Baroni and Kelly plead not guilty in Bridgegate case
NEWARK – Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni pleaded not guilty in federal court this morning to a nine-count indictment charging them in the Bridgegate conspiracy case. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Kelly attorney will subpoena ‘anyone necessary’ to prove client’s innocence
NEWARK — Standing side by side after spilling out of a federal courtroom here today, the attorney of former Gov. Chris Christie chief of staff Bridget Kelly said he would “subpoena anyone necessary” to prove his client’s innocence in the face of charges that she conspired to close access lanes at the mouth of the George Washington Bridge in 2013. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
North Bergen: Wainstein lobs voter fraud complaint ahead of May 12 election
NORTH BERGEN — With just over a week before the town’s nonpartisan election, mayoral hopeful Larry Wainstein and his attorney this afternoon accused incumbent Nick Sacco of being party to a “voting fraud scheme” meant to “usurp the voice of North Bergen residents.” (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
West New York mayor’s race: Wiley campaign lambastes Menendez, HCDO support for Roque
WEST NEW YORK – Following a weekend appearance by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) in support of incumbent West New York Mayor Felix Roque, the campaign of Roque’s rival in the May 12 mayoral election, Commissioner Count Wiley, lashed out at the main political force behind Roque: the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO). (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
NJEA backs Holley and Quijano in LD20
Inserting itself into arguably the most competitive Democratic Primary in the state right now, the New Jersey Education Association’s 125-member political action committee today voted to endorse the two incumbents.
“NJEA members and their families take civic engagement very seriously,” said NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer. “We know the importance of supporting and electing pro-public education candidates and the impact they have on our communities and our state.” (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
West New York mayor’s race: Menendez: “If I lived in West New York, I would vote for [Roque]”
WEST NEW YORK – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) might be fighting off federal corruption charges, but he was more than ready to help a fellow Cuban-American politician, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, fight off his challenger, West New York Commissioner Count Wiley, on the campaign trail recently.
“The Mayor has done a tremendous job under difficult circumstances. I congratulate him on his job. If I lived in West New York, I would vote for him, but I don’t, so I can’t,” said Menendez, who now lives in Bergen County, in Spanish at a Saturday rally celebrating Cuban heritage in West New York, ten days before the West New York municipal election. “I know how hard it is to be a mayor. I was a mayor of Union City for six years.” (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Booker on Bridgegate: “All the answers are going to come out”
NEWARK – Days after the legal dominoes began to fall regarding the events surrounding the September 2013 George Washington Bridge access lane closures, also known as the Bridgegate scandal, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) fell back on his legal background when asked for comment.
“The justice system is taking its course, and we should all have faith in that system in this case, and that all the facts and all the answers are going to come out,” said Booker, a graduate of Yale Law School, on Monday. “I know and work closely on a lot of issues with [U.S. Attorney] Paul Fishman, and he’s doing the right thing. He’s prudent, and he’s taking his time.” (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Baroni: ‘I am an innocent man’
NEWARK — Speaking for the first time publicly since being hit with a nine-count indictment last week for his alleged role in the closing of lanes at the George Washington Bridge two years ago, former Port Authority depute executive director Bill Baroni declared himself an “innocent man” outside a federal courthouse here this afternoon.
“For more than a year I have been silenced, and today I finally get to tell my story,” Baroni, who plead not guilty alongside former Gov. Chris Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly in court here today, told reporters after emerging from the hearing. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
U.S. Attorney’s Office: The Indictment of Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the charges, along with Inspector General Michael Nestor of the Port Authority, Office of Inspector General, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, Newark Division.
William E. Baroni Jr., former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, and Bridget Anne Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Christie, were each charged by a federal grand jury in a nine-count indictment unsealed today. David Wildstein, the former director of Interstate Capital Projects at the Port Authority, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to a separate information charging him with two counts of conspiracy for his role in the scheme. (PolitickerNJ)
BRIDGEGATE: Kelly arrives at the federal courthouse in Newark
NEWARK – Bridget Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Governor Chris Christie, moments ago arrived to the federal courthouse in her first appearance since the feds charged her Friday in a 9-count indictment.
Kelly arrived with her attorney Michael Critchley. The pair pulled up to the courthouse, Critchley behind the wheel. They then strode up the length of cameras on their way into the courthouse.
“Good morning,” Critchley told reporters. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
BRIDGEGATE: Baroni arrives at the federal courthouse
NEWARK – Responding to an indictment charging him with conspiracy in the Bridgegate case, Bill Baroni, the former deputy director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, arrived moments ago at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Courthouse.
“Going inside,” said the former 14th District senator from Hamilton when reporters asked him for his status.
Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Christie, face charges by a federal grand jury in a nine-count indictment unsealed Friday. David Wildstein, the former director of Interstate Capital Projects at the Port Authority, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to a separate information charging him with two counts of conspiracy for his role in the alleged scheme. WIlstein said Baroni and Kelly participated in a conspiracy to shut down traffic on the George Washington Bridge to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not supporting the reelection of Gov. Chris Christie. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Yes, Chris Christie is Still Planning on Running for President. Here’s Why.
Officially, Gov. Chris Christie says he’s still mulling whether to run for president. But unofficially an apparatus is being readied to announce a candidacy sometime between Memorial Day weekend and July 4th — a timetable that will be determined by how soon he can wrap up a deal on the next budget with Democrats who control the Legislature. Friday’s news that three former associates have been accused in the Bridgegate affair — David Wildstein pleaded guilty, while Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni will be arraigned today — has not fundamentally altered the governor’s timetable, sources say. There’s several reasons for that. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
‘Bridgegate’ scandal: 2 former allies of Gov. Chris Christie plead not guilty
Two former allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have pleaded not guilty to charges involving an alleged political retribution scheme that closed access lanes of the George Washington Bridge.
Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, Christie’s former top appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operated the bridge, appeared in federal court in Newark on Monday to answer to federal charges that they conspired to close the lanes to punish the governor’s political foes. (Muskal and Mai-Duc/Los Angeles Times)
Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame
From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.
In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge. (Dwyer/New York Times)
Gottheimer in D.C. tonight for CD5 fundraiser
A battalion of Democratic Party bigwigs mobilized tonight in Washington, D.C. for a fundraiser for CD5 hopeful Josh Gottheimer. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
DHS Senior Payroll Clerk indicted
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman today announced the indictment of a former senior payroll clerk for the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) for allegedly using her work computer to generate false insurance cards for herself and three others. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Wainstein biz gets zapped with violation notice
In a sign of increasing intensity in the lead up to the May 12th nonpartisan election, Union City last week zapped North Bergen mayoral candidate Larry Wainstein with an official notice of violation and order to terminate along with a $10,000 fine per week if the business remains in violation. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Report: Bush’s secret NJ offensive
At a get-together with donors in Miami last weekend, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush sat down for a private conversation with Lawrence Bathgate where the former Republican National Committee finance chairman outlined a plan to have a majority of the state’s 16 Republican state senators endorse him, according to a story in POLITICO.
Read the story here. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Former Senator Martha Bark has died
Former state Senator Martha Bark of Burlington has died.
A Republican, Senator Bark represented the 8th District from 1997 to 2008. She also served in the General Assembly from 1995 to 1997. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Booker hosts fundraiser for Spencer at Gibbons
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) this morning hosted a fundraising event for Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-28).
The fundraiser was at the Gibbons Law Firm.
Among those others present: Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones, attorney Bill Castner, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29), Sarah Jones from the office of U.S. Rep. Bill Payne, Jr. (D-10), and Booker Chief of Staff Mo Butler. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
The Corruption of Bipartisanship
Chris Christie’s low-rent Machiavellis: the scheming lunatics behind Bridgegate
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading every single word of the indictments against the former Chris Christie aides responsible for the Bridgegate scandal. Many of the details laid out in the document are already known, but there are some fresh tidbits revealed by the indictment that really drive home the fact that the Christie populated his administration with petty and incompetent sociopaths. (Maloy/Salon)
Carly Fiorina announces presidential bid
(CNN)Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her candidacy for president on Monday, becoming the first declared female candidate to seek the Republican Party’s nomination.(Lee/CNN)
Can Hillary Clinton win over Latino voters?
Cesar Vargas has a message for Hillary Rodham Clinton as she blames Republicans for a broken immigration system and seeks Hispanic support: We’ve heard it all before. (Gearan/The Washington Post)
For Carson and Fiorina, the trick will be to go from spoiler to contender
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former tech executive Carly Fiorina — novice politicians whose attacks on Democrats have made them conservative stars — declared Monday that they were running for president as Republicans. (The Washington Post)
Bridgegate-indicted Bill Baroni leaves Hill Wallack law firm
TRENTON >> The soft landing only lasted a little more than a year. After joining Hill Wallack LLP in March 2014 as an attorney, Bridgegate-indicted Bill Baroni left the Princeton-based law firm, a managing partner announced on Monday. (Foster/The Trentonian)