EXCLUSIVE: Staking out Chris Christie at Philly’s Union League
PHILADELPHIA — Try getting into the Union League in downtown Philadelphia without a suit and tie — or a six figure salary and family pedigree connecting you to one of America’s founding fathers — and you might as well have shown up in nothing at all. The place is exclusive, in the most literal sense of the word: founded in 1862, the League is one of the oldest “legacy clubs” in the country, a time-honored watering hole for some of the most important and elite members of Pennsylvania’s (and probably beyond) political society. Anthony Drexel, the notable philanthropist and financier, once stalked the halls here — as did, no doubt, too many other famed leaders and lawmakers to name. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
The Expendables: the Hudson County context of Vincent Prieto
In The Expendables, Sylvester Stallone leads a group of guys professionally hung up to dry, a condition just as readily applicable to assembly people in Hudson County.
Unlike other counties where organizations appear to cultivate longer-lasting political brand names – Middlesex, for example – Hudson’s habit of giving mayors free rein to pick their own legislative representatives leads to an interchangeable parts mentality for those oftentimes unwitting souls condemned to Trenton. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Council members criticize mayor after Mahwah meeting meltdown
MAHWAH – Members of the township council spoke out in response to Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet’s critical defense of his decision to try to fire the Bergen County township’s Department of Public Works director, a move that when overturned led to a council meeting meltdown.
A video that emerged from last Thursday’s Mahwah council meeting shows the inflammatory atmosphere following the council’s 6-0 vote to overturn Laforet’s decision to fire Mahwah D.P.W. Director Ed Sinclair because of alleged inappropriate material found on a D.P.W. computer. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
O’Donnell opts out of LD 31 reelection bid
BAYONNE – State Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31), examining the ever-changing mood of Hudson County politics, officially announced today that he is moving in a different direction. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Awaiting Christie’s arrival, paid sick leave advocates protest outside Philly’s Union League
PHILADELPHIA — With Gov. Chris Christie scheduled to appear here just a few hours later, a small scrum of activists and elected officials gathered outside the brick-and-brownstone headquarters of the Union League this morning to protest paid sick leave policies on both sides of the Delaware. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Special Election in Perth Amboy after judge rules voter fraud
A special election will be held for a city council position here after a judge’s ruling on Wednesday found voter fraud occurred during the November 2014 election.(Gannett)
Chris Christie Returns to Town Halls as Polls Show Appeal Sagging
(Bloomberg) — For Chris Christie, all roads to the White House run through New Jersey.
The governor, trailing Jeb Bush and Scott Walker in polls measuring the popularity of potential Republican presidential candidates, has resumed home-state appearances as he seeks to score political victories. Since February, he’s held weekly town-hall meetings, where he’s assailed public-worker benefits and defended his staff’s settlement of an $8.9 billion pollution lawsuit with Exxon Mobil Corp. for $225 million. (Dopp/Bloomberg)
Chris Christie Rails Against Estate Taxes New Jersey Can’t Do Without
(Bloomberg) — Everyone runs into death and taxes. New Jerseyans trundle on toward an afterlife in tax hell.
“I can afford to retire here,” said Susan Barbey, a 60-year-old resident of Ridgewood, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Manhattan. “I can’t afford to die here.” (Young/Bloomberg)
AC Emergency Managers Call for Major Cuts, Diverting Payments to Help Struggling City
The empty boardwalk looked as lifeless this afternoon as the financial report from Atlantic City’s emergency manager indicated: no bankruptcy but Kevin Lavin says, “The city simply cannot stand on its own. … There is no reasonable likelihood that these headwinds will abate at any point in the near future.”
“There’s nothing new there,” said Sen. Jim Whelan. (Flanagan/NJTV)
Christie Reiterates Opposition to Legalized Marijuana at Drug Treatment Center Opening
We’ve heard before that Gov. Chris Christie is against legalizing marijuana.
“This should not be permitted in our society. It sends the wrong message. Every bit of objective data we have tells us that it’s a gateway drug to other drugs,” Christie said.
States like Colorado, he said today, were motivated by the additional tax revenue.
“I have many taxpayers at town hall meetings who will ask me why not legalize marijuana to make the taxes go a little higher? To me that’s blood money,” he said. (Aron/NJTV)
5 Camden schools to get ‘Renaissance’ operators
The Camden School District will convert five schools into “Renaissance” schools, district officials announced Wednesday, a plan that will involve the closing of one building but that they said will preserve the others as neighborhood institutions.
In three of the five schools, the Renaissance provider will serve all grades in their current buildings, and four buildings will undergo significant renovations, some as soon as this year. (Steele/Philadelphia Inquirer)
Bill would let N.J. parents to opt out of tests
Parents might be able to allow their children to opt out of taking standardized tests in New Jersey schools.
The state Assembly on Thursday expects to vote on a bill that would require schools to accommodate those children.
Under the bill, parents would have 14 days before the test is administered to notify the school that their children will not be taking it. The school would be required to provide those students with “educationally appropriate” alternatives in another room. (Associated Press)
No repair in sight for N.J. transportation fund; talks collapse in hunt for revenue
Negotiations to fix New Jersey’s depleted transportation funding system have broken down, the state transportation commissioner said Wednesday. That means any permanent fix — including a possible gas tax increase — probably will not happen this year, elected officials and transportation experts said.
“The likelihood of it being resolved for the moment is not ideal,” said Commissioner Jamie Fox in reference to the upcoming November election when all 80 seats of the state Assembly are on the ballot. The primary filing deadline for that race is Monday. “It’s election time, which makes it a much more difficult thing |to do.” (Maag and Hayes/The Record)
Pulaski Skyway to close on weekends during the spring
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Motorists who use the Pulaski Skyway will need to find alternate routes starting this weekend.
The 83-year-old span will be closed in both directions over the course of eight weekends this spring.
Beginning at 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday, contractors will begin to remove and install floor beams. New deck panels also will be added to the north side. (Associated Press)
POLITICO: Menendez undecided on Loretta Lynch
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is stuck in an awkward spot over Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general, according to a piece in POLITICO.
Facing a Department of Justice indictment, the senator must decide whether to vote for her confirmation to run the Justice Department, even as the department is preparing to charge him with corruption within days.
See the report here. (PolitickerNJ)
Hornik Gears Up-For Re-Election, Meets with Statewide Leaders
Mayor Jon Hornik and Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal huddled up today in Freehold with top aides to Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, former Ambassador and Monmouth County resident Phil Murphy (all prospective gubernatorial candidates) and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) along with over a dozen top state-wide Democratic Party donors and leaders. (PolitickerNJ)
‘I don’t know where you be from, but I be from North Bergen, son’
Four years after a disastrously unhip YouTube ad belly flopped into the public consciousness with the now infamous line “I don’t know where you be from, but I be from North Bergen, son,” incumbent Mayor Nick Sacco opted for a more sedate reelection ad to kick off the campaign season.
This time, Team Sacco opted for grammar.
We hate to participate in a torture exercise but, in the name of politics, here’s the old ad. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Jacobson sets May hearing for round two of pen/ben battle
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson — who presided over the last fiery trial on the issue — has set a May hearing date for round two of the legal battle between New Jersey public labor unions and Gov. Chris Christie’s administration over whether the state must also make a full scheduled payment into an embattled public pension and benefit system for fiscal year 2016. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
‘I run into burning buildings for a living, and the day I felt most vulnerable…’
On the same day that PolitickerNJ ran a piece poking fun at the expendability of assembly people in Hudson County… (Editor/PolitickerNJ)