At Christie town hall meeting, Exxon settlement debate oozes in the background
HANOVER TOWNSHIP – At his 132nd town hall meeting, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke about familiar themes, such as his $33.8 billion state budget proposal and plans to further overhaul the state’s pension and benefit system. But while Christie did not mention it by name, another key issue loomed just under the surface: the state’s proposed settlement with Exxon Mobil regarding pollution at several New Jersey sites. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
‘We need solutions’: Sweeney and Mazzeo excoriate AC management report
The emergency management team appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to oversee Atlantic City’s beleaguered economy and finances released their first report today — where upon it was received by at least two South Jersey legislators with lukewarm feeling. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
With first report out, emergency manager says AC crisis ‘more severe’ than anticipated
The man Gov. Chris Christie appointed to oversee Atlantic City’s beleaguered economy and finances said today that the situation is “actually a lot more severe” than he first thought.
Appointed as emergency manager of the struggling seaside city by Gov. Christie in January, Kevin Lavin, a corporate finance lawyer, told reporters on a conference call today that the city is in a deeper economic bind than he had predicated when he went to work in the city 60 days ago. He said the city is in a full-blown financial “crisis”, facing a budget shortfall of $101 million dollars this year alone. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Steinhauer: Unions ‘fully committed’ to forcing Christie to fund pensions
TRENTON — The president of the state’s largest teachers union said today that he’s “fully committed” to holding Gov. Chris Christie to his word when it comes to funding an embattled public pension and benefits system — even while the governor himself continues to brandish unprecedented consensus between the union and his administration on the issue. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Munoz to receive Millicent Fenwick Public Service Award
The Somerset County Federation of Republican Women (SCFRW) has selected Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F.
Muñoz as the recipient of its 23nd Annual Millicent Fenwick Award for Outstanding Public Service.
The prestigious award is presented each year to an individual who, likethe late Fenwick, epitomizes distinguished public service, and serves as a role model for women. (PolitickerNJ)
Mahwah mayor stands by DPW decision in wake of explosive council meeting
MAHWAH – Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet stood by a controversial decision to move to terminate the Bergen County township’s Department of Public Works director, days after the official was reinstated during an explosive township council meeting. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Kean: Keady doesn’t care about Belmar as much as his own notoriety
In response to a challenge by Hurricane Sandy activist James Keady, Assemblyman Sean Kean (R-30) said he doesn’t always agree with Governor Chris Christie and, in fact, objected to the state’s failure to declare a state of emergency in response to a 2010 snow storm.
“I said at the time publicly that Chris Christie and [Senate President] Steve Sweeney could have done a better job with the snowstorm,” said Kean. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Says He Would Consider Revisiting State Gun Laws
WHIPPANY, N.J.—Gov. Chris Christie said he would consider revisiting New Jersey’s strict gun laws if he had a Republican-led legislature.
In response to a question about his support for the Second Amendment, the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate said that New Jersey’s Democrat-led Legislature has sent him only bills that further restrict these rights, many of which he has vetoed.
“Send me a Republican legislature. And with a Republican legislature you’ll have a governor who will respect, appropriately, the rights of law-abiding citizens to be able to protect ourselves,” Mr. Christie said about the Second Amendment when asked a town hall meeting in this Morris County township. (Haddon/Wall Street Journal)
Town Fear Merge of Local and State Pensions
A marathon session. More than 80 people stepped up, mostly to ask the Assembly Budget Committee for a larger — or, at least, not a smaller — slice of the proposed $33.8 billion budget pie. Looming over everything — how to fuel a Transportation Trust Fund that’s running on empty, and make full payments into a state pension system that’s running out of money. (Flanagan/NJTV)
Questions Surround EDA Business Tax Breaks
By most accounts, a $118 million tax break to move four miles down the road is a pretty good deal. Even if that road leads to downtown Camden. Subaru’s U.S. headquarters took the offer. So did a handful of other major corporations in various EDA tax credit programs.
In 2014, the city of Camden received $630 million in future tax breaks for development projects. And those incentives are being called into question. (Vannozzi/NJTV)
Cherry Hill mayor to run again
CHERRY HILL – Mayor Chuck Cahn said Tuesday he will seek a second term as the township’s top executive.
Cahn will run with council members Brian Bauerle, Melinda Kane and Sara Lipsett. All are Democrats. (Walsh/Courier Post)
Stockton: Planned Showboat campus at ‘stalemate’
ATLANTIC CITY – Stockton University said Tuesday its plans for an Atlantic City campus are at a “stalemate” and could be dropped if it can’t resolve a dispute with a neighboring casino.
Stockton purchased the former Showboat Atlantic City in December for $18 million, vowing to transform the casino-hotel into an “island campus” with more than 800 rooms for student housing. The Galloway-based school had said the expansion would take place by fall 2015.
But Stockton President Herman Saatkamp said the Trump Taj Mahal is seeking to enforce a deed covenant that says the Showboat site can only be used as a casino-hotel. (Walsh/Courier Post)
Christie decision on presidential run may take months
With one Republican already formally running for president and another about to announce he will run, Governor Christie is now saying he’ll decide whether to enter the contest in the “next three months or so.”
That extends the time frame for his presidential decision by several months, which could offer some advantages to Christie, once seen as a top-tier candidate but now trailing in polls nationally and losing favorability at home.
Chief among the reasons for Christie’s delay would be getting the state’s fiscal house in order amid lagging revenue and ballooning state pension payments – as well as possibly wrapping up the federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. (Hayes/The Record)
U.S. high court to hear challenge to rule that may affect N.J. air quality
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in a case that will affect the future of New Jersey’s chronically poor air quality and polluted lakes and rivers.
The case involves a challenge by large power companies and more than a dozen Republican-led states against President Obama’s plan to make the nation’s power plants cut emissions of mercury, arsenic and other toxic substances. (O’Neill/The Record)
Date set for New Jersey Pension Showdown
A county judge in New Jersey late Monday set the calendar for a lawsuit centered on whether Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed budget contributes enough for the state’s pensions.
Mary Jacobson, a superior court judge in Mercer County, said in a filing that the state and the more than dozen union litigants must submit their briefings and responses by next month. Oral arguments for the case are set for May 12. (Martin and Dawsey/Wall Street Journal)
Atlantic City bankruptcy ‘inevitable’, source says
Nearly two months after he installed them as overseers of the embattled seaside city’s economy and finances, Gov. Chris Christie’s emergency management team released its initial findings on Atlantic City this afternoon. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Silver Strategies Communications lands four Pollies
Veteran Bergen County Democratic Party operative Adam Silverstein’s Silver Strategies Communications won four Pollie Awards in New Orleans over the weekend.
Silverstein won a Silver Award in the overall television campaign category for his four TV ads for the James Tedesco for Bergen County Executive ads; (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Townsquare Media Owner defends 101.5 FM host’s borrowing of Corvette
Alex Bekett, executive vice president of Townsquare Media, issued a response to a question about Lester Glenn Auto Group’s loaning of a Corvette sports car to Eric Scott after Gov. Chris Christie dangled the topic on air.
“Eric Scott was offered free use of a 2015 Corvette Stingray by Ask The Governor sponsor Lester Glenn Auto Group from March 17, 2015 – March 24, 2015 as a result of an unsolicited humorous comment made by Governor Christie on February’s award winning monthly Ask the Governor program on New Jersey 101.5,” Berkett said.
“Neither New Jersey 101.5 owner Townsquare Media, nor Mr. Scott, paid for use of the automobile,” he added. “The car belongs to Lester Glenn Auto Group. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)