Tag Archives: NJ Politics

Chris Christie is back on the hook for Birdgegate?

A local Jersey judge is letting a case against the Governor proceed after Gov Christie skirted Federal charges….

A judge has found probable cause to charge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with official misconduct for his role in the Bridgegate scandal, according to reports Thursday.

Presiding Bergen County Municipal Court Judge Roy McGeady cited testimony from the federal trial of two former Christie aides convicted of scheming to close approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge in 2013 as revenge against a mayor who refused to endorse Christie’s successful re-election bid.

McGeady’s ruling stems from a complaint filed last year by retired Teaneck firefighter and political activist Bill Brennan, a Democratic candidate for governor who is seeking to have Christie prosecuted for second-degree official misconduct.

That crime is punishable by up to ten years in the slammer.

A Christie spokesman said McGeady was “violating the law, pure and simple.”…..

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NJ Bridge lane closing trial is due in September….

Going into the November General election New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s name and those who worked for him are bound to be in the media….Christie has not been charged…

 

Already postponed twice, the trial has now been pushed to September, putting it in prime time during the final months of the presidential campaign.

The Republican governor himself is not on trial, but in some ways his administration is; two of his former top lieutenants face nine counts, including conspiracy to commit fraud, in what federal prosecutors have called a “callous and audacious” scheme to exact political revenge by creating a traffic jam that punished a mayor who declined to endorse Mr. Christie’s 2013 bid for re-election, and then cover it up. A third has pleaded guilty and is expected to testify against them.

Defense lawyers have suggested they will argue that their clients have been scapegoats for what they call routine politics in the Christie administration — that the governor’s inner circle was well aware of the scheme and attempts to cover it up as officials, reporters and legislators began to ask questions. There are 1.5 million pages of documents in the case, making about as many chances for surprises or unflattering revelations in court. There is also the possibility that Mr. Christie could be called as a witness.

But even in the unlikely event that no one mentions the governor’s name in the courtroom, the trial will dredge up nagging questions and allegations about how he runs his office, meaning that voters will be bombarded in the eight weeks before Election Day with accusations of bullying, using government resources for political gain and a win-at-all-costs culture.

“In the state of New Jersey, there is this kind of pervasive sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop,” said Brigid Callahan Harrison, a professor of political science and law at Montclair State University. “It seems as if there are still more details left to be revealed.”

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image…..politicususa.com

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Rep Rush (D-NJ) Holt will not run for re-election….

photo…huffingtonpost.com

Every week the list grows longer of politicians in Washington DC bailing…..

His district is a strong Democratic one……

New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt, an eight-term Democrat, will not seek reelection in 2014, he announced Tuesday.

“There is no hidden motive for my decision,” Holt, 65, said in a statement. “As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was re-election and I have never intended to make service in the House my entire career. For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative.”

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Chris Christine and Cory Booker DO get along fine….

photo…..communities.washingtontimes.com

A while ago I mentioned here that the New Jersey Governor , who’s a Republican genuinely got along with the Mayor of Newark, NJ…

One or two people dismissed that….

That’s Ok….But in fact it IS true….

Cory Booker and Chris Christie do get along fine….

Now a Democrat running against Booker for the New Jersey US Senate Seat has brought up the fact that the two get alone….Which helps BOTH of these guys who happen to be different political parties….

All of this is being watched with the worry by some party people that a ‘good government’ bipartisan coalition is being born …And that worries the party people…..

Any effort to highlight the friendship will likely cause Christie some headaches nationally, as he’s already taken flack from conservatives who saw his praise of President Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy just days before the presidential election as party treason and evidence he’s a “Republican In Name Only.”

But while the relationship may be occasionally problematic, it’s ultimately useful in their political pursuits — both immediate and, for Christie, long-term.

“They both realize that a friendship between the two of them and an agreement not to challenge the other is mutually beneficial. Both are sort of the preeminent force in their parties in the state, and there’s no reason they both can’t be the kings of their hills in New Jersey,” said GOP strategist Matt Mackowiack.

Booker’s decision not to challenge Christie in the gubernatorial race was largely pragmatic — he’d have had a harder time winning a race against the popular, well-funded governor than he would a Senate race against either an aging incumbent or a handful of lesser-known lawmakers.

But New Jersey Democrats agree the friendship between the two made the gubernatorial race that much more distasteful to Booker.

With Booker opting out of the gubernatorial race, the friendship, to the extent that it helps Christie appeal to the centrist Democrats he needs to win big on Election Day, is a boon for Christie’s potential presidential hopes.

Christie has led in every poll of the New Jersey gubernatorial race by substantial margins, and if he sustains that lead through Election Day, he’ll be able to tout his blowout victory in a state as blue as New Jersey as evidence he can play nationwide.

A blowout win in November would also give him a mandate to govern on his own principles and potentially open up opportunities for him to pass conservative policies that he can point to in 2016.

It’s a strategy that’s banking on the belief that electability will trump ideological purity in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries.

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Note….

The piece hints that GOPer Chris Christine might be embarking on a campaign of showing his party that HE’s the strongest in the party to challenge a Hillary run in 2016, even if he friendly with Democrat’s….

But This Dog does NOT think that’s gonna work with Conservatives who are More concerned about confronting Democratic policies than getting someone in the White House….

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 6/11/13: Field is set in New Jersey Senate race, with Booker leading

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

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Leading Off:

• NJ-Sen: It’s a done deal. Four Democrats and two Republicans have filed to run in this year’s special election to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s Senate term. On the Dem side, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver have all submitted signatures, while former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan and Some Dude physician Alieta Eck have done so for the GOP. Given Lonegan’s extreme conservatism and Eck’s utter lack of a profile, this means that Republicans have all but conceded the special in advance, so the real action will take place in the Democratic primary.

If there is any, that is. Two new polls released Monday show Booker with huge leads over the field, and his opponents have little time to catch up, with the primary only two months away. Quinnipiac finds Booker already taking a majority in a matchup with the two congressmen (Oliver declared her interest when the poll was already in the field); he takes 53 percent versus 10 for Holt and 9 for Pallone. Meanwhile, Rutgers-Eagleton, which also didn’t include Oliver, came up with almost identical results: Booker 55, Pallone 9, Holt 7.

Oliver wouldn’t have made a huge difference either way, though. The bottom line is that Booker, who has spent years cultivating a high profile, is simply far better known than all of the other candidates. (Booker did also just secure the endorsement of insurance executive George Norcross, whom the Philadelphia Inquirer calls “the most powerful figure in New Jersey Democratic politics.”) Booker’s support may well be of the mile-wide, inch-deep variety, but with such a compressed timeframe, that may well prove to be enough.

For his part, Pallone does have a sizable $3.7 million cash stockpile, which is much greater than Booker’s $1.6 million war chest, but those numbers are almost two-and-a-half months out of date at this point and Booker may have made up the gap by now. With the non-Booker field split several ways, it will definitely be hard to stop Newark’s mayor from winning the Democratic nomination.

Winning the general, though, should be easy, seeing as Quinnipiac already has Booker up 54-27 over Lonegan. (Pallone leads 39-29 and Holt 36-31.) But exactly when that election will take place may still be up for grabs. Gov. Chris Christie rather infamously set a date just a few weeks before the November gubernatorial election, a transparent move made simply so that he could avoid sharing the ballot with a popular Democrat like Booker. Most New Jerseyans may like Christie, but they are united against his scheduling decision, with 78 percent saying he should have consolidated the special with the regular election, according to Rutgers.

More importantly, a local Democratic official has filed a lawsuit saying the two elections should take place on the same day. You can view a copy of the complaint here (PDF), which features at least one claim that Adam B. describes as “not frivolous and kinda interesting.” It’s an unusual suit, so it’s hard to say what its chances are, and my default assumption would be to expect the judiciary to defer to the executive, but you never know…..

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Breaking…Christie will hold October Special US Senate Election for Lautenberg Seat….

And there we have it…..

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he wants to hold a special election to fill the Senate seat made vacant by Frank Lautenberg’s death.

Photo…AP/Julio Corte

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he wants to hold a special election in October to fill the U.S. Senate seat made vacant by Frank Lautenberg’s death on Monday, and that he intends to appoint someone to serve in the meantime.

At a news conference where he laid out the process he intends to follow for filling the seat, Christie didn’t answer the big question of whom he’ll appoint to the seat in the meantime.

The move could bring criticism for putting more elections on the calendar, which can be expensive. The state Office of Legislative Services says each election costs the state about $12 million.

In this case, there would be two — an Aug. 13 primary and the special election on Oct. 16.

‘‘The people must choose,’’ Christie said.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, announced months ago that he was planning to seek the seat.

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Note….

I’m waiting for Cory Booker to jump in for the October election….

….from twiiter….

Seems reasonable to infer that Christie expects pretty lackluster set of GOP candidates for NJ-Sen special. (1/2)

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Who will Christie Choose to replace Lautenberg…or will he hold for a Speciual Election?

While we ALL think he’ll choose someone to care take the seat, probabaly for Cory Booker come election day….He really CAN hold off and order up a Special Election for the seat…Politico goes into the options ….(One of them mentioned IS to give the seat to Booker, but that would be remate)…

As Jamie Rubin said while leaving the Port Authority of NY and NJ ….The Democrats and Republicans DO get into it in the state…..

Despite the fact that politicians on both sides of the aisle have been preparing for the possibility of Lautenberg passing away before his term ended in 2014, the issue is very much unresolved.

What is clear is that Christie has fairly broad discretion both about whether to appoint someone at all and whether to call a special election.

Christie can appoint a temporary placeholder but doesn’t have to. If he does, his top choice right now would be state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, a longtime friend of the governor who held the Bible the day Christie took the oath in 1995 as a freeholder in Morris County.

A second-rung option would be Tom Kean Jr., a state lawmaker and son of the former governor, Tom Kean Sr., who is a Christie political mentor. (To that end, at least one New Jersey political insider raised the idea that Christie could appoint Kean Sr., who would clearly be a placeholder and have no interest in staying on longer term).

Rumors have abounded for months that Christie was considering appointing Cory Booker, the Newark mayor who battled with Lautenberg allies when he made clear he was interested in the seat. Such an appointment would come after Booker took a pass on challenging Christie for governor. However, sources close to both men have insisted this scenario makes no sense for either of them.

Democrats are privately hoping Christie appoints someone who becomes a political albatross for him, as he looks set to coast to reelection in a few months against little-known Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono.

Even beyond the politics of appointees, things get tricky. Lautenberg passed away a day before the next scheduled Democratic primary — June 4. There are conflicting laws about whether that means a special election would be held in November, when Christie is up for reelection, or whether an election would wait until next year, when a full-term successor to Lautenberg will be chosen regardless.

Democrats may end up suing over the conflicting statutes, multiple sources said. Christie aides did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Cory Booker leads by 43% over anyone else in 2014 NJ Senate Run….Poll

photo…nj.com

Who said A Mayor from Newark would NOT be accepted by New Jersey ?

Mark this one Safe Democratic Hold……

Newark Mayor Cory Booker has a 43-point lead over his closest competitor in a 2014 Democratic primary for New Jersey’s Senate seat, a new poll shows.

Half of all Democratic voters in New Jersey said they would back Booker in a primary, compared to just seven percent for Rep. Frank Pallone and four percent for Rep. Rush Holt. About a third of Democratic primary voters are undecided, according to the Fairleigh Dickinson University poll.

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Note…..

NOT running against Chris Christie is turning out to be thee smartest thing Booker has done politically….

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New Jersey Senator Menendez slides in new Q Poll….

The last polling out on the NJ Democratic Senator who has the FBI checking out his travel records showed his states voters solidly behind him….

Not anymore….(He just won re-election ….so he’s got 5 years left)

The poll also shows Cory Booker shouldn’t worry about Republican Celeberity Geraldo Rivera…..

Booker is polling 39 points above Rivera on the favorable opinion question….

Sen. Robert Menendez’s popularity in the Garden State has taken a big hit following the drumbeat of media reports about his alleged improprieties.

In a new poll from Quinnipiac University, 41 percent of registered New Jersey voters surveyed said they disapprove of the way Menendez is handling his job as senator, while only 36 percent approve. A month ago in a similar poll, 51 percent approved and 33 percent disapproved.

Twenty-eight percent of those polled said Menendez was “honest and trustworthy,” while 44 percent said he was not.

Those numbers would be daunting for any incumbent facing re-election. But Menendez, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, will not face voters until 2018. He won re-election with 59 percent of the vote last November.

Another Democrat, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, on the other hand, is exploring a run for the state’s open Senate seat in 2014. He fared well in the poll, with 59 percent saying they had a favorable opinion of him and only 11 percent seeing him unfavorably. Potential Republican candidate Geraldo Rivera didn’t do as well: only 20 percent had a favorable opinion of him, with 39 percent seeing him unfavorably.

The Quinnipiac University poll used live interviewers to survey 1,149 registered voters on land lines and cellphones Feb. 13-17. The poll’s margin of error was 2.9 points…..

Source…..

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Political Roundup for February 15, 2013…Menendez polls fine in NJ…Red Racing Horses

by: BostonPatriot
Senate

GA-Sen: Paul Broun’s fundraising pitch? He was the first member of Congress to call Obama a socialist.

LA-Sen: An odd PPP poll which doesn’t seem to grasp Louisiana’s jungle system is nevertheless good news for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), who leads all comers. Rep. Bill Cassidy, the likely GOP “nominee”, trails 50-40. The poll finds Bobby Jindal with 37/57 disapproval, which raises my eyebrow a bit.

More LA-Sen: Rep. Charles Boustany (R), not a beloved man around these parts, is also interested in joining the field against Landrieu.

MA-Sen: The GOP field is getting crowded, with former US Attorney Michael Sullivan and MA-04 candidate Sean Bielat joining Dan Winslow and Gabriel Gomez. This gives us 4 chances to get someone on the ballot…but hopefully they don’t split the signatures and all fall short.

More MA-Sen: Here’s one Republican who’s passing: St. Sen. Bruce Tarr. Why, may I ask, couldn’t we have worked this all out in January?

MI-Sen: Libertarian-ish Rep. Justin Amash (R) is interested in a Senate bid if Carl Levin, whose low fundraising may be a sign of retirement, steps down.

NC-Sen: Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, for a time (2000-04) the only state-level Republican elected statewide, led a PPP primary poll last week and now says she’s interested in a Senate bid. Berry’s picture is in every elevator in the state, giving her some built-in name rec (and a parody Twitter handle).

NJ-Sen-A: Don’t expect Cory Booker to waltz into the Senate–Rep. Frank Pallone is interested and could have the support of Jersey’s famous machine as well as liberals turned off by Booker’s fiscal pragmatism. Republicans should root for Pallone, as it’s worth having a slightly more liberal senator to tarnish the shine of a rising star.

NJ-Sen-B: Surprisingly, Bob Menendez is weathering his scandal pretty well. Despite 2/3 of voters knowing about his foreign relations, most don’t have an opinion and his approvals are 41/31….

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Cory Booker is way ahead of Frank Lautenberg in a NJ 2014 Senator contest….

photo…politico

There where those who thought that the Newark Mayor Cory booker would have trouble with voters from around New Jersey….

Forget that….

In early New Jersey polling Booker leads current New Jersey 88 year old Franl Lautenberg by double digits……(This is the second poll to confirm the numbers)….

Unless Boorker does something really dumb….

I’m gonna say that the seat most likely is his …….

A survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind gives Booker a 66 percent approval rating; Lautenberg clocks in at 45 percent. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 42 percent prefer Booker to Lautenberg in a head-to-head match-up. Only 20 percent prefer Lautenberg to Booker. Both are very well known; 83 percent of voters are familiar with Lautenberg, 75 percent with Booker.

“These numbers suggest that some difficult days may lie ahead for the incumbent senator
should he seek reelection,” said poll director Krista Jenkins…..

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Lautenberg swings at Booker on Gun Control….

New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg may be a ole timer….

But he’s still got some fight in him….

This throw doesn’t mean the New Jersey senior US Senator is gonna run again in 2014….

But it seems to say he’s still got some fight left in him….

And the disagreement ISN’T REALLY that big……Lautenberg seems to against EVERYTHING the NRA is pushing….Booker just mentions Federal backgroud checks…..(Booker is being more cautious for his political future)

Lautenberg Takes A Shot At Booker Over NRA Presser

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO 

If there’s going to be a Democratic Senate primary in New Jersey, it’s going to be a nasty one. A day after an adviser to Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) told TPM Booker will run for Senate regardless of whether incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) seeks another term, Team Lautenberg is sniping at Booker on Twitter.

The tiff came after the National Rifle Association’s press conference on the Newtown, Conn. shootings Friday.

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photo….politickernj.com

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More on the New Jersey Governor’s Race….

It’s still muddled ……

Cory Booker can tussle with Republican Governor Christie or wait for Democratic Senator Lautenburg who’s 88 years old and has to run in 2014…..

Christie HAS to run for re-election in 2013…..

And it’s reported that Booker and Christie actually LIKE each other….

Interviews with Democratic and Republican insiders and strategists indicate that even if Christie seeks reelection (which while likely, isn’t a given), Booker is hardly a done deal for the Democratic nomination. Those strategists suggest the mayor is more likely preparing for a possible 2014 Senate battle, if Frank Lautenberg retires. Even if Booker does run against Christie in 2013, he’s no shoo-in a state rife with bitter intraparty battles pitting powerful party bosses against one another.

In addition to Booker, other potential Democratic candidates include former Gov. Richard Codey, state Democratic Party Chairman John Wisniewski and state Sen. Barbara Buono, who has been not-so-quietly setting up a run for more than two years. More nationally known names are also being tossed around, including Rep. Frank Pallone and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, who used to head the New Jersey counterpart of EPA.

Speculation is rampant about whether the popular Christie will seek reelection, but he’s given no clear indication of his intentions. Christie’s top political adviser, Bill Palatucci, left his private sector job last week to focus on politics, but the governor told reporters that shouldn’t be read as a sign that he’ll run in 2013 or make a 2016 presidential bid. Palatucci was vice president and general counsel of Community Education Centers, a for-profit company that operates prisons and halfway houses in 17 states and that has come under increased scrutiny for alleged mistreatment of inmates. During superstorm Sandy, 15 inmates escaped from one of CEC’s New Jersey facilities.

“I’ll talk about 2013 when we get to 2013,” Palatucci told POLITICO, repeating his stock response when asked about Christie’s plans.

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Photo….blogs.app.com

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Chris Christie has to run for Governor against Cory Booker first?

Never mind all this Christie for President stuff floating around….

The New Jersy Governor, who’s a Republican has to be looking over his shoulder at Newark, New Jersey Newark Mayor Cory Booker trying to take his day job next year….

By 8:00 on the morning after Superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie had already appeared on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning,” not to mention CNN, Fox and MSNBC. He wore a blue fleece, the weathered glare of a man in charge of a crisis, and a scowl that made what he said seem true: He didn’t give a damn about the presidential election one week away, even though he had spent the last 13 months as a surrogate for Mitt Romney. Instead, he was headed out for a helicopter survey of the Jersey Shore, where he would see the Seaside Heights log flume—which his daughter had ridden last summer—floating in the Atlantic. He would see the boardwalk—where his near-fisticuffs with a heckler in July landed him on TMZ—lying in a pile of splinters. He would see, up close, the worst disaster in the state’s modern history.

“I just never thought I would see, what I saw today, ever,” Christie told the press that night, in apowerful clip immediately posted on his YouTube channel (5.9 million views and counting).

That same morning, Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, opened his day with a typically uplifting message to his 1.2 million Twitter followers: “Today will be a difficult day. It will demand our fortitude, patience & endurance.” Christie may have been managing a multi-agency recovery operation, but Booker was a spiritual guide and freelance lifesaver on the streets of his darkened city, using Twitter like a bat signal. After a constituent tweeted at him about her disabled parents, Booker went to their apartment and reported back that he had accounted for them—and for everyone else in the building. He fielded complaints about exploding transformers, trees trapping people in trucks, and shelters in need of blankets. And since the electricity was on at his house, he invited Newark residents to come over, watch DVDs, charge cell phones and sleep in his guest bed while he was out saving people. More than a dozen took him up on the invitation….

xxx

 

Christie and Booker are friends, as close as two politicians with identical aspirations can be. They don’t attack each other, they text all the time, and they shot an amusing parody video together. Over the summer they cut away from a party at the gubernatorial Jersey Shore house and took a stroll on the beach, just the two of them. They’re even Facebook friends, having sat on Oprah Winfrey’s couch last year and collected a $100 million investment from Mark Zuckerberg for Newark’s schools. From education reform to a property tax cap, they have supported each other in a bipartisan way that is unfathomable in the nation’s capital.

 

Second, this will be Campaign 2.0. They may love a good TV interview, but Booker and Christie have drawn much of their popularity by circumventing traditional news and developing their own social-media channels for disseminating information.

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Photo….Christie (left) and Booker……articles.nydailynews.com

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