PolitickerNJ News Digest: Jan. 6th

Elias Chalet at the January 4 council meeting.
Elias Chalet at the January 4 council meeting.
 Hello, it’s Wednesday in New Jersey, where some are blaming Gov. Chris Christie’s inattention for the stalling of a push for northern New Jersey casinos and politics in Bloomfield devolves into a parking lot brawl.
Quote of the Day: “Nobody comes out a winner if a deal isn’t reached, and that includes Governor Christie, who is really the only person whose position allows him to force everybody in the room to make the deal,” – Rider University political scientist Ben Dworkin, on how Gov. Chris Christie’s absence is making reaching a deal on northern New Jersey casinos difficult.
With Casino Bills Still Poison in South Jersey, Some Blame Christie’s Absence 
As the referendum to amend the state constitution and expand casino gaming into North Jersey continues to falter in Trenton, an unsettled gubernatorial field and long-standing regional divides are dominating the course of policy in New Jersey. With Governor Chris Christie staying mum on the negotiations in his absence, there is little hope that an authoritative third party will resolve the conflict between South Jersey’s economic interests and the push for new casino revenue.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more
Counsel Advise Against Constitutional Challenge to Sweeney Casino Plan
A constitutional challenge to Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) version of a bill to expand casino gaming may have been nipped in the bud. The case, which would argue that keeping new backers from bidding on new North Jersey casinos violate the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, would have to face legal precedent from a Pennsylvania court case dating from Philadelphia’s casino push.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more
Bloomfield Council Meeting, Fight Breaks Out
After last night’s Bloomfield City Council meeting came to a close, an altercation broke out in the parking lot between Councilman Joseph Lopez—who at last night’s meeting called for the resignation of Councilman Eli Chalet due to the allegations that he accepted a $15,000 bribe—and four members of Chalet’s family.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more
Christie to Give State of the State on Tuesday
On Tuesday, January 12, Governor Chris Christie will deliver the State of the State Address to the 217th Session of the Legislature and to the people of New Jersey.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more
Lendor Tapped as DeCotiis Firm Partner
The DeCotiis Law Firm today announced the firm’s selection of Anton Lendor as a contract partnPoliticker Staff er
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more
Wisniewski Neutral on Fellow Sanders Backer Alex Law 
Following his official endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president on Monday, Assemblyman and 2017 gubernatorial candidate John Wisniewski (D-19) told PolitickerNJ that Sanders’ emphasis of economic fairness was what swayed him from endorsing Hillary Clinton, who many expect to carry New Jersey in the primary.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more
Wiz Backing of Sanders Should Cement O’Malley’s Quick Exit Strategy from Prez Race 
The endorsement for president that Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) just gave to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders should have belonged to former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley
PolitickerNJ Editor, PolitickerNJ Read more
Feds: Newark Watershed Official and Contractor Plead Guilty 
A former high-ranking employee of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp. (NWCDC) today admitted accepting $956,948 in kickback payments for his and the former executive director’s assistance in awarding work to contractors, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more 
Pascrell Hosts Syrian Refugee Family
Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-9) welcomed a family of recently arrived refugees from Syria into his Paterson office on Tuesday. The intention of the discussion was to share the experience the family had with the resettlement process and how life has been since they settled in Paterson. The talk comes in the midst of a swell of anti-refugee sentiment that has been at the center of the national dialogue in recent months.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more
Booker Supportive of Obama’s Executive Action Roadmap on Guns
Following President Barack Obama’s announcement of his intent to take executive action to reduce gun violence, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J) today released a statement of support.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more
Solomeno to Pursue Democratic Nomination for Surrogate in Monmouth
Vincent Solomeno announced this morning that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for Monmouth County Surrogate in 2016. A Captain in the New Jersey Army National Guard, Fulbright Scholar, and member of the Hazlet Township Land Use Board, Solomeno, 30, cited a determination to improve services and advocate for county residents as his reason for entering the race.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more
Monmouth Poll: 7 in 10 Americans Say Climate Change is Real
In December, nearly 200 nations meeting at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris agreed to take action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to increased global temperatures and rising sea levels.  The independent Monmouth University Poll finds that a large majority of Americans acknowledge climate change is happening, although they are divided on whether human activity is mostly responsible for it. The poll also finds a plurality of the public believes the United States will be just as impacted by sea level rise as the rest of the world, with a solid majority saying the effects will reach inland areas as well as coastal communities
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more
U.S. Attorney General asks Christie to help Obama’s push for more gun control
The nation’s top law enforcement officer is asking Governor Christie to help “keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and others prohibited from possessing them,” according to a letter obtained by The Record.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more
The truth about N.J.’s pension crisis and how to fix it 
Next November, New Jerseyans will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment to require the state government to make regular quarterly pension payments, which would put the state’s pension system — and the state of New Jersey itself — on the road to fiscal solvency within six years.
Mark J. Magyar. Star-Ledger Read more
Christie adding staffers to his GOP presidential campaign
Now that he’s rising in the polls, Gov. Chris Christie is adding half a dozen positions to his White House campaign, two of them from his offices in Trenton.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more
Initial funding OK aids Stockton’s new Atlantic City campus
Stockton University, having rolled snake eyes in its attempt to convert a former casino into a satellite campus, is playing a new card.
Associated Press, Read more 
Atlantic City manager eyes varying casino tax payments
An emergency manager appointed by Gov. Chris Christie for Atlantic City is suggesting that casino tax payments be reevaluated every few years.
Associated Press Read more
Acting Treasurer’s Final Approval Still Pending While Budget Battle Looms
Gov. Chris Christie had a deep pool of seasoned Treasury officials on hand in recent years to help his administration navigate a series of tricky budget issues. But he’s entering 2016 — a year in which the state will have to address a number of tough economic concerns — with a relatively inexperienced state treasurer who has yet to be confirmed by the state Senate.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more
Len Connors proud of half-century legacy as Surf City mayor
If you don’t know Leonard T. Connors, you will after you shake his hand.
Connors’ large, rough hand and strong grip can envelop any hand. He shook the hands of thousands during his 50-year career as the mayor of Surf City.
Donna Weaver, Press of Atlantic City Read more
PolitickerNJ News Digest: Jan. 6th