PolitickerNJ News Digest: Sept. 3rd

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It’s Thursday in New Jersey, where politics isn’t taking a break in advance of the long holiday weekend.

Sweeney, Senate Leaders Push Democracy Act in Jersey City
Senate President Sweeney was joined by some of New Jersey’s most notable Democratic state senators in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park today to call on Governor Chris Christie to sign the Democracy Act (S-50/A-4613).
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

NJ Business Leaders to Meet With Legislators in AC Without Christie
New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Bracken held a press conference in the State House Wednesday in advance of the 2015 New Jersey Business Summit, which will bring together New Jersey business leaders and legislators in a conference to determine the best steps for improving the state’s economy and job outlook. Governor Christie and Chamber liaison Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno will not be attending.
JT Aregoodo, PolitickerNJ Read more

Cullari gets 21 Months for Straw Company Scheme
The former assistant division administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), New Jersey Division, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for using a straw company to fraudulently obtain grant funds, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Politicker Staffo, PolitickerNJ Read more

In Paterson, Abuhedba says he won’t run if Abdel-Aziz is running
Former Paterson Deputy Mayor Awni Abuhedba this afternoon told PolitickerNJ that it’s premature to say that he is running for the Ward 6 seat in Paterson and does not intend to oppose his nephew.
Max Pizarroo, PolitickerNJ Read more

Monroe Democrats Respond to Campaign Financing Scrutiny
Monroe Mayor Richard Pucci released a statement negating any issues relating to campaign financing transparency from the Monroe Township Democratic Organization. In November, Democratic mayoral candidate and current council president Gerald Tamburro looks to succeed Pucci as mayor. On Tuesday, PolitickerNJ reported that Tamburro and the Monroe Democratic Organization were under scrutiny due to missing ELEC reports.
Alyana Alfaroo, PolitickerNJ Read more

2016 is About the Supreme Court, Stupid!
If you could ask just one question to the candidates for President in 2016, it would be wise to ask about the criteria they will use to select a justice of Supreme Court.
While the 2013-2014 term of the United States Supreme Court had a record of unanimity not seen since the 1940’s, Justice Anthony Kennedy still holds the balance on some of the most controversial issues that face the Court. Kennedy turns 80 on July 23, 2016.
Donald Scarincio, PolitickerNJ Read more

Frank Pallone Smacked By Fellow Democrat for Waffling on Iran Vote
No Congressional vote in recent memory has roiled its Members like the one coming in a couple weeks on whether to support or oppose the President’s deal with Iran. Within hours of PolitickerNJ posting our “New Jersey Congressional Delegation Iran Scorecard,” we heard from staffers of multiple Congressmen to add shading or emphasis to the way we’d characterized their principal’s position. And just as interesting as those who wanted their position made more clear was the silence from those who wish the issue would just go away.
Ken Kursono, PolitickerNJ Read more

How Should U.S. Senator Cory Booker Vote on the Iran Nuclear Deal?
Take our poll on how Cory Booker should vote.
PolitickerNJ Editoro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Pallone Says He’s ‘Honestly Undecided’ on Iran Nuclear Deal
A few of the revelers at Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik’s kickoff tonight served up their own assessment of U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) on the Iran nuclear deal favored by President Barack Obama and scorned by the likes of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Governor Chris Christie.
Max Pizarroo, PolitickerNJ Read more

In Marlboro, Hornik Launches Bid for a Third Term
There used to be a time when all Jon Hornik had to worry about was whether someone would say that Lou Greenwald, and not Hornik, should play the lead role in a remake of the Cary Grant classic “Mr. Lucky.”
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Legislation Expanding Voters’ Rights Collecting Dust on Christie’s Desk
ll they need is the stroke of the governor’s pen, but even today Democratic lawmakers recognized the likelihood of Christie signing the Democracy Act into law is pretty slim.
Briana Vannozzi, NJTV Read more

Expanding Light Rail in Hudson a Great Idea in Search of Consensus, and Funding
By almost any measure the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail transit system has been a ringing success, spurring economic development along its route — from restaurants and cafes to condos and office towers. So, expanding it would seem to be a good idea, especially in a region of the state that is booming.
David Cruz, NJTV Read more

N.J. pension reform one of few in U.S. that saves money in long-term: report
With its controversial and contested 2011 pension overhaul, New Jersey managed to break through the political friction that has kept most states from passing far-reaching retirement reforms, according to a report released Wednesday from the conservative Manhattan Institute.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

North Brunswick fire official admits embezzling $89,000: feds
The former treasurer of North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Department No. 3 admitted embezzling at least $89,000 from the company, according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
Brian Amaral, NJ.com Read more

N.C. man facing N.J. gun charge hopeful for Christie pardon
The lawyer for a North Carolina man arrested on a gun possession charge in Mercer County in June is finalizing a clemency application and hopes Gov. Chris Christie follows through on public comments that he would pardon his client.
Kevin Shea, NJ.com Read more

Christie seeks pass on Obama’s Clean Power Plan
Calling it an “unlawful” overreach by the federal government, Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday slammed President Barack Obama’s new Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut emissions at fossil fuel-fired power plans across the United States.
S.P. Sullivan, NJ.com Read more

Business leaders not optimistic about N.J.’s economy, poll finds
A new survey released on Wednesday found a majority of business leaders were neutral or pessimistic about New Jersey’s economy, with respondents citing taxes, transportation and regulations as key issues that need to be addressed to spur more growth.
Erin O’Neill, NJ.com Read more

Christie slimes Clinton with misfire on e-mails – Editorial
Gov. Chris Christie can’t or won’t explain how he would implement his bizarre plan to track visitors to America like FedEx packages. Would he slap ankle bracelets on tourists from Paris? Would he tattoo a tracking code on their arms?
Star-Ledger Editorial Board Read more

Lawsuit urges state to stop using PARCC test as graduation requirement
A new lawsuit alleges the state broke the law when it changed high school graduation requirements — spurring confusion among parents and students and potentially harming low-income students or those who speak English as a second language.
Karen Yi, Asbury Park Press Read more

Christie: I’m pals with Bon Jovi, not Springsteen
Here’s the latest update on Gov. Chris Christie bromances: He’s now officially not friends with Bruce Springsteen.
Chris Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Port Authority spends $1.75M to face ongoing federal probe of Pulaski Skyway funding
The Port Authority has spent $1.75 million on outside lawyers to shield itself and its employees from an ongoing investigation into whether it improperly used toll money from its Hudson River crossings to fix state roads in New Jersey, records show.
Shawn Bobug, The Record Read more

Opinion: NJ Weedman on The politics of fear 2016
I’m puffin on this phatty and thinking about the politics of fear 2016. The Trump Show is dominating the political squakboxes, talking head shows, and radio. I’m enjoying Trump’s public destruction of the Republican Party.
Ed Forchion, The Trentonian Read more

Christie helps GOP lose the Latino vote
Of the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally, 40 percent have overstayed their visas. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has lost track of at least 1 million of them, but Gov. Chris Christie has an idea to keep tabs.
J.D. Mullane, Burlington County Times Read more

Lawmakers: New Jersey needs more psych beds
In New Jersey, when patients arrive in a hospital emergency department in a mental-health crisis, chances are awfully good they will be there for several days — and sometimes weeks — waiting for a short-term psychiatric bed.
Kim Mulford, The Daily Journal Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Sept. 3rd