Author: max

Christie makes his pitch on bail reform

Christie makes his pitch on bail reform

TRENTON -In a win-win moment for Gov. Chris Christie as he seeks tough guy points ahead of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, both houses of the legislature packed into the assembly chamber and listened as Christie pleaded for a constitutional amendment on bail reform this afternoon.

"This is our responsibility," said the former prosecutor. "This is something we need to do. We are failing. Those who pose the greatest danger to our communities walk free because the system does not provide our judges with any other option." And those accused of nonviolent crimes sit in jail because they lack the resources to post bail.

"Vote today," Christie urged.

Bail reform won't happen today, but that wasn't necessarily the governor's design, as he pounced on the national-sized silver platter issue served up by state Sen. Donald Norcross (D-5), which would restrict bail on violent offenders.

The vote will occur on Monday, likely completing the portrait of gubernatorial adult-in-the-room optics as Christie maneuvers for an edge in a developing presidential field.

Part of the deal to post it could be the inclusion of a vote for a constitutional amendment on open space - a Democratic wing of the Democratic Party issue to bring in some of the bail reform naysayers. Informed of that possible option to collar a few votes, at least one member complained about the cynicism of tying a civil rights issue to open space. The bill takes $71 million from the corporate business tax dedicated to other programs and changes it to open space.

"I have not used this authority frequently or lightly, and I do not do so today," the governor told lawmakers, after hauling them in from their summer breaks.

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Sources: no assembly vote today on bail reform

Sources: no assembly vote today on bail reform

TRENTON - The assembly today will not vote on the package of bail reform bills, according to sources gathered in the assembly chamber for a joint special session.

In a few moments, Gov. Chris Christie will address the senators and assembly people gathered here and make a full-throated call for bail reform.

Sources tell PolitickerNJ that lower house members could reconvene before close of business day on Monday - the deadline - to consider the bills but will not vote today.

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Bramnick says the assembly has the votes to pass bail reform package

Bramnick says the assembly has the votes to pass bail reform package

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) says it’s over.

The Assembly can join the senate and pass the bail reform package tomorrow sought by Gov. Chris Christie.

“If he’s got 30, we’ve got 20,” Bramnick said, referring to the rough caucus total of Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32), and the willing members of his own GOP caucus.

“We can pass the bill right now,” added Bramnick, confident of being able to attain the required three-fifths majority once the package gets posted tomorrow in a special session.

“Let’s get it done.”

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Source: Prieto reaching out right now via email to caucus members

Source: Prieto reaching out right now via email to caucus members

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and his allies are emailing caucus members this afternoon ahead of a Thursday morning meeting to discuss the bail reform package championed by Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3).

Prieto was noncommital in a statement.

“I think everyone understands the need to change the bail system, but I also expect a constructive dialogue," said the speaker amid complaints in the lower house about a lack of detail.

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Christie on bail bill: 'if it is put on the board it will pass;' but lawmakers still sweating details

Christie on bail bill: 'if it is put on the board it will pass;' but lawmakers still sweating details

Gov. Chris Christie today called on Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) to post a bill tomorrow that would eliminate New Jersey's constitutional guarantee of bail to all defendants and give judges the ability to detain violent offenders.

"If it is put on the board, it will pass," Christie said.

However, some lower house legislators say they won't support the measure without inducements. The details of the entire bail reform package remain in a state of flux, according to skeptical lower house lawmakers.

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Payne goes after the GOP over lawsuit against Obama: 'There's something about him'

Payne goes after the GOP over lawsuit against Obama: 'There's something about him'

U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10) railed against what he cited as a frivolous, politically-motivated Republican lawsuit against President Barack Obama.

In comments on the House floor, Payne hinted that racism tinges the GOP suit.

"There's something about him," the Newark congressman said.

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Sources: Irked Dem assembly sources want to bail on bail reform 'Christie photo op'

Sources: Irked Dem assembly sources want to bail on bail reform 'Christie photo op'

You could almost hear the sound of the surfboard getting waxed through grunted off-the-record obscenities by a lawmaker forced to take a reporter’s call in the lead-up to Thursday’s special session.

Irritated by Gov. Chris Christie’s mid-national stride demand to reconvene the legislature for a special session, sandwiching outrage ahead of a scheduled campaign stop in New Hampshire, the source went on a tangent about how he felt subservient to the governor’s national ambition as Christie does some polishing of his own: his image as a get-tough-on-crime nascent presidential candidate.

“We’re going to go in, he’s going to give a national speech aimed at Iowa – or New Hampshire - and we’re not going to pass bail reform,” groused the lower house lawmaker. “And we’re going to go home, having done nothing more than contribute to his live shot.”

The source further complained about the deal-making between Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Christie, which this week left Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32) once again with his nose pressed against the window – apparently reluctant to get in this time.

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Singleton says he supports bail reform amendment

Singleton says he supports bail reform amendment

Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7) says he supports Gov. Chris Christie’s call for a constitutional amendment that would deny bail to dangerous suspects.

“That is an easy vote for me,” said Singleton, hours after Christie summoned the Assembly into a special Thursday session to vote on the measure, championed in the senate by state Sen. Donald Norcross (D-5).

As part of his support for the amendment, Singleton said he also backs a measure that would require indictment within six months of arrest and trial within the year. “I don’t see a scenario where those two don’t go together,” Singleton said.

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LD1: If Van Drew leaves, the chances of Fiocchi v. Andrzejczak 2017

LD1: If Van Drew leaves, the chances of Fiocchi v. Andrzejczak 2017

When and if veteran U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2) retires, state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) will get a crack at the seat first, according to sources in the Democratic Party establishment.

Running an aggressive campaign against LoBiondo, attorney Bill Hughes, Jr. wants to alter that perception and – if he can’t beat LoBiondo outright – demonstrate to South Jersey that he can put a 2014 dent in LoBo.

But Van Drew last year led a ticket dogged by the doomed Nelson Albano with Republican Gov. Chris Christie at the top of the opposing ticket - and still won.

Van Drew has long toyed with making a run for Congress.

In the event he does in 2016 – or if he decides not to pursue re-election in 2017 – the party has taken his political protégé in hand as his eventual successor, sources say.

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LD7: Eyeballing the implications of 2015 on 2017

LD7: Eyeballing the implications of 2015 on 2017

It’s every political insider’s favorite summertime parlor game: trying to figure out who will move up to succeed whom.

There have long been murmurs about state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) and 2017 – at least ever since the last election.

A veteran independent-minded Republican, Allen shows no signs of slowing her stride.

The same rumors about imminent retirement somewhat hounded her last year, and the year before, which she summarily stared down when she ran for re-election.

But there is talk in the party that this could be her last term.

That ongoing static prompts inevitable Democratic Party speculation about a primary between Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) and Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

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The Back Room

Christie defends himself in NH

Zapped by the DNC on his way into New Hampshire this afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie defended his economic record while wooing NH voters for the second time in little more than a month, according to the Associated Press.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 31st

  Christie to Newark hecklers: 'I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else' BELMAR - Gov. Chris Christie's got nothing but love for The Brick City, or so he says. In response to a Newark school student here today -- a 17-year-old president of the Newark Student Union...

Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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

"Go to Mayor [Cory] Booker and ask him if he thinks in the years that he was mayor if I ignored Newark. The fact is I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else." - Gov. Chris Christie

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