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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Morning Digest: July 31st

Morning Digest: July 31st

Belmar town hall: 'I've put more money into the pension system than any governor in the history of the state,' Christie says

Belmar town hall: 'I've put more money into the pension system than any governor in the history of the state,' Christie says

BELMAR - Though he might have tried to avoid it -- he began the event acknowledging the issue but quickly shifted gears -- Gov. Chris Christie found himself defending a decision to cut from the state's public pension system here today.  

“I’m concerned if you now want to have no new people come in and pay the pension, what’s going to happen to people like me, who have been paying it our entire lives?,” a town hall attendee asked the governor in Belmar this afternoon. “What’s going to happen to new people not paying into the pension, where is the money going to come from?”

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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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Christie to Newark hecklers: 'I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else'

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 -- who asked why the governor has "blatantly ignored" the debt-ridden city during his famed town hall meetings, Christie fired back with a retort that had some raising eyebrows.

He's Newark's number one fan.

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In Belmar, Christie continues to push bail reform

In Belmar, Christie continues to push bail reform

BELMAR - Lumbering onto the stage while "Surfing USA" blared on a set of speakers nearby, Gov. Chris Christie kicked off another summer town hall here today by continuing a conversation he began at a press conference just a few hours ago.

Not missing a beat, the governor began reiterating the need for the lesiglature to push through a controversial bail reform pacakge ahead of a looming deadline Monday.

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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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The Back Room

Monmouth Shore Local Newspaper, The Two River Times, Gets New Owner

The Two River Times, a weekly local newspaper covering affluent towns on along the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers, was sold earlier this month. On July 11, Domenic M. DiPiero III of Rumson, bought the quirky community newspaper from its previous owner, Michael "Mickey" Gooch.

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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...

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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

- PolitickerNJ

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