NEW BRUNSWICK – The Congressional redistricting teams are clamping down in secrecy today as they continue their decennial line-drawing and district-shifting exercises. Sources said Democrats were upset at the Republican team for supposedly leaking information to the press yesterday.
Neither side has made any momentous changes in maps submitted to 13th member John Farmer Jr. last night, one source said, and the teams receive feedback on those maps this afternoon, with new maps likely to be requested again by the end of the night.
Gov. Chris Christie, still absent from proceedings, was represented by confidante Bill Palatucci at the Heldrich Hotel today.
Tomorrow, the artificial deadline for the process imposed by Farmer comes due, but one source said there have been no discussions of Wednesday being a hard endpoint for the process. The statutory deadline for agreement on a new map is Jan. 17, but Farmer hoped to wrap the process before the holiday season, if possible.
A source close to the proceedings told PoltickerNJ that the two sides' maps are still primarily focused on the northern regions of the state, generally north of districts 7 and 12 where U.S. Reps. Leonard Lance and Rush Holt are considered potential candidates for merger, and west of districts 13 and 10 where U.S. Reps. Albio Sires and Donald Payne are considered safe.
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"That's state money and the speaker has never raised an objection to that, and now all of a sudden she objects to her own bill. She's objecting on a basis she hasn't objected before on the TAG Grant program. Let's face it everybody, this is just politics. It's election year and it's politics." - Gov. Chris Christie, on Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34).- PolitickerNJ.com
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