Jeanne Fox

Report: Christie picks Solomon to head BPU

The Star-Ledger is reporting that Lee Solomon, a Superior Court Judge and former Assemblyman, will be the new president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.  Gov. Christopher Christie is expected to name Solomon to the post tomorrow.

Solomon will be nominated to fill the seat of Democrat Frederick Butler, a former Executive Director of the Assembly Democratic office.  Butler is on holdover status; Gov. Jon Corzine named his energy advisor, Kenneth Esser, to replace Butler during the lame duck session, but the nomination was not included as part of Corzine’s accord with Christie last month.  The current BPU president, Democrat Jeanne Fox, will remain as a Commissioner.

Solomon, 54, served as a Camden County Freeholder before his election to the State Assembly in 1991.  He lost a race for Congress to Rob Andrews in 1994, and lost his seat in 1995 (by 1,618 votes) to Democrat Louis Greenwald.  He went on to serve as Camden County Prosecutor and then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and head of the South Jersey office under Christie.

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Is Fred Butler out of a job?

Republicans have a chance to take control of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in January, when Christopher Christie takes office as governor.  Right now, Democrats have a 3-2 majority on the board that regulates the natural gas, electricity, water and telecommunications and cable television industries.  But Commissioner Frederick Butler, a former Executive Director of the Assembly Democratic office, is on holdover status and Gov. Jon Corzine has not renominated him.

There was some talk earlier this year that Corzine would give the seat to Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood), but Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean (R-Westfield) reportedly refused to sign off on her.  Butler, a Somerset County resident, is unlikely to return since State Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg) is unlikely to sign off on his nomination.  To prevent Christie from an early takeover of the BPU, Corzine will need to nominate a candidate from a county where Republicans have no senatorial courtesy.

Traditionally, the new governor gets to designate a BPU President, who holds cabinet status.  There is no guarantee that the incumbent, Jeanne Fox, who faced a tough confirmation hearing last year, will step down.  If she does, and if the Christie doesn't get to fill Butler's seat, the new governor will have to choose between Republicans Elizabeth Randall and Nicholas Asselta for the presidency. 

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Some Dems unhappy that Butler could be nudged out for Stender

Speculation that Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) could be headed to the Board of Public Utilities raises a question regarding political control of the BPU.  

Stender is reportedly under consideration for the seat currently occupied by Frederick Butler, a BPU Commissioner since 1999.  Some Democrats, sources say, are not happy that Gov. Jon Corzine might dump Butler, who spent seventeen years on the Assembly Democratic staff, including seven as Executive Director. 

If Democrats lose the 2009 gubernatorial election, the new Republican Governor would be able to designate one of the Republican Commissioners to serve as President.  The current BPU President, Jeanne Fox, would retain her seat, but the new Republican Governor would have the option of elevating one of the GOP Commissioners, former State Sen. Nicholas Asselta (R-Vineland) or former Assemblywoman Elizabeth Randall (R-Hillsdale), to the presidency.

BPU Commissioners serve six year terms, and traditionally the party that controls the governorship gets three of the five seats.  But if the Senate confirms a new BPU appointee, it would stop Republicans from holding a majority of seats until 2012, when Joseph Fiordaliso is up.

The only leverage the GOP has in the appointment process is senatorial courtesy.  Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) could block Stender, and State Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg) could block Butler.  Union County Republicans would not be pleased if Kean signed off on Stender.

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Weekend TV

Weekend TV
Steve Adubato and Jeanne Fox on the set of "Caucus: New Jersey"

Independent gubernatorial candidate Chris Daggett will be “On the Record” this weekend with host Jim Hooker, airing Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and on Monday at 6:30 a.m.

On Reporters Roundtable, hosted by State House correspondent Zachary Fink, the AP’s Angela Delli Santi, The Record’s Charles Stile, The Atlantic City Press’s Derek Harper and The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari will discuss the Governor’s furlough plan, the state budget and the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Steve Adubato hosts Senate President Dick Codey and Board of Public Utilities President Jeanne Fox on his two shows this weekend.

Codey will join Adubato and co-host Pi Roman on “Inside Trenton” to talk about ethics and Democratic legislators’ take on the Gov. Corzine’s budget, airing Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Fox will appear on NJN’s “Caucus: New Jersey” to discuss how the Governor’s Energy Master Plan will provide economic growth and "green collar" jobs, after which Adubato will discuss renewable energy with PSE&G President and COO Ralph Larossa, airing Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on WNET.  

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"At $735,000 per job, the only thing this  spending spree is stimulating is the urge of people to move out of New Jersey.”  

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009

Judiciary panel approves Fox

The Senate Judiciary Committee, voting along party lines, voted 7-4 to approve the nomination of Jeanne Fox for another term on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.  The nomination will now head to the full Senate for a vote. The Senate is scheduled for a session next Monday.

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Fox will get another BPU term, but would lose presidency if Corzine is defeated

The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Jeanne Fox for another term as President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.  There is no longer much drama with this nomination: Republican Judiciary Committee members are likely to vote against her, but Fox has the votes from the Democratic majority for Senate confirmation.

If Democrats lose the 2009 gubernatorial election, the new Republican Governor would be able to designate one of the Republican Commissioners to serve as President.  BPU Commissioners serve six year terms, and traditionally the party that controls the governorship gets three of the five seats. 

One of the three Democratic Commissioners, Frederick Butler, a former Executive Director of the Assembly Democratic Office, is up for reappointment in June 2009.  For Republicans to take control of the BPU next January, Republican State Sen. Christopher Bateman would need to block the nomination of Butler, a Belle Mead resident, for the remainder of the legislative session.  Short of a resignation, that would give a Republican Governor a chance to make his own appointment.

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Cryan alleges lawsuit against Fox connected to GOP

A report that the chief financial officer of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will appeal the dismissal of his lawsuit against BPU President Jeanne Fox is politically motivated, according to Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan.  Joseph Potena had sued Fox, claiming he was mistreated after exposing an $83 million Clean Energy Program account where there are allegations of improper management.

"It proves once and for all that the lawsuit and Republicans politics have been intertwined from the beginning of this 4 1/2 year-old case, said Cryan (D-Union), who is also an Assemblyman. "Republicans have been leaked legal documents since the start of the lawsuit.  They have used the lawsuit to pillory a decent, dedicated and proven public servant of thirty years."

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Senate snow day

The State Senate has cancelled all committee meetings because of the weather, including a Judiciary Committee session that was expected to consider the nomination of Jeanne Fox for another term as President of the Board of Public Utilities. 

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...


NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >


 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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