PolitickerNJ News Digest: Jan. 11th

Budget Address

Good morning, it’s Monday, and the move to bring casinos to northern New Jersey is likely to face a crucial test today. Meanwhile, state officials are gearing up for tomorrow’s State of the State address from Gov. Chris Christie.

Quote of the Day: “Inaction at this critical stage is not an option! We must stand together or this opportunity to put thousands of our members to work will be lost,” – Bill Mullen, president of the New Jersey Building Trades Council, calling on members to support Sen. Steve Sweeney’s bill to expand casino gaming.

Mullen Wants Building Trades Labor Out in Force for Sweeney’s Bill on Monday
The president of the New Jersey Building Trades Council earlier today fired off a letter exhorting members to descend on Trenton Monday to pressure the legislature to back Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) Northern casinos referendum bill.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Experts Predict Christie’s State of the State Will be Heavily Partisan
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spent 72 percent of his time away from his home state in 2015, but now, the Governor is preparing for his annual state of the state address.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Gutcheck Time: Sources Say Assembly GOP in Position to Back Sweeney Casino Bill
Senate President Steve Sweeney’s challenge (D-3) challenge to Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) to post the senate version of the North Jersey casinos bill has Prieto up against what sources tell PolitickerNJ is a majority-attaining coalition in the lower house among South Jersey Democrats, Middlesex Democrats, and a big chunk of Republicans who could be hand delivered by Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21).
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie Backs up Sweeney with Call to Prieto to Post Senate Version of Casinos Bill
Campaigning for president in an accelerated period with less than a month remaining before the Iowa caucuses and with his home state jammed up against a January 11th deadline for this session’s legislative agenda, Gov. Chris Christie broke his silence in the middle of the statewide brawl between Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), siding with Sweeney.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

In Middle of Casinos Brawl, Fulop Upbraids Sweeney as a Christie Facilitator
Following Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) call to the assembly to put up Sweeney’s version of a northern casino referendum bill, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop hit back at the senate president, invoking Sweeney’s formative alliance with unpopular Republican Governor Chris Christie.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

South Jersey Pols Hang Their Heads Following Christie Announcement
After Governor Christie announced Friday that he supports Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) in his casino contretemps with Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-32), the chances of new casinos seeing a decisive outcome during Monday’s Assembly and Senate sessions have lifted. Aside from Sweeney’s longtime supporters in the building trades, the region’s officials are more resigned to more casino closures than relieved at the boost for Sweeney.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Sweeney Claims Prieto’s Casino Version Doesn’t Have the Votes to Pass
According to Senate President Steve Sweeney, his plan to have casinos make their way to North Jersey will make it through the senate with full approval on Monday as the legislative session comes to a close. Friday, Sweeney called on Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to allow a vote on the Senate version in the Assembly on Monday. He claims that the Assembly version does not have enough votes to pass.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

With Casinos (and More) in the Balance, Prieto Delivers Stinging Retort to Sweeney
“It’s worse.”
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) digested with no visible pleasure the words of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), who a short time ago noted that he – and not Prieto – has the votes in domain to get his version of a casino bill done.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Prieto Dismisses Christie’s View as Hampered by Lack of NJ Perspective
Flanked by Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and having already swatted at the latter, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) trained his sights on the Republican governor.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Casinos-Hounded Prieto Trails Talk of an Overthrow by South-Middlesex and the GOP
Intrigue amid the casinos mess upsurged at the Monmouth County Democrats’ dinner-dance on Friday night, and a certain mustachioed chairman from Hudson County found himself in the center of the morass.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

DiVincenzo Urges Legislature to Find a Compromise on Casinos
A backroom player on the phone calls connected to the state’s casinos controversy, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo today broke into the open, calling on Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) to forge a compromise plan that will bring casinos to Northern New Jersey.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Casino union backs Sweeney plan for expansion referendum
Atlantic City’s main casino workers union is backing state Senate President Steve Sweeney’s plan for a referendum on expanding casinos to northern New Jersey.
Wayne Parry, Associated Press Read more

Is the Christie-for-president boomlet tapering off?
Three newly released Fox News polls offered little encouragement to Gov. Chris Christie, who in the last month rode a surge of support in New Hampshire to become one of the leading Republican presidential contenders in the first-in-the-nation primary.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

N.J. plan for revamp of voting districts remains vague
Word bubbled up in November at a Democratic conclave in East Brunswick that state lawmakers were considering new rules on how to configure the state’s legislative map, but they offered no details and quickly moved on to other topics.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Is Christie relevant to us anymore?
At some point on Tuesday afternoon, an unusual event will take place in Trenton. The governor will actually make an appearance at the State House.
Mike Kelly, The Record Read more

Did Christie just lie about past Planned Parenthood donation?
Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday he never made a donation to Planned Parenthood, despite public comments he made in the mid-1990s as a county freeholder candidate suggesting he had.
Matt Arco NJ.com Read more

5 takeaways from GOP prez race polls in Iowa and New Hampshire
Businessman Donald Trump has more than twice the support of his nearest competitor in the first primary state of New Hampshire, while trailing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz within the margin of error in the first caucus state of Iowa, according to polls released Sunday.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Christie again revises his ‘evolution’ on guns
For the second time in less than four days, Gov. Chris Christie has changed his position on when and how he did a turnaround on supporting New Jersey’s semiautomatic weapons ban.
Matt Arco NJ.com Read more

Ex-GOP boss sentenced to prison for theft in Cape May County
The former head of Cumberland County’s Republican Party was sentenced to four years in prison Friday for stealing approximately $140,000 from an elderly man in his care, according to reports.
Don E. Woods, NJ.com Read more

Cory Booker for veep? He’s on NBC’s short list
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker “continues to be mentioned” as a potential vice-presidential nominee, NBC News says as it lists the freshman among its seven rising political stars in 2016.
The Auditor, NJ.com Read more

See what else N.J. Democratic leaders are fighting over
Perhaps the least controversial constitutional amendment proposed by Democrats is the most likely to die when the legislative session expires Tuesday.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Christie errs on record on tax credits for working poor
Gov. Chris Christie erroneously says in an interview with CBS airing today that he doubled a tax credit for the working poor in New Jersey.
Michael Symons, Asbury Park Press Read more

Belmar mayor running for Monmouth County freeholder
Mayor Matt Doherty announced he is running for Monmouth County freeholder, saying he wants to bring the same types of successes he’s had in Belmar to all of the county.
Susanne Cervenka, Asbury Park Press Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Jan. 11th