Kennedy gets Union Dems line for LD 22 Assembly seat to replace Stender
PLAINFIELD – After a back room meeting on Wednesday night at Giovanna’s restaurant in Plainfield, former Rahway Mayor Jim Kennedy got the majority of the votes of the seven Democratic municipal chairs who decided who would get the Union County Democratic line to replace state Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-22) in her soon-to-be-vacated seat in the Legislature.
Tonight’s 4-3 vote in favor of Kennedy concluded at least one part of the turmoil generated by events tied to Stender that began almost two weeks ago. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Democratic leaders said to have found a suitable replacement for Garcia in LD33
They say it’s all but certain: Hoboken, the tony city of New Jersey’s Gold Coast, will maintain its representation in Trenton this year.
Political observers asked themselves if it could have turned out otherwise after it was uncovered that Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33), the city’s current legislative representation, was likely to get booted from the line in his home district. The news led to fierce speculation over who might be selected as his replacement, and some wondered whether LD33’s overwhelmingly Democratic but sometimes politically-fractured landscape might prevent its two de facto power brokers — Union City Mayor and state Senator Brian Stack and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer — from finding common ground. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Christie, at town hall meeting in Bergen, defends budget proposal
FAIR LAWN – Eight days after he unveiled his $33.8 billion state budget proposal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie defended his plan at the 129th town hall meeting held during his administration, saying other fiscal alternatives are considerably worse. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
NJ senators plan lawsuit to block $250M pollution settlement from Exxon
State lawmakers are trying to block a reported pennies-on-the-dollar settlement with Exxon Mobil and get answers as to why Governor Christie’s administration reached that deal after a decade of litigation. (Racioppi/The Bergen Record)
New Newark police precinct officially opens
Commute will be difficult today as snow falls, Christie declares state of emergency
It’s going to be a rough morning commute for North Jersey drivers today. (Dazio, Sobko/The Bergen Record)
Illinois governor says NJ is ‘going down the drain’
NEWARK – The Republican governor of Illinois has some harsh words for Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who campaigned hard for his election last year.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says New Jersey “is lost.” He said during an Illinois Farm Bureau conference last week his state has the highest property taxes in America after New Jersey. He says he doesn’t want to compete with New Jersey on anything — especially that.
He says the situation in New Jersey is a disaster. He says: “They’re going down the drain, and they ain’t turning it around.” (Associated Press)
Former state senator settles with ELEC for $100k on corruption charges
Former state Sen. Joseph Coniglio has agreed to settle a lawsuit with the state elections commission over his allegedly illegal use of campaign funds to pay his legal bills in 2009, according to a report by the Election Law Enforcement Commission today.
The settlement, dated Feb. 19, notes that Coniglio admitted no wrongdoing but agreed pay the state $100,000. $30,000 of the settlement will go to ELEC, while a part of the remaining $70,000 will go to paying state attorneys’ fees and half of the bill of retired Superior Court Judge Thomas Olivieri, who mediated the case. Anything left over will go to the United Way of Bergen County, according to a court order released along with the settlement. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Linden youth organization leader charged with child porn possession
A Linden man who was a leader in a boys youth organization and a religious education teacher was charged today with possessing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Gregory J. Aker, 45, is charged by complaint with one count of possessing child pornography. He is currently in state custody and is scheduled to appear in Newark federal court on March 12, 2015 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk. (PolitickerNJ)
Assembly to hold hearing on Christie’s Exxon settlement
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman John McKeon (D-27) announced today plans to convene a hearing on Gov. Chris Christie’s controversial decision to settle an $8.9 billion lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corporation for just $250 million.
“If what’s been reported is accurate, then this is an egregiously irresponsible decision that raises many, many questions and concerns,” Prieto said in a statement today. “The public health of our residents and our environment are priorities, especially in areas long subject to pollution and misuse. That’s why this settlement would be difficult to comprehend. Taxpayers deserve a public discussion as to how such a decision could be made. The Assembly intends to give it to them.” (Brush/PolitickerNJ)