NJ Politics Digest: Report Says Christie Dealing With Legislature to Cash in on Book

It’s the start of a new week in New Jersey, and Gov. Chris Christie is apparently seeking to turn a new page in his career. The Record reports that Christie is dangling a pay raise for legislative staff as a carrot to get lawmakers to allow him to make money off a book deal while still in office. Perhaps the book will detail Christie will detail which jobs he was offered in the Trump administration, for there are reports that the governor, whose desire to be chair of the Republican National Committee has been thwarted, was offered several positions by Trump but turned them down.
In other political news, Ocean County GOP bigwig George Gilmore – one of the most powerful political players in the state – is reportedly under federal investigation over taxes.

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people thought: Here’s a guy who had potential to be a really good governor. We’ve discovered he was just using us for his own personal ambition,” – Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, on Gov. Chris Christie’s dismal approval ratings.

Sources: Christie, Dems, GOP plan way for his book deal
New Jersey lawmakers are once again discussing a bill that would allow Gov. Chris Christie to cash in on a book deal while in office, according to three sources in the Legislature.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Feds investigate Ocean GOP Chairman George Gilmore
Ocean County Republican Chairman George R. Gilmore is under federal investigation over his income taxes, his attorney acknowledged Friday.
Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press Read more

Rejected by N.J. voters (and maybe Trump), Christie’s in retreat
Gov. Christie may have picked a winner, but he isn’t acting like one lately.
Maddie Hanna & Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Christie turned down several jobs in Trump administration, sources say
President-elect Donald Trump offered Gov. Chris Christie numerous positions in his incoming administration, but the New Jersey governor turned them down, two sources with knowledge of Trump’s transition efforts told NJ Advance Media.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Steve Van Zandt: ‘I feel bad’ for Chris Christie
Gov. Chris Christie is apparently getting some sympathy from the E Street Band.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Donald Trump’s pro-business, Christie-free cabinet comforts conservatives
A lot of conservatives were worried that as president Donald Trump would abandon the right-wing positions he espoused in the campaign.
Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger Read more

Will Bramnick, Brown, or even Joe Piscopo enter race for N.J. governor?
Next year’s race to succeed Gov. Chris Christie is quickly becoming a crowded one.
On the Democratic side, former banking executive Phil Murphy has emerged as the early favorite. But he has challengers: Former firefighter turned activist Bill Brennan, former priest turned activist Bob Hoatson, former federal prosecutor Jim Johnson, and state Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) have all announced bids.
NJ.com Read more

Ultimate sacrifice: The 72 New Jersey troopers who died in the line of duty
As fellow officers and loved ones prepare to lay late Trooper Frankie Williams to rest on Monday, the crash that took the rookie officer’s life is a reminder of the dangers that law enforcement officers face on New Jersey’s highways.
Sergio Bichao, NJ101.5 Read more

Declan O’Scanlon will run for Joe Kyrillos’ Senate seat
It’s official: the race to replace state Sen. Joe Kyrillos will be a battle between his two Legislative District 13 running mates.
Susanne Cervenka, Asbury Park Press Read more

Garrett-Gottheimer: NJ’s most expensive House race
The books are finally closed on the most expensive House race in New Jersey history, the bitter battle in which Democrat Josh Gottheimer of Wyckoff ousted seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett, a Republican from Wantage. With new totals filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, here’s a look at the final numbers.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Looks like N.J. Democrat Gottheimer won’t be leaning left
When Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.) was elected to the House two years ago, she joined the Progressive Caucus. New Jersey’s newest House Democrat, Rep.-elect Josh Gottheimer, is taking the opposite tack.
NJ.com Read more

Wisniewski embraces ‘The Bern’ in 2017 governor’s race
Assemblyman John Wisniewski strode into an upscale, historic Metuchen restaurant on Wednesday in a navy blue business suit, looking very much the part of an established lawyer-legislator, a role he has inhabited for nearly two decades.
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

Second bear hunt closes quietly in North Jersey
New Jersey’s second bear hunt of the season came to a close Saturday with final tallies coming nowhere near numbers that were reported during the first hunt in October.
Mark Krulish, The Record Read more

Ex-senator says New Jersey bear hunt is ‘unforgiveable’
Former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli on Saturday joined opponents of New Jersey’s bear hunt who say it is inhumane and blame it for the apparent death of a beloved wild bear that walked upright.
Associated Press Read more

State lawmakers look to expand internet gaming
Already facing competition from the ever-expanding out-of-state gambling market, including the recently opened MGM National Harbor in Maryland, the city’s four-decade-old state casino monopoly is again under attack.
Nicholas Huba, Press of Atlantic City Read more

Chris Brown calls for state to provide Atlantic City fiscal plan by Jan. 15
The state takeover of Atlantic City reminds me of the movie “Groundhog Day,” only it’s here in Atlantic County where families live the same nightmare over and over again. If the state learned from its mistakes and actually presented a transparent plan instead of sending down political insiders and cronies, perhaps we could all wake up from this nightmare.
Chris Brown, The Press of Atlantic City Read more

Salem County freeholder director resigns in wake of referendum
Julie Acton, once the lone Republican member on the Salem County freeholder board who later became its first female director, has resigned.
Bill Gallo Jr., NJ.com Read more

East Orange settles whistleblower suit with ex employee
The city has paid out $82,500 to a former employee who claimed she was mocked and forced to retire when she reported to her supervisors alleged wrongdoing in city government.
Jessica Mazzola, NJ.com Read more

For 3rd straight year, more Camden kids are graduating from high school
The graduation rate for high school students in Camden has increased by 21 percentage points since 2012, according to district officials. Additionally, the dropout rate is down 9 percentage points since 2012, which was the last year before the state took over the district and Gov. Christie appointed Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard.
Allison Steele, Inquirer Read more

Here’s what Congress did for N.J. before skipping town for the year
Legislation to create a Delaware River Basin Restoration Program in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service won congressional approval before lawmakers adjourned for the year.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Booker, Menendez call for FTC investigation of turf company
Two United States senators have asked the Federal Trade Commission to open a full, nationwide investigation into whether the leading maker of artificial sports fields, FieldTurf, defrauded taxpayers across the country.
Christopher Baxter and Matthew Stanmyre, NJ.com Read more

Bloomfield reacts to field turf controversy
A brand of athletic turf used on two Bloomfield township fields is coming in for increased scrutiny due to a recent media report.
Erin M Roll, The Record Read more

In statement to Trump, N.J. mobilizing for Women’s March on Washington
Just one bus.
Jessi Gottlieb Empestan believed that if she could fill one bus with people from her community to attend the Women’s March on Washington next month, she would be doing her part to challenge the tone and rhetoric she said she found so abhorrent during the presidential campaign.
Mark Mueller, NJ.com Read more

Clifton mourns loss of Kolodziej, ex-mayor, councilwoman
Gloria Kolodziej, a former mayor and longtime councilwoman in Clifton whose distinguished political career was born amid heartbreak, has died at age 77.
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

‘Blessed to be a Hammontonian’ – Kellyanne Conway comes home
When it comes to the winter season, there’s one abiding philosophy that almost always holds true: Holidays and politics really don’t mix.
Caitlin McCabe, Inquirer Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Report Says Christie Dealing With Legislature to Cash in on Book