NJ Politics Digest: Christie Has a Gunfight on His Hands

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at the annual State of the State address last year. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

With the news of the filing deadline for the upcoming state primaries – and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy‘s box-busting collection of signatures – on Monday, it was easy to overlook the fact Gov. Chris Christie has a gun fight on his hands, as state Democrats sue to roll back new concealed carry regulations. Arguments on both sides deal with legislative nuances unlikely to interest most residents, but the battle is one more chance for the Democratic legislature to spar with the GOP governor in the run-up to the November’s election.

The state’s two Democratic U.S. senators were busy Monday helping to protest proposed cuts to environmental regulations while researchers announced children born in four northwestern N.J. counties may have been impacted before birth by coal emissions from a power plant along the Delaware River.

Quote of the Day: “I don’t apologize for anything in my life,” – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, when asked if he was proud of his time at Goldman Sachs.

NJ lawmakers sue to halt Christie rule easing gun permits
The New Jersey Legislature has sued to roll back a new rule by Gov. Christie’s administration making it easier to qualify for a permit to carry a handgun.
Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Read more

The notable N.J. lawmakers who WON’T run for re-election this year
Barring any unforeseen developments, there will be at least a handful of lawmakers — many of them long-serving — who you likely won’t find on the list of those running. Here is a look at who has publicly said they are retiring or not seeking re-election:
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Petition deadline today for statewide candidates
A day after completing a 21-county sweep of party endorsements, Phil Murphy bolstered his status as the Democratic front-runner for governor by delivering more than 40,000 petitions to the Department of State on Monday, the deadline for candidates in the 2017 primary election.
Dustin Racioppi and Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

Murphy files largest-ever nominating petition, pledges that he’ll debate
The fields are set for New Jersey’s gubernatorial primary, with political analysts projecting a two-candidate race on the Republican side and an all-but-certain outcome for the Democrats.
Michael Symons, NJ101.5 Read more

Murphy files petitions to enter gubernatorial race with ‘no apology’ for Goldman years
Phil Murphy pulled up in a white Jeep and loaded six cardboard boxes full of signatures onto the sidewalk in front of the state Division of Elections on Monday morning, dropping off his petitions to make official his status as Democratic candidate for governor.
NJ.com Read more

Guadagno Unimpressed by Murphy’s Petition Signature Submissions
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno jeered at the Murphy Campaign for paying volunteers to grand slam his petition signature numbers on filing deadline day.
Max Pizarro, InsiderNJ Read more

Ciattarelli Drills Down on the Economic Argument
The Steve Lonegan wing of the party felt so passionately about those social issues advanced by their champion, that a tricorn hat wearing patriot dutifully accompanied the 2013 Republican gubernatorial candidate on the trail, and now Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) seeks Lonegan woebegone voters and others not with red meat – but with an economic argument.
Insider NJ Read more

Betting on Lottery to Bail Out Pension System
Gov. Chris Christie piqued the interest of state lawmakers when he first suggested during his annual budget address several week ago that proceeds from the profitable New Jersey Lottery could be used to help prop up the state’s grossly underfunded public-employee pension system.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

Booker, Pallone headline rally to fight Trump’s proposed environmental cuts
Facing steep environmental rollbacks in Washington, representatives from one of the most polluted states in the nation gathered outside an Environmental Protection Agency lab on Monday to decry President Donald Trump’s climate policies and urge voters to mobilize against them.
Politico Read more

What can the country learn from NJ Planned Parenthood cuts?
Katie Stephens moved quickly about the Planned Parenthood office like a hummingbird. In one moment, she was answering phones, then darted in back to check on an exam room and the nurse practitioner.
Susanne Cervenka, Asbury Park Press Read more

Jail guard arrested in hit-and-run that killed Jersey City GOP chairman, candidate
A Hudson County corrections officer has been charged with leaving the scene of a Sunday night crash that killed two prominent Republican officials from Jersey City
Adam Hochron, NJ101.5 Read more

Democratic leaders, in ‘Turnaround Tour,’ foment resistance to Trump
The windows in the ancient armory’s lobby fogged up as a cold soaking afternoon rain continued outside.
Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Read more

Pregnancies in 4 N.J. counties affected by pollution, study concludes
Children born in four northwestern N.J. counties may have been impacted before birth by coal emissions from a power plant along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, researchers say.
Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com Read more

Election dispute settled, candidates file for Salem freeholder race
Now that the courts have had the final say on how the election will be conducted, the process moved forward Monday with the last of those seeking a seat on the county freeholder board filing petitions to run in the June primary.
Bill Gallo Jr., NJ.com Read more

Ocean Co. cops finally have Tasers, but NJ has tight restrictions
It took less than two weeks for the township’s brand-new stun guns to help save a life.
Alex N. Gecan, Asbury Park Press Read more

NJ American Water buys Shorelands
More than 11,000 residents and businesses in Monmouth County have a new water company.
David P. Willis, Asbury Park Press Read more

Developer offering 100 jobs to Paterson’s unemployed
Jerome Anthony said he has been working in temporary jobs, like unloading trucks and cleaning buildings, after being released from prison about eight months ago.
Ed Rumley, Paterson Press Read more

N.J. lawmakers seek congressional honor for baseball legend Larry Doby
Not too long after Jackie Robinson, there was Larry Doby, the Paterson native who was the first African-American player in the American League.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

KidZania named as American Dream tenant
KidZania USA on Monday announced plans to bring what it calls “the world’s fastest-growing experiential learning center for children” to the American Dream Meadowlands shopping and entertainment site in 2019.
John Brennan, The Record Read more

Facing budget shortfall, Seaside Heights seeks state aid
Still down more than $200 million in ratables nearly five years after superstorm Sandy, Seaside is once again asking the state for help — $2 million in aid to forestall a large tax increase or deep cuts in services.
Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press Read more

Lakewood set to vote on yeshiva’s shopping center plan
The planning board here is set to vote Tuesday on a big shopping center proposed by the town’s largest yeshiva, a plan that has triggered backlash over traffic concerns.
Payton Guion, Asbury Park Press Read more

Howell officials seek input on affordable housing plan
Howell officials will be presenting affordable housing proposals at a public forum on Thursday.
Kala Kachmar, Asbury Park Press Read more

EDITORIAL: A win for transparency — sort of
Gov. Chris Christie has never been much of a champion for government transparency. In that, he’s not much different from countless politicians who don’t like public access when it threatens to expose their own failings and misdeeds.
Asbury Park Press Read more

EDITORIAL: Lift secrecy from whistleblower deals
If Ben Barlyn’s version of his firing from the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office in 2010 is true — or even half true — the resulting scandal would be far more explosive and damaging to Gov. Chris Christie than Bridgegate. But we may never know what happened, thanks to a confidentiality agreement that a Democratic lawmaker now wants to overturn.
Asbury Park Press Read more

I’m the whistleblower who cost N.J. taxpayers $5.3 million; don’t let it happen again
I am the whistleblower who cost the State of New Jersey almost $4 million in legal fees plus a $1.5 million settlement conditioned on not disclosing certain incriminating evidence of wrongdoing by the Christie administration.
Ben Barlyn, NJ.com Read more NJ Politics Digest: Christie Has a Gunfight on His Hands