PolitickerNJ News Digest: Dec. 14th

HOLLYWOOD, FL - AUGUST 27:  Karent Sierra and Joanna Krupa attend the Hollywood Charity Series Of Poker Supported By PokerStars To Benefit Habitat For Humanity at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino & Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood on August 27, 2014 in Hollywood, Florida.  (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for PokerStars)

HOLLYWOOD, FL – AUGUST 27: Karent Sierra and Joanna Krupa attend the Hollywood Charity Series Of Poker Supported By PokerStars To Benefit Habitat For Humanity at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino & Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood on August 27, 2014 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for PokerStars)

Good Monday morning, it’s the start of a new week in New Jersey and a new phase for Governor Chris Christie’s presidential hopes, as he finds himself back among the top candidates for tomorrow’s debate. Meanwhile questions surround who will succeed state Sen. Peter Barnes.

Quote of the Day: “It’s just what New Jersey’s casino industry needs to compete with the gaming facilities that border North Jersey,” – William T. Mullen, president of the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council, on a proposal to build two northern New Jersey casinos.

Chris Christie is returning to the main debate stage

CNN on Sunday announced the lineup for the fifth presidential debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday – the last GOP debate of 2015.
Steve Cronin, PolitickerNJ Read more

Middlesex Source: Diegnan Not a Done Deal for Senate Seat

Not so fast on the ascension of Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-18) to take the place of the judgeship-bound state Senator Peter Barnes (D-18), a source told PolitickerNJ.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com Read more

Building Trades Council Announces Support for North Jersey Casino Proposal

Following Friday morning’s release of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) proposal to amend the state constitution and allow the expansion of casino gaming into North Jersey, the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council has announced its official support for Sweeney’s amendment.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Carpenters’ Union Voices Support for North Jersey Casino Proposal

The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters said Friday that it supports Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) proposal to allow the expansion of casino gaming into North Jersey. The labor union issued a statement saying that its members see new casinos as a chance for New Jersey to bolster gaming revenue statewide.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Backrooms of Edison: the LD18 Fight for Diegnan’s Assembly Seat

The race for a soon-to-be vacant assembly seat is on in Middlesex County, where Edison Council people are maneuvering to position themselves to succeed Assemblyman Pat Diegnan (D-18).
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com Read more

Source: Barnes Poised to Leave Senate for Judgeship

A Middlesex County Democratic source told PolitickerNJ tonight that state Senator Peter Barnes (D-18) of Edison is poised to surrender his senate seat to pursue a superior court judgeship.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com Read more

Rice Stands with Ministers at Kean U as they Call for Farahi to Resign

State Senator Ronald Rice (D-28) joined a coalition of black ministers on Kean University’s campus Friday as they called for the resignation of President Dawood Farahi. The ministers and their supports claim that the president’s administration wrongly discriminates against women and minorities.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Elected Officials Join Islamic Leaders to Speak Out Against Violent Extremism

In the wake of terror attacks in Paris, France and San Bernardino, California, GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump last week called for a ban on Muslims entering the country.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie’s gun stance debated in N.H.

The “no compromise” New Hampshire Firearms Coalition dismissed — even mocked — Chris Christie’s résumé defending Second Amendment rights.
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

Editorial: Sweeney’s pension plan is a giveaway to unions

Senate President Steve Sweeney just proposed a Constitutional amendment that would give public workers unions all they want on pensions, and ask nothing in return.
Star-Ledger Editorial Board, The Star-Ledger Read more

See what Christie thinks about banning gun sales to those on terror watch list

Greeting potential supporters at a New Hampshire diner, Gov. Chris Christie quickly found himself in an awkward spot for a Republican presidential candidate Saturday afternoon: His support of gun rights was colliding with his anti-terrorism prosecutor’s background.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Christie on Trump: ‘I don’t believe he’s a bigot’

Gov. Chris Christie on Saturday said he does not believe Republican presidential rival Donald Trump is a bigot and chided reporters for asking him about whether it might be a tough call for him to support Trump if the businessman won the GOP nomination.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Donald Trump is the GOP’s best chance. Or worst nightmare.

The widespread condemnation that greeted Trump after his proposed ban on Muslims has some GOP loyalists and political observers questioning whether he has reached the limits of his appeal.
Nicquel Terry and Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Trump’s getting the last laugh on the Republican establishment

In case you’re wondering why Donald Trump does better in the polls every time he mentions immigration, I can give you three reasons.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

Christie’s Bridgegate legal bill over $8M

The law firm hired by Gov. Christie’s office to investigate the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal has billed the state more than $8 million.
Maddie Hanna, Philadelphia Inquirer, Read more 

Lobbyist has kept LBI in fresh sand since 2004

Long Beach Island municipalities have spent more than $560,000 in taxpayer funds on a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm in an effort to help them secure federal funding for beach replenishment.
Nicholas Huba, The Press of Atlantic City Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Dec. 14th