Morning News Digest: February 20th

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NJ Senators want state investigation into Sandy insurance claims process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today sent a letter to Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Jay Hoffman demanding that his office consider a formal investigation into potential fraud by Write Your Own (WYO) insurance companies in an effort to reduce claims payouts to Sandy victims.

NJ Senators want state investigation into Sandy insurance claims process | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

The talk under the bar throb, in the cab and in the room

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Barreling past the White House on the way to Capital Grille, someone made a positive comment about President Barack Obama and the cab nearly drove off the road.

“I am from Sierra Leone, and Obama has done nothing, nothing, to help the people,” shouted the cabbie under an Irish cap, facing his passengers in the back seat and very nearly climbing through the plastic partition to close the distance as his cab accelerated east on H Street. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

The talk under the bar throb, in the cab and in the room | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Walk to Washington: Eustace, Gusciora draw crowd to Chamber Train after-party fundraiser at D.C. gay bar

WASHINGTON, D.C. – State Assemblymen Tim Eustace (D-38) and Reed Gusciora (D-15), New Jersey’s two openly gay legislators, packed the room for their Walk to Washington train ride after-party on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, demonstrating political power and LGBT pride all at once. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Walk to Washington: Eustace, Gusciora draw crowd to Chamber Train after-party fundraiser at D.C. gay bar | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

At keynote address, Christie vows no more tax hikes on middle class — or mirrors in statehouse

WASHINGTON D.C. — During his keynote address here at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s 78th annual Walk to Washington dinner, Gov. Chris Christie once again assured detractors and supporters alike that he’s committed to making the state a “better, more affordable” place to live and work. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

At keynote address, Christie vows no more tax hikes on middle class | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Fulop on TTF solution: ‘I will defer to my legislator’

WASHINGTON D.C. — Posed the same question his potential gubernatorial challenger mused over just hours before, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop offered a slightly different take on the ongoing deliberations in Trenton to fix the state’s broken transportation infrastructure system and replenish a depleted Transportation Trust Fund. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Fulop on TTF solution: ‘I will defer to my legislator’ | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

In D.C., Sweeney holds court at the Marriott

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The swivel doors to the Marriott opened and inside, on the patterned carpet near the bar, stood the massive shouldered presence of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3). (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

In D.C., Sweeney holds court at the Marriott | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Malloy, Paterson welcome N.J. Dems to D.C., slam Christie

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Minutes after stepping off the 78th Annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Walk to Washington train ride, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee hosted a party where party loyalists stepped to the bar while two prominent Democrats excoriated New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Malloy, Paterson welcome N.J. Dems to D.C., slam Christie | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

This year’s ‘Walk to Washington’ setting the stage for 2015, Chamber CEO says

Read more at WASHINGTON, D.C. — With feet now planted safely on the ground and riders fleeing to their bars of choice all across Capitol Hill, the host and head organizer of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Walk to Washington” said this year’s event promises to be like no other.

Tom Bracken, President and CEO of the NJ Chamber of Commerce, said this year’s turnout rivals that of other years. But he said that the composition of the turnout is what makes the 78th annual event stand out. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

This year’s ‘Walk to Washington’ setting the stage for 2015, Chamber CEO says | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

The Landing: Chamber Train arrives in D.C.

People – government, business and politics types – who have long labored to project a certain seriousness and soberness, began more markedly slurring their speech around Baltimore.

The chartered Amtrak train at times lurched violently on the way toward Washington, D.C,, and this made the presence of those happily imbibing – and simultaneously moving – travelers slightly hazardous.

The train appeared drunkenly packed. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

The Landing: Chamber Train arrives in D.C. | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

The Walk to Washington: Politicking and prognosticating amidst the bar cars

ON THE CHAMBER TRAIN – Hundreds of New Jersey’s top political players emerged from the arctic cold in New Jersey on Thursday into the streamlined warm cocoon of the 78th Annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Walk to Washington train ride, where, warmed by bar cars and sealed in by the train’s steel, close-contact politics heated up. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

The Walk to Washington: Politicking and prognosticating amidst the bar cars | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Critics G.O.P. Say Chris Christie Is in a ‘Bubble’

He does not return phone calls. He does not ask for support. He arrives late for meetings. And he acts as if he has all the time in the world.

The complaints have piled up for weeks, dismaying many longtime supporters of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and sending others into the arms of his rivals for the presidential nomination, according to interviews with more than two dozen Republican donors and strategists. (Haberman and Confessore/The New York Times)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/us/some-chris-christie-supporters-now-turn-their-backs.html?_r=0

 

 

 

Team Christie brushes off reports Jeb Bush is scooping up all the donors

Washington (CNN)Gov. Chris Christie’s advisers say there are plenty of other fish in the sea, after two reports published Thursday night showed troubling signs for the New Jersey Republican’s sway with donors and supporters ahead of his potential presidential campaign.

The New York Times and The Washington Post report that some GOP heavyweights in Christie’s orbit — like New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a former Christie mentor — are starting to show some support for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. (KIllough/CNN)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/19/politics/chris-christie-2016-fundraising/

 

 

 

Chris Christie Touts New Jersey Accomplishments as Budget Crunch Looms

(Bloomberg) — During a speech to New Jersey lawmakers and business leaders in Washington on Thursday night,

Chris Christie recounted balancing five budgets without tax increases and persuading Democrats to support a pension overhaul.

Yet retirement costs and taxes still present a quagmire as the governor prepares to submit his budget to the legislature next week. New Jersey’s pension costs will more than double in fiscal 2016 after Christie cut the state’s contribution to close revenue shortfalls. Without tax increases, he has few options for replenishing the roadwork fund and covering rising expenses such as debt service. (Dopp/Bloomberg)

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-02-20/christie-touts-new-jersey-accomplishments-as-budget-crunch-looms

 

 

 

Watch: Jon Bramnick wants everyone back on the Chamber Train until ‘we solve New Jersey’s problems’

CHAMBER TRAIN — Politicos on this year’s “Walk to Washington”  boarded the Amtrak train full ready for three-plus hours of politicking, politicizing, and public schmoozing. That’s what this annual event is about, after all: it gives insiders and operatives from across the ideological spectrum a once-a-year opportunity to network with like-minded political animals and some of the state’s top lawmakers, all in the privacy of a steel tube hurtling down the tracks at 80 mph.

What they might not have expected? A rollicking comedy hour, courtesy of Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21). (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Watch: Jon Bramnick wants everyone back on the Chamber Train until ‘we solve New Jersey’s problems’ | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Assembly Dems smack Christie’s office over speech ‘RSVP’ rules — again

Jumping to correct the front office for telling members of the press they need to RSVP — again — to gain access to the Assembly chamber during Gov. Chris Christie’s upcoming budget address, Democrats blasted out a somewhat passive-aggressively-worded statement today contending they need do no such thing. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Assembly Dems smack Christie’s office over speech ‘RSVP’ — again | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Plasma physicist Zwicker to run in LD16

Princeton University plasma physicist Andrew Zwicker will run for a 16th District Assembly seat.

Zwicker last year ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in CD12 but impressed party leaders, including Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer (pictured, above, in New Brunswick, boarding the NJ Chamber train with Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17)).

Zwicker will challenge incumbent Republicans Assembly Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Plasma physicist Zwicker to run in LD16 | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

Morning News Digest: February 20th