NJ Politics Digest: Bus Terminal Battles Demonstrates Political Dysfunction at PA

It’s Thursday, and the political battle over building a new Port Authority Bus Terminal is calling harsh public scrutiny over the dysfunctional operations of the scandal-plagued bi-state agency.
The harsh spotlight is also continuing to shine on Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure in New Jersey, with Vanity Fair now weighing in on his dwindling political fortunes. With cabinet positions closing and his bid to head the Republican National Committee still in doubt, the governor is giving some indication of how he’d like to spend his time after leaving Trenton if he must leave the national stage. In Atlantic City, where the administration has stepped in because it contends the city can’t control spending, critics are complaining about the hundreds of thousands of dollars the state is paying out to the departing head of the Casino Redevelopment Investment Authority.

Quote of the Day: “The law provides that either governor can veto any action of the Port Authority. So if someone wants to run the Port Authority, they should run for governor,”-  Richard Azzopardi, a spokeman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Battle Over New Bus Terminal Threatens to Paralyze Port Authority’s Board
After three years of planning for a new bus terminal in Manhattan, the commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey still agree that New York City badly needs one. But, as the nasty debate over paying for it has spilled out in public, they appear to agree on little else.
Patrick McGeehan, New York Times Read more

Employers feeling good about their business, glum about N.J.
Nearly 70 percent of business owners in New Jersey expect to give their workers at least a nominal raise in 2017, according to a survey of employers who expressed more optimism about their prospects this year than they did last year.
Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Chris Christie’s Humbling Homecoming
Cast aside by Trump, the erstwhile G.O.P. rising star slinks home with an all-time-low approval rating, a criminal summons hanging over his head, and a rival party prepared to invoke some particularly acute political torture.
Abigail Tracy, Vanity Fair Read more

Even Christie’s Bridgegate Lawyer Could Get A Trump Administration Job
No such luck for the embattled New Jersey governor himself.
Bess Levin, Vanity Fair Read more

Christie reveals more about what he plans to do after leaving office
Gov. Chris Christie revealed Wednesday he plans to focus some of his time on drug addiction and recovery efforts after he leaves office in January 2018.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Christie isn’t Trump’s pick for Homeland Security post, reports say
Gov. Chris Christie reportedly won’t be President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for U.S. Homeland Security secretary either.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

N.J.’s 2016 ballot questions saw record-shattering spending
Independent groups shelled out a record-shattering $27.8 million in support and opposition to ballot questions across the state this year, according to a report released Wednesday by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Brown calls on Christie to overturn $225,000 CRDA severance package
Assemblyman Chris Brown called on Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday to overturn a $225,000 severance package given to outgoing Casino Redevelopment Investment Authority Executive Director John Palmieri.
Nicholas Huba and Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City Read more

School boards across N.J. to coordinate legal action against FieldTurf
The state School Boards Association will coordinate legal action against the nation’s top maker of artificial sports fields, FieldTurf, in response to a report that the company for years sold high-end turf after knowing it was falling apart.
Christopher Baxter and Matthew Stanmyre, NJ.com Read more

NJ colleges serve illegal immigrants, won’t call themselves ‘sanctuary campuses’
The declaration of Rutgers University as a “safe haven” for immigrant students in the country illegally was not enough for protesters who interrupted a Board of Governors meeting to demand the school be declared a “sanctuary.”
Dan Alexander, NJ101.5 Read more

RNC chair Christie? Five things affecting Trump pick
He’s already run a party organization that raised $106 million and helped elect 22 governors around the country, including four in states that went from blue to red. But other factors could make it unlikely Governor Christie is named chairman of the Republican National Committee, a post he reportedly expressed interest in after telling reporters last week he would finish his term as governor.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Whitman to Trump: Listen to Ivanka on climate change
Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, saying she was worried for her grandchildren’s future, urged President-elect Donald Trump to turn to one of his closest advisers, daughter Ivanka Trump, to shape his climate policies.
Russ Zimmer, Asbury Park Press Read more

Trump adviser to announce gubernatorial bid at Madison Hotel
A relatively new voice in statewide politics, Nutley resident Steve Rogers sat in the Tick-Tock Diner on Route 3 Wednesday and spoke about why he chose the Madison Hotel in Morris Township to launch his campaign on Thursday for governor of New Jersey.
William Westhoven, Daily Record Read more

Fentanyl deaths skyrocket in NJ
Figures released Wednesday by the Office of the State Medical Examiner confirmed the fears of public officials about the toll that the synthetic opioid fentanyl has taken on New Jersey.
Ken Serrano, Asbury Park Press Read more

With 20-year plan, Mount Laurel writes ‘new chapter’ in long affordable-housing saga
One day in the fall of 1970, Mount Laurel’s mayor spoke 16 words that would long cast a shadow on his township.
David O’Reilly, Inquirer Read more

Wharton man sues over charge he killed Pedals the bear
Wharton man files defamation lawsuit against six people, saying they posted provocative comments on Facebook, other outlets.
Daily Record Read more

Record 607 bears killed in New Jersey’s hunt
Hunters have killed a record 607 bears in New Jersey.
Associated Press Read more

Rider U. suggests closing Westminster Choir campus in Princeton, report says
The president of Rider University has floated the idea of closing down the Westminster Choir College’s campus and moving students to the universty’s main campus in Lawrence, the Rider News reported Tuesday.
Anna Merriman, NJ.com Read more

An NJ Transit train derailed in Hoboken with 60 people on board
An NJ Transit train with 60 passengers on board derailed as it was entering Hoboken Terminal Sunday afternoon, more than two months after a commuter train crashed while entering the station.
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

Trump staffer leading N.J. Christmas parade? Humbug, some say
While Kellyanne Conway may value her South Jersey roots, some residents of her hometown are rejecting her scheduled appearance at this weekend’s Christmas parade.
Greg Adomaitis, NJ.com Read more

Garfield Riverwalk named after city manager
The Garfield Riverwalk Park along the Dundee Dam was officially named in honor of the city manager, who originally helped start the process for the park in the early 1980s when he served as the city’s mayor.
Kristie Cattafi, The Record Read more

Cop fired for eating without permission wants his job back
A former township police officer has filed suit after he was fired for allegedly eating in a diner when he was called to respond to a cardiac arrest.
Sara Jerde, NJ.com Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Bus Terminal Battles Demonstrates Political Dysfunction at PA