Winners and Losers: Week of February 2nd

davesam

WINNERS

Jon Bramnick

In spite of an ice storm and a badly blundering Gov. Chris Christie, the Assembly Minority Leader managed to fill up the airport hanger-sized ballroom at the Borgata with fellow Republicans at his successful Atlantic City convention on Monday.

Jay Webber

In advance of the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth on February 6th, the Young America’s Foundation announced the 26th District Assemblyman’s naming to the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors of Young America’s Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving and protecting President Reagan’s Ranch in Santa Barbara, California.

Grace Spencer

Comments by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones – and an outright endorsement by state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) – indicate that the veteran LD29 Assemblywoman will likely not be the target in a bloody primary hatched by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka-backed supporters.

Eliana Pintor Marin

Spencer’s running mate. See above. It’s not exactly the same situation as Spencer’s, but the endorsement of the LD29 assemblywoman by veteran renegade state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) – a close ally of Baraka – speaks volumes.

Cosmo Cirillo

Long a behind the scenes force to be reckoned with, the Hudson County Democratic operative and confidant to Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) became the youngest commissioner in West New York history when he assumed the oath of office this week at age 27.

LOSERS

Chris Christie

What a disaster. There was the measles comment and the backlash. There was the underlying irritation by members of his own party over his absence. Then the story about his administration under a new investigation – and then a piece about former Port Authority Chairman David Samson’s travel records under investigation. A very bad week for this governor.

David Samson

A federal subpoena issued last month appears geared toward finding out more about the flight routes undertaken by the former chairman of the port. This line from Bergen Record reporter Shaun Boburg’s investigative report is particularly arresting: “The route provided non-stop service between Newark and Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina — about 50 miles from a home where Samson often spent weekends with his wife. United halted the non-stop route on April 1 of last year, just three days after Samson resigned under a cloud.”

Chris Smith

The 4th District congressman fell under a hail of criticism after saying he did “not construe homosexual rights as human rights” at a Wednesday House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa hearing. The chastising obviously included Democrats – but also a battery of Republicans. In a letter “calling into question” the congressman’s stance on the matter, the Board of Directors of Equality GOP NJ said Smith’s comments stand “completely outside the recognized global human rights framework,” and demanded he “look inwardly and revisit his recent remarks and his current line of thinking.”

Jamie Fox

We’re not saying he did anything wrong, but the Bergen Record’s story throws into question the very reason why Fox joined Christie’s team to begin with, coming on board as the new commissioner of the Department of Transportation amid questions about why Christie would want a Democrat on the team as he heads into a GOP Primary for president. From Boburg’s piece: “Besides Samson’s personal travel records, the subpoena also demands information about votes Samson took while chairman and any communications he had with United and its former lobbyist, Jamie Fox, a close friend of Samson’s who has since become Governor Christie’s transportation commissioner.” This is hardly the press Fox needs as he handles a highly sensitive Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) backroom negotiation.

Jeff Giertz

New Jersey newcomer Giertz just accepted arguably the most professionally unstable – given the record of past occupants of the position – job in the business: communications director for U.S. Senator Cory Booker. All in good fun, Jeff. Here’s to wishing you a New Jersey-style good luck in your new position, which we hope goes great.

Winners and Losers: Week of February 2nd