Sweeney on committee assignments: Kean gives recommendation, 'but it doesn’t mean I have to agree'
By Matthew Arco | January 1st, 2014 - 2:23pm
| More

EDISON – If another spat is brewing between Senate President Steve Sweeney and the upper chamber’s minority leader, the state’s top senator isn’t prepared just yet to say whether it will come to fruition.

The state’s top lawmaker has yet to send out a committee assignment blueprint for the next legislative session that begins in less than two weeks and he’s unwilling to say for the moment whether he’ll make the committee assignments himself.

“We haven’t done that yet,” responded Sweeney when asked whether he announced the committee makeup.

“We don’t always send them out his early, but we’ll get them out in time,” he said. “You get the letters out, you go to your committees … and everyone serves on the committees they’re assigned.”

The question of whether Sweeney will exert complete control over committee assignments comes a short time after the Senate president slashed $50,000 from Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr.’s (R-21) personal office budget. Sweeney also used his position as Senate president to slash funding for Senate Republicans who were loyal to Kean while also increasing funding for legislators who attempted to oust Kean from his leadership position.

Similarly, Sweeney could use his leadership position to decide which lawmakers serve on which committees.

“I have the authority now and I’ve done that every year since I’ve been Senate president,” he said.

However, the Republican minority leader usually hands the Senate president his committee requests after Sweeney decides the blueprint. The question of whether Sweeney will go along with Kean’s request is yet to be determined.

And Sweeney wouldn’t give an answer when pressed on Wednesday.

“He gives a recommendation,” Sweeney said. “But it doesn’t mean I have to agree.”

When pressed to say whether he would agree with Kean’s recommendations, Sweeney balked at an opportunity to answer.

Sweeney spoke to reporters in Edison while attending the reorganization of the town council following the recent election of a new mayor and three council members.

The South Jersey lawmaker has been making a steady amount of appearances as of late in northern cities and towns at the same time he’s rumored to be mulling a gubernatorial campaign (see The Southern Strategy and the Road to Drumthwacket Victory).

“Middlesex is a very strong Democrat county and I’m the president of the Senate and I’m here supporting my colleagues,” said Sweeney, adding, “Nothing more, nothing less.”

The Back Room

Christie takes state helicopter to campaign in Connecticut

Gov. Chris Christie took the "upper level" -- helicoptering over the George Washington Bridge -- to beat rush hour traffic from his home state to a recent GOP fundraiser with Connecticut gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, according to a Hearst Media report.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 24th

  Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind...

Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

Poll

Which contest are you most focused on this coming season?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources