NJ Politics Digest: Cops Could Add New Weapon to Their Arsenals

It’s Friday, and the end of the week brings us a report that special interests continue to pour more and more cash into New Jersey political races. Meanwhile, the Asbury Park Press reports on the efforts by some state legislators to make it easier for cops and residents here to arm themselves with stun guns. And the Wall Street Journal tells us Gov. Chris Christie is looking toward big donors to help him with funding for a Trump transition effort. For all this and a roundup of the rest of the state’s political news, read on.

Quote of the Day: “New Jersey wants to maintain order. But from my perspective, the probability of abuses with respect to using stun guns is small. I think the benefits far outweigh the risks,” – New Jersey Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, on his efforts to lift a ban on stun guns in the state.

Special interest money continues to grow in N.J. legislative races, report says
New Jersey special interest groups plowed $17.8 million into state and local races last year, a 60 percent increase over campaign spending in 2014 when there were no legislative races on the ballot, a campaign finance watchdog group reported Thursday.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Lawmakers: Time for Tasers in NJ
After Manchester police shot and killed a knife-wielding man who was threatening suicide, law enforcement experts saidpolice need additional, “less lethal” weapons like Tasers and stun guns to subdue violent, disturbed or suicidal suspects without killing them.
Alex N. Gecan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Trump Backers Seek Donations to Fund Transition Process
Donald Trump’s supporters aim to raise $2.5 million to finance the Republican presidential nominee’s potential transition into the White House, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday on a private call.
Michael C. Bender, Wall Street Journal Read more

N.J. public pension system still among worst-funded in U.S.
New Jersey’s public pension fund is shakier than all but two U.S. states also known for their notoriously underfunded retirement systems, according to a new comparison by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Influential black leader leaving N.J. to head the AME church in Georgia
Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, the former executive director of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey and a leading figure in the state’s black community, has been named to lead the more than 500 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Georgia.
Ted Sherman, NJ.com Read more

N.J. Legislative Black Caucus holds hearing on Atlantic City takeover
Local leaders vented anxieties and pitched strategies to stop a state takeover Thursday during a state Legislative Black Caucus hearing.
Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City Read more

Christie critic seeks answers about Trump’s Atlantic City tax break
One of Gov. Chris Christie’s most vocal critics in the New Jersey Legislature said she’s filed a public records request to the governor’s administration seeking documents related to a controversial $25 million tax break the state gave in 2011 to the Atlantic City casinos once owned by Donald Trump.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

State Reaches Contract Agreements With Two Unions
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced new contracts with two unions representing nearly 6,000 state and higher education employees.
Associated Press Read more

N.J. well water is among nation’s ‘most corrosive,’ report says
New Jersey’s groundwater is among the “most corrosive” in the nation, putting the state’s nearly 1 million people who rely on private well at risk for lead exposure, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Trenton City Council Again Snubs School District
City council has sent Trenton public school officials to the principal’s office twice.
And both times, the district has left with nothing but a scolding.
David Foster, The Trentonian Read more

Opinion: MVC spinning its wheels
The state Division of Motor Vehicles and its successor-in-name-only, the Motor Vehicle Commission, have long been New Jersey’s poster child for incompetent, unresponsive government.
Asbury Park Press Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Cops Could Add New Weapon to Their Arsenals