Morning News Digest: February 23rd

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Winners and Losers

On the way out of Union Station, PolitickerNJ caught the eye of a familiar New Jersey political insider, who looked decidedly irritated as he stood on line amid a crowd of similarly herded hundreds. (PolitickerNJ Editor)

Winners and Losers: the 78th Annual Walk to Washington

 

 

 

Walk to Washington: Bergen Dems leaders quietly storm D.C.

ON THE CHAMBER TRAIN – On the 78th Annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Walk to Washington train ride back to the Garden State, two of the most prominent Bergen County Democrats reclined in the first car of the chartered train after a day and a half of doing anything but resting. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Walk to Washington: Bergen Dems leaders quietly storm D.C. | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

New Jersey reporters bemoan a nationally-focused Chris Christie

WASHINGTON D.C. — Bitter is the taste on the tongue of the New Jersey reporter scorned on the Chris Christie beat these days.

That was the message — or one of them, at least — at this year’s “Walk to Washington” reporter’s roundtable, where a handful of veteran Garden State journalists convened to mull some of their state’s more pressing political issues. Amid talk of a depleted Transportation Trust Fund, an ongoing pension and benefit reform debacle, and an economically-damaged Atlantic City, the focus turned to what is for many the most significant and exciting story to come out of the state in recent years: Gov. Chris Christie. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

New Jersey reporters bemoan a nationally-focused Chris Christie | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Chris Christie’s Role Atop Governors Group Yet to Pay Off

WASHINGTON—For two years, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie crisscrossed the country to help his fellow Republican governors, raising money and campaigning for their election.

And yet the nation’s 31 Republican governors, faced with a wealth of choices in the still-forming presidential field, so far aren’t racing to back Mr. Christie in his anticipated White House campaign. (Epstein and Haddon/Wall Street Journal)

http://www.wsj.com/articles/chris-christies-role-atop-governors-group-yet-to-pay-off-1424651196

 

 

 

Christie Faces Criticism on Out-of-State Travel, Refocuses on New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie is planning a series of town-hall meetings in New Jersey in coming weeks as he faces criticism that he has neglected the state while considering a presidential bid.

The renewed focus on New Jersey—and in a forum that Mr. Christie favors—comes as his approval ratings have dropped back home, and some consultants and donors say his home state record could be one of his biggest challenges. (Dawsey and Haddon/Wall Street Journal)

http://www.wsj.com/articles/christie-faces-criticism-on-out-of-state-travel-refocuses-on-new-jersey-1424482289

 

 

 

Republican Vastine to challenge in LD22

Republican William “Bo” Vastine, a YMCA finance manager from Scotch Plains, is gearing up for a run for the Republican nomination in LD22.

Vastine told PolitickerNJ he made his decision to run in January, prior to the news this past week about incumbent Assemblywoman Linda Stender’s (D-22) husband’s beach house. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Republican Vastine to challenge in LD22 | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Christie’s latest problem: Scott Walker

A prospective presidential candidate with apparent plans to vie for the party nomination in 2016, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to face serious competition as other aspiring Republicans slowly encroach on his home turf. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, for example, has been using these last few weeks to vacuum up support from major Garden State donors still wavering on the brash-imaged incumbent.

Now, as the New York Observer notes in its latest presidential politics piece, Christie’s got another problem: Scott Walker. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Christie’s latest problem: Scott Walker | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Here’s who *didn’t* attend this year’s Walk to Washington

CHAMBER TRAIN — For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s “Walk to Washington”, the annual must-attend networking event for Garden State politicos, there are a few prominent power players who choose to forgo the raucous festivities each year.

This year was no different — if not more surprising for its lack of some of the state’s headier faces. From 2015 electoral politics, to legislation in Trenton, to the slow receding of Chris Christie as a politically relevant force for Republicans in the state, officials this year had a whole host of reasons to attend — or avoid — D.C. this weekend.

With that in mind, here’s a few notable players who didn’t partake in the Chamber’s 78th annual event. (Editor’s note: the list is by no means exhaustive.) (Brush/PoltiickerNJ)

Here’s who *didn’t* attend this year’s Walk to Washington | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Sources: Batista wants to run in LD20

Jorge “George” Batista of Hillside wants to run for the Assembly in District 20.

An unsuccessful 2013 candidate for mayor, Batista is actively looking for support, say source in LD20.

The Union County Democratic Committee is poised to back incumbent Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) and Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley, who is set to get sworn in next week as the new LD20 assemblyman, the successor to Sheriff Joe Cryan.

If Batista runs, he may have to partner with that local political organization otherwise known as the Elizabeth Board of Education. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Sources: Batista wants to run in LD20 | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Christie to hold 128th town hall

Gov. Chris Christie will hold his first town hall in recent months on Wednesday, a day after his scheduled fiscal year 2016 budget address, according to an announcement by the front office today.

It will be Christie’s 128th town hall, and he’s expected to follow up on his proposed budget and reform initiatives for New Jersey, in addition to answering questions from members of the audience, the office said.

The event also comes amid lingering frustrations over the governor’s lack of public availability in recent months. Christie, a Republican presidential hopeful mulling a 2016 campaign for his party’s nomination, has not held a press conference with New Jersey reporters since October.

Details of the event below: (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Christie to hold 128th town hall | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Kempner and Currie host power cocktail hour for Clinton

Close to the Marriott Hotel, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse set the scene last night for a political and fundraising cocktail hour for Hillary Clinton 2016 hosted by MWW boss Michael Kempner and Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie.

Around 30 to 40 legislative leaders, county  party chairs, donors, and all three gubernatorial prospects mingled in the crowd.

Among those sighted at the event, which Clintonworld did not formally sanction, according to a source in attendance: U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1), Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), and Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Kempner and Currie host power cocktail hour for Clinton | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

Morning News Digest: February 23rd