NJ Politics Digest: Tracking the Roots of Christie’s Newfound Popularism

Gov. Chris Christie Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gov. Chris Christie’s term may be winding down, and his presidential ambitions were frozen in New Hampshire, but that doesn’t mean the most unpopular governor in the United States isn’t planning ahead for a possible second act. The Inquirer takes a look at what might be behind the governor’s recent high-profile attempts at Trump-like populism. Christie’s closeness to Trump also has him fielding requests from those seeking favors from President Donald Trump, with the latest entreaty coming from former boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson, who is seeking a presidential pardon.

Social media has proven to be the bane of another southern New Jersey politician, this time an assembly candidate caught on videotape propositioning a woman.

New Jersey State Police received the bad news that they are like all other commuters when on their way to work and must pay tolls like the rest of us. And, in case there was any question, the head of the Port Authority police has made it clear he doesn’t want his officers pulling people off overbooked airliners like their bretheran in Chicago.

Quote of the Day: “I’ll put that on my list for the next phone call, Mike,” Gov. Chris Christie, responding to Mike Tyson’s request he remind President Donald Trump of a promise to pardon the boxer for a 1992 rape conviction.

Christie, in new populist mode, lashes out at United
He has challenged top executives at New Jersey’s largest health insurer to “reveal” their salaries.
Andrew Seidman & Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Read more

Mike Tyson reminds Christie that Trump promised pardon
Mike Tyson, whose historic boxing career was interrupted in 1992 by a rape conviction and a three-year prison term, is getting impatient over a promise he says he got from President Donald Trump.
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

NJ troopers upset they have to pay their own tolls
State Troopers driving between home and work have to pay their own tolls just like other Garden State commuters, judges said Thursday.
Sergio Bichao, NJ101.5 Read more

Lawmakers Wrangle Over TTF Spending
After last year’s renewal of the Transportation Trust Fund, there’s now $2 billion in state dollars to spend on infrastructure improvements every year in New Jersey. But that has also raised the question of exactly who decides which projects deserve top priority — the governor and his administration’s transportation officials or a special four-person commission that’s been championed by lawmakers?
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

Port Authority police superintendent to airport cops : Don’t pull a United
Four days after Chicago aviation cops dragged a paying passenger off an overbooked United Airlines flight at the behest of the airline — prompting a social media firestorm and a PR nightmare — the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey warned its police officers not to make the same mistake.
Dana Rubinstein, Politico Read more

Teacher fired after calling students losers on Facebook has license suspended
A high school math teacher fired by the Woodbridge School District for “a prolonged period” of misconduct, including calling students losers on Facebook, has had her teaching license suspended for two years.
Spencer Kent, NJ.com Read more

$512K payout for top Jersey City cop renews call for reform
The estimated half-million-dollar payout for retiring Jersey City Police Chief Phil Zacche’s unused time has a Republican lawmaker renewing her call for curbing the practice of paying public officials for their accumulated vacation, sick and comp time.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

How N.J.’s public pension investments performed compared to U.S.
State-run government pension funds spent $10 billion on fees and performance bonuses in 2014 to private managers of their alternative investments, a strategy that has stirred controversy in New Jersey.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Lawmakers: Argentine company is trying to get out of $1.4B Passaic River cleanup
Argentina’s state-run oil company is trying to avoid paying a substantial portion of the $1.38 billion Passaic River cleanup by declaring one of its key subsidiaries bankrupt, state lawmakers said Thursday.
Scott Fallon, The Record Read more

Park Ridge mayor resigns amid recall attempt
Facing possible recall and criticism over his handling of the borough’s affordable-housing negotiations, Mayor Terry Maguire has resigned.
Kaitlyn Kanzler and Sarah Nolan, The Record Read more

Charges upgraded in death of Jersey City GOP leaders
The Hudson County corrections officer accused of a fatal hit-and-run of two prominent Jersey City GOP leaders in North Bergen had his charges upgraded to death by auto, authorities said Thursday.
Keldy Ortiz, The Record Read more

Montclair mulls ways to provide affordable housing
While Montclair may have no legal obligation to create affordable housing in town, the township is still determined to make sure residents have affordable living options.
Mollie Shauger, The Record Read more

Parsippany Township Council changes ordinance retroactively
Questions over a salary offer made to a clerk in the township have not quelled. The Township Council held a special meeting to try to put the controversy to bed.
Gene Myers, The Record Read more

EDITORIAL: Be wary of trust fund ‘death panel’
Motorists have been coughing up for New Jersey’s 23-cent gas-tax hike for many months now. But the battles over the Transportation Trust Fund aren’t over yet.
Asbury Park Press Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Tracking the Roots of Christie’s Newfound Popularism