PolitickerNJ News Digest: Dec. 7th

LOUDON, NH - NOVEMBER 30: Republican Presidential candidate Chris Christie speaks during a town hall at the Louden Fire Department November 30, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. Christie recently received the endorsement of the Manchester Union Leader, New Hampshires largest newspaper. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

LOUDON, NH – NOVEMBER 30: Republican Presidential candidate Chris Christie speaks during a town hall at the Louden Fire Department November 30, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. Christie recently received the endorsement of the Manchester Union Leader, New Hampshires largest newspaper. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Good Monday morning! It’s the start of a new week in New Jersey and Trenton, so it’s time to take a look at who were our recent winners and losers in state politics, and who might be on tap to lead the Assembly should power shift.

Quote of the Day: “I think that there is potential for fluidity in the leadership simply because we don’t know what will happen in terms of Sweeney’s bid for governor.” – Montclair University Political Scientist Brigid Harrison, on potential changes in New Jersey’s legislative leadership.

Seven People Who Could be the Next Assembly Speaker

On Thursday, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) failed to replicate a success his counterpart in the state Senate, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), was able to pull off in October. He couldn’t muster up enough votes to complete the veto override of a gun safety bill that would make it more difficult for those with records of mental illness to buy guns. That shortcoming—though Prieto said he will present the vote again and again until enough of his Republican colleagues agree—underscores the dichotomy and relationship between the two houses. It also brings forward the North Jersey/South Jersey dynamic looking to races in 2017.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Winners and Losers: Week of November 30th

It’s time once again for our list of who was on top and who was struggling in the past week.
PolitickerNJ Editor, PolitickerNJ Read more

In Display of Influence, MacArthur Draws Armed Services Chair to Home District

U.S. Representative Tom MacArthur j(R-3) oined Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, on a tour of the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst joint base Friday in a victory lap for preventing the retirement of several mid-air refueling aircraft for two more years. The visit was a skillful display of MacArthur’s power as he approaches his 2016 reelection campaign with no clear rivals in the primary, or the general election.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie acknowledges changing position on assault rifles

Governor Christie acknowledged in a televised interview Sunday that he changed his position on assault rifles, telling the CBS program Face the Nation he was “educated on it,” while serving as United States Attorney.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Jersey supporters remain confident in Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush’s New Jersey donors maintained confidence in their struggling candidate Thursday night as they trickled into clothing manufacturer George Altirs’ Saddle River home for a fundraiser.
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

NJ State Police report documents officers’ misconduct

A report released last month outlining the number of complaints against New Jersey State Police shows that personnel within the organization are increasingly reporting police misconduct.
Penny Ray, The Trentonian Read more

Still no deal on Atlantic City’s troubled finances

Nearly a month after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed most of a financial aid package for Atlantic City, there is still no agreement on how to stabilize the struggling seaside gambling resort, which continues to suffer from the shrinking of its casino market.
Wayne Parry, Associated Press Read more

The unanswered PARCC question: How many N.J. kids opted out?

The question buzzed throughout New Jersey schools for months.
As the state prepared to administer new standardized tests in English and math last spring, parents, teachers and administrators wondered how many students would refuse to participate, the hallmark of a small but growing “opt out” movement in New Jersey.
Adam Clark, NJ.com Read more

Christie on heroin: A prophet and a phony

Gov. Chris Christie went to a run-down neighborhood of this city Tuesday, on a chilly gray afternoon, to visit a recovery center where heroin addicts go for help.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger Editorial Board Read more

Could these 5 projects force the Port Authority to raise tolls again?

With tolls hitting $15 today to use the Port Authority’s crossings and Staten Island bridges, could demands to fund at least $16.5 billion in projects drive another toll hike?
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

Christmas lights spark dispute in Rutherford, report says

Mayor Joseph DeSalvo has ordered a Christmas light display taken down from a flag pole in downtown Rutherford, CBS New York reported.
Myles Ma, NJ.com Read more

What Christie says about visa that allowed San Bernardino shooter to enter U.S.

Gov. Chris Christie opposes allowing Syrian refugees enter the country because he says they pose a danger, but when it comes to weighing the future of a visa program that allowed one of the California shooters to enter the country legally the governor says he refuses to make any snap judgements.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

How Christie ruined a N.H. woman’s breakfast

It’s often said that New Hampshire residents are lucky because their state’s first-primary status allows them to get up-close and personal with all the politicians who want to be president.
The Auditor, NJ.com Read more

Councilwoman who quit over ‘Christmas’ tree rescinds resignation

The Roselle Park councilwoman who resigned Thursday after the council voted to change the name of the borough’s “Tree Lighting” to a “Christmas Tree Lighting” is now rescinding her resignation.
Tom Haydon and Jessica Remo, NJ.com Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Dec. 7th