NJ Politics Digest: Christie Unpopularity Makes NJ No. 1 in This Poll

Gov. Chris Christie was in Florida this week. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gov. Chris Christie had the distinction of being named the least popular governor in the United States, but he didn’t rest on his laurels Tuesday. Christie instead, turned his sights on United Airlines, which is arguably even more unpopular than he is these days, thanks to video showing airport police forcibly removing a passenger from a United flight.

With federal funding a big question mark, officials in charge of building a new Hudson River rail tunnel are looking to private backers. And traffic tie-ups last weekend on the Garden State Parkway have state officials defending their efforts to warn motorists.

In other parts of the state, state Sen. Jen Beck won a victory to stay on the ballot, parents are complaining about curriculum that requires their children learn about Islam and a former New Jersey prosecutor once portrayed in a movie by Russell Crowe has pleaded guilty to tax charges.

Quote of the Day: “Passengers who have paid the fare for their ticket and reserved a seat should not be subject to this arbitrary ‘bumping’ except in the most extreme of circumstances and certainly not to accommodate employees of United Airlines,”- Gov. Chris Christie, calling for federal review of airline practices following the videotaped incident of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight.

State worker loses ‘N-word’ appeal
A state agency has ruled the “N-word” is unacceptable – no matter who says it.
Jim Walsh, Gannett Read more

Poll: Christie is country’s least-popular governor
Gov. Christie has the highest disapproval rating of any governor in the country, according to a new poll.
Emily Babay, Inquirer Read more

With federal funding dicey, officials explore private investment in cross-Hudson tunnel
With President Donald Trump proposing dramatic cuts to transportation funding, the officials charged with building a multi-billion-dollar, nationally important rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River have begun to explore private funding mechanisms.
Dana Rubenstein, Politico Read more

In bid to defeat Sweeney, teachers’ union has no natural ally
New Jersey’s largest teachers’ union has made clear that it wants to oust Stephen Sweeney as president of the state Senate.
Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Calls to change regs after man dragged off United plane
The disturbing videos of a man being dragged screaming from a United Airlines flight has left travelers wondering whether the same thing could happen to them — and spurred calls to change rules that allow airlines to force people off overbooked flights.
Abbott Koloff, The Record Read more

Judge rejects Dems challenge; Beck stays on ballot
District 11 state Sen. Jennifer Beck will stay on the Republican primary ballot after a judge rejected an attempt by the New Jersey Democratic Party to have her candidacy petition thrown out.
Susanne Cervenka, Asbury Park Press Read more

Ex-NJ prosecutor pleads guilty
A former New Jersey prosecutor portrayed by Russell Crowe in the film “American Gangster” has pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes.
Associated Press Read more

Guadagno sticks to business in talk to LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the frontrunner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, spoke to an LGBT group on Tuesday, but not about LGBT issues.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Phillies fans troll Chris Christie at Mets game
The ongoing debate between Phillies fans and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has reached a new peak (or valley, depending on your point of view).
Joe Giglio, NJ.com Read more

Lawmakers, activists protest Trump’s ‘unprecedented’ EPA cuts
More than a decade has gone by and millions have been spent to clean up Garfield’s Superfund site.
Sara Jerde, NJ.com Read more

Allegations of Islam Indoctrination in Schools Spreads to NJ
A controversy brewing in Chatham, NJ, began with a simple cartoon shown to students that taught the five pillars of Islam: “The first pillar means to believe in God. And he is the only God. And the prophet Mohammed peace be upon him is his messenger.”
Matt Katz, NJSPotlight Read more

Atlantic County residents face substantial tax increase after proposed city budget
Atlantic County residents could see a substantial hike in taxes this year.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

N.J. prison reopens as drug treatment center
The state’s first licensed drug treatment center in a prison is ready to take inmates.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Paterson mayor’s daughter kept water commission job
Mayor Joey Torres’ daughter has retained her $68,340 job at the Passaic Valley Water Commission, despite submitting her resignation letter a week before the indictments against her father were announced last month.
Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press Read more

School board member asked to resign over offensive text message
A member of the Hoboken Board of Education is calling for the resignation of a colleague who inadvertently texted a message to the full board containing the term ‘butt buddies,’ in reference to an openly gay city councilman and a political supporter.
Steve Strunsky, NJ.com Read more

Have drugs, need help? These NJ police stations won’t arrest you
Drug addicts will soon have more options in New Jersey to turn themselves in to police — not to be charged, but to be rehabilitated.
NJ101.5 Read more

Did state do enough to warn drivers about Parkway traffic nightmare on Saturday?
A work project took drivers on the Garden State Parkway by surprise on Saturday causing hour-long delays and 7-mile backups.
Dan Alexander, NJ101.5 Read more

EPA cuts could stop Garfield’s Superfund cleanup
Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. and Josh Gottheimer have vowed to fight against President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and funding for cleanup of Superfund sites such as the still-active one in Garfield.
Kristie Cattafi, The Record Read more

Passaic’s $2.8M debt service still low, accountant says
The City of Passaic has released its proposed budget for 2017, which allocates $88.3 million for the current calendar year, which the city switched to from a fiscal year in 2016.
Nicholas Katzban, The Record Read more

Jersey City’s top cop to retire after 38 years
Police Chief Phil Zacche, who was appointed Jersey City’s top cop following the tumultuous nine-month command of his predecessor, is retiring as of June 1, the city announced today.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Editorial: A village shows up for affordable housing
The numbers are staggering: 8,000 applications for Section 8 housing vouchers were handed out last week in the city of Passaic. The Housing Authority of the City of Passaic expected an equal number of those applications to be returned. The program has not been open to new applicants since 2008. And 700 applicants from that list are ahead of the new ones received now.
The Record Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Christie Unpopularity Makes NJ No. 1 in This Poll