PolitickerNJ News Digest: July 15th


It’s Friday, and if reports are to be believed, it’s the day Donald Trump picks Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. If that wasn’t bad enough news for our governor, Chris Christie is also dealing with a close friend and longtime ally pleading guilty to political corruption and the charging of another person formerly in his administration, all the result of the Bridgegate scandal that has cost the governor dearly. Read on for details and information about what else is going on in the state’s political scrum.

Quote of the Day: “You can imagine, if we had waited we would have been subject to criticism for waiting,” – U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman, saying the timing of legal action against David Samson had nothing to do with Gov. Chris Christie’s vice presidential ambitions.

Fox Charged by U.S. Attorney’s Office
Following the guilty plea by David Samson, the U.S. Attorney’s Office this afternoon announced charges against former United Airlines consultant and later state Commissioner of the Department of Transportation Jamie Fox in one criminal complaint with conspiring to commit bribery.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Samson Pleads Guilty; Sentencing Set for October 20th
Former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman David Samson this afternoon pleaded guilt to an information charging him with accepting flights after having used his public authority to pressure United Airline officials to create a travel path from Newark to Columbia, South Carolina.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

VP Pick 2016: The Weird Timing of Samson’s Guilty Plea
A putrid colored sky hung over Newark as former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey boss David Samson prepared to issue a guilty plea for his role in the repercussions of a political piece of street theater otherwise known as Bridgegate, while his one-time confidant stood in the docket of a very different kind of court, where Donald Trump, not U.S. District Judge Jose Linares, stood poised to read the verdict.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Fishman: Samson Guilty Plea, Fox Charges Unrelated to Gov. Christie
During a press conference following the guilty plea of former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) executive David Samson, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman refuted claims made by reporters during the question and answer session that the timing of the plea was in any way related to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Questions in the Aftermath of the U.S. Attorney’s Charge Against Fox
The man who was once supposed to solve New Jersey’s state Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) crisis just ate a complaint by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as the state’s TTF fund decays, with a deal only now apparently in the offing.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

N.J. Democrats Dismayed by Fox’s Legal Plight
Democrats in the political world gasped at the news earlier today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had charged alleged go-between Jamie Fox in connection with David Samson’s United Airlines debacle.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Sweeney Issues Statement on the Fox Charge
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) issued the following statement today in response to charges against former New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox:
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Transportation Nominee Clears Senate Gauntlet
A nominee for the office of the commissioner of transportation cleared a Senate committee today in a unanimous vote Thursday, minutes after the news broke that his predecessor Jamie Fox would be facing bribery charges from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Coalition for Justice Steps up Lobby for Police Body Cameras
Following a leadership meeting tonight in the wake of last week’s police shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota, the New Jersey Clergy Coalition for Justice renewed its plea to legislative leadership and the entire New Jersey legislature to back Body Cameras for all police officers.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Van Drew and Enviros Reach Compromise on Aquaculture for South Jersey
A bill from deepest South Jersey’s state Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1) to expedite the permit process for would-be oyster farmers advanced in committee Thursday after the senator added amendments from one of the state’s most influential environmental groups.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Goldsack Headed to Archer Greiner
Mark Gooldsack today left his job as associate general counsel at the Assembly Majority Office to go work as an attorney for powerhouse firm Archer Greiner.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

A New Level of Engagement
Mayor Ras J. Baraka was one of four mayors out of 24 diverse national leaders chosen by President Barack Obama to participate in Wednesday’s “White House Convening on Building Community Trust”. The meeting was held on the same day that funeral services were held for three slain Dallas officers and a day after the President spoke to the nation about recent events that have further highlighted the racial divide in America. According to Mayor Baraka, the convening focused on ways to keep citizens safe, build community trust, and ensure justice for all Americans.
Ras Baraka, PolitickerNJ Read more

Roving Wiretaps Are Constitutional in New Jersey
As law enforcement keeps getting more discretion to intrude into our personal privacy and as America becomes more of a police state just assume that the government is listening to your telephone conversations.
Donald Scarinci, PolitickerNJ Read more

Sudden Gubernatorial Vacancy Could Cause Party Pandemonium
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said this week that he will reveal his pick for vice president today.
Jeff Brindle, PolitickerNJ Read more

Fix for N.J. road funding delayed again
A solution to New Jersey’s transportation funding crisis, already two weeks late, will be delayed again, this time by more than a week, Senate President Steve Sweeney said Thursday.
Christopher Maag, The Record Read more

Read the revealing emails about the ‘chairman’s’ flight’ released by the feds
In a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Thursday, Jamie Fox, former Port Authority official and one-time lobbyist for United Airlines, was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. Fox allegedly used his influence to help arrange a flight for the Port Authority chairman.
Tim Darragh and Vinessa Erminio, NJ.com Read more

Christie: I never advised Trump on VP choice
Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday stressed that despite heading Donald Trump’s transition team, he hasn’t been giving him any advice on who the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s should select as a running mate.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

5 things to know about ‘Chairman’s flight’ that sunk Christie confidant
The federal case against David Samson, the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, rested on the premise that United Airlines restored a flight to its regular schedule for his personal convenience.
Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com Read more

Thousands in N.J., including Christie, affected by severe weather
Gov. Chris Christie is among thousands of New Jersey residents dealing with severe weather rolling through the state.
Associated Press Read more

Gov. Chris Christie talks to Mets’ Noah Syndergaard on Acela train
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got to talk baseball on a train with a pitcher from his favorite team.
Associated Press Read more

Bills would limit what records NJ public can see
The Legislature is weighing a series of bills that would redefine, and in some cases limit, access to public records in New Jersey.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Gramiccioni defends his record
The acting Monmouth County prosecutor defended himself in testimony before the state senate judiciary committee in an effort to be confirmed for a full five-year term.
Alex N. Gecan and Andrew Ford, Asbury Park Press Read more

Piscataway defies Christie’s order to stop road projects
Mayor Brian Wahler said he is defying an order from Gov. Chris Christie to halt reconstruction of School Street, a project with some money from the Transportation Trust Fund, because, “I’m not having my residents play second fiddle to his games.”
Sue Epstein, NJ.com Read more

Trenton, Princeton agree Christie’s school funding formula unfair
Mayors, school board representatives and superintendents from Trenton, Princeton and Ewing all agreed Thursday that the state’s current school funding formula was adequate — provided the state fully implement and fund it.
Greg Wright, NJ.com Read more

Chris Christie among RNC speakers
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a speaking slot at next week’s Republican National Convention.
Emily Babay, Inquirer Read more

State will pay Atlantic City schools $8.5 million, Guardian says
The state will pay the city’s school district $8.5 million because the city doesn’t have the money to make the month’s property tax payment, Mayor Don Guardian said Thursday.
Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: July 15th