NJ Politics Digest: What’s Healthcare Vote Mean For MacArthur’s Senate Ambitions?

Congressman MacArthur at the 2016 RNC. Alyana Alfaro for Observer

It’s the start of a new week in Trenton, but last week’s congressional healthcare effort still remains a top topic in the Garden State, particularly how U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur‘s support for the unpopular plan will impact his aspirations for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Gov. Chris Christie started his week focusing on an important New Jersey topic – namely pressuring the Trump administration to seek the return of convicted State Trooper killer Joanne Chesimard, who has spent decades hiding out in Cuba.

While the Christie administration says its working to bring financial stability to Atlantic City, critics charge that the governor is allowing his allies are using the effort to fatten their purses at the state’s expense. The latest example are the bills submitted by former U.S. Sen. Jeff Chiesa’s firm, which have one GOP lawmaker saying it looks like the state “just got robbed.”

Quote of the Day: “Foerster gave his life. And his family has lived for the last 40 years with the knowledge that his murderer has been living with impunity in an island protected by that government. It’s outrageous,” – Gov. Chris Christie, calling on the Trump administration to pressure the Cuban government to return Joanne Chesimard, the convicted murderer of State Trooper Werner Foerster, to New Jersey.

MacArthur bargained for change to health bill, became lone N.J. supporter
When the House approved a budget resolution in January that set the process for replacing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, Rep. Tom MacArthur of Ocean County was one of just nine Republicans to vote “no,” arguing things needed to be done “carefully rather than quickly.”
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

AC law-firm bills in: ‘Looks like we just got robbed,’ says GOP official
Former U.S. Sen. Jeff Chiesa, who negotiated a retention agreement that covers his entire law firm when he was appointed by the state to oversee Atlantic City, has submitted more than $287,000 worth of bills for the firm since November.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Christie: ‘I don’t see any evidence’ Trump was ever spied on by U.S.
Gov. Chris Christie told Fox News on Friday evening that there was no visible evidence that Donald Trump was ever placed under surveillance by U.S. intelligence services while president-elect.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Wisniewski in gutsy fight against tax-and-spend bill
Assemblyman John Wisniewski is running for governor as a Democrat, which means that all political logic says he should be sucking up to the public worker unions who tend to dominate primary contests.
Tom Moran, NJ.com Read more

Thousands at shore’s FAA Tech Center unsettled by Trump budget
At the William J. Hughes Technical Center just beyond where most travelers turn for economy parking at the Atlantic City International Airport, about 3,000 federal employees and contractors are keeping a nervous eye on the Trump budget.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Jim Johnson: ‘Mr. Cool’ in N.J. governor’s race
As Jim Johnson shook hands with members of a Collingswood civic group Thursday night, a voter approached him and lamented the state of the country’s campaign-finance system: “You have to follow the money.”
Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Morristown woman talks small business with Ivanka Trump
A Morristown business owner had the chance to affect the Trump administration last week, meeting with Ivanka Trump as part of a roundtable discussion on the issues facing female Latina business owners.
Michael Izzo, The Record Read more

Is it time to kill NJ small towns?
New Jersey has so many towns that 75 of them share the same names.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

‘A few skirmshes’ at pro-Trump rally in Seaside
Supporters of Donald Trump rallied and marched on the Boardwalk on Saturday with a message for all Americans who want him to fail: He’s president, get behind him or get over it.
Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press Read more

Christie’s big three proposals going nowhere
When Gov. Christie in his budget message called on the Legislature to act on three major new policy initiatives — tapping the capital reserves of Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield; redirecting revenue from the state lottery to the public pension system and devising a new education funding formula — he came down on the wrong side of history.
Carl Golden, Asbury Park Press Read more

Christie renews call to demand Cuba return convicted killer
Gov. Chris Christie has again called on the federal government to have Cuba return a woman convicted in the murder of a state trooper.
Associated Press Read more

Hit twice: Why state didn’t protect Sandy victims from fraud
Brian and Sue Poehler of Toms River say they were abandoned by Shore House Lifters and that the whole experience makes them wish they had just walked away from their storm-ravaged home.
But it’s not just the contractor that they’re angry at.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Menendez honors six ‘trailblazers’ during annual women’s history month event
Women’s healthcare was repeatedly mentioned Sunday afternoon at a women’s history month celebration where six “trailblazing” women were given awards by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) days after a replacement to the Affordable Care Act failed to get a vote.
Sara Jerde, NJ.com Read more

Roosevelt councilors, mayor go to court over firehouse referendum
An already contentious $600,000 bond referendum in Roosevelt Borough to build an emergency services building has escalated into a battle in Monmouth County Superior Court over a schedule change because of a snow storm.
Steph Solis, Asbury Park Press Read more

I have to pay what? Shock of MONOC paramedic bills
Last July, Doug Miller’s wife had some trouble breathing early in the morning so he called 911. The Toms River Emergency Medical Service responded to help.
David P. Willis, Asbury Park Press Read more

Ex-N.J. attorney general: The madness in Trump’s insolence toward U.S. intelligence
As with so many issues he has raised, President Donald Trump has questioned the proper role and functioning of an intelligence community in our republic in the crudest, most personal of terms. No surprise there. That’s who he is, apparently.
John Farmer Jr., NJ.com Read more

Rep. Sires: Will remain vigilant even now as President Trump still believes in repeal, replace
The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the bill proposed by President Trump and House Republicans. Back in January, then President-elect Trump stated that his goal was to have “insurance for everybody.” Rather than making sensible changes to our current health system, President Trump attempted to ram through a proposal that would work toward the opposite of his goal.
Rep. Albio Sires, NJ.com Read more

These 2 federal gun laws simply make no sense
Too many of our veterans come out of the service broken, in body and in spirit. We owe them enormous gratitude, as well as a pledge to keep them safe.
Times of Trenton Read more NJ Politics Digest: What’s Healthcare Vote Mean For MacArthur’s Senate Ambitions?