NJ Politics Digest: Christie Sticking By Trump Amid Firestorm

President Trump and Gov. Chris Christie. Shawn Thew/Getty Images

Gov. Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor who gave a strident speech at the Republican National Convention attacking Hillary Clinton for keeping a private email server while she was secretary of state, is refusing to engage with questions about President Trump and this week’s revelations about Russia and former FBI Director James Comey.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the Christie administration were in court on Wednesday, arguing that legal challenges to the governor’s plan to finance state house repairs were too slow to file their lawsuits and had no case.

And with primary season in full swing, it seems Democrats campaigning for seats in the Legislature have a big financial advantage over their GOP rivals, according to a new report.

Quote of the Day: “If there are any other non-Trump questions, I am happy to take them.” – Gov. Chris Christie.

After slamming Clinton over classified slip-ups, Christie gives Trump a pass
The mood of the crowd inside the Republican National Convention arena in Cleveland rose to near lynch-mob frenzy last July 19 as Gov. Chris Christie, the prime-time speaker, carried out a partisan prosecution of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

Christie on Comey memo: ‘Next question’
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie remained staunchly loyal to President Donald Trump this week, defending the president’s right to reveal secrets to Russian diplomats and his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.
Ryan Hutchins, Politico Read more

Christie Stumps Lawsuits Challenging State House Renovation
A pair of lawsuits seeking to halt a renovation of the New Jersey state house should be dismissed as moot, attorneys for Gov. Chris Christie argued Wednesday, because it’s already a done deal.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Ethics experts call Frelinghuysen’s action ‘an awful thing to do’
Even if Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s decision to identify a member of an opposition group to her employer doesn’t run afoul of any laws nor congressional ethics rules, experts questioned his actions.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Democrats far outpace Republicans in scrap for N.J. Legislature campaign cash
Democratic candidates have outraised and outspent their Republican rivals about 2 to 1 so far in this year’s races for all 120 seats in the New Jersey Legislature, according to a report from the state’s election watchdog agency.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Support Single-Payer, Women’s Healthcare
With the threat of massive federal reforms that could reduce healthcare coverage nationwide — and rising public frustration over that possibility — Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls are showing a growing interest in single-payer coverage as a way to protect New Jersey patients.
Lilo Stainton NJSpotlight Read more

N.J. governor candidate Guadagno unleashes on GOP rival in new TV ad
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno attacked her GOP rival Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli in her latest TV ad released Wednesday, charging that he supports higher taxes.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

NJ Transit, Amtrak have not agreed on Penn Station work schedule
Gov. Chris Christie said final service reduction plans because of the New York Penn Station rehab project are not yet final.
Dan Alexander, NJ101.5 Read more

Fallout from New Jersey bridge saga continues with lawsuit
The fallout from the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal continued to unfold in a federal courtroom Wednesday, weeks after two former aides to Republican Gov. Chris Christie were sentenced.
Associated Press Read more

LoBiondo, 100 other House members, oppose Trump offshore drilling plan
A letter signed by more than than 100 U.S. House members urged Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts off limits to oil and gas drilling.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Gottheimer Introduces Bill on LGBT Credit Safeguards
In a sharp departure from his predecessor, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) has introduced a bill to forbid lenders from discriminating against gay and transgender individuals.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Fulop did not act in ‘bad faith’ when he halted reval, lawyer says
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop did not act in bad faith when he scrapped the long-stalled property revaluation in 2013 and stopped paying the company hired to conduct the reval, an attorney working for the city argued in a state appellate court hearing this morning.
Terrence McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

NAACP: Neptune HS needs ‘anti-bias’ education after racist photo
The Asbury Park-Neptune chapter of the NAACP is calling for a “thorough investigation” after an incident in Wall where two Neptune High School students allegedly took a photo showing them posing in front of swastikas and the n-word spray painted on a wall.
Austin Bogues, Asbury Park Press Read more

New Jersey’s top federal judge going into ‘semi-retirement’
New Jersey’s chief federal judge is stepping down.
Associated Press Read more

Former state education chief takes job in Paterson
New Jersey’s former education commissioner, David Hespe, started working this month in the Paterson school district as a $94-per-hour, part-time special assistant, officials said.
Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press Read more

Lance Challenger Pushes for Special Russia Prosecutor
Lisa Mandelblatt, a Democrat and former criminal defense lawyer challenging Rep. Leonard Lance in 2018, joined a protest outside of the congressman’s office Tuesday evening pressuring him to support an independent investigation into President Trump and Russia.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Barred from Paterson school board, now nominated for housing post
A church deacon who was barred from serving on the city’s school board last year because he was convicted of crimes in 1991 has been nominated for a position on the Paterson Housing Authority.
Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press Read more

Eleanor Kieliszek, Teaneck’s first female mayor, dies at 91
Eleanor Kieliszek, the township’s first female mayor, died Tuesday at Holy Name Medical Center. She was 91.
Megan Burrow, The Record Read more

EDITORIAL: School bus camera plan not about the children
New Jersey’s latest attempt to stick it to motorists under the guise of supposed safety is up for an Assembly committee vote Thursday, this time dressed up in “protecting our children” garb.
Asbury Park Press Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Christie Sticking By Trump Amid Firestorm