PolitickerNJ News Digest: Nov. 2nd

Good morning, it’s Monday, the day before election day, with candidates are clashing, the drama is building, and President Obama is stopping by for a visit.

Quote of the Day:

“Even with Assembly candidates and county officials on the ballot this fall, county party officials are having trouble matching fundraising totals in previous elections,” – Jeff Brindle, executive director New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission, on the difficulty county party leaders face raising cash this election cycle.

The Dead Zone: With NJ Unaware of Election Day, are any Surprises in Store?

Tuesday limped lamely into view without suggestion of epic consequences. Clearly by the end of the night, as Rutgers-Eagleton polling showed 76% of New Jerseyans claimed zero knowledge of a coming election, no one would be able to lay claim to a Ben Hur moment.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Week in Review: The Top 5 Firefights Before Election Day 2015

It’s been a slow year for New Jersey’s state and local races, which are all but guaranteed to see historically low turnout with the Assembly at the top of the ticket. For all the inertia, this cycle has still seen its share of clashing personalities as Assembly candidates and party figureheads jockey for position in 2017.
PolitickerNJ Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

ELEC Report Shows County Party Coffers Suffering at The Hands of PACs

A preliminary report from New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission reveals that county party coffers during state elections have seen a continuing slump during this year’s elections. The release cites the growth of independent PAC spending, limitations on contributions from public contractors, and overall contribution limits that have not kept pace with the rate of inflation.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Experts Share in Levinson’s Doubts About Casinos’ Role in Redevelopment

Following comments Thursday in which he called casinos “one of the most destructive things that ever happened to Atlantic City” and predicted similar poor long-term returns for North Jersey if new casinos open in the Meadowlands and Jersey City, experts are joining Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson in casting doubt on casinos’ efficacy as urban development tools.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

In Paterson, Torres and Sayegh Spar Over Proposed Recreation Tax

When Jose “Joey” Torres was running for his third term as mayor of Paterson in May of 2014, the Passaic County Democratic establishment turned their back on him and, instead, supported Councilman Andre Sayegh. Now, Torres and Sayegh are, once again, butting heads. This time the root of the disagreement is a referendum that Torres put on the November 3 ballot asking voters if they support the levy of a new tax on Paterson property owners to fund an increased recreational services budget.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

In Perth Amboy, Diaz Readies for 2016 Reelection Campaign

Though Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz isn’t up for reelection until November of 2016, she was still able to draw a crowd for a Friday afternoon fundraising event at Il Castello’s.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Essex Mourns the Reverend Ron Christian

The death of the Reverend Ron Christian of Christian Love Church today shocked the community in and around Irvington, where the late Reverend Christian was a much sought-after political ally.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie Picks Hammer to Replace Fox as DOT Commish

Governor Chris Christie today named New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) veteran Richard T. Hammer as the agency’s acting Commissioner, his choice to succeed Jamie Fox. Hammer is currently Assistant Commissioner responsible for the department’s Capital Program Management Section where he manages a workforce of approximately 1,100 employees throughout six divisions.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Paramus Mayor Claims GOP Council Candidates Endorse Anthony Cappola

An ad for the Republican council candidates in the Paramus Town News has drawn the attention of Democratic Mayor Rich LaBarbiera.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

No hugs, no high 5’s: Why Christie is bailing on Obama

There’s no chance Gov. Chris Christie will be accused of hugging President Obama this time.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

How Rutgers-Newark landed a (last-minute) visit from President Obama

The first whispers that Rutgers University might be getting a high-profile visitor came early last week.
Kelly Heyboer, NJ.com Read more

Believe it: There’s high drama in some N.J. Assembly races

Experts say Tuesday’s state Assembly elections may draw one of the lowest voter turnouts New Jersey has ever seen. In fact, a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released this past week showed three-quarters of New Jersey residents had no idea at all there was an election coming up.
But there are at least a few races generating drama — with both Democrats and Republicans hoping they can grab a few new seats in the lower house of the state Legislature.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

As Jeb Bush fades, will Chris Christie get back on track? He sure seems to think so

I’m tempted to say that on Thursday the governor stopped in the state just long enough to have a cup of coffee.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

Chris Christie’s Debate Status Threatened by Polls

Could Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey get disqualified from the main stage at the next Republican presidential debate, and be relegated to the undercard?
An analysis of recent polling suggests that he may not make the cut for the fourth Republican debate, Nov. 10 in Milwaukee. Monmouth University’s polling unit compiled the most recent polls that the debate’s sponsors, Fox Business Network and The Wall Street Journal, could use to determine eligibility, and found Mr. Christie getting between 1 percent and 3 percent support. But candidates must hit a threshold of 2.5 percent in the average of the last four national polls to make it on the main stage.
Gerry Mullany, New York Times Read more

Politicians Debate Property Taxes as Assembly Election Nears

Late October in New Jersey, and the only thing scarier than the Halloween decor is the property tax bill arriving on homeowners’ doorsteps. Trick — not treat.
Brenda Flanagan, NJTV News Read more

Democrats have raised nearly seven times more than GOP challengers in Bergen Freeholder race

As the race for three seats on the Bergen County Board of Freeholders winds down, campaign spending reports show that the three Democratic incumbents have raised nearly seven times more than their Republican challengers.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Opinion: NJEA Head Says ‘No’ to further pension reform

NJEA members want to elect legislators who are willing to fund their pensions.
That fact seems to confound legislators like Jon Bramnick, the Assembly Republican leader and a potential gubernatorial candidate, and Declan O’Scanlon, another Republican assemblyman, both of whom say the state can’t afford to fund public pensions and are calling NJEA and other unions to “negotiate” further pension reform.
Wendell Steinhauer, Asbury Park Press Read more

‘Pinky’ Kravitz, 88, radio host who loved Atlantic City

Seymour “Pinky” Kravitz, 88, a longtime Atlantic City radio host and booster, died Saturday, Oct. 31, at a South Jersey nursing home.
Jonathan Lai, Philadelphia Inquirer Read more

What will change in New Jersey after Election Day?

New Jersey voters aren’t likely to see sweeping change in state government after Election Day on Tuesday. Even superficial change might be a stretch.
Michael Catalini, Associated Press Read more

N.J. Dems concede no turf in bid for seats

Democrats are all but certain to maintain their majority in the New Jersey Assembly when voters head to the polls Tuesday.
Andrew Seidman, Philadelphia Inquirer Read more

New Jersey Property Taxes Not Going Down Anytime Soon

Property taxes have been on the rise in New Jersey for years, through Democratic and Republican administrations, with state politicians trying everything from rebate checks to spending caps to fix the situation. Yet the average New Jersey property-tax bill went up again last year and is now at an all-time high of $8,161.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

In District 1, Influx of Cash Makes Little Difference

In New Jersey’s southernmost district, Assembly incumbents from different parties are hoping to win reelection and, with their running mates, take control of the 1st District. In the neighboring 3rd District, a powerful longtime incumbent and an up-and-coming former football player are hoping to fend off two relatively unseasoned Republicans and a liberal-leaning independent.
Tara Nurin, NJSpotlight Read more PolitickerNJ News Digest: Nov. 2nd