NJ Politics Digest: Who Pays For Christie’s Luxury Stays?

Governor Chris Christie.” JT Aregood for Observer

Chris Christie likes luxury hotels, and when he recently ran up bills in the thousands of dollars during the Trump inauguration and visits to New York, the state Republican Committee had to pick up the bill. Republicans say they are happy to do it for the governor, who has long had a history of living large when he isn’t paying. New Jersey residents will be paying more in fees, thanks to Christie’s efforts to raise funds for the Department of Law and Public Safety, this story details who can expect to pay more.

Christie teamed up with Democrat Cory Booker on Wednesday to call for federally funded improvements to the state’s mass transit system. That bit of bipartisan cooperation isn’t being replicated in the case of former Rep. Scott Garrett, with the Republican’s former colleagues in the house opposing his appointment as head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Opponents having been dogging Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen to hold a town hall meeting for his constituents. Frelinghuysen has not only refused, but now the Morris County Chamber of Commerce is moving to limit an annual meeting with the congressman that is usually open to anyone to just chamber members.

And, in entertainment news, Bruce Springsteen is taking aim at President Donald Trump in a new song he performs with fellow rocker Joe Grushecky.

Quote of the Day: “We are in a state of crisis. In fact, we are long past a state of crisis and New Jersey residents are feeling it just about every single day,” U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, on New Jersey’s aging transit infrastructure.

Despite anemic fundraising, state GOP paid $11k for Christie five-star hotel stay
Despite its anemic fundraising, the Republican State Committee is still shelling out big bucks for Gov. Chris Christie’s travel.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Garrett’s ex-colleagues urge Senate to reject his nomination
The seven Democrats in New Jersey’s delegation in the House urged the Senate to reject President Donald Trump’s nomination of former Rep. Scott Garret to serve as head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an agency he supported eliminating.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Guadagno Offers Big Property Tax Credit Amid Tough Budgets for NJ
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s property tax plan—which promises to slash up to $3,000 for New Jersey homeowners —will cost the state $1.5 billion in revenue a year, according to her own estimates.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Here are all the fees Christie wants to hike in order to raise $20M
Gov. Chris Christie is proposing to increase and expand fees by more than $20 million to support the budget of the state Department of Law and Public Safety.
Michael Symons, NJ101.5 Read more

Bruce Springsteen calls Trump ‘a con man’ in new protest song
Bruce Springsteen and Joe Grushecky have a few new, choice words for President Trump.
Bobby Olivier, NJ.com Read more

Will N.J. be home to Trump’s summer White House?
Will he or won’t he?
Will the president of the United States spend his summer weekends in Bedminster?
Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com Read more

Every N.J. gun death reported in 2015 on a single map
In the fight to curb gun violence, researchers and advocates have a new weapon: Data.
Erin Petenko, NJ.com Read more

Despite Job Growth, NJ Still Shy of Pre-Recession Employment Levels
Last year was a banner year for job growth in New Jersey, with the addition of more than 60,000 private-sector jobs. But despite that improvement, the state still has some more work to do to reach the employment level that was measured just before the Great Recession.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

Booker, Christie Want Trump’s Transportation Secretary to Visit
At a rare joint appearance after weeks of train derailments and commuter delays, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Gov. Chris Christie called on the top transportation official in Washington to come take a tour of the decaying rail infrastructure connecting New Jersey and New York.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

N.J. warns of “traffic Armageddon” without tunnel funding
Several of New Jersey’s high-ranking elected officials gathered in Newark Penn Station Wednesday to present the federal government with a dire warning: either follow through on a commitment to fund a portion of the $24 billion trans-Hudson rail project known as Gateway or, in the words of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, prepare for “traffic Armageddon.”
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

Amtrak CEO upbeat despite derailments
Charles W. Moorman, Amtrak’s new president and CEO, is having a tough spring.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

Financial Transparency Almost Unknown Among Gubernatorial Hopefuls
Financial transparency among candidates has become a key issue after Donald Trump refused to release his tax returns during his candidacy or even after he was elected. But despite the New Jersey Legislature’s calls to force online posting of future presidential candidate’s tax returns, the state’s own requirements for gubernatorial candidates reveal little.
Colleen O’Dea, NJSpotlight Read more

In NJEA Feud, Experts See Little Threat to Sweeney Senate Presidency
One of New Jersey’s most influential labor groups is threatening to use its full political and monetary weight to oust State Senate President Steve Sweeney for his failure to act on the state’s dwindling contributions to the public pension system. But experts see that promise from the New Jersey Education Association as an uphill proposition if not an empty threat.
JT Aregood, Observer Read more

Frelinghuysen Chamber breakfast changed to ‘members only’
The Morris County Chamber of Commerce has put a halt on non-member tickets for an upcoming discussion with Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.
Michael Izzo, Daily Record Read more

U.S Rep LoBiondo town hall finally happened — without LoBiondo
A long-sought-after town hall for Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican from New Jersey’s Second Congressional District, was finally held Tuesday night — without LoBiondo.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Christie to visit A.C. Gateway Project on Thursday
Gov. Chris Christie will attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the Atlantic City Gateway Project at 11:30 a.m Thursday on the Boardwalk between Albany Avenue and Roosevelt Place.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

Whelan advocates for Atlantic City police and firefighter buyouts
Early retirement buyouts for public safety workers may be costly, but state Sen. Jim Whelan argues they’d save the city money in the long run.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

Former Bergen County Executive fined for election law violations
Kathleen Donovan, the former Bergen County executive, and two top campaign aids have paid the state $2,500 as a fine for election law violations.
The Record Read more

Paterson Senate candidate reprimanded for past campaign
A losing candidate in Paterson’s 2014 City Council election must pay $502 for failing to file the requisite campaign finance reports, a state agency announced Wednesday.
Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press Read more

Langford fined $1,680 for campaign disclosure violations
New Jersey’s election watchdog agency fined former Mayor Lorenzo Langford’s campaign $1,680 for filing a financial disclosure form 598 days late and not reporting a donation.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

Shore town reportedly to vote on more restrictive beach, boardwalk rules
Borough officials are expected to vote Wednesday on amending an ordinance to place more restrictions on access to the borough’s popular beaches and boardwalk, News 12 reported.
Rob Spahr, NJ.com Read more

SCHI overcharged Lakewood, others by $340G
A high-cost school for special-needs children, whose founder and director was recently indicted on charges he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money, overcharged the township’s impoverished public school district and other schools by at least $340,000 in one year, the Asbury Park Press found.
Payton Guion, Asbury Park Press Read more

EDITORIAL: Another flawed tax ‘cut’ plan
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Wednesday rolled out a plan to reduce the property-tax burden in New Jersey by capping school taxes on individual homeowners at 5 percent of household income. Taxpayers would receive a rebate from the state in the form of a credit on their tax bill up to $3,000 for any charges beyond that 5 percent threshold.
Asbury Park Press Read more NJ Politics Digest: Who Pays For Christie’s Luxury Stays?