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.
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.Read More >
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.Read More >
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.Read More >
"At $735,000 per job, the only thing this spending spree is stimulating is the urge of people to move out of New Jersey.”
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.Read More >
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.Read More >
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."Read More >
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.Read More >
Former Paterson Mayor, Lawrence "Pat" Kramer, today endorsed Jose "Joey" Torres for mayor of Paterson in the May 13th nonpartisan election.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
FDU Poll: Christie plummets 20 points Gov. Chris Christie's job approval took a 20 point drop in three plus months, according to this morning's Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll. Christie’s post Bridgegate job approval rating stands at 41% (with 44% who disapprove), down from 61% last November. Currently about...
BY JEFF BRINDLE Anytime now, the U.S. Supreme Court will render a decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. And while reformists may not like it, the high court is likely to allow national parties to raise far more money. That could strengthen them... Read More >
“Unfortunately for the governor, the investigation appears to be turning him into a more polarizing figure. As recently as late last year, his approval numbers were consistently bigger than his disapproves - by a pretty big margin - and more voters liked everything about him than disliked everything about him. One of the defining characteristics of the governor that makes him a nationally sought after Republican is his widespread appeal in a Democratic state. Bridgegate continues to erode that asset.” - FDU Poll Director Krista Jenkins.- PolitickerNJ.com
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