The PolitickerNJ Interview: John Wisniewski

The PolitickerNJ Interview: John Wisniewski

SAYREVILLE - In his office here, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) sits comfortably at the head of a solid oak conference table, sipping coffee from a glass mug. Donning a blue tie to match a set of piercing blue eyes, he’s cool and collected, a shining example of how a New Jersey assemblyman might spend his time during these dog days, when the sun is shining and the statehouse is empty.  But it would be misleading to call Wisniewski your typical assemblyman -- this one is in the middle of one of the most controversial and potentially corrupt scandals of recent memory.

Wisniewski is chairman of the Select Committee on Investigations, the bicameral bipartisan, board put together last year in the wake of the George Washington Bridge lane closures. It’s been seven months since the Middlesex County Democrat began probing the depths of what might have been a politically motivated, possibly illegal political stunt, and he still hasn’t hit bedrock. He’s been hounded by reporters -- this one included -- who call him weekly asking for fresh details on the investigation’s progress. He’s issued subpoenas and sat through dozens of grueling hours of testimony by some of the highest rankings officials in Gov. Chris Christie’s cabinet. More recently, he’s been blasted by Republicans on the committee who’ve likened its dogged pursuit of the case’s smoking gun to “a witch hunt”. They all want answers.

Anyone else in his position might at this point be feeling the heat. But not John “Wiz” Wisniewski. He’s been playing this game for too many years -- 19, by his count -- for that.

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Pascrell: downed plane further justifies more sanctions against Russia

Pascrell: downed plane further justifies more sanctions against Russia

PATERSON – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9) released the following statement on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, confirmed to have been shot down over eastern Ukraine:

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine yesterday. If the unconfirmed reports are true that pro-Russian separatists operating in Eastern Ukraine are responsible for shooting down this plane, then this is truly a heinous act which only further validates President Obama’s rollout of additional sanctions on Russia. Regardless of who is responsible for this disaster, Russia must cease supporting and arming separatist groups who are working to destabilize Ukraine. Russian President Putin has fanned the flames of division in Ukraine and is more interested in celebrity than building bridges.”

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Fight of the Week: Christie v. Clinton, pre-2016 warm-up round

Fight of the Week: Christie v. Clinton, pre-2016 warm-up round

Two political tigers prowled America's 2016 presidential campaign field this week, separated by about 1,100 miles: Republican Chris Christie and Democrat Hillary Clinton. 

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Bergen Executive's Race: Wesley Clark to campaign next month with Tedesco

Bergen Executive's Race: Wesley Clark to campaign next month with Tedesco

Four Star General Wesley Clark (ret.) will join Freeholder Jim Tedesco, the Democratic nominee for County Executive, for two events in support of Tedesco’s campaign on August 6th, the campaign announced today, a day after Hillary Clinton signed copies of her book in Bergen. 

The former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Clark will first speak in Fair Lawn at a veteran’s community forum hosted by Tedesco before then headlining a campaign fundraiser that evening.

A Vietnam War hero, Clark's 2006 presidential campaign died in New Hampshire.

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Winners and Losers: Week of July 14th

Winners and Losers: Week of July 14th

The state takes a lot of well-deserved hits, let’s face it.

But if you can shovel your way through the winters and the political sound-bites, you can get to the summers in New Jersey, which is where we are now – for another six or so glorious weeks.

Revel in them, if you can, even if Revel can’t.

And know that through all weather, PolitickerNJ will supply, yet again, another edition of Winners and Losers…

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NJ State PBA President calls out Christie for "callous" choice of locale to start pension reform tour

NJ State PBA President calls out Christie for "callous" choice of locale to start pension reform tour

WOODBRIDGE - The president of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association (PBA) decried the choice of locale for the start of Gov. Chris Christie's "No Pain, No Gain" pension reform tour as "callous," citing Christie's recent moves regarding public workers' pensions as something even more painful.

In a written statement, State PBA President Patrick Colligan specifically referred to the Christie administration taking out a $2.6 billion short-term loan with financial firm J.P. Morgan on July 1 to bolster the new $32.5 billion state budget and pay for the bills that will come due. Colligan's criticisms came in context of Christie's upcoming appearance next Tuesday, July 22, at the Bay View Park Gazebo in Long Beach Township to discuss his ideas on pension reform and to take questions. 

"His callous choice of venue is not lost on the policemen, firefighters and teachers who recently built a playground there as part of the Sandy Ground Project. That park was built in memory of Lauren Rousseau, one of the brave teachers who lost her life protecting her children at the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy. It was built with the sweat of dedicated policemen, firemen and teachers who volunteered their time to honor this incredibly brave teacher who should have never expected to lose her life in her chosen profession. It is a personal affront to every volunteer that participated in the building of that playground and every public worker that continues to make their pension contributions and healthcare co-pays and don’t share the ability of saying “I can’t afford it” like the Governor can," Colligan said in the statement issued Friday. "Long Beach Island is approximately 18 miles long. There are many appropriate and convenient venues throughout the island that the Governor can roll out his disgraceful attempt to once again vilify the hard-working public workers who have made the hard sacrifices with his last round of reforms." 

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Morning Digest: July 18th

Morning Digest: July 18th

The Back Room

Christie v. Astorino in Aspen

Dismissed by Republican Governors' Association (RGA) Chairman Chris Christie, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino plans to confront his tormentor tonight at a GOP fundraiser in Aspen.

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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...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups.  But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... 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

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