PolitickerNJ News Digest: Jan. 27th

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It’s Wednesday morning, where the big news in New Jersey is that Gov. Chris Christie returned to the state Tuesday to announce a move to take over more control of Atlantic City and respond to criticism about his handling of the aftermath of the weekend snowstorm.

Quote of the Day: “What I was objecting to was any kind of characterization that Jonas (was worse than Sandy). Jonas was not even close to Sandy. Now, if your house is flooded, that doesn’t matter to you. The conversation was mostly driven by the media,” – Gov. Chris Christie, explaining his comments downplaying this weekend’s snowstorm.

Hit With Storm Controversy, Christie Pivots to Atlantic City Triumvirate
Hair unruffled by storms or inter-state travel and a day ahead of a scheduled campaign stop in Iowa, Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon updated his schedule with a state-takeover statement about Atlantic City in his outer Trenton office.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

5 Career Moves Christie Could Make if His Presidential Run Fails
Despite endorsements from influential papers like the Boston
Herald and New Hampshire’s Union Leader, Governor Chris Christie’s presidential campaign seems to be stalling. In the case of one of his chief rivals at least he has tried to emphasize his executive background as a key contrast point, but so far, failed to differentiate himself from the field of establishment candidates (which includes Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Governor John Kasich and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush). What makes his run look all the more dismal is the fact that the establishment candidates in the field are all being dwarfed by the likes of businessman Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, both of whom bring an anti-establishment approach to their campaigns.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Following His Storm Comments, Christie apologizes to North Wildwood Mayor
Gov. Chris Christie called and told North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello that he is sorry for comments he made about the aftermath of Winter Storm Jonas.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

The Power Points of Prez Politics: Where the NJ Players Are, And Might Go
Jon Bramnick: Chris Christie
We’ve written exhaustively about the New Jersey governor’s prioritization of brand building as opposed to party building in his home state. That’s not good news for the future statewide political aspirations of the Assembly Minority Leader, a stout Christie backer. The latest Fox News polls show Christie tied for fifth with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in New Hampshire, the New Jersey leader’s firewall state. In Iowa, Christie and Bush – again tied and cannibalizing each other – are behind Florida Senator Marco Rubio and way back in the crowed pack with four percent apiece.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Lance: National Security Locks Support for Christie
As Chris Christie continues to battle for a respectable second or third-place showing in next month’s New Hampshire primary, U.S. Representative Leonard Lance of New Jersey’s heavily conservative seventh congressional district says that the combative Republican governor still has the edge over Donald Trump in his eyes.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Kivvit Expands Firm with New Hires, including Former Assemblyman O’Donnell
Public affairs firm Kivvit today announced the addition of several new members to their growing team, among them former Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31) of Bayonne.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Singleton to Chair Assembly State and Local Government Committee
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) this week formally appointed Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7) to serve as Chair of the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Wiz and Weinberg Debate as Sanders and Clinton Surrogates
With a Bernie 2016 pin affixed to his lapel, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) stared across a wooden table at his opponent: state Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37).
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie announces Atlantic City takeover
Back from the campaign trail, Gov. Christie announced a plan Tuesday for the state to take control of Atlantic City’s finances.
Jonathan Lai And Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Read more

Names sought on GWB scandal-related legal bills
A New Jersey appeals court heard arguments Monday on whether to name 30 or more state employees who have billed taxpayers for their legal costs when they give testimony on the inner workings of the Christie administration.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Christie said nothing about weekend flooding ‘resembled Sandy’
Gov. Chris Christie said he was wrong for calling the mayor of North Wildwood “crazy,” but refuted the mayor’s comments that flooding from the weekend snowstorm was worse than Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Samantha Marcus and Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Baraka reschedules Town Hall meeting amid snowstorm fallout
As the city continues to confront the aftermath of a historic snowstorm, Mayor Ras Baraka has rescheduled a town hall meeting that had been set for Wednesday.
Dan Ivers, NJ.com Read more

The 10 most influential people in N.J. business
Who in New Jersey can have the greatest impact on the state’s business?
Craig McCarthy, NJ.com Read more

Booker, Menendez tour Jersey Shore after storm: ‘We have a lot of work to do’
With mops in hand, Jason Silipena and Laura Noble spent part of their day Tuesday cleaning up the back area of Steve’s Grilled Cheese.
Don E. Woods, NJ.com Read more

Some Newark blocks still unplowed; Baraka touts ‘significant progress’ after storm
While many city streets remain littered with snow, Mayor Ras Baraka is holding fast to his position that his administration took every step necessary to deal with the weekend’s record-setting blizzard.
Dan Ivers, NJ.com Read more

A mop? No, governor, just please do your job
No, governor, no one wants you to get a mop. We didn’t elect you for that.
A governor’s first job in a crisis is to mobilize the machinery of government, and you’ve done that. Golly, thanks for thinking of us. And please don’t screw it up this time.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger Read more

Getting to know the two Christies, again
I spent the snowy weekend getting to know Chris Christie — the governor who initially fascinated but eventually infuriated me — all over again.
Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Read more

Freeholders urge state-city cooperation as new deal emerges
The Atlantic County freeholder board passed a resolution at its meeting Tuesday to urge state lawmakers to work with “duly elected local officials of Atlantic City” to solve the city’s serious financial problems.
Michelle Brunetti Post, Press of Atlantic City Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Jan. 27th