PolitickerNJ News Digest: Sept. 2nd

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Good morning, it’s Wednesday in New Jerrsey, where politics is still primarily a male preserve.

Women in Politics Say They Are Still Not on Equal Ground
In New Jersey, only one congressperson out of 12 is female, 11 state senators out of 40 are female and there are 25 assemblywomen in the Assembly’s 80 seats. In the state’s history, only one woman has served as governor. At the municipal level, numbers are equally low, with many counties counting only one woman among mayoral ranks.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Lopatcong Municipal Clerk Vindicated by Investigation into Harassment
An independent investigation by the firm Holland and Knight has found in favor of Lopatcong Township Municipal Clerk Margaret Dilts in her complaint against Lopatcong Township Mayor Tom McKay. Dilts made the complaint in response to comments she claimed McKay made to Chief Financial Officer Lorraine Rossetti and Tax Assessor Kathy Degan which implied that Dilts is a lesbian and in a sexual relationship with Kathy Devos, Chairperson of the Township’s Rent Leveling Board.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Russomanno to Hahn: ‘You Made a Rookie Mistake’
Photos posted on news sites and social media sites showing Edison’s new Democratic Chairman Keith Hahn giving a thumbs-up for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are very disturbing to me.
Anthony Russomanno, PolitickerNJ Read more

CPA Admits Defrauding NJ Religious Center
A California CPA today admitted abusing his positions at a worship center in New Jersey and a non-profit in California to steal more than $4 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Democratic Chairman and Republican County Exec Butt Heads Over PILOT
Atlantic County Democratic Committee Chairman Jim Schroeder is firing back at county Republicans, who have recently been challenging Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo’s (D-2) payment in lieu of taxes bill for Atlantic City casinos because of the burden it could place on county tax coffers. Schroeder is countering that the counties’ budgets have in fact grown as ratables have declined, and believes the PILOT will not reverse that trend.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

LoBiondo Says He Will Run in 2016
US Representative Frank LoBiondo (R-2) made an appearance at Atlantic City’s 5th annual Atlantic City Salutes America’s Armed Forces Parade Monday evening, joining Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian in the twilight march across the boardwalk. After the parade, LoBiondo talked reelection, the Iran deal, and Governor Christie’s 2016 presidential run.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Auth Wants NJ Congressional Delegation to Vote No on Iran Deal
Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-39) will introduce an Assembly resolution calling on members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to oppose the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Congress is scheduled to vote on the agreement later this month. While U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) stoutly opposes the agreement, his colleague, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), has yet to issue a stand.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

COLA’s for Firefighters Pension in New Jersey – a contractual right/state obligation
The State of New Jersey entered into a contract with each firefighter on the day they were hired. As part of that employment contract, firefighters were promised a specified pension benefit after a career of service. For that retirement benefit, in addition to their service, firefighters were required to contribute a portion of their pay to fund the promised retirement benefits. The state, likewise, was committed to pay their portion of the cost of those retirement benefits.
Dominick Marino, PolitickerNJ Read more

Monroe Mayoral Candidate Under Scrutiny for Campaign Contributions
The Monroe Township Democratic Organization is facing scrutiny from opponents in Middlesex County for a perceived “failure to adequately report contributions” the group has made to Monroe Council President Gerald Tamburro’s mayoral campaign.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Lesniak Calls on Commission to Study Violence to Release Findings
In light of the recent surge in gun violence in New Jersey and across the nation, Senator Raymond Lesniak today called on the New Jersey Study Commission on Violence to report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature on ways to address the growing problem of violence in New Jersey.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

New Candidates Will Shake Up Hoboken Ward Races
Two new developments are redrawing the lines that have delineated Hoboken’s upcoming ward races. In Ward 2, Beth Mason’s departure is creating a power vacuum to fill her place. In Ward 3, Michael Russo is no longer running uncontested, potentially making it difficult for him to support his allies in other wards.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Former Clinton Speechwriter Intends to Run for Governor in ’17
Clinton speechwriter-turned-undertaker Richard Dennison announced Tuesday his intention to run for governor in 2017. The one-time state Senate candidate said on Facebook that despite not being in an elected office now, his 2007 campaign showed that he can rack up support from voters.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Diving Into the General Election with PolitickerNJ
As we head out of the summer and into the political season, PolitickerNJ is proud to announce the following additions to our staff dedicated to providing the best political coverage in the great state of New Jersey.
PolitickerNJ Editor, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie used state chopper 4 times to fly to 2016 campaign events, records show
Gov. Chris Christie has used the State Police helicopter seven times in the two months since he announced his presidential bid — and more than half those flights were for campaign travel, according to records obtained by NJ Advance Media.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Christie keeps it light with Fallon on ‘Tonight Show’
Governor Christie tried to lip sync with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” Monday and talked about life on the presidential campaign trail — including his stay with Marco Rubio at Mitt Romney’s lake house in New Hampshire.
Melissa Hayes, The Record Read more

N.J. lawmakers find lotteries best way to hand out pope tickets
Members of the New Jersey congressional delegation are turning to lotteries as their preferred way of distributing the tickets they receive to see Pope Francis at the U.S. Capitol.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Ciattarelli Proposes New Pension Plan
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli thinks he has a solution to the state’s pension problem.
Instead of the state paying for teachers pensions, local governments would make the payment the way they do for police, firefighters, and local government workers.
Michael Aron, NJTV Read more

Trenton council president’s fate in hands of peers after near-fight
The Trenton councilwoman who called on Councilman Zachary Chester to step down as council president following his near-fight with another councilman earlier this month said it would be up to her colleagues to decide Chester’s fate.
Cristina Rojas, NJ.com Read more

Feds Warn DEP Rules Could Imperil Pristine Waters
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has told the state that proposed changes to water-quality standards may fail to comply with federal and New Jersey regulations protecting the Garden State’s waters.
Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight Read more

Double-dipping still rampant in Essex County, report says
Double-dipping – the time-honored New Jersey tradition of drawing income from multiple public jobs or pensions – continues to earn a number of high-ranking county officials hundreds of thousands each year.
Dan Ivers, NJ.com Read more

Ads seek to sway N.J.’s Booker on Iran deal
Supporters of the Iran nuclear deal have launched a new campaign to convince New Jersey’s undecided lawmakers, most notably U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, to vote for the agreement.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

N.J. mayor who doubled-up on reimbursements apologizes, plans to refund taxpayers
Logan Township Mayor Frank Minor, who used campaign funds to pay for nearly $1,000 in hotel and food costs and then submitted the same expenses for reimbursement through the township, said he will repay township taxpayers after a report by NJ Advance Media brought the issues to light.
Michelle Caffrey, NJ.com Read more

Place your bets: Who will drop out first, Chris Christie or Jeb Bush?
It had to happen sooner or later, and the other day it did.
Chris Christie finally reached that magical 1 percent mark in a major poll.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

Wyckoff candidate continues attempts to stop ballot printing after judge denies initial request
A Township Committee candidate is trying again to have the printing of election ballots halted while a court reviews a lower court’s decision allowing an opponent’s name on the ballot.
Steve Janoski, The Record Read more

Millions in state funding coming to Shore area schools
The state Schools Development Authority has granted millions of dollars for projects at Shore area schools.
Andrew Ford, Asbury Park Press Read more

No apologies — yet: Trenton Council President Chester skewered by colleagues for lack thereof
Council President Zachary Chester still hasn’t formally apologized for going into rage mode at a meeting two weeks ago, where he jumped out of his chair and went nose-to-nose with colleague George Muschal.
He did, however, say after Tuesday’s special meeting that he plans to offer one on Thursday.
David Foster, The Trentonian Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Sept. 2nd