Author: max

'Unless there are changes made to the system itself, we cannot tax our citizens enough, even if we wanted to,' governor says

'Unless there are changes made to the system itself, we cannot tax our citizens enough, even if we wanted to,' governor says

PARSIPPANY -Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon tried a flanking move in his public pensions and benefits chess game with the Democratic Legislature, leaning on the optics of what he promised will be an apolitical squad of fiscal experts.

The traffic roared in the background as Christie made his announcement.

He noted the "series of landmark reforms" he and the Democratic legislature struck on public pension costs in 2011, which Dems now resist.

"Clearly these actions have not been enough," he declared.

"Today I'm announcing the creation of a nonpartisan strudy commission," Christie added. "The study commission's charge is to think long-term. ...No idea is off the table. ...Reforms enacted by other states...look at the health and pensions provided in the private sector so we can compare with what's being provided by the majority ...And any other factors."

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Christie wants pension system study commission

Christie wants pension system study commission

Gov. Chris Christie will announce the formation of a commission to study New Jersey's pension crisis, according to sources familiar with the details of his executive order scheduled for this afternoon in Parsippany.

The Governor plans to make this announcement at 1 p.m. on the steps of the municipal building.

Christie's order to put together a group to come up with an action plan, which he will argue will be composed by individuals outside the hothouse of NJ politics, comes on the same week that Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) said Democrats won't cut a deal with the governor for more public worker pension cuts.

Sweeney and Christie are in a friendly game of chicken with higher office at stake.

Christie wants to show big government meat cleaver cred ahead of the 2016 Republican Primary for president, and give himself room to win in the next fiscal season.

Eyeballing Drumthwacket and alert to the political demands of a Democratic Primary, Sweeney wants to stay out of the public sector worker penalty box, where he landed after the pen/ben overhaul he wrought with Christie three years ago.

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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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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 2nd

Campaign season now under way in Bergen County Politics is practiced year-round in Bergen County, and street-level campaigning has been going on quietly all summer. But both Republicans and Democrats say the Rutherford Street Fair on Labor Day signals a more intense phase of electioneering. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record) http://www.northjersey.com/news/campaign-season-now-under-way-in-bergen-county-1.1079080  ...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... 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

"Governor Christie ripped President Obama this summer for failing to carve out some time during a Texas fundraising swing to visit the Mexican border, where the unprecedented flood of immigrant children from Central America had reached a crisis point. ...Yet Christie is not squeezing in a tour of the troubled border during his own three-day trade and diplomatic mission to Mexico, which is set to begin on Wednesday. The governor is planning a series of meetings with Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto and the finance and energy ministers." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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Governor Chris Christie's trip to Mexico...:

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