strike a deal with Republican Gov. Chris Christie on replenishing the state’s Transportation Trust Fund before the governor delivers his next budget proposal on Tuesday. (Friedman/NJ Advance Media)
Sweeney vows to fight Christie veot of Port Authority reform, lays out battle plan
Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Wednesday that he will put Governor Christie’s veto of Port Authority reform legislation up for an override vote “again and again and again and again,” comparing his approach on the issue to the strategy U.S. House Republicans have employed in response to President Obama’s health care law. (Reitmeyer/Bergen Record)