Morning News Digest: July 20th



‘Reward friends and punish enemies’: New Jersey gives tax break to longtime Christie donor Murray Kushner

Chris Christie provided a $40 million package of tax incentives to a firm founded by real estate mogul Murray Kushner, who has delivered more than $125,000 to Christie’s campaigns and to state Republicans since 2009. Ethics experts question the subsidy deal for Kushner’s firm. Craig Holman, an ethics expert at the watchdog group Public Citizen, said the tax credit for KRE Group is emblematic of Christie’s “history of using his office to reward friends and punish enemies.” Christie’s relationship with Kushner dates to the governor’s time as New Jersey’s U.S. attorney under President George W. Bush. Back then, Christie prosecuted Murray Kushner’s brother Charles, using documents pried from the Kushner siblings’ bitter, sealed legal feud for control of their family’s real estate company. Meanwhile, after his brother went to prison, Murray Kushner would begin pumping money into the New Jersey Republican Party as Christie ran for governor. Murray Kushner does not appear to have received the same legal scrutiny as Charles did while Christie was New Jersey’s chief federal prosecutor, even though accusations of improprieties were lobbed in both directions in the family case, according to an IBTimes review of court records. (Sirota-Perez/International Business Times)

Gubernatorial Sketches: Checking in with those running for governor in 2017, Part 1

Miles Davis had Sketches of Spain and we, with apologies, have Gubernatorial Sketches in honor of Wayne (DeAngelo). Political junkies look for this updated list with the same rabid expectation that Parthenon Huxley fans await the maestro’s next album. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

PolitickerNJ: The Movie

Where’s Jerry Orbach when you need him? Between him, Telly Savalas and Ray Liotta you could complete half of the cast of New Jersey politics. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

After Clashing with Rice in Trenton, Sweeney Takes a Victory Lap in Newark

NEWARK – First it was a post-budget Kim Guadagno appearing with Mayor Ras Baraka and today it was Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), the surreality enhanced by the presences of state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) and state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28), long members of local dueling political factions, all discussing higher education funding while encumbered with the reality of a developing 2017 gubernatorial contest. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

After Garrett Flap, GOP Leader Bramnick Donates $5K to Traier’s LD34 Campaign

In the aftermath of a news report concerning alleged homophobic comments made by U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5), Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) contributed $5,000 today to the LD34 campaign of Passaic County GOP Chairman John Traier. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Todd Christie Will Headline GOP Fundraiser for Assembly Candidates in August

First brother Todd Christie will raise money for Republican Assembly candidates at a $2,500-per head event at Baltusrol Golf Course in Springfield on August 11th. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Which Powerful New Jersey Democrat had the Worst Week?

It wasn’t a good news-week for three powerful New Jersey democrats. Whose lousy week “wins?” Decide for yourselves! (Lassiter/PolitickerNJ)

Bergen Dems Hound the GOP over Garrett Comments

Bergen County Democratic officials fire-blanketed U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5), condemning him for his anti-gay views while calling on the Bergen County Republican Organization, their elected officials and slate of candidates to join them in denouncing Garrett’s Statements.  In response the chairman of the Bergen County Republican Committee directed their attention to President Barack Obama’s Iran deal. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Menendez ‘Will Not Be Silenced’ on Iran

RIDGEWOOD – As the Senate prepares for Thursday’s hearings on the Iran deal, Senator Bob Menendez says he will “keep asking those tough questions” despite President Barack Obama’s statements on July 14 that he will veto any attempt to derail the deal. (Alfaro/PolitickerNJ)

Menendez Unveils New Transportation Plan

RIDGEWOOD – Senator Bob Menendez was joined by local union leaders and workers at the foot of the Ridgewood train station today to unveil what he called a plan to “address New Jersey’s and the nation’s transit infrastructure needs.” (Alfaro/PolitickerNJ)

Stile: Trump Complicates Christie’s Campaign

In April, Chris Christie described his friend Donald Trump as a “showman” who “really loves to entertain people.” (Stile/The Bergen Record)

Political Insider: Meet the Future ‘All Powerful’ Mayor of Hudson County

It is 2019. Former Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop has left and past North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco is content with the unofficial logo of de facto boss emeritus. Yet there is no leadership vacancy within the Hudson County Democratic Organization. (Torres/The Jersey Journal)

Wyckoff Democratic rival assails Garrett stance on gay rights

The likely 2016 Democratic challenger to Republican Rep. Scott Garrett said Saturday that the congressman was “way out of touch” with contemporary values when it came to issues involving gay rights. (Seasly/The Bergen Record)

Chris Christie tries to Trump Donald on immigration

He was going along good for a while there. (Mulshine/NJ Advance Media for

How Green is Hillary Clinton?

When Hillary Clinton kick-started her second presidential campaign on June 13 at New York’s Roosevelt Island, environmentalists were all ears—and so were environmental reporters. (Geman/National Journal)

Dodd-Frank at 5: Landmark Law or Unfinished Business?

It is perhaps no surprise that former senator Chris Dodd believes the financial reform law that bears his name is, as it turns 5-years-old, doing what it was meant to do. (Hennelly/CBS MoneyWatch)

Morning News Digest: July 20th