Mainor opting out of reelection bid, Prieto says (plus everything else you need to know about LD31 hijinks)
TRENTON — Despite allegations from some Hudson County sources that he had been collecting signatures in preparation for an off-the-line challenge in his home 31st legislative district, embattled Assemblyman Charlie Mainor (D-31) will not seek re-election this year, according to Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-32). (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Baraka on future of Saint Michael’s Medical Center: ‘Somebody is going to be upset’
NEWARK – In the wake of a unanimous vote by the Newark City Council to persuade the state to keep Saint Michael’s Medical Center open by selling it, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka faces a conundrum.
The council passed a resolution on Tuesday calling on the state to approve the sale of Saint Michael’s to Prime Healthcare Services, a for-profit firm based in California. The vote follows the release of a report earlier this month by Navigant Consulting that recommended that Saint Michael’s, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and East Orange General Hospital be modified from full-service inpatient hospitals to outpatient emergency and ambulatory care centers. The same report also suggested that the state expand the state-owned University Hospital, also in Newark. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
After judge’s ruling, Diaz calls for resignation of local Democratic Party chair
Following a hard ruling yesterday by a superior court judge invalidating a council election for a single seat and setting up a special election this year, Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz called for the resignation of the local Democratic chair. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Ferriero corruption trial: Prosecution rests, dismissal discussed as defense preps
NEWARK – The prosecution concluded its case in the federal corruption trial of former Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) Chairman Joseph Ferriero on Thursday, followed immediately by a defense motion to dismiss the case for a lack of evidence. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Assembly Democrats press Christie on ‘responsible’ budget process reform
TRENTON — Democratic leaders in the Assembly and a handful of grassroots advocates joined forces today to call on Gov. Chris Christie to pass a package of bills aimed at making more accurate and transparent the state’s budget process — while at the same time slamming the Republican for failing to uphold the promise of “fiscal reform” he made upon entering office in 2011. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Menendez gets support on legal costs; backers of Israel see political overtones to indictment leak
Sen. Bob Menendez, fuming over leaks about a looming corruption indictment, could see a surge of contributions to his legal defense fund because disclosures about a Justice Department probe came while he was having highly visible disputes with the White House.
Several pro-Israel activists said people were motivated by the possibility that anonymously sourced reports of Menendez’s facing criminal charges are linked to the Paramus Democrat’s criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of nuclear talks with Iran and relaxation of restrictions on Cuba. (Jackson/The Record)
N.J. real estate titan and a Manhattan developer preparing bid for bankrupt Revel casino, source says
A billionaire Manhattan developer and one of New Jersey’s most experienced real estate executives are teaming up on a bid for the bankrupt Revel casino in Atlantic City, according to a source with knowledge of the pending offer.
The proposal by New York’s Howard Milstein and Carl Goldberg of New Jersey is expected to be “significantly” larger than the $82 million offer by Palm Beach, Fla., real estate developer Glenn Straub, who will seek approval for the sale by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge within the next two weeks, the source said. (Brennan/The Record)
Obama nominates N.J. man as district court judge
John Michael Vazquez, a former state and federal prosecutor working as a defense attorney at a Roseland law firm, was nominated Thursday by President Obama to be a U.S. District Court judge.
A partner at Critchley, Kinum & Vazquez since 2008, Vazquez worked in the state attorney general’s office from 2006 to 2008, rising to the position of first assistant attorney general. (Jackson/The Record)
Tancredo dumps ‘Stop Chris Christie’ PAC since he’s ‘stopped already’
Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado is all but throwing in the towel on the political action committee he created to stop New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s potential run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 — but only because he believes the governor has no chance of winning. (Frumin/MSNBC)
Assembly passes set of budget reform bills
The set of budget reform bills Democratic leaders held a press conference to raise awareness for passed through the general Assembly moments ago.
The legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-32), Budget Chairman Gary Shaer (D-36) and others, would establish in part a joint executive and legislative advisory board to more “reliably” forecast revenues (A4326). It would also require the governor to provide details for any significant revenue measures in his or her initial budget address (A3311), require a biannual audit of state tax expenditures (A660), and impose new disclosure requirements on the State Economic Development Authority (A939). (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Assembly backs naming Route 15 in Sussex after Senator Littell
The members of the General Assembly this afternoon unanimously voted to designate the Sussex County portion of State Highway Route No. 15 as the “Senator Robert E. Littell Memorial Highway.”
The longest-serving legislator in New Jersey history history, Republican Senator McHose of Sussex died late last year. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Assembly passes Mazzeo’s UEZ bill two days after report says AC in fiscal ‘crisis’
TRENTON — Withe the city’s fiscal situation now “more severe” than ever, according to the emergency manager installed by Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year, the Assembly passed today A3920, a bill that aims to create jobs and spur economic development in the embattled Atlantic City by designating it an Urban Enterprise Zone. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Wisniewski to Somerset Dems: ‘You can’t vote for me… yet’
MANVILLE – He’s not Democratic State Party chairman anymore, but it’s hard to avoid the silver-haired presence of Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) on that well-worn party organization trail come convention time.
“I’m Assemblyman John Wisniewski, and you can’t vote for me… yet,” he told the crowd of Democrats in the Manville VFW Hall last night. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Christie lags in New Hampshire
Republican Gov. Chris Christie might be making inroads among the party’s elites — or so would suggest a conversation PolitickerNJ had with National Republican Committeeman Bob Asher on Wednesday night — but among the primary voters that make up the real currency of presidential races, he looks a little lost. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Sources: North versus South in Dems’ caucus
When Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) asked the Democratic Caucus this afternoon for a gut-check on the PERS/PFRS bills cosponsored by state Senators Brian P. Stack and Nick Sacco, he didn’t exactly receive a hearty endorsement.
In fact, just the opposite. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Somerset Dems back Zwicker and Vella in LD16
MANVILLE – Somerset County Democrats last night nominated their LD16 slate to run against incumbent Assemblyman Jack Ciatterelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon.
Princeton Plasma Physicist Andrew Zwicker of Kingston and South Bound Brook Municipal Court Judge Maureen Vella of Hillsborough (both of whom are pictured above) received the unanimous support of the committee last night in the VFW building. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
NYT: late maneuvering in Menendez case
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) lawyers urged senior Justice Department officials not to bring charges against their client, delaying charges due this week, according to a report in The New York Times. But the government countered.
Read the Times story here. (PolitickerNJ)
Ted Cruz raised more than $1 million for his presidential bid in his first day
Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign had a goal after it officially launched Monday: raise $1 million in a week. (Zezima/The Washington Post)