Author: matthew.arco

Amendments expected to drop for controversial Rutgers Board of Governors bill

Amendments expected to drop for controversial Rutgers Board of Governors bill

TRENTON – A bill that would increase the number of voting members of the Rutgers Board of Governors and which is slated to go before the Senate for a vote today is expected to hit the floor with additional amendments.

The proposal – which has stirred controversy among the university’s governing bodies, namely the college’s board of trustees – has been amended to remove the ability of the Senate president and Assembly speaker to directly appoint their own members of the board. Instead the proposal would grant the governor power to appoint four new members to the board, according to a Senate source.

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Interest arbitration cap agreement could be announced as soon as Friday, source says

Interest arbitration cap agreement could be announced as soon as Friday, source says

TRENTON – A deal on interest arbitration caps for unionized police and firefighters has been struck between the administration and legislative leadership, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Gov. Chris Christie’s office, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) could roll details of the agreement as soon as tomorrow. The announcement will extend a version of the former law that was allowed to sunset in March, a source said.

Details on a compromise were scant, however talks have been ongoing since the Assembly allowed the law that put a 2 percent cap on interest arbitration to expire after Prieto refused to post a proposal for a vote that was offered by the governor by approved by the Senate.

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Jackson vows to 'turn the page on a new chapter' in Trenton

Jackson vows to 'turn the page on a new chapter' in Trenton

TRENTON – The capital city’s former public works director declared victory in the Trenton mayoral runoff election Tuesday night amid a crowd of supporters and well-wishers.

Eric Jackson, who ran an unsuccessful bid for mayor four years ago, clinched the runoff election against challenger Paul Perez, a consultant and Army veteran who scored a spot in the city’s runoff after securing 21 percent of the votes (or 2,134 votes) during last month’s election.

However, it was Jackson who was elected to serve Tuesday night as the city’s next mayor after garnering 30 percent (or 3,020 votes) during May’s mayoral election. He defeated Perez in the runoff by more than 1,000 votes, according to Jackson campaign official.

Jackson won the runoff with 5,569 votes to Perez’s 4,410 votes, according to the official.

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GOP lawmaker criticizes administration's $82M 'free gift' to Philadelphia 76ers

GOP lawmaker criticizes administration's $82M 'free gift' to Philadelphia 76ers

TRENTON – A Republican state senator lashed out Tuesday against Gov. Chris Christie for what he called an $82 million “free gift from the hard-pressed taxpayers of New Jersey” to the wealthy owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team.

Sen. Mike Doherty criticized the Republican governor’s decision to laud the announcement earlier this week of the 76ers to build a new $82 million practice facility in Camden. Doherty says the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s unanimous decision to approve a tax credit for the construction of the facility amounts to a “free gift.”

“Governor Christie states that we have an $800 million budget shortfall. Then why is New Jersey providing an $82 million gift for a billionaire?” Doherty asked in a statement released today, referring to the team’s owner, Joshua Harris.

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Jackson 'feeling great' about Trenton runoff election results

Jackson 'feeling great' about Trenton runoff election results

TRENTON – Encouraged by legislative and community support, Trenton mayoral hopeful Eric Jackson said Tuesday morning he’s feeling good about the outcome of today’s runoff election.

Residents in the state’s capital city are again headed to the polls to elect their first mayor since disgraced former executive Tony Mack was convicted on several felony charges by a jury. Jackson is battling against fellow mayoral hopeful Paul Perez to succeed Mack and the city’s interim mayor after both candidates secured a position in the runoff election.

“I’m feeling good,” Jackson said outside of his polling place this morning at Trenton High School.

“I’m really excited,” he said.

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Christie's chief of staff: I don't know why the bridge lanes were closed

Christie's chief of staff: I don't know why the bridge lanes were closed

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s chief of staff told lawmakers he has no idea who ordered lanes to the George Washington Bridge closed in September.

Kevin O’Dowd, who spent hours giving testimony before lawmakers serving on the joint legislative committee investigating the administration over the closures, balked at giving an opinion of whether he thought former Port Authority executive David Wildstein carried out the closures on his own, and added he was unsure why the lanes were closed.

“I don’t know the answer,” responded O’Dowd when Assemblyman Louis Greenwald (D) pressed whether he knew why the lanes were closed for four days.

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A different side of Bridget Kelly, 'someone that I thought very highly of'

A different side of Bridget Kelly, 'someone that I thought very highly of'
Credit: Bridget Anne Kelly file photo.

TRENTON – Since news broke in January that former Gov. Chris Christie staffer Bridget Anne Kelly told a Port Authority executive last year it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” the former aide has been characterized in several ways.

In the administration’s internal review of the September George Washington Bridge lane closures, Kelly was depicted as a nervous advisor who was weepy at times while Christie staffers investigated the closures. The word “emotional” was used nearly a half dozen times in the report.

In May, another former Christie staffer, Christina Renna, who worked under Kelly in the administration’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs described being close with her former boss, but also gave an unflattering report of the former Christie advisor. Some of the words Renna used to describe Kelly included: “Insecure, erratic, paranoid, enormously overwhelmed and enormously stressed with everyday life” and “enormously overwhelmed with family and work.”

Now, Christie’s chief of staff – Kevin O’Dowd – told lawmakers investigating the lane closures on Monday he had no reason not to trust Kelly when he first asked her in December whether she had any involvement with the lane closure controversy.

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Christie's chief of staff goes before Bridgegate committee

Christie's chief of staff goes before Bridgegate committee

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s chief of staff told lawmakers Monday morning he looks forward to helping assist the joint legislative committee investigating the administration over the George Washington Bridge lane closures in their inquiry.

Kevin O’Dowd gave a brief opening statement as lawmakers began questioning the Christie staffer over the September lane closures.

“I would like to start my appearance today by making very clear to the committee that I had no prior knowledge of, or played a role in, the decision to close the lanes at the bridge last September,” O’Dowd said in his opening statement.

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Greenstein concedes in CD 12, first campaign loss

Greenstein concedes in CD 12, first campaign loss

NORTH BRUNSWICK – State Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14) conceded the Democratic primary to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) Tuesday evening.

“I haven’t cried,” Greenstein joked to lighten the mood, thanking about 50 supporters who cheered the state senator as she walked into her election night campaign headquarters.

“First of all, I want to congratulate Bonnie Watson Coleman. I did call to congratulate her,” said Greenstein, adding, “Everyone ran, I think, a pretty fair race.”

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CD 12 results good for Democratic Party, DeAngelo says

CD 12 results good for Democratic Party, DeAngelo says

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14) expressed a bittersweet victory for Democrats following Tuesday’s primary.

The state lawmaker, who endorsed Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14), referred to the numbers that put Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15) over the edge to victory in the Democratic primary as “a little shocking.” DeAngelo was one of several lawmakers and officials who expressed an interest in pursuing Greenstein’s state Senate seat if the lawmaker clinched a victory.

However, a victory never materialized for Greenstein.

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The Back Room

Christie invades South Carolina

On his first visit to South Carolina as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Gov. Chris Christie stayed in "moderate Charleston, in contrast to other potential GOP candidates who made early visits to conservatives elsewhere," according to an ABC News report.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 17th

U.S. Senate race: Bell defends gold standard stance MONTCLAIR - On the same day he was politically brickbatted by the chief adviser to the last Republican challenger to incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), GOP Senate candidate Jeff Bell stood by a key plank of policy platform: monetary reform...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“Clearly there’s some resemblance with Theodore Roosevelt. That direct confrontational style of leadership.” - historian Doris Hearns Goodwin, referring to Gov. Chris Christie.

- The Times of Trenton

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