PolitickerNJ News Digest: Oct. 30th

Last night's packed meeting in Essex.
Last night’s packed meeting in Essex.

It’s Friday, the end of the week and close to the end of this year’s assembly campaign, where independent groups are pouring in money, the most closely watched races are too close to call and embattled candidates are not going down easily. Meanwhile, Bridgegate’s David Wildstein has left the Garden State and the New York Times is calling on the governor to leave the presidential race.


Quote of the Day: “You know, it’s a vice. They prey on the poor, they prey on the lonely. Only casino owners get rich.” – Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, on the plan to expand casino gaming in New Jersey.

Incumbent Vulnerability Tracker: Who is Teetering on the Brink?
There’s less than one week to go before Election Day 2015.
Who’s vulnerable?
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

David Wildstein Has Moved to Florida
David Wildstein, the former Livingston Mayor who Chris Christie appointed Director of Interstate Capital Projects at the Port Authority, has moved to Florida, PolitickerNJ has learned.
Ken Kurson, PolitickerNJ Read more

ELEC: Independent Spending This Cycle Up to $9.5 Million, or 42% of Total Spending
Independent spending by special interest groups is playing a big role in battleground legislative districts, according to the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Ben Dworkin Weighs in on Next Week’s Assembly Elections: ‘Too Close to Call’
In the last days before next week’s Assembly election, PolitickerNJ spoke to Ben Dworkin, professor of political science and director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, to get his take on what is slated to be the state’s most poorly attended election in more than fifteen years.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

The Debate Over Drivers’ Licences for Undocumented Workers
The Essex County Freeholder Board last night unanimously backed a resolution in support of state legislation that would enable undocumented workers to apply for provisional New Jersey drivers’ licenses.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Stockton Poll: In LD2, Incumbents’ Leads Hanging by a Thread
Amid the muzzle flashes of an ongoing air-war mostly perpetrated by financially muscular Democrats and their attendant PACs, the incumbents hold slender leads in the 2nd Legislative District Assembly election, according to a Stockton Poll released today.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Atlantic County Executive’s Parting Shot For 2015: Casinos ‘Destructive’ by Nature
With the second district’s highly-profile Assembly election drawing to a close, the question remains whether legislators pushing for the North Jersey casino referendum next year will look to Atlantic City and its casinos’ economic free-fall as an unfortunate case or a cautionary tale. Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson is hoping for the latter.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

LD2 Candidate Denounces County Executive For Casino Comments
Atlantic County Freeholder Colin Bell issued a statement Thursday, calling comments from Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson insulting to casino workers.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Bramnick and Assembly Republicans Start Throwing Punches as Election Winds Down
As the Assembly election dies down and legislators start filing back into the capitol, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick is getting an early start lashing out at Democratic leadership. Citing dark money and what he and other prominent Republicans described as Democrats’ inaction on budget and tax reform, Bramnick said Thursday that it wouldn’t matter for moving reform bills forward if Governor Christie were “on the moon.”
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Clubbed by Dems PAC Ad, Angelini Counter Punches in LD11
Blitzed in LD11, where General Majority PAC is spending money for Democrats as part of a statewide $4 million campaign, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-11) struck back in a statement, calling the PAC a purveyor of “untruthful and vicious” messaging in support of her opponents, Eric Houghtaling and Joanne Downey.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

A Breakthrough Night for Ted Cruz
There is no doubt as to who was the gold medal winner of the CNBC GOP presidential debate last night: Ted Cruz. The silver medal winner was Marco Rubio. They both scored major points by blasting the major losers of the night: the outrageously biased panel of moderators of CNBC. These moderators made Rachel Maddow look like the epitome of fairness.
Alan Steinberg, PolitickerNJ Read more

NYT Editorial: Christie Needs to Bow Out
Gov. Chris Christie’s favorite newspaper says it’s time for him to abort his 2016 presidential run.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Mercer Sheriff’s Officer Charged with Showing Pix of Minor to Media
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a Mercer County sheriff’s officer was charged today with unlawfully providing a newspaper with three arrest photos of a juvenile. The newspaper published the photos and named the juvenile.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

PNJ Editorial: Late in the Day Thoughts on Last Night’s Prez Debate
Something of the pallor of doom came into the cheeks of Jeb Bush, slavish in his attempt to channel the older generation manners of a doting father and yet saddled with a world that has moved on, leaving even his devilishly brutish brother in some other sphere of behavioral science.
PolitickerNJ Editor, PolitickerNJ Read more

N.J. Republicans accuse Dems of obstructing property tax reform
Less than a week before voters head to the polls in every state Assembly district throughout New Jersey, Republicans sharply criticized Democrats for snuffing out their efforts to reduce the state’s notoriously high property tax burden.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Jury awards ex-N.J. corrections employee $7.7 million, report says
A prison official who was fired just months before she would have qualified for full retirement benefits has been awarded millions in a whistleblower lawsuit, The New Jersey Law Journal reported.
Paul Milo, NJ.com Read more

Christie vows to finish Sandy recovery before term ends
Gov. Chris Christie vowed Thursday, on the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, to assist everyone affected by the storm before his time as governor ends.
Myles Ma, NJ.com Read more

Menendez says Sandy recovery ‘isn’t done yet’
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez took to the Senate floor Thursday and marked the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy by saying that recovery efforts aren’t over.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

State pension board approves Bayonne mayor’s request to collect police pension
The state pension board for police and firemen has approved Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis’ request to collect his police pension while he is still employed as the city’s mayor in an apparent violation of the law.
Jonathan Lin, The Jersey Journal Read more

Tax cut petition delivered to Trenton; most of Assembly for reform
The Asbury Park Press citizen petition calling for reform of New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes prompted one of the state’s top lawmakers to promise Thursday to press for changes as more than half of his fellow Assembly members signed the Press’ tax reform pledge.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Lakewood’s invisible election: Candidates quiet
The township’s roads and other infrastructure are struggling to keep up with the pace of development, and another budget crisis looms over how to fund courtesy busing for thousands of local schoolchildren.
Shannon Mullen, Asbury Park Press Read more

Will Democrats Continue Dominance in Three Essex County Districts?
The vast majority of legislative districts in New Jersey are considered safe for Assembly incumbents — and the three districts covering most of Essex County are no exception.
Hank Kalet, NJ Spotlight Read more

Let the voters decide that Chris Christie is horrible
I’ve noticed recently that newspaper editorial pages really, really want a lot of people to resign or stop running for office or at least stop doing whatever the hell it is that they’re doing. This is not totally a new phenomenon — the Inquirer (and some other big papers) famously called in 1998 for Bill Clinton to resign over the Monica Lewinsky affair, a classic case of what-newspaper-editorial-writers-care-about being way out of whack with the everyday concerns of regular folks who, at least potentially, buy newspapers.
Will Bunch, Philly.Com Read more


  PolitickerNJ News Digest: Oct. 30th