NJ Politics Digest: ‘Frightening’ Football Ceremony Sparks Political Clash

It’s Monday, the start of a new week in Trenton politics. But before we start another five days of fun, let’s catch up on the weekend happenings. Here in New Jersey, even something as a high school football game can become a ideological battleground, as folks in Middletown found out.
Want to know how the coming gas tax hike will hit your wallet? The Star-Ledger breaks it down while NJSpotlight looks at how Democrats hope a change in administration in the governor’s office will provide an opening to restore women’s healthcare funding cut by Gov. Chris Christie.
For this, and a wrap up of last week’s Bridgegate trial testimony, read on.

Quote of the Day: “Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect the constitution, and it is a disservice to the students and players that an event that should focus on them, their families, and their communities is being used to send a message that people who express concerns about disparities in the criminal justice system are unwelcome, disloyal or unpatriotic,” – the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, in a letter criticizing a high school football game ceremony honoring law enforcement, military and first responders after a police chief said the ceremony was also a response to those who will not stand for the national anthem.

Ceremony honoring police before HS game sends ‘frightening message,’ ACLU says
A ceremony honoring law enforcement, military and first responders before a high school football game Friday night drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey because of an underlying ‘frightening message.’
Alex Napoliello, NJ.com Read more
N.J. 23 cent gas tax hike deal: Your questions answered on who pays more, and less
Gov. Chris Christie recently signed a transportation funding package into law that will raise New Jersey’s gasoline tax from the one of the lowest in the nation to one of the highest.
Samantha Marcus NJ.com Read more
N.J.’s ‘Aid in Dying’ bill: What you need to know, how your lawmakers voted
The state Assembly approved legislation Thursday that would legally allow doctors to write a prescription for lethal drugs a terminally patient could take to end his or her life.
Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more
Could Democrats use Trump to target a 2nd N.J. House member?
Peter Jacob, the Democratic nominee running against Republican Rep. Leonard Lance in the 7th Congressional District, is one of only 17 U.S. House and Senate congressional candidates endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ new political organization.
NJ.com Read more
Bridget Kelly’s Bridgegate testimony challenges Christie’s credibility
It was time for the other side of the story about the eight-word email that launched traffic problems in Fort Lee and helped derail Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions.
Mike Kelly, The Record Read more
For years, Governor Christie did all the talking for his administration.
His staff obeyed — their political livelihoods depended on it. No leaks. No off-the-record chitchats with reporters in the State House hallways.
Charles Stile, The Record Read more
3 revealing moments in Bridget Kelly’s Bridgegate testimony
The former Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Chris Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, took the stand Friday in the Bridgegate trial, speaking at length for the first time in the three years since the scandal broke.
Ted Sherman and Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more


Democrats Can’t Wait To Restore Women’s Healthcare Funding
For nearly seven years Democratic state lawmakers, led by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, have waged an unsuccessful battle to reinstate millions in annual funding for women’s healthcare services that Gov. Chris Christie declined to include in New Jersey’s budget when he took office.
Lilo Stainton, NJSpotlight Read more
Businessman Mounts Challenge to Pallone
Republican businessman and political newcomer Brent Sonnek-Schmelz is running a longshot campaign against Rep. Frank Pallone in the 6th District, arguing that the 28-year Democratic incumbent is part of an underperforming Washington establishment that has not done enough to help small businesses, superstorm Sandy victims, and a region hurt by the closure of Fort Monmouth in 2011.
Meir Rinde, NJSpotlight Read more


Atlantic City’s woes likely to doom N.J. casino expansion
Interest groups have waged a record-setting spending battle over a New Jersey ballot question on whether to expand casino gaming to North Jersey.
Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Read more
Ex-Bergen County Dem leader Ferriero will urge appeals court to overturn corruption conviction
Lawyers for former Bergen County Democratic chairman Joseph A. Ferriero will get a chance on Nov. 1 to try to convince a federal appeals court to throw out his 2015 conviction on corruption charges.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more
2 Republicans seek to repeal New Jersey’s gas tax hike
Two Republican lawmakers are seeking to repeal New Jersey’s gas tax increase to fund road and bridge projects that’s due to take effect on Nov. 1.
Associated Press Read more
N.J. lawmakers approve limits to solitary confinement
New Jersey lawmakers have approved restricting the use of solitary confinement in the state’s jails.
Associated Press Read more


What 2 ex-N.J. governors say about Trump’s election results talk; race for N.J. Gov.
The following exchange between former New Jersey governors Brendan T. Byrne and Tom Kean took place via telephone on Thursday.
Star-Ledger Staff Read more
Opinion: Clinton for president: Why we need a landslide
Donald Trump boasted in January that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and his loyal supporters would stay with him.
On that point, at least, he’s been proven right. He’s going to lose this election, but if the polls are on target roughly 4 in 10 Americans will stand with him to the end.
Star-Ledger Editorial Board Read more NJ Politics Digest: ‘Frightening’ Football Ceremony Sparks Political Clash