The first annual Ray Durkin Roundtable kicks off with politics-heavy entree
NEWARK – In typical Jersey composite fashion, they pushed the tables together in a Taste of Portugal and paid homage to a son of Ireland, the late Ray Durkin, a Democratic State Party Chairman who died last year and left a legacy of both dry-witted hilarious humor and had-nosed winning political strategy.
Find out where the parade is and jump in front of it, Durkin told his acolytes. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Suspended between indictments and in search of a place called trust
Two big city New Jersey mayors sat at a bar in Washington, D.C. on the annual Chamber of Commerce trip a few years ago and considered the question thrown their way by PolitickerNJ. (PolitickerNJ Editor)
At N.H. town hall, Christie flashes familiar fire, yet charms crow d
EXETER, N.H. – During his second town hall meeting in New Hampshire this week, New Jersey Governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie engaged in some robust give-and-take exchanges with crowd members while staying the course toward a possible White House bid.
Known for his contentious responses to New Jersey residents’ questions during his more than 100 town hall meetings back in the Garden State, Christie faced off against a packed crowd of more than 100 people jammed inside of Shooters Sports Pub in Exeter, New Hampshire, some of whom seemed less than receptive to his message. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Schaer slams Christie over credit rating, while O’Scanlon say Dems playing ‘politics
Republicans and Democrats on the Assembly Budget Committee seem largely in agreement over whether the state’s latest credit downgrading is bad for the economy, and even what motivated it — but when it comes to dishing out the blame, opinions diverge predictably. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
At N.H. GOP conference, Christie slams Obama, answers questions about policy and personality
NASHUA, N.H. – Speaking at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit on Friday, New Jersey Governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie talked about topics that he has brought to the forefront during his visit to the key primary state, as well as issues that followed him from home. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Christie defends policies in reaction to New Jersey’s latest credit rating downgrade
MANCHESTER, N.H. – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reacted after Moody’s Investor Service downgraded New Jersey’s credit rating on Thursday with a view that the rating agency had essentially concurred with his own conclusions.
“My reaction is that I’m glad that Moody’s agrees with me,” said Christie, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, as he left the “Made in New Hampshire” Expo in downtown Manchester on Friday morning. “If you look at [the Moody’s report], what it says is that if we fix the pension problem, the problem would be fixed.” (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Christie Warned State GOP That Filing Would Reveal Hefty Bill for Private Jets
As the Star-Ledger reported this morning, the NJGOP spent nearly a quarter million dollars on private jets in January, “accounting for half of the money it spent in the last three months,” according to ELEC reports. PolitickerNJ can now report that Gov. Christie was sufficiently worried about this eyebrow-raising figure that he warned the GOP chairmen that the number was coming. (Sanders/PolitickerNJ)
Another top ILA official sentenced as part of ‘Operation Terminal’ investigation
A former top official of the International Longshoremen’s Association — one of three indicted in an investigation into criminal activities at the Port of New York and New Jersey — was sentenced to prison on charges that he participated in a scheme to extort money from dock workers by demanding “tribute” for better jobs and wages, Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced today.
Nunzio LaGrasso, 64, of Florham Park – the former secretary-treasurer of ILA Local #1478 and former vice president of the Atlantic Coast District of all ILA locals – was sentenced today to six years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Robert J. Gilson in Morris County, the AG’s office said. He pleaded guilty on Jan. 23 to a second-degree charge of conspiracy to commit commercial bribery and money laundering. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
DACC beats ARVC in first quarter fundraising
With legislative races across the state beginning in earnest, the Democrats Assembly Campaign Committee out-raised its Republican counterpart in the first quarter of this year’s election season, according to campaign finance reports released today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Sweeney dings Christie on credit downgrade: Administration still ‘doesn’t get the message’
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) said the state “has to do better” after Moody’s Investor Service downgraded New Jersey’s credit rating on Thursday. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Love him or hate him, Christie makes waves on N.H. trip
BEDFORD, N.H. and MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sitting over breakfast on Thursday in the Red Arrow Diner in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, local resident Dave Willis liked the taste he got of Chris Christie as the New Jersey governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate visited the state this week. But he was unsure if Christie would ultimately be picked by voters from the Republican primary candidate menu. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Chris Christie’s Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low in New Jersey
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approval rating has fallen to an all-time low as he prepares for a likely presidential campaign, according to a Quinnipiac University poll published Monday. (Elkin/Bloomberg)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: A Presidential Candidate-in-Waiting
MANCHESTER, N.H.—He kissed babies at a pizza place, attacked his potential Republican rivals and shook hands down a line of those gathered for free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
After months of questions about whether sagging poll numbers and a pending federal probe would abort his possible presidential bid, Gov. Chris Christie started looking like a candidate. And he brought a bit of Jersey to the first-in-the-nation state while doing it. (Haddon/Wall Street Journal)
First in the Nation Forum: Chris Christie
Best Applause Line: Many to choose from, but “I didn’t run for governor of New Jersey to be elected prom king” got the most love.
Crickets: None. The crowd was engaged throughout. (Haberman/The New York Times)
Clinton trying to recapture that old New Hampshire magic
WASHINGTON (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton will try to recapture the magic of her come-from-behind victory in the 2008 New Hampshire primary as she returns to the state that gave her first presidential campaign a second wind.
Clinton again arrives in New Hampshire as the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination. This time, she faces little opposition. Nevertheless, her campaign is determined to show early-state voters that Clinton is not taking that position for granted. (Lerer/Associated Press)
New Jersey grapples with how, whether to regulate Uber, Lyft
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft could be driven out of New Jersey if a bill lawmakers are considering becomes law.
That’s at least what the transportation network companies faced with potential new regulations say. Lawmakers, unionized taxicab drivers and other supporters of the legislation argue the bill promotes public safety. (Catalini/Associated Press)
Crime down across New Jersey in ’13
The rates of crimes like murder, rape and robbery dropped in Ocean and Monmouth counties from 2012 to 2013, according to a report released Friday on data from 2013 by the New Jersey State Police.
The overall crime rate for the state in 2013 was the lowest in five years, with 21.8 crimes for every 1,000 residents. Violent crime dropped by 1 percent and nonviolent crime dropped 8 percent from 2012 to 2013. No police officers were killed in the line of duty; 2,163 were assaulted on the job.
Here are some of the highlights: (Ford/Asbury Park Press)
$50M upgrade part of Tropicana’s turnaround in Atlantic City
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Eight years ago, Atlantic City’s Tropicana casino was hanging by a thread.
Its former owner cut staff to the bone and let the sprawling complex deteriorate so badly that New Jersey gambling regulators stripped it of its casino license. (Parry/Associated Press)
LD20 challengers pull good turnout at Pines fundraiser
Read more at Those among the 708 people who attended Tony Monteiro’s and Giuliano Farina’s LD20 fundraiser at the Pines in Edison noted good turnout by those allies of the political operation otherwise known as the Elizabeth Board of Education. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
In LD31, Alston’s courtship of Murphy well underway
Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy has a fan in Hudson County if he wants one: LD31 Assembly candidate Bruce Alston, who’s challenging the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) line backed by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.
Fulop, of course, is an incipient 2017 candidate for governor. So is Murphy. As long as Fulop – mayor of the biggest city in Hudson – runs for governor, Murpy can expect not to compete for the support of the HCDO. The question is whether he intends to play now to pickpocket support where he can, or decides simply to leave Hudson alone rather than antagonize. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
GOP sources: Christie and a U.S. Senate self-appointment option
There is increasing vocalized speculation within the New Jersey Republican Party about the possibility of Gov. Chris Christie leaving open a self-appointment to a United States Senate seat in the event that the seat becomes open. U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) faces a 14-count indictment and, according to veteran criminal defense attorney Joe Hayden, a “fighting chance” at trial. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Bramnick reissues debate challenge — this time targeting Greenwald
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21), following up on a call he made earlier this year, reissued his challenge to debate “anytime, anywhere” the chamber’s Democratic leaders today — this time targeting Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6). (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
The Pizza Connection: Christie faces N.J. versus N.H. pizza question
MANCHESTER, N.H. – During a critical trip to New Hampshire that could shape the fate of his potential 2016 Republican presidential bid, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has faced a flurry of questions from residents and reporters. But in a state where many campaigns have gone off the tracks, Christie dodged a cuisine-based derailment.
New Jersey prides itself on being the homeland of some of America’s best pizza. Dedicated devotees of certain cherished pizzerias will allow no disrespect for their favorite spots. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)