PolitickerNJ News Digest: Feb. 5th

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It’s Friday in New Jersey, the snowy end of a week that saw a chill cast on Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions. With that in mind, we take a look at what some politicians are saying about the primary battles and at past presidential moments some would like to forget.

Quote of the Day: “He’s feeding people into a party that can’t represent what he supports,” – Greg Pason, national secretary of the Socialist Party, bemoaning Bernie Sanders’ decision to run as a Democrat.

Acting AG Hoffman Departing Christie Administration for Rutgers Gig
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman is leaving the Christie Administration for a job as senior vice president and general counsel at Rutgers University.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more
Acting AG Hoffman Departing Christie Administration for Rutgers Gig

Democratic National Committee Member Erdos Joins Wiz for Sanders
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19), chairman of the Bernie Sanders campaign in New Jersey, today unfurled the name of a super delegate from Scotch Plains who also wants Sanders to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Chalet Indictment Sparks Discord for Bloomfield Mayor and Councilman
Bloomfield’s city council was recently shaken by the indictment of councilman Elias Chalet for allegedly accepting $15,000 in bribes. The initial filing of those charges set off a chain of events that had Bloomfield residents rallying to get Mayor Michael Venezia and fellow council members to pressure Chalet to resign, protests at council meetings and a physical altercation between Councilman Chalet’s cousin, Daniel Chalet, and Councilman Joseph Lopez. When the altercation happened following a January council meeting, Lopez had been the only council member to call for Chalet’s resignation.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Stopping Wall Street’s Land Grab in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the foreclosure crisis is not a distant memory, but an ongoing crisis tearing at the very foundation of our communities. In fact, New Jersey continues to lead the nation in foreclosures, holding the largest inventory of foreclosed properties at 4.4% – with no signs of easing in the foreseeable future.
Lester Taylor And Chris James, PolitickerNJ Read more

Recent History of the Most Painful Moments in Prez Politics
10. George Herbert Walker Bush looking at his watch onstage at the town hall debate forum with Bill Clinton in 1992. As his campaign flailed at the narrative that he was aloof and out-of-touch in the face of the folksy Arkansan, the patrician president appeared bored and disinterested while regular Americans stepped forward with their questions;
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more
Transgender Birth Certificate Bill Removed from Committee Docket
A bill to allow transgender residents to change the sex listed on their birth certificate was removed from the docket before Thursday’s meeting of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. The bill had been scheduled to hear testimony, but primary sponsor Joe Vitale (D-19) said that a new draft is underway.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Senate Labor Approves Tax Credit Bill for Hiring of AC Unemployed
A bill to offer tax incentives to small businesses that hire the unemployed was released from the Senate Labor Committee Thursday morning, with the committee hearing testimony from the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce’s Bob Marshall. The bill would benefit workers in Atlantic City, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and the highest foreclosure rate nationwide.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Prieto: Sanders’s Goals Are ‘Great’ But ‘Difficult to Achieve’
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) predicted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would do “better than expected” against Democratic foe Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the upcoming New Hampshire presidential primary.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Agleam with pre-2017 Rays, Lesniak and Wiz Fight for Most Progressive Title
It’s come down to this for state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19), two longstanding Democratic lawmakers who find themselves in a lower level sandbox brawl for the right to shine in 2017 as the most progressive man in the race.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

In the Middle of Sanders Dogfight, Rice Stands with Clinton
Bernie Sanders’s continuing progressive gyrations won’t budge notoriously scrappy and anti-establishment-minded state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) from backing Hillary Clinton for president.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

NH Poll: Christie in Sixth Place as Rubio Leapfrogs Over Cruz
A WHDH/UMass Lowell Poll of New Hampshire Republican voters released this morning shows Gov. Chris Christie in sixth place with 5%.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

N.J. Democrats introduce bill to increase minimum wage to $15
The minimum hourly wage in New Jersey would increase from $8.38 to $15 under a bill introduced Thursday by Democratic legislators.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Will this proposal boost affordable housing in N.J.?
A pair of veteran state lawmakers on Wednesday introduced legislation they hope will increase affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents in New Jersey — something they say the state sorely needs.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Number of people covered by Obamacare in N.J. is increasing
Some 288,573 New Jersey residents now get their health insurance through the federal marketplace, the federal government announced Thursday.
Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com Read more

Calling in backup: Could ‘dozens’ of state troopers curb violence in Newark?
As officials develop new plans for the city’s longstanding fight against crime, they’re also calling for reinforcements.
Vernal Coleman, NJ.com Read more

Sale of Newark hospital to for-profit chain gets green light
The Christie administration should allow a for-profit hospital chain to buy the bankrupt St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, a state panel recommended Thursday.
Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Christie: No apologies to family who left N.J. for sick child’s medical marijuana
Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday defended the state’s strict medical marijuana program and shrugged off a suggestion that a Scotch Plains family had no choice but to relocate to Colorado so their ailing daughter could have easier access to edible cannabis products.
Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Christie talks about his health on the campaign trail
New Hampshire town hall meetings are place for voters to take their questions and concerns to presidential hopefuls, and for one potential Gov. Chris Christie supporter here there was one pressing matter on her mind: the governor’s health.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Bridgegate documents missing from the week of lane closures, defense says
Federal prosecutors in the Bridgegate case have failed to turn over important defense materials — including an email written between Gov. Chris Christie’s former spokesman and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official who ordered the infamous lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, a court filing says.
Tim Darragh, NJ.com Read more

Christie defends veto to block $10M from fund to prevent lead poisoning
Governor Christie on Wednesday defended his veto to block $10 million from a fund that helps prevent lead poisoning following a report this week that showed high lead concentrations in children in Paterson, Passaic and 10 other communities.
Dustin Racioppi and Scott Fallon, The Record Read more

Randolph mayor, Parsippany councilman want freeholder seats
Randolph Mayor Roman Hirniak, Parsippany Council President Louis Valori and attorney and land use expert Peter King have teamed up to run in the June 7 GOP primary election for seats on the Morris County freeholder board.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

Atlantic City council members banned from using city cars
Atlantic City council members can no longer use city-owned vehicles following questions about their necessity and cost.
Associated Press Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Feb. 5th