NJ Politics Digest: Insults Fly As Bridgegate Foes Face Off

It's Wednesday, and as the holiday approaches, the mood is less-then-convivial in Trenton, where Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Ray Lesniak matched each other insult for insult as the two faced off over Lesniak's desire to pursue action against Christie over his possible involvement in the Bridgegate scandal.


It’s Wednesday, and as the holiday approaches, the mood is less-then-convivial in Trenton, where Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Ray Lesniak matched each other insult for insult as the two faced off over Lesniak’s desire to pursue action against Christie over his possible involvement in the Bridgegate scandal.
Things also aren’t quiet in quiet Bernards Township, where the federal government has filed a lawsuit after the town nixed a proposal to build a mosque. But southern New Jersey commuters have reason to breathe a sigh of relief, as Christie has backed off a threat to do away with a tax agreement with Pennsylvania that would have seen their tax liability increase. And for folks who haven’t had enough of the drama surrounding the Trump transition team, Forbes weighs in with a story that addresses whether or not Christie was pushed out by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Quote of the Day: “Six months ago Governor Christie and I decided this election was much bigger than any differences we may have had in the past, and we worked very well together. The media has speculated on a lot of different things, and since I don’t talk to the press, they go as they go, but I was not behind pushing out him or his people,” – Trump son-in-law and Observer owner Jared Kushner.

‘Crazy quack,’ ‘lunatic,’ ‘liar’ — 60 seconds of Christie insults from just one night
Gov. Chris Christie took a combative tone Monday in pushing back against critics over Bridgegate – dismissing former aides as convicted felons and liars who shouldn’t be believed, and calling a Democratic state senator “a crazy quack” and “lunatic.”
Michael Symons, NJ101.5 Read more

‘Quack’ Lesniak — ‘Cracking’ Christie needs a vacation, meditation … and investigation
After being called a “crazy quack” and a “lunatic” by Chris Christie on Ask the Governor Monday night, state Sen. Ray Lesniak fired back by saying the governor reminds him of “Captain Queeg” cracking under pressure.
Dan Alexander, NJ101.5 Read more

Kim Guadagno and Chris Christie: It’s complicated
As a potential gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno would be expected to start making efforts to distance herself from her boss and his 19 percent favorability rating.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

How Jared Kushner Won Trump The White House
It’s been one week since Donald Trump pulled off the biggest upset in modern political history, and his headquarters at Trump Tower in New York City is a 58-story, onyx-glassed lightning rod. Barricades, TV trucks and protesters frame a fortified Fifth Avenue. Armies of journalists and selfie-seeking tourists stalk Trump Tower’s pink marble lobby, hoping to snap the next political power player who steps into view. Twenty-six floors up, in the same building where washed-up celebrities once battled for Trump’s blessing on The Apprentice, the president-elect is choosing his Cabinet, and this contest contains all the twists and turns of his old reality show.
Steven Bertoni, Forbes Read more

Christie: Tax revenue from pot would be ‘blood money’
Governor Christie called the hypothetical tax revenue that would be gleaned from legalizing marijuana “blood money” in his monthly “Ask The Governor” radio program on 101.5 AM on Monday night.
Andrew Wyrich, The Record Read more

Town that denied mosque sued by federal government
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Bernards Township, alleging it violated federal law in its denial of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge’s plan to build a mosque.
Dave Hutchinson and Craig Turpin, NJ.com Read more

Lawsuit: 28 times bigotry reared its head in the NJ town that blocked a new mosque
The township Planning Board’s decision to deny a Muslim group’s plans to build a mosque is now the subject of a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit alleging township officials engaged in religious discrimination.
Sergio Bichao, NJ101.5 Read more
Jersey neighbors offer Muslims support against bias
James Sues, leader of a Muslim civil rights group in New Jersey, received nearly 20 emails in the week after Donald Trump’s election, each asking: How can I help?
Hannan Adely, The Record Read more

NJ court: Security camera footage off limits to public
Members of the public do not have the right to get video from security cameras outside government buildings, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Commute across the Delaware? Christie’s changed his mind, keeping your taxes simpler
Gov. Christie has decided to keep a decades-long agreement between New Jersey and Pennsylvania that allows residents to pay income tax where they live, regardless of where they work — just months after he announced he would end it.
Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Wisniewski campaign donations to local Democrats used legal loophole
John Wisniewksi, an Assemblyman and Democratic candidate for governor, donated nearly $18,000 to the Monmouth County Democratic Party while his law firm performed work for the town of Keyport, which barred its public contractors from giving to the party.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Officials voice concerns about Trump’s potential environmental impact
When Paul Revere famously rode through the Massachusetts night, it was to alert colonial militia of a pending threat.
Rob Spahr, NJ.com Read more

Booker: Senate Will Act As Emergency Brake on Trump
New Jersey senator reacts quickly to president-elect’s choices for national security, chief strategist
WNYC News Read more

Can Quarterly Payments Rescue NJ Pension System
After failing to find any common ground for the past several years over the best way to address New Jersey’s grossly underfunded public-employee pension system, state lawmakers reached a rare, bipartisan agreement yesterday, voting in favor of legislation requiring quarterly instead of yearly state pension contributions.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

Judge rules anorexic Morris woman can’t be force-fed
A 29-year-old, severely-anorexic Morris County woman who has been a Greystone Park Psychiatric patient since 2014 cannot be artificially fed against her wishes, a Superior Court judge ruled Monday.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

After speaker admonishes Princeton High students for cheering racist imagery, principal apologizes for her appearance
Princeton High School’s principal emailed an apology to parents last week after the speaker at a student assembly on digital safety admonished some students for cheering examples of online racism and sexism.
Tommy Rowan, Inquirer Read more

Election fraud lawsuit against Bayonne’s Republican chairman dismissed
A lawsuit claiming Bayonne Republican Party chairman Vincent Cuseglio committed election fraud was dismissed in court last month after one of the plaintiffs failed to appear for court.
Corey McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

School officials won’t be removed for scandalous post about teacher
A high school math teacher was unsuccessful in having school officials removed from their position after they posted a statement regarding his suspension for using a district-issued computer to send and receive naked photos and search for trysts.
Dave Hutchinson, NJ.com Read more

Christie moves to re-appoint Cumberland County prosecutor
Gov. Chris Christie has nominated Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae for reappointment.
Don E. Woods, NJ.com Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Insults Fly As Bridgegate Foes Face Off