PolitickerNJ News Digest: Feb. 12th

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 4.01.03 PMGood morning. It’s Friday, and in New Jersey things are returning to normal after Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to get off the campaign trail. There’s a state budget to introduce, legislative action to be taken and candidates to endorse or insult. There’s also time to take a look at the Winners and Losers in state politics now that New Hampshire is behind us.

Quote of the Day: “My constituents are most worried about whether or not they can continue to stay in Monmouth County because of high property taxes. Period. This is window dressing,” – Senator Jen Beck, on why she voted against a bill requiring equal pay for women.

What to Expect from Christie’s Tuesday Budget Address
In the past, Governor Chris Christie’s budget address has always had the prospect of higher political ambitions looming. He has given addresses during courting periods with a Republican establishment eager to have him run for president (2012) and, last year, he gave the address with the majority of the state knowing that he was going to launch himself into a bid for the Republican candidacy, despite his claims to the contrary. Each year, the remarks have been peppered with national issues or comparisons to New Jersey on a national scale.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Senate Mans Up For Women’s Equal Pay Bill, 27-4
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s equal pay legislation passed out of the Senate this afternoon.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Battleground Beck Denounces Dems’ ‘Political Theater’
Senator Jen Beck (R-11) sent a patter of BlackBerry chatter through the chamber this afternoon when she voted – along with three others – to oppose an equal pay for women bill championed by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37).
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Former Christie Backer Langone Throws His Support to Kasich
Ken Langone, the Home Depot tycoon who backed Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, will support Ohio Governor John Kasich, according to top Kasich adviser John Weaver.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Veteran Senator Pennacchio Will Back Either Trump or Cruz for Prez
Now that his first choice for president is no longer in the contest, veteran state Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) said he plans to back either billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump or Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Will Pauls to Step Down as Atlantic County Freeholder
Atlantic County Freeholder and labor leader Will Pauls will not seek reelection when his term expires this year. The running mate to Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-2) during last year’s Assembly elections, Pauls announced his decision on his Facebook page earlier this week.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Should Meyner Have Pulled a Christie on Kennedy in 1960?
Sitting here in the office with NJTV reporter David Cruz going over the muddled condition of the presidential election, and considering the possibility of a brokered GOP convention.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Prieto Says Clinton Understands ‘Democratic Values’
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has recently made anti-poverty initiatives his legislative focus. On Tuesday, he launched a $15 minimum wage proposal. On Thursday, he called for New Jersey legislatures to take action on the “dwindling basic assistance” provided by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Beck Wants to See a Kasich-Rubio GOP Ticket
PolitickerNJ today caught up with state Senator Jen Beck (R-11) and asked her who she supports for president in the aftermath of Gov. Chris Christie exiting the national contest.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Ciattarelli Likes Kasich-Rubio Ticket for 2016
Now that Gov. Chris Christie has exited the presidential contest, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) voiced his thoughts to PolitickerNJ about what he sees as the GOP’s best shot at taking back the White House in 2016.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Whelan and Kean Bills on State and Local Elections, Ethics See Final Passage
Improvements to state and local elections were the common thread running through the bills passed during Thursday’s Senate session, with bills aimed at local government ethics standards, overseas voting, and improving NJ’s voting systems seeing their third and final passage.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie pension panel calls for cutting public workers’ health benefits
A constitutional amendment to mandate quarterly payments to the pension system could have “potentially cataclysmic consequences” on the quality of life in New Jersey, according to a new report, requiring more than $3 billion in tax increases by 2022.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

With Christie out, N.J. can still have a politician on a national ticket
Gov. Chris Christie may have ended his campaign for the White House, but there still could be a New Jersey politician on a national ticket this fall: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.
a national ticket
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Chris Christie Says He Had ‘No Pathway to Victory’
In a call with donors and supporters the day after dropping out of the presidential race, Chris Christie said he saw “no pathway to victory” after he failed to qualify for the next debate this Saturday in South Carolina.
Jordyn Phelps, ABC News Read more

Chris Christie and the Bridges He Burned
In the weeks before his re-election as governor of New Jersey in 2013, Chris Christie avoided campaigning for Republican legislators in his state. Instead, he aggressively courted endorsements from elected Democrats, racking up dozens. His office emailed YouTube videos to the press in which Mr. Christie and the president of the state Senate, a Democrat, heaped praise on each other. His plan was to win big in this blue state, setting up a future White House run as a bipartisan Republican who could actually get elected in a general election.
Matt Katz, New York Times Read more

Judge allows former Bergen County Democratic leader Ferriero to remain free for 30 more days
Former Bergen County Democratic Organization Chairman Joseph A. Ferriero was granted a second, brief reprieve Thursday by a judge who agreed to allow him to remain free for another 30 days before he must begin a nearly three-year sentence for corruption.
Peter J. Sampson, The Record Read more

Paterson’s former mayor Jeffery Jones may run for Congress
Many of the city’s political figures were caught by surprise this week when social media began buzzing with an image touting former mayor Jeffery Jones as a candidate for the Congressional seat currently held by Rep Bill Pascrell Jr.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

N.J. Senate OKs ‘smart gun’ bill
A bill meant to encourage the use of “smart gun” technology passed the state Senate by a 21-13 vote Thursday.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Christie administration not answering questions on lack of federal aid for flood protection
New Jersey lost out on a bigger slice of a $1 billion competition for federal dollars to build projects to help avoid damage from storms like Superstorm Sandy and the Christie Administration thus far is not answering questions from Democratic lawmakers who want to know how that happened.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

New Jersey Senate passes new Port Authority overhaul bill
A bill to create legislative oversight of the Port Authority passed the New Jersey Senate Thursday by a 24-9 vote.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Christie requests disaster aid for 17 counties hit by winter storm
Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday sought federal disaster aid for the 17 counties hit by last month’s winter storm.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Newark mayor mum on bust of notorious gang leader he wrote letter on behalf of
Mayor Ras Baraka on Thursday declined to comment on the arrest of Cory “C-Blaze” Hamlet, one of several alleged gang leaders he attempted to help in the years following the 2004 gang truce they helped broker.
Vernal Coleman, NJ.com Read more

N.J. troopers union blasts Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show as ‘anti-police’
New Jersey’s largest state troopers union has lambasted pop star Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show, invoking the name of a trooper slain by a former member of the Black Panther party and expressing “shock and disgust” at the performance.
S.P. Sullivan, NJ.com Read more

Welcome Back Chris Christie, Says No One In New Jersey

If a phoenix rises from the ashes, what does a dead duck do?
Waddle on back to New Jersey, defeated.
Quack quack.
Jeff Edelstein, The Trentonian Read more

Unknown tax rate for North Jersey casinos raises questions over A.C.’s share
If casinos open in North Jersey, they will pay less than 50 percent in taxes on their gaming revenue, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said this week, raising questions over how much money would be available for helping Atlantic City.
Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City Read more

Ted Cruz ad hits Trump over eminent domain use in Atlantic City
Ted Cruz recently released an ad hitting Trump over his eminent domain use involving Atlantic City resident Vera Coking.
Staff reports, The Press of Atlantic City Read more

Back in NJ, Will Christie Work On Transportation Trust Fund?
Now that Gov. Chris Christie has ended his bid for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination, all eyes in Trenton are focusing on what he plans to do about New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund, which is deep in debt and on course to run of money in June.
John Reitmeyer, SpotlightNJ Read more PolitickerNJ News Digest: Feb. 12th