NJ Politics Digest: Did Christie Tap Nutrition Program Cash to Fund Anti-Drug Ads?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will give his final budget address. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s Tuesday, and as Gov. Chris Christie prepares to give his final budget address, there’s another bit of state spending that’s drawing attention – the question of whether or not the governor is using money intended to promote a low-income nutrition program to pay for commercials featuring him and his efforts to respond to the state’s opiod addiction problem.

State spending brings up the issue of how to cut New Jersey property taxes, and the Star-Ledger has a column by Tom Byrne, the son of former Gov. Brendan Byrne who’s entertained thoughts of his own gubernatorial run, on concrete steps that can be taken to help ease the tax burden. Meanwhile the governor has made two nominations to the board of the scandal-plagued Port Authority.

And while the focus is on Trenton today, a New Jersey cop who helped nab the suspected Seaside Heights and New York City bomber last year will be attending President Donald Trump’s address to Congress tonight.

Quote of the Day: “There’s no denying that the opioid crisis deserves the state’s attention, but if this report holds true, robbing Peter to pay Paul when our poverty rate is at a 50-year high, seems like a questionable decision at best,” – Valerie Vainieri Huttle, on reports anti-drug ads featuring Gov. Chris Christie are being paid for using funds intended to promote a low-income nutrition program.

Funds to market low-income nutrition program used for Christie drug ads
Television and radio ads featuring Governor Christie promoting a drug addiction hotline and website are partially paid for with money intended to increase the number of low-income women and children who are eligible for nutrition counseling, breastfeeding education and immunization screening, according to documents obtained by The Record.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Christie nominates retiring senator, CEO of public affairs firm to Port Authority board
The leader of a public affairs firm who once called Gov. Chris Christie a “misogynistic bully” and a retiring state senator who was one of Christie’s closest allies were nominated by the governor on Monday as commissioners to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Christie to release his last budget for New Jersey
Governor Christie will deliver his final state budget proposal on Tuesday, a last stab at New Jersey’s finances after years of missed revenue projections, credit-rating downgrades and failed reform efforts.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Christie’s last chance to chart N.J. course
It’s Governor Christie’s last major chance to wreak havoc – or govern.
As he ascends the podium inside an Assembly Chamber Tuesday to deliver his final budget address as an unpopular yet still powerful governor, many are wondering just which Chris Christie will show up. Will he be the bombastic, take-no-prisoners Christie of yore, or a new, humbled Christie, eager to make nice as he regains his footing in the legacy-building, homestretch lap of his rocky tenure in Trenton?
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

Ahead of Christie’s final budget address, N.J.’s fiscal problems remain unresolved
Gov. Christie vowed to usher in a new era of fiscal responsibility in 2010 after almost a decade of Democratic leadership in New Jersey.
Andrew Seidman & Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Read more

Five Things to Listen For in Christie’s Final Budget Address
Gov. Chris Christie will present the final state budget of his two-term tenure tomorrow afternoon in a speech before a joint session of the Legislature in Trenton. While Christie and lawmakers have already been jockeying over the issue of school aid in advance of the budget address this year, there are also open questions about the impact that looming changes from a new administration in Washington, D.C., could have on the state’s finances. This year is also a full election year in New Jersey, with the governor’s office and all 120 legislative seats on the November ballot.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

N.J.’s top pensions adviser: 5 ways to cut property taxes
Property taxes in New Jersey are the highest in the nation. Since 2000, they have doubled and have risen at over twice the rate of inflation. No wonder people are forced to move; no wonder we have the highest foreclosure rate in the nation.
Tom Byrne, Star-Ledger Guest Columnist Read more

FBI subpoenas films of Paterson tire recycling yard
The FBI issued a subpoena last Friday for more than four years’ worth of video recordings from the security cameras at Paterson’s public works recycling yard on East 16th Street, city officials said.
Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press Read more

A $500 contribution to Republicans costs paving company $7M
The state Appellate Division upheld the decisions of two state agencies to rescind two contracts totaling about $7 million to a paving business and ban the company from any state contracts through the remainder of Gov. Chris Christie’s second term because of its $500 contribution to Somerset County Republicans.
Dave Hutchinson, NJ.com Read more

Water quality a mixed bag for North Jersey, report says
Some pollution that causes algae blooms in rivers, streams and other waterways has declined in parts of New Jersey over three decades, according to a report released Monday.
Scott Fallon, The Record Read more

Gottheimer to bring wounded Linden officer to Trump address
Linden police officer turned hero Angel Padilla is headed to Washington as Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s guest for Tuesday’s joint session of Congress.
Tom Nobile and Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Slammed by left, Booker to join Sanders on drug imports
Pilloried by his party’s left wing for voting in January against a non-binding measure with a similar goal, Sen. Cory Booker is joining Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday to unveil a bill to allow the importation of pharmaceuticals from Canada and other countries.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

InsiderNJ’s African American Political Power List in Honor of Black History Month
Please do not read this as a definitive list.
In the interest of examining multiple strata of influence, we did not include every Black elected official on this list, or even every mayor.
InsiderNJ Read more

Trump sign jeered on way out of A.C., lawsuit says
Two men who tried to sell on eBay a set of “T-R-U-M-P” letters removed from the defunct Trump Taj Mahal Casino are now taking a page from the ex-casino owner turned president of the United States. They’re suing.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Red Bank demonstration following pro-Trump rally in Middletown
Two competing visions for the future of Red Bank, Monmouth County and America are coming face-to-face outside Red Bank Borough Hall this evening.
Russ Zimmer and Payton Guion, Asbury Park Press Read more

Hundreds in Middletown rally in support of President Trump’s policies
More than 200 supporters of President Trump gathered on Monday for the first of two planned rallies to promote the president’s ‘Contract with the American Voter.’
Spencer Kent, NJ.com Read more

Jewish centers evacuated in Pa., N.J., Del.; threats unfounded
Bomb threats forced the evacuation Monday of Jewish centers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware – including those in Cherry Hill and Wynnewood – amid a string of threats to Jewish institutions nationwide.
Allison Steele, Melanie Burney & Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Read more

Is N.J. election law commission stalemate at an end?
For the past year, the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission has been unable to meet.
Ted Sherman, NJ.com Read more

Bill advances to ban flavored electronic smoking devices
New Jersey could ban flavored electronic smoking devices.
Associated Press Read more

Ruling that lets Morris freeholders give grants to churches appealed
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed an anticipated appeal of a Superior Court judge’s ruling in January that permits the Morris County freeholders to give historic preservation grants to churches.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

Cherry Hill activist who stopped red-light cameras is on a new mission
In 2014, Cherry Hill resident Rick Short asked the right questions about New Jersey’s red-light cameras.
Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Read more

N.J. college holding symposium on fake news
Rider University is holding a symposium this week on fake news and responsible citizenship.
Cristina Rojas, NJ.com Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Did Christie Tap Nutrition Program Cash to Fund Anti-Drug Ads?