PolitickerNJ News Digest: March 3rd

Leroy Jones and Essex County Young Democrats members.

Leroy Jones and Essex County Young Democrats members.

Good morning, it’s Thursday in New Jersey, where the the question is whether Gov. Chris Christie’s political reputation will ever recover from his Howard Dean moment on stage Super Tuesday. While wags around the country lambasted the governor for his uncomfortable look, legislators in his home state (and in his own party) are lining up to take shots at the absentee governor.

Quote of the Day: “With any job in life if you are not able to committed to it for any reason you have to take a hard, long look as to whether or not it is the place for you,” – Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, on Gov. Christie’s future in New Jersey.

The Last Gasp of the Christie Persona?
Chris Christie has long courted the New Jersey electorate and the state’s Republican establishment with a willingness to revel in conflict and contradiction. The Republican who unsuccessfully ran for Assembly in 1995 on a pro-choice, anti-assault rifle platform and bullied his way to a gubernatorial win in 2009 has always known the value of keeping his convictions limber in a state with an entrenched Democratic majority.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie’s Post-NH Downfall and the Trump Endorsement
As Governor Chris Christie took the stage beside businessman Donald Trump on Super Tuesday, the Twittersphere exploded with comments that said it appeared as though the former presidential candidate was being held “hostage” by the Republican presidential frontrunner. Now, after Christie’s Trump endorsement last week, there are calls for the governor to step down and Christie’s poll numbers are plummeting (he now sits at just 27 percent approval in his home state according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll.)
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Bateman Says if Christie Continues as Trump Surrogate, He Should Resign
State Senator Kip Bateman (R-16), a veteran Republican lawmaker and a lifelong resident of Somerset County, said that if Gov. Chris Christie intends to serve as an out-of-state surrogate for billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump, he should resign the governorship.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Under the Twittersphere: NJ Insiders React to Trump-Christie World
New Jersey political insiders observed Gov. Chris Christie’s ongoing national-sized gyrations with the impassiveness of iguanas stranded on rocks, by now wholly used to the governor’s antics and barely aware of an all-encompassing hyper-kinetic Twittersphere.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Murphy Lines up Names of Those Who Want Christie to Resign
Thou shalt not serve God and mammon both, says the Bible, and for Phil Murphy and others, Gov. Chris Christie shall not simultaneously serve New Jersey (granted, a regrettable substitute for the Almighty) and billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

In Orange, New Ad drills Warren for Backing Christie in 2013
The already competitive Orange Mayor’s race entered a new round of intensity this morning with the relese of a cable television ad by the team of Councilman Kerry Coley.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Schepisi: Christie Should Take ‘Long, Hard Look’ at NJ When Considering Trump Role
While Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is not joining fellow Republican legislators Kip Bateman, Jennifer Beck and Jack Ciattarelli to call for the resignation of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie if he plans to continue to spend significant time on the campaign trail for presidential candidate Donald Trump, she did say that she wants to hear more from the governor about what the role will mean for his position in New Jersey.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Bateman Says if Christie Continues as Trump Surrogate, He Should Resign
State Senator Kip Bateman (R-16), a veteran Republican lawmaker and a lifelong resident of Somerset County, said that if Gov. Chris Christie intends to serve as an out-of-state surrogate for billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump, he should resign the governorship.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

APP: Beck Says Christie Needs to Serve NJ or Resign
If Governor Chris Christie is going to go on the campaign trail with billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump, he cannot continue to serve as our governor, state Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) told the Asbury Park Press today a day after the newspaper called on Christie to resign.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

2/3rd’s Less Trump & TWICE the Snark!
If there’s ever been a wackier week in politics, nationally and state-wide, I can’t recall. Can you? In fact, there’s so much campaign-season craziness swirling about, I’ll just dish up a few easily-digestable political vignettes to highlight some of the week’s highs and lows. Mostly lows.
Jay Lassiter, PolitickerNJ Read more

Value Based Care: An Innovation We Must Encourage More Of
Health benefits costs have always been the third rail for NJBIA members. In survey after survey, the cost of health benefits is always their greatest challenge
Michele Siekerka, PolitickerNJ Read more

Prieto Doubles Down on A.C. Collective Bargaining Agreements
Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-36) said Wednesday that he will not support a state takeover of Atlantic City unless it leaves collective bargaining agreements for municipal workers untouched. Prieto’s announcement comes after Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-9) said that he may decline to post an Assembly version of the takeover bill from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) if a truce can’t be achieved with local officials.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

N.J. pension investment fees, bonuses top $700M in 2015
New Jersey’s government worker pension fund paid about $728 million in fees to private fund managers last year, according to an annual report of the pension investments.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Who really gave $250,000 to pro-Christie super PAC?
A campaign finance advocacy group wants to know who really gave $250,000 to a super political action committee supporting Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Sweeney: Christie ‘absolutely’ broke deal on N.J. Supreme Court
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Wednesday that when Gov. Chris Christie announced this week he has made a new nomination to the state Supreme Court, he broke a deal they made two years ago to leave the seat vacant.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Christie’s blank stare during Trump speech dominates social media
The man who made social media a linchpin of his carefully crafted national image is still trending. Not in a good way.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Christie’s face laughing stock of social media
Gov. Chris Christie’s face is now a “thing.”
Thousands of Twitter users were deeply entertained by his stern, and at times destitute facial expressions as he stood beside Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a Florida rally on Super Tuesday.
Kala Kachmar, News Quip Read more

Chris Christie skips work again
The joint editorial from the Asbury Park Press and five sister newspapers isn’t the first call for Gov. Chris Christie to resign from office. A majority of registered Garden State voters wanted the same thing last year.
Christie wasn’t on the job Wednesday after spending Super Tuesday on the presidential trail in Ohio, Kentucky and Florida with Donald Trump.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Indicted former Christie staffer seeks other ‘conspirators’
An indicted former staffer for Gov. Chris Christie has renewed her efforts to get prosecutors to release names of people who may have known about lane closings at the George Washington Bridge in 2013.
Associated Press, Read more 

Icahn: No $100M for Taj if North Jersey casinos are approved
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said Wednesday that if New Jersey approves casinos in the northern part of the state, he won’t pump $100 million into his newly acquired Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.
Wayne Parry, Associated Press Read more

For N.J. Republicans, the choice is Donald Trump or some guy who’s going to ignore us
I was driving around the other day punching the buttons on the radio when I came across a sports-radio talk show.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger

Christie’s approval ratings in N.J. dip after Trump endorsement
Gov. Chris Christie’s low approval ratings back home in New Jersey sank further after the former 2016 hopeful endorsed Republican front-runner Donald Trump, according to a new poll.
Matt Arco, NJ.com

Major Christie donor joins fight to stop Trump, report says
More than 50 Republican donors and power brokers Tuesday took part in a conference call to discuss how to stop Donald Trump from winning the party’s presidential nomination, according to a report by CNN.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com

Baraka calls Christie’s charter expansion OK a ‘huge step backwards’ for Newark
Mayor Ras Baraka is coming out strongly against Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to clear the way for a new wave of charter school expansion in Newark, calling it “huge step backwards” for their traditional public counterparts.
Dan Ivers, NJ.com

What did Christie’s facial expression show? ‘He’s not a happy camper,’ expert says
Just how would you describe the expression on Gov. Chris Christie’s face as he stood behind Donald Trump as the billionaire basked in his presidential primary victories Tuesday night?
Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com

Under fire, Paterson mayor to take budget case to City Council next week
After getting criticized for not attending Tuesday night’s emergency City Council session about Paterson’s short-lived government shutdown, the mayor said he will make a personal appearance at next week’s meeting to discuss the 2016 budget.
Joe Malinconico, The Record

PolitickerNJ News Digest: March 3rd