PolitickerNJ News Digest: Nov. 24th

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Good Tuesday morning in New Jersey, where the rhetoric continues about race on college campuses and the Syrian refugee crisis.

Quote of the Day: “We basically are number one in property taxes, in people leaving the state. We are number one cost for road projects and bridges and we are one of the most corrupt political systems in the country. How can New Jersey fail and keep the broken system for so many years? I just want to fix it.” – GOP gubernatorial hopeful Joseph Rudy Rullo, on living in New Jersey.

Lesniak Defends Kean Prez Amid Criticism and Campus Threatening
Last week, Kean University students jumped into the fray of nationwide protests calling for an end to racial discrimination on college campuses. As the students held a peaceful protest, an anonymous twitter user posted threats saying things like “I will shoot any black person I see at Kean University.” While the University took the threats seriously and involved the police, students and black ministers called upon university president Darwood Farahi to step down amid criticism that the threats made to students came as a result of a “climate of racial intolerance that has been allowed to fester for years.”
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ, Read more

Suffolk Poll: Christie Back of the Pack with Fiorina in New Hampshire
Gov. Chris Christie claims he can “feel it on the ground” in New Hampshire, but a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll this morning tells a different story.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ, Read more

Christie Sought SEIU Endorsement With Assist from Port Authority
On Wednesday, unions representing the contract airplane and terminal cleaners at the Port Authority went on strike, demanding a $15 hourly wage. The Port Authority board met on Thursday and agreed to study that raise in the coming months.
Ken Kurson, PolitickerNJ, Read more

Challenger Alex Law Attacks Norcross’ Refugee Screening Vote
Following U.S. Representative Donald Norcross’ (D-NJ) ‘Yes’ vote on a bill to add a new stage of FBI screening to the vetting process for refugees, challenger Alex Law is criticizing the move. Describing it as one instance of what he called a larger pattern, Law accused Norcross of suspending his Democratic allegiances for political gain on a number of bills.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ, Read more

POP Chairman Hamm on Princeton Protests: Wilson ‘Unrepentant Racist’
As protests from black student groups and the Black Lives Matter movement continue to rile college campuses across the county, New Jersey saw Princeton University brought into the fray when activists called for Woodrow Wilson’s name to be removed from the prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs last week. People’s Organization for Progress Chairman Larry Hamm, a Princeton alumnus, told PolitickerNJ that he sees the students’ actions as a necessary step toward encouraging awareness of Wilson’s policy record on segregation, and toward encouraging greater diversity at all rungs of the university.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ, Read more

Little-Known GOP Candidate Rullo Hopes to Nab Governorship in 2017
Joseph Rudy Rullo wants to be the next governor of New Jersey. The Republican from Ocean County is an entrepreneur who has never held elected office—though he did call himself one of the “hardest working” Republican operatives in his area—but he thinks he is the right man to remedy the woes that are plaguing the state.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ, Read more

Opinion: Free Speech Is Not Always Free in the Workplace
Unless you have a union, the fundamental principle of free speech can end at the door of your workplace. For non-union workers, any form of communication, including bringing legitimate issues to the public, is often met by threats or punishment through harsh and sometimes illegal policies limiting speech.
Ann Twomey, PolitickerNJ, Read more

Young Democrats of America Launches Hudson County Chapter
Hudson County officially has an organization for Democrats under the age of 36 who want to be involved in civic activism. On December 7, the Hudson County Young Democrats will hold their first meeting.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ, Read more

Zwicker on His LD16 Win: ‘It wasn’t Rocket Science’
Every vote matters.
This past Election Day, all 80 seats in the NJ General Assembly were up for election. In the 16th Legislative District, more than 34,000 votes were cast and less than 600 votes separated all four candidates. By the time all of the provisional ballots were counted, one incumbent won. I defeated the second incumbent by 78 votes, and my running mate Maureen Vella came very close.
Andrew Zwicker, PolitickerNJ, Read more

Trump: l’m owed an apology over Jersey City 9/11 comments
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday said he’s owed an apology from those who have disputed his story that he watched on television as “thousands and thousands” of people in Jersey City cheered during the 9/11 attacks — an incident multiple officials and news reports say never happened.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Christie now seen as 1 of only 7 plausible GOP contenders
Gov. Chris Christie is one of seven Republicans who “can still make a plausible case for being the nominee,” according to the Washington Post’s ranking of 2016 GOP presidential candidates.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

N.J. lawmakers take action on surprise out-of-network medical costs
A state Assembly committee Monday approved legislation that would prevent consumers from getting surprise out-of-network medical bills that can saddle them with huge bills.
Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Baraka talks relationship with Christie, says governor ‘lives in his own mind’
Mayor Ras Baraka had strong words for Gov. Chris Christie during an appearance on a progressive radio program Monday, saying Christie “lives in his own mind” and lacks understanding about the problems facing New Jersey’s cities.
Dan Ivers, NJ.com Read more

Attacks on Donald Trump over 9/11: There was a video, but not from New Jersey
When you have a habit of thinking out loud, sometimes the thoughts aren’t all that accurate.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

Jersey 101.5’s Jim Gearhart won’t return, station names Spadea as replacement
Jim Gearhart, the popular morning host for New Jersey 101.5 in Trenton, will not return to the airwaves, Townsquare Media New Jersey has announced on their web site.
Anthony Venutolo, NJ.com Read more

Which political party has the trust of N.J. voters to fix the state?
If you needed further proof that this is the era of the political outsider, a new poll shows nearly half of New Jersey voters lack confidence in either major political party to solve the state’s problems.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Officials call for tax administrator to step aside
A state senator and a Monmouth County Tax Board member have called for Tax Administrator Matthew S. Clark to step aside after emails published by the Asbury Park Press — and sought after by a grand jury — showed Clark shared government information with a private bidder.
Susanne Cervenka, Asbury Park Press Read more

Video shows Howell mayor yelling at teenager
Howell Mayor William Gotto has apologized for his behavior after a video of him lashing out at a 19-year-old resident during a meeting was posted on YouTube.
Kala Kachmar, Asbury Park Press Read more

Former Gov. Kean Disturbed by Anti-Refugee Rhetoric
With the first news of the Paris terrorist attacks 10 days ago, Thomas Kean Sr. said his immediate thought was that it caught more than the public by surprise.
John Mooney, NJSpotlight Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Nov. 24th