PolitickerNJ News Digest: August 27th

Former Assemblywoman Ruben Ramos formally kicks off his Ward 4 campaign last night in his Hoboken backyard.

Former Assemblyman Ruben Ramos formally kicks off his Ward 4 campaign last night in his Hoboken backyard. Photo Courtesy of Facebook.

It’s Thursday in New Jersey, where a political meltdown continues to have repercussions and an infamous case of political payback is changing the way things are done at the Port Authority.

PolitickerNJ Opinion: Step Down from Your Council Presidency, Zach Chester At-Large Trenton Councilwoman Phyllis Holly-Ward is right. Zach Chester should step down from his position as Trenton Council President following his meltdown last Thursday night.
PolitickerNJ Editor, Politickernj Read more

Port Authority Now Subject to OPRA The New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) now applies to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The measure is the first post “Bridgegate” Port Authority reform to make it into law. While efforts to improve transparency have been in the works for several years, the ongoing “Bridgegate” scandal spurred the legislative action. A series of bills intended to reform the Port Authority received nearly unanimous approval from lawmakers in both states.
Donald Scarinci, Politickernj Read more

Christie Files Direct Appointments Governor Chris Christie has filed the following direct appointments with the Secretary of State’s Office Alyana
Alfaro, Politickernj Read more

The Stakes for South Jersey, 2015: a Primer on This Cycle’s Competitive Districts Incumbent Republican Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi will be running alongside Cumberland County Freeholder Jim Sauro against his Democratic counterpart Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak and candidate Bruce Land.
JT Aregood, politickernj Read more

LD1 Assembly Candidates: Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants a Mistake Following the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ decision to officially urge the legislature to pass bills A4425 and S2925, which would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, incumbent Assemblymen Sam Fiocchi and Bob Andrzejczak are saying the resolution is a mistake.
JT Aregood, Politickernj Read more

Cumberland County Recommends Allowing Driver’s Licenses for the Undocumented The Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders has passed an official resolution urging the legislature to pass bills A4425 and S2925, which would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. The vote saw bipartisan support on the board, and comes after testimony from local undocumented families, who say that their livelihoods depend on being able to drive.
JT Aregood, Politickernj Read more

Fight of the Week: Ray Lesniak vs. Chris Christie This week, the Superior Court upheld a ruling that would force ExxonMobil to pay $225 million to the state for environmental damages caused by the corporation’s oil refineries in Bayonne in Linden. The Christie administration is lauding this as a victory, claiming that the corporation originally insisted they owed nothing and this deal was the first time they agreed to contribute a significant sum. Others, like state Senator Ray Lesniak, believe that the ruling is unfair to N.J. residents and want the corporation to shell out significantly more. Around $8.75 billion more.
Alyana Alfaro, Politickernj Read more

Chris Christie can walk and chew gum on campaign trail, but not lead well When confronted with a question about spending so much time out of state, Gov. Chris Christie dismissed the veiled criticism, quipping “I can walk and chew gum at the same time.” Gov. Christie has spent 55 percent of the time travelling this year, mostly in pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination. And, there’s every indication that the walking and chewing will accelerate as the Iowa caucuses and the primary election in New Hampshire draw closer.
Carl Golden, Star-Ledger Read more

Lawmaker sees opening for appeal of N.J. $225M Exxon ruling While a New Jersey judge approved the state’s $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil, he expressed concern over delayed cleanup at a polluted creek, which a state lawmaker says could open up a route to appeal the decision.
Michael Catalini and Josh Cornfield, The Record Read more

Tardy more than 100 times, N.J. teacher can still keep job An arbitrator used scathing language to describe the conduct of a public school teacher who has been late to work several dozen times in the last two years but also rejected the district’s attempt to fire him, according to a ruling in a tenure hearing reached earlier this month.
Paul Milo, NJ.com Read more

Hunterdon to send prisoners to Somerset County jail under 2-year contract Prisoners awaiting trial in Hunterdon County will now be housed at the Somerset County jail starting next week under a two-year contract announced Wednesday by officials in both counties.
PC Robinson, NJ.com Read more

Looking to trim deficit, Newark puts hundreds of unassigned teachers back to work Hundreds of city teachers who had been languishing without assignments have been placed back into classrooms as school officials continue to explore way to close a significant budget deficit.
Dan Ivers, NJ.com Read more

In Jersey City, real-estate development for one embankment, court battle for another On 10th Street, LeFrak is constructing a six-story residential building that will add 163 homes to the popular Hamilton Park neighborhood. The building’s design is not unusual, but its precise location is: about 12 feet above the ground, on top of a stone embankment formerly used by railroad cars ferrying passengers in and out of the Bergen Arches.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Activists gather in Newark to urge Booker to support Iran deal A group of activists delivered a petition of 15,000 signatures to urge Sen. Cory Booker Wednesday to support a controversial agreement that would end Iran’s nuclear program.
Dan Ivers, NJ.com Read more

NJ taxes favor new employers over old In New Jersey, it pays to be new. The Garden State’s new employers have access to generous credits that ease their tax burdens. But they leave long-standing employers saddled with some of the nation’s highest taxes, a report released this week found.
Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press Read more

Go away! 5 things to know about Jackson ‘no-knock’ laws Much to the delight of fed-up homeowners, sweeping changes to the township’s “no-knock” ordinance were adopted Tuesday night and will soon become law.
Mike Davis, Asbury Park Press Read more

Lawyers argue for release of documents in fatal shooting by police on Rutherford-Lyndhurst border Lawyers for the Attorney General’s office and North Jersey Media Group argued Wednesday about whether the names of police officers involved in a fatal shooting last September should be disclosed.
Allison Pries, The Record Read more

N.J. Supreme Court ruling gives 3 young immigrants chance to seek legal status Young people living in New Jersey who entered the United States illegally as minors have the right to apply for a federal amnesty program geared toward those under the age of 21 who were battered or abandoned in their home countries, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
Salvador Rizzo and Monsy Alvarado, The Record Read more

Former Rep. Rothman of Englewood announces support of Iran nuclear deal Former Rep. Steve Rothman of Englewood has joined 10 other former House and Senate members, all Jewish Democrats, in supporting the nuclear agreement with Iran reached by the United States and other world powers.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Morris freeholders finalizing details of jail takeover The Morris County freeholders plan to finalize at their Wednesday meeting last details of their Sept. 1 takeover of the 545-bed county jail from Sheriff Edward V. Rochford.
Peggy Wright, The Daily Record Read more

New Jersey radio host Pinky Kravitz retires after 59 years A longtime New Jersey radio broadcaster and tireless Atlantic City booster is retiring after 59 years on the air. Longport Media says 88-year-old Pinky Kravitz has not done a live broadcast since he had heart surgery in May.
Wayne Parry, The Associated Press Read more 

Ralphiel Mack, former Trenton mayor’s brother, headed to halfway house A co-conspirator in the bribery scheme that brought down former Mayor Tony Mack appears to be nearing a release back into society. The ex-mayor’s younger brother, Ralphiel Mack, is en route to a New Jersey halfway house, his attorney Robert Haney said Wednesday.
David Foster, The Trentonian Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: August 27th