PolitickerNJ News Digest: Nov. 13th

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It’s Friday in New Jersey, where both Democrats and Republicans are facing a few legal problems and Steve Sweeney is continuing his push to lock up the north for his gubernatorial hopes.

Quotes of the Day: “I guess we’re supposed to guess.” – State Sen. Jim Whelan, on Gov. Chris Christie’s real aims for vetoing the Atlantic City PILOT bill.

“We shouldn’t be committing regions of the state against each other,” – State Sen. President Steve Sweeney, on the state’s mass transit plans.

Booker Named in Newark Watershed Corruption Lawsuit

Trustees of the bankrupt Newark Watershed Conservation & Development Corp. have filed suit against Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), formerly the mayor of Newark, in a case targeting the senator and a range of other and public and private officials for mismanagement and corruption at the NWCDC.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Appeals Court: Documents From Guadagno Corruption Probe Must Be Released

A New Jersey appeals court ruled Thursday that the state is obliged to release two documents from a corruption probe into Chris Christie stand-in and possible 2017 gubernatorial contender Kim Guadagno’s involvement in an alleged pension fraud scandal.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Sweeney Pushes Transit, Strengthens Ties in Bergen

Senate President Steve Sweeney is continuing his charge into the world of North Jersey. The South Jersey native today joined notable Bergen names like Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37), Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle (D-37), County Executive James Tedesco, Englewood Mayor Frank Huttle and freeholders Tracy Zur and Tom Sullivan to announce their commitment to the expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail into eastern Bergen County.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Whelan, Mazzeo Call for Specifics on Conditional PILOT Veto

Following Governor Christie’s conditional veto of a bill to offer payment in lieu of taxes to Atlantic City’s remaining casinos, Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2) said that they are frustrated with what they called the governor’s lack of clarity.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Booker Lauds Federal Agreement to Pay for Half of New Trans-Hudson-River Tunnelhopes.

There will be a 50/50 split between federal and state officials to fund the new Gateway Tunnel Project connecting New York and New Jersey under the Hudson River, according to a Thursday announcement by New York and New Jersey leaders. The announcement established the Gateway Development Corporation—which includes NJ, NY, U.S. Department of Transportation, the Port Authority of NY/NJ and Amtrak as members—to help secure federal and grant loans for the project and design and complete the tunnel.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

North Bergen Public Works Supervisors Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

Two former North Bergen public works supervisors were sentenced to five years each in state prison Thursday for their role in a scheme to have public workers serve on political campaigns and tend to personal chores for the men and their boss, Superintendent James Wiley.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Another N.J. college hit with debt rating downgrade

A Wall Street rating agency downgraded more than $200 million of the College of New Jersey’s debt Thursday out of concern, in part, over unpredictable state funding and the potential for smaller gains in enrollment.
Adam Clark, NJ.com Read more

Obama administration: Trade deal a good deal for N.J.

New Jersey companies sold $13.1 billion in goods and services to the countries that would be members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and that would only rise if Congress approves the free-trade agreement, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Christie holds his tongue, for nowhopes.

It’s been a basic maneuver of Chris Christie’s style of combative politics: When publicly attacked or criticized, make your foes regret they ever opened their mouths.
In New Jersey, teachers who confronted him in his town-hall-style meetings slinked back into their seats after Christie rebutted them with fierce, you-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about critiques. Christie called a law student and former Navy SEAL an “idiot” after one heated exchange. And Christie’s “sit down and shut up” scold of a heckler in Belmar became one of his viral YouTube moments.
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

Christie says he ‘fully cooperated’ with Bridgegate probe

Gov. Christie on Thursday said allegations that his administration’s lawyers were wrongfully shielding thousands of documents from his former allies charged in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure case were “complete defense lawyer baloney.”
Andrew Seidman, Philadelphia Inquirer Read more

With PILOT in limbo, Brown proposes alternative A.C. planhopes.

Atlantic County’s Republican assemblyman said he won’t vote for a sweeping plan to change the taxes paid by Atlantic City’s casinos, proposing a dramatic alternative that would increase the casinos’ annual tax bills by about $88 million in 2016 alone while keeping the city’s marketing and development agencies from being gutted.
The Press of Atlantic City Read more

NJ Among Small Number of States Sticking With PARCC

As arguments over the state’s participation in PARCC rage on, it appears as if New Jersey’s reliance on the standardized tests is making it increasingly isolated.
John Mooney, NJSpotlight Read more

Governors Veto Keeps Real Property Tax Totals Out of Public Eye

Overshadowed by Gov. Chris Christie’s actions on several higher-profile pieces of legislation earlier this week was his rejection of a measure that would have required the state to include net property taxes after the Homestead property tax relief when it compares annual taxes online.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

Christie: Obama has made the racial divide in America worse

Chris Christie said Thursday that under President Barack Obama, America’s racial divide has worsened.
Heather Goldin, CNN Read more

Opinion: Immigration ruling a huge blow to N.J

A federal court’s ruling against President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration represents a big step backward, and the triumph of the politics of fear over pragmatic solutions.
Erik J. Nava, Star-Ledger Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Nov. 13th