Jacobson dismisses lawsuit to overturn Trenton’s paid sick leave law
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson dismissed today a lawsuit between business groups and advocacy groups that would have overturned Trenton’s recently-passed paid sick leave law.
Jacobson heard oral arguments from the plantiffs of the suit, including the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, NJ Chamber of Commerce and NJ Food Council, inside the Mercer County Courthouse today, as activists from NJ Working Families and NJ Citizens Campaign rallied outside. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Paid sick leave issue heats up as advocates rally at courthouse
TRENTON — Activists and advocates of paid sick leave policies rallied on the steps of the Mercer County Courthouse here today to oppose a lawsuit brought by a group of state business organizations aimed at overturning the city’s recently-passed ordinance.
Calling it a “frivolous” lawsuit brought by “deep-pocketed corporate lobby” groups set on undermining the law, members of New Jersey Citizen Action and The New Jersey Working Families Alliance gathered outside to oppose the move, which they said runs counter to the will of voters. Last November, Trenton residents overwhelmingly approved the local law by a margin of 5,308 to 881, effectively providing paid sick days to 13,000 workers. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Jury finds Ferriero guilty
A jury today issued a verdict of guilty to three out of five charges in the corruption case of former Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero.
Guilty of racketeering, wire fraud and bribery-related charges, Ferriero escaped conspiracy to promote bribery and mail fraud charges. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Most Corrupt state? Poll finds New York elbowing aside New Jersey
GOP Presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Chris Christie are tied for fourth place, or at least their states are tied for fourth in today’s Monmouth University Poll.
Now you’d figure New Jersey would come in first place in a poll that tries to identify the most corrupt state.
Parsippany Council Race: Super PAC with Dem ties dives into local GOP fistfight
A super PAC with strong ties to Democrats has dived into a local Republican contest in Parsippany, aligning itself with a longtime incumbent councilman who says he’s baffled by their presence, a reaction his opponent says is hardly acceptable – or believable.
Parsippany’s GOP team of Paul Carifi, Jr., businesswoman Aida Visakay and community leader John Beehler called on veteran Councilman Mike dePierro to denounce the flyer. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Barnes blisters Martin on Senate Budget Committee
Fighting words punctuated this morning’s Senate Budget Committee hearing, with the Exxon Mobil issue adding toxic sparks.
“Your answer was a little out of line,” state Senator Peter Barnes (D-18) barked at Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin.
Barnes wanted to know about the natural resource component as it relates to the proposed $225 million ExxonMobil settlement. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Sweeney will not entertain the idea of running for U.S. Senate
Though he might be a shoe-in for the job, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) says he will not entertain the idea of becoming a U.S. Senator should a seat open up any time soon.
Speaking to PolitickerNJ at an unrelated public appearance yesterday, Sweeney, one of the state’s top Democrats and a frontrunner in the early race for governor, said he would not consider the potentiality of a run for one of New Jersey’s two senate seats, mainly because there isn’t one open and he does not deal in “hypotheticals.” (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Chris Christie vows crackdown on marijuana as president
Watch CNN’s series “High Profits” at 10 p.m. Sunday
(CNN)Chris Christie would “crack down and not permit” legalized marijuana if elected president, he told conservative Iowa radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday.
The pledge from New Jersey’s Republican governor, who is openly teasing a bid for the White House, would be a departure from President Barack Obama, who has made clear that while he doesn’t support full legalization, the Justice Department won’t be getting in the way of the handful of states that have voted to legalize it. (Wolf/CNN)
Chris Christie calls for ‘the right balance’ on gun rights
Chris Christie took a centrist tone on guns Wednesday, calling for the “right balance” between gun control and the Second Amendment.
“We’ve got to make sure we have public safety, but on the other hand we have to protect people’s rights both as sportsmen and hunters and for self protection too, find the right balance,” Christie told a group of New Hampshire voters at Chez Vachon in Manchester, according to New Jersey newspaper The Record. (Lerner/Politico)
Chris Christie’s Straight Talk Plan Hits Its Tax Speed Bump
Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to use straight talk to fight his way back into the 2016 Republican presidential primary has already hit its first snag.
On Tuesday, the New Jersey Republican proposed reducing or cutting Social Security benefits for future retirees who continue to earn money, an idea known as means testing. Under his plan, Social Security checks would be reduced for those who earn more than $80,000 a year in retirement and ended for those who earn more than $200,000. (Miller/TIME)
Chris Christie’s tilt at Social Security
Don Quixote tilted at windmills. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems bent on running for president, even after his reputation took a whack over that traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge. Even more improbably, he wants to campaign on a sweeping proposal to rein in federal entitlement spending on the elderly.
“It is time to tell the truth about what we need to do,” Christie (R) said Tuesday, positioning himself, like other would-be presidents of the past, as the one guy willing to talk straight about the government’s unsustainable finances. It’s got to work one of these years. (Lane/Washington Post)
Moody’s downgrades New Jersey’s general obligation bonds
(Reuters) – Moody’s downgraded New Jersey’s general obligation bonds to A2 from A1 due to a lack of improvement in the state’s weak financial position.
The ratings agency said the outlook for the bonds was negative, reflecting its expectation that New Jersey’s financial and pension position will weaken further. (bit.ly/1JOf7SUhttp://bit.ly/1JOf7SU) (Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Returns Home to Heckles, Praise
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie returned to New Jersey Thursday, where the protestors lined up at a local veterans hall, a heckler yelled at him and the questioners sometimes turned testy.
But Mr. Christie, sandwiching a visit back home between appearances in New Hampshire, was on his best behavior at a local Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, striking a softer tone as he eyes a 2016 run.
“Steve has a legitimate and a serious concern,” the Republican said after a sometimes testy 16-minute exchange with Waldwick resident Steve Panagiotou, whose wife, a kindergarten teacher, protested outside about her pension. (Dawsey/Wall Street Journal)
Migrating warblers offer sweet music, money to Cape May
Bill Hemsley, a retired doctor from San Bernardino, California, and his wife, Joan, were delighted by a warbler on a recent guided walk at the Cape May Meadows.
“That was my first experience seeing the reclusive chartreuse and green-yellow bird,” he said of a pine warbler, among the two-dozen warbler species that will head north through New Jersey this spring. “That was a thrill for us.”
David LaPuma, director of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, calls warblers a “gateway bird” — the colorful, showy species that pique people’s curiosity.
“They’re so flashy. In the spring we get the birds coming back. It’s a big attraction,” he said.
Warblers are a highlight of spring birding in New Jersey, which contributes to the state’s $1.2 billion ecotourism industry. In Cape May alone, ecotourism generated $544 million last year, according to the county’s Tourism Department. (Miller/Press of Atlantic City)
Poll: Majority of New Jersey voters think Bob Menendez should resign
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez should resign, New Jersey voters say in a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
Fifty-two percent of those surveyed say the indicted senator should resign his post, and 54 percent responded that he is not honest or trustworthy. The numbers break down along partisan lines, with more Republicans calling for his departure than any other subset. (Gass/Politico)
Canada connection / More than tourism for South Jersey
South Jersey loves its visitors from Canada, who are a significant part of the tourism market, particularly in Cape May County. Less well known is how much Canadians love the Jersey Fresh crops grown in our region.
From a quarter to a third of local blueberries are exported to the Canadians, who also buy lots of spring greens while their farmland is still largely under snow.
Agricultural products are an important part of the regional economy. In Atlantic County alone, the market value of crops sold in 2012 was $125 million, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. (Press of Atlantic City)
Great Falls national park getting new amphitheater, improved landscaping
PATERSON – The national park at the Great Falls will be getting a new amphitheater along with improved landscaping and other amenities, officials announced on Thursday.
The work, which will be paid for with $829,000 in federal and county funds, would focus on the Overlook Park section, near the McBride Avenue Extension, officials said.
Construction is nearing completion, meanwhile, on a separate project on the north side of the Great Falls in the area known as Mary Ellen Kramer Park, a job that officials say creates a walking path that would take visitors close enough to feel the spray of the waterfall. (Malinconico/Paterson Press)
Impact of Ferriero verdict is seen as different by each party
Reaction to the guilty verdicts in former Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph A. Ferriero’s corruption trial was split along party lines on Thursday.
Republicans said the outcome shows the danger inherent in Democrats’ exercising one-party control over county government.
Democrats distanced themselves from Ferriero, pointing out that the 57-year-old Hackensack lawyer has not been involved with their party since January 2009. (Ensslin/The Record)
Newark City Council backs Clinton for Prez
Newark Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. announced today that he and all eight of his colleagues on the Newark City Council are supporting Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. (PolitickerNJ)
Mejia ‘honored’ to be honored by Obama for advocacy work
NJ Working Families executive director Analilia Mejia, who was one of 12 “Champions of Change” honored by President Barack Obama in Washington today, said she is likewise honored to be recognized for the work she and her coalition have done to advance issues like paid sick leave in the state. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Prez Politics: Chafee wants into the Democratic Primary
Former Rhode Island Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee wants to run for president.
As a Democrat.
A moderate in the U.S. Senate, Chafee was the only Republican senator who voted against the 2002 authorization of the War in Iraq.
2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton backed the war resolution, an issue Barack Obama used against her in beating her for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
See his interview with Larry King here. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Christie at Bass Pro Shop: ‘The Eagles fans are here, baby. I’m thrilled’
After two days retail politicking in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Christie swooped down a beleaguered Atlantic City yesterday for the grand opening of the Bass Pro Shops megastore — where upon he was met with a crowd of Eagles fans heckling (in jest?) the Republican incumbent. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Booker tacks on a digit to his approval rating
New Jersey voters approve of the job U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) is doing 52-20%, according to this morning’s Quinnipiac University Poll.
In January, Booker’s approval/disapproval rating was 51-25%, according to Quinnipiac. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Q-Poll: NJ voters want the U.S. to re-establish ties with Cuba
Embattled U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) condemns the Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize relations with the communist island country, but New Jerseyans side with the President.
By a margin of 64-28%, the voters of New Jersey want the United States to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba, according to a Quinnipiac University poll out this morning.Sixty-percent of Democrats agree with Obama, not Menendez, on the issue. Republicans polled disapprove 57-35%. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)