PolitickerNJ News Digest: August 13th

Chris Christie (l) and John Kasich (r) are far apart on stage but close as friends and in style. That's why the Kasich surge in New Hampshire might prove problematic for Christie.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Chris Christie (l) and John Kasich (r) are far apart on stage but close as friends and in style. That’s why the Kasich surge in New Hampshire might prove problematic for Christie. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Fistfight breaks out at AFL-CIO event
Sources close to the campaign of Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2) and Atlantic County Freeholder Colin Bell say that a fight broke out at an event sponsored by the The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations after four iron workers threatened Mazzeo on his way into the event.
(JT Aregood, Politickernj.com)
Mazzeo and Bell see no political motivation for fist-fight at AFL-CIO event
Following news Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2) was surrounded and threatened by several members of the local iron worker’s union at an American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations event in Atlantic City, Mazzeo and running mate Freeholder Colin Bell say that the outburst was not politically motivated.
(JT Aregood, Politickernj.com)
Supreme Court changes DUI protocol
New Jersey lawyers might have some new defenses against drunk driving cases.
Courts may see a growing number of issues involving the rules of evidence as a result of a recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court – but there was no choice.
In Missouri v. McNeely (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the State of Missouri’s argument that exigent circumstances necessarily exist when an officer has probable cause to believe a person has been driving under the influence. This is because BAC evidence is inherently evanescent. Instead, the justices suggested that obtaining a warrant should be the default protocol.
(Donald Scarinci, Politickernj.com)
Lesniak and Elizabeth Board of Education square off over mail ballots
State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) says that his ballot reform bill, signed into law on Monday by Governor Chris Christie and co-sponsored by Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2), is a way to protect elections from ballot fraud or abuse. Members of the Elizabeth Board of Education, however, see the law as a direct challenge to their authority on the school board and an effort by Lesniak to take control of the board.
(Alyana Alfaro, Politickernj.com)
The brutal aftermath of Brick for the GOP: Toth was seen as Republican rising star
Brick was supposed to be competitive this year, but when Republican Dan Toth removed himself from contention to fight a charge of criminal sexual misconduct with a minor, the GOP found itself faced with a new challenge: how to recover (again) from a collective state of shock before being able to make a game-face next move.
(Max Pizarro, Politickernj.com)
City hall to the U.S. Capitol: The collision course of law enforcement and politics
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) faces indictment on charges that he accepted bribes in exchange for political favors, but his allies persist in the belief that the outspoken Menendez is merely a victim of “selective prosecution.” In the face of others shaking their heads over Menendez’s alleged misdeeds, they see this case as one in a long line indicative of the politicization of law enforcement.
(Alyana Alfaro, Politickernj.com)
Criminal record expungement, worker’s comp, Holocaust survivor bills go before Senate
Thursday will be session day at the state house, and several notable bills are on the docket.
A206 – Criminal records expungement – Would allow for automatic expungement for qualifying offenders after seven years rather than ten. The bill would apply to those who have served out the terms of their sentence, and excludes major felonies such as homicide, kidnapping, arson and others. The bill would also deny automatic expungement to those convicted while serving in public office in New Jersey.
(JT Aregood, Politickernj.com)
CWA workers take to the streets in Camden
Communications Workers of America (CWA) members today mobilized in Camden behind City Hall, where members of CWA Local 1014 (city workers) and Local 1084 (Camden Board of Social Services) called for fair contracts.
(Max Pizarro, Politickernj.com)
Congressional hopeful Alex Law courts Millennial vote
24-year-old Alex Law, who in 2016 will attempt a run against Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1), released a video today announcing his intention to court millennial voters in New Jersey. Law is the only Democrat running for office to publicly endorse presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who has seen considerable support in South Jersey.
(JT Aregood, Politickernj.com)
McGreevey responds to Prisoner Reentry facility issue
After community outrage forced former Governor Jim McGreevey  to scrap plans for a community reentry center he had been spearheading at Sacred Heart in Jersey City, the Governor has said he “understands” concerns.
Alyana Alfaro, Politickernj.com)
More N.J. public employee unions join lawsuit against Christie over pay freeze
The state’s largest state workers union and three others have joined a lawsuit against the Christie administration over its decision to freeze wages for state employees.
(Samantha Marcus, NJ.com)
N.J. officials praise $8M, bipartisan decision to fund vets helpline
Veterans who pick up the phone at the Rutgers-based Vets4Warrior’s hotline will continue to be able to answer the call.
(Michelle Caffrey, NJ.com)
Newark leaders look to build support for new Million Man March
Two decades ago, a group of more than 1,500 hopped off a convoy of charter buses to gather at Newark’s Saint James AME Church, fresh off an experience that had given new momentum to the country’s civil rights movement.
(Dan Ivers, NJ.com)
Ex-police chief: I was ‘corruptly prosecuted’ by Bergen prosecutors
Weeks after an appellate tribunal overturned his conviction on official misconduct and insurance fraud, ex-Hackensack police Chief Charles “Ken” Zisa says the recent decision shows he was “corruptly prosecuted” by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
(Justin Zaremba, NJ.com)
Transgender bill Christie vetoed went ‘beyond the pale,’ guv says
Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday defended his decision to veto a bill  that would have made it easier for transgender New Jerseyans to amend their birth certificates, arguing some things “just go beyond the pale.”
(Matt Arco, NJ.com)
Rand Paul campaign borrows Christie’s ‘telling it like it is’ 2016 slogan
It appears Gov. Chris Christie isn’t the only person who thinks there’s appetite among voters for a White House candidate who “tells it like it is.”
(Matt Arco, NJ.com)
Baraka says ending One Newark ‘the only answer’ to city’s school issues
Despite an impending transition of the city’s schools back to local control and what appears to be an improved relationship with officials at the state-run district, Mayor Ras Baraka is not backing down from criticisms of their controversial “One Newark” reorganization plan.
(Dan Ivers, NJ.com)
Poll: Should N.J.’s small businesses accommodate new moms to pump their breast milk?
Under a story about a New Jersey mom who was fired from her job as a receptionist with Hampton Inn Bordentown, NJ.com users renewed a debate about whether small businesses should accommodate nursing mothers.
(Cristina Rojas, NJ.com)
Christie hammers Jeb Bush on Iraq war, anti-tax pledge
Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday hammered former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for comments the presidential rival recently made about the war in Iraq.
(Matt Arco, NJ.com)
Ex-mayor’s name stripped from Marlboro
The name of Marlboro’s disgraced former mayor, Matthew Scannepieco, will be stripped from township property.
(Karen Yi, Asbury Park Press)
Lawsuit threatens Long Branch’s West End
In a city where politics can turn into a bare-knuckle brawl and legal fees pile up, the focus has turned to the West End, where a lawsuit is threatening the peace in this quaint-village like section.
(Dan Radel, Asbury Park Press)
Former Bogota mayor Tito Jackson charged with shoplifting in Hackensack
Tito Jackson, the former Bogota mayor, was charged with shoplifting after police said he left a supermarket in Hackensack with more than $400 in items he did not pay for, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.
(Abbot Koloff, The Record)
Ex-Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa lashes out
Ken Zisa on Wednesday said that a recent appeals court ruling that overturned his 2012 criminal conviction has, by law, restored him as Hackensack’s police chief even as he awaits a possible retrial on one remaining charge of official misconduct.
(Todd South and Peter Sampson, The Record)
Judge: Prosecutors don’t have to disclose some classified materials to Menendez lawyers
Federal prosecutors trying a corruption case against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez do not have to disclose certain classified evidence materials to the senator’s legal defense team, a judge has ruled.
(Salvador Rizzo, The Record)
Where’s New Jersey’s energy master plan going?
Should New Jersey’s blueprint for energy include more solar arrays or get offshore windfarms built? Should it aim to lower electricity prices, which are 10th highest in the nation?
(Brian Ianieri, The Press of Atlantic City)
Who signed Mazzeo’s name, asks Atlantic County GOP chair
Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis is demanding to know whether his counterpart, county Democratic Chairman James Schroeder, was the staffer who signed Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo’s name on a resolution and then whited out the signature.
(Christian Hetrick, The Press of Atlantic City)
Christie no longer sure about birthright citizenship
Republican primaries can do funny things to politicians. It wasn’t too long ago that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), for example, supported comprehensive immigration and boasted about his support from Garden State’s Latino community.
(Steve Benen, MSNBC)
Chris Christie’s fearmongering argument against privacy
One of the most telling moments in last week’s Republican presidential debate came when moderator Megyn Kelly asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to defend his position that Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator, should be held responsible for the next terrorist attack on Americans because he opposes the National Security Agency’s indiscriminate collection of our telephone records. Christie bragged about prosecuting terrorists, repeatedly invoked 9/11, but never answered the question.
(Jacob Sullum, Reason.com)
Chris Christie signs Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge vowing to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes,” the group said Wednesday.
(David Sherfinski, The Washington Times)
PolitickerNJ News Digest: August 13th