Lesniak to introduce new sports betting bill on Monday

Saying he hopes “the second time’s the charm,” Senator Raymond Lesniak said on Wednesday he will introduce new legislation that will bolster the state’s legal position on sports betting. The bill, which Senator Lesniak will introduce on Monday, would explicitly abolish language in state law that prohibits sports betting, a move that would reinforce the attorney general’s motion to lift the injunction preventing the state from moving forward on plans to allow casinos and racetracks to accept wagers on sporting events.

“I hope and expect that the second time will be the charm,” said Senator Lesniak, referring to a similar bill intended to accomplish the same goal that was vetoed by the governor. “This will shore up the attorney general’s legal argument. His motion asks to court to parse my previous legislation, which it shot down by saying it implicitly repealed the state’s prohibitions on sports betting at casinos and racetracks. This bill will specifically abolish language on the books that prevents sports betting, which will give our legal motion more authority and will help withstand any challenges.”

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Booker campaign responds to 13 point gap, says voters 'clearly responding' to incumbent

Booker campaign responds to 13 point gap, says voters 'clearly responding' to incumbent

The campaign of U.S. Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) isn't being deterred by a poll today that showed the race's Republican opponent trailing just 13 points behind the popular incumbent.

According to Campaign Manager Brendan Gill, the PublicMind poll, released by Farleigh Dickenson University earlier today, simply shows that "New Jersey voters are clearly responding to Senator Booker's commitment to take New Jersey forward by protecting social security and medicare, ensuring that Hurricane Sandy relief funding reaches those for whom it is intended and promoting college affordability."

"By contrast, voters also see that Jeff Bell wants to take New Jersey back to the days when abortion was criminalized, economic policy favored the rich and women were prevented from making their own decisions about their careers and their healthcare," he said.

Bell, largely considered the underdog in this race, is 13 points behind Booker among registered voters, according to this morning's FDU poll. If the election were held today, 42 percent say they’d support Booker with 29 percent favoring Bell, the poll finds. Over a quarter (27%) say they remain unsure whom to support.

 The 13 point gap is significant, if only because it shows that Bell -- an obscure policy-wonk who's spent the last 30 years living in Washington D.C. -- might actually have a chance at defeating Booker -- a political 'superstar' in the Garden State and beyond, by most measures of the word.

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ELEC Analysis: top 25 NJ special interest groups spent $311 million on campaign contributions, lobbying and independent spending over 15 years

ELEC Analysis: top 25 NJ special interest groups spent $311 million on campaign contributions, lobbying and independent spending over 15 years

The top 25 special interest groups during the past 15 years spent a combined $311 million on campaign contributions, lobbying and independent spending, according to an analysis by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

The major spending went to political contributions ($163 million), followed by lobbying ($107 million), and, in more recent years, independent spending on campaigns ($41 million).

Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director, said the influence of the special interest groups was uncovered through ELEC’s broadest-ever review of their New Jersey political efforts. “This is the most detailed examination of special interest spending ever done by ELEC. It included looking at contributions made either through PACs or directly to candidates and parties, lobbying and independent spending on both campaigns and ballot initiatives,” he added.

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Morning Digest: September 10th

Morning Digest: September 10th

FDU Poll: Booker leads Bell by 13 points; Obama approval rating at 36%

FDU Poll: Booker leads Bell by 13 points; Obama approval rating at 36%

Republican underdog challenger Jeff Bell is thirteen points behind incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) among registered voters, according to this morning's Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll. If the election were held today, 42 percent say they’d support Booker with 29 percent favoring Bell, the poll finds. Over a quarter (27%) say they remain unsure whom to support.

“Although Jeff Bell is not a political newcomer to the state, his absence from politics for decades has left him a relative unknown among this generation of voters. The fact that he trails an incumbent senator with rock star appeal by a smaller margin than expected suggests anti-incumbency is operative in this election,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind. “Add to this the high percentage of undecideds, and it’s clear that even someone with the appeal of Senator Booker is up against tough but still navigable anti-incumbency winds.”

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Christie to current retirees: 'No imminent danger' in state's pension and benefit struggle

Christie to current retirees: 'No imminent danger' in state's pension and benefit struggle

CAMDEN - Nearly a month after convening a special commission of experts to address the state's pension and health benefit system problems, Gov. Chris Christie today could not give an estimate as to when the panel might issue a report on the matter. He did, however, candidly state what he expects from them when they do, and brushed off the notion that the beleaguered fund spells "imminent danger" for current retirees.

"I'd like them to tell the people of this state the honest truth about the circumstances and the options that we have to try to address it, in the short term and the long term," Christie said. "And I suspect that's what they'll do."

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Christie 'growing weary' of implication that he's neglected NJGOP

Christie 'growing weary' of implication that he's neglected NJGOP

CAMDEN - Lest fellow politickers mistake his recent out-of-state travels or his red-on-blue bonding with compatriots across the aisle over issues like bail reform and Atlantic City as a mix-up of priorities, Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon found himself stomping out notions that he's advanced his own political ambitions at the expense of the state's Republican party.

That includes the senate race of obscure policy-wonk Jeff Bell, whose "broke" campaign, in the candidate's own words, has sputtered on the launch pad as Democratic contender U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) flies circles around it.

Christie, asked about an upcoming fundraiser for Bell, took the opportunity to defend his image against those who see him as forsaking a commitment to his own party by focusing on national campaigns as head of the Republican Governors Association. He said he "grows weary" of the implication that he's neglected the NJGOP during his time as governor.

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Newark NAACP head: One Newark school plan sign of "racist mentality"

Newark NAACP head: One Newark school plan sign of "racist mentality"

NEWARK -  On the sideline of a student protest against the leadership of Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson on Tuesday, the leader of the Newark chapter of one of America's most prominent civil rights organizations put race on the front line of the debate over the future of Newark's schools.

"Right now in the Newark public schools, we are being bombarded with a racist mentality that says we know what's best for you, and you can't think about what is best for yourself. The idea of self-determination has been eradicated and cloaked in the word 'choice,'" Deborah Smith-Gregory, president of the Newark branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), told PolitickerNJ. "This kind of behavior would not happen in a white, Asian [or] Indian community. It would not. First of all, it wouldn't even be attempted. But if it was attempted, it wouldn't be tolerated."

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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 Sponsored by Auto Alliance: September 16th

Bergen County Executive's Race: Tedesco goes up on cable TV with introductory ad James Tedesco, Democratic candidate for Bergen County Executive, goes up on cable television Tuesday for the first time this season. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/81501/bergen-county-executives-race-tedesco-goes-cable-tv-introductory-ad       Stockton Poll: Belgard and MacArthur tied in CD3 In New Jersey’s key...

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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

(9-10-14) Chief Justice Rabner Faces Funding Challenges as Top Court Administrator - Escalating legal fees for litigation is an unintended consequence of underfunding the Court System. ... 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

"[Lyndon] Johnson understood that so far as a man was a political animal (and therefore not searching for some private truth which might be independent of politics) he was then, if deprived of his properties, close to being a dead man." - Norman Mailer

- Miami and the Siege of Chicago

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