CHRISTIE Bigfoots GUADAGNO At The League Impeachment Unlikely HOBOKEN TRAIN CRASH Engineer Had Sleep Apnea

By Matt Friedman (>; >@mattfriedmannj)

Good Thursday morning!

Story Continued Below

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "If not for (Kushner), he may have found himself to be (Trump's) running mate … He probably sits back and says, 'Karma's a bitch.'" — Former state Senate President John O. Bennett on Christie and Kushner >

WHERE’S CHRISTIE? Atlantic City for the League convention. Seriously.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY — Assemblywoman

Betty Lou DeCroce and state Senator/North Bergen Mayor/North Bergen school administrator

Nicholas Sacco (did I miss a job?) Apologies to

Missy Rebovich, who probably got some early birthday wishes yesterday thanks to me. Her birthday is Friday.


WHEN YOU CAN’T TAKE IT OUT ON JARED KUSHNER — “Christie to make surprise visit to AC, stealing spotlight from Guadagno,” by POLITICO’s Matt Friedman: “ Thursday was supposed to be a big day for Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Now it won’t be. Guadagno was scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference luncheon, as she has done most years during Gov. Chris Christie's administration. But this year was more highly anticipated, since Guadagno could take over as governor should Christie leave for a job in or around the incoming Donald Trump administration. Now Christie, who hasn’t attended the conference since 2011 and was not scheduled to attend this year, is making a surprise visit to Atlantic City to deliver a speech … The schedule change is yet another sign of increasing tension between Guadagno and Christie … Asked if the schedule change was the result of tension with the governor, Guadgano responded via text message that ‘I have a great speech to give (if I do say so myself), and I look forward to the opportunity to give it.’” >

PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE KUSHNER BEHIND THE CURTAIN — “Trump spokesman: Christie demotion rumors 'inaccurate'” by The Record’s Dustin Racioppi: “The unceremonious replacement of Governor Christie as head of Donald Trump's White House transition and the demotion of his allies was not orchestrated by the president-elect's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a spokesman said Wednesday. But it is still not clear exactly why Trump named vice president-elect Mike Pence the new chairman of the transition effort last Friday. Anonymous sources have told multiple news outlets since the shakeup that Kushner led a purge of Christie hires as vengeance for prosecuting his father, Charles, on charges of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations a decade ago when Christie was U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. When asked to comment on those reports, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said, ‘Couldn't be further from the truth,’ according to a press pool report.” >

—“Christie's roadblocks to White House job: Trump's son-in-law, Bridgegate” >

—“Kushner vs. Christie: The nasty Trump transition fight that goes back a decade” >

—“The tragic arc of Chris Christie” >

UNITE HERE! UNPOPULAR GOVERNORS LOCAL 54 — “At League conference, McGreevey is Christie's defender,” by POLITICO’s Matt Friedman: “Gov. Chris Christie currently appears besieged on all sides, with New Jersey politicians eager to shake him off and Donald Trump’s son-in-law reportedly purging his allies from roles in Trump’s transition team. But during a panel discussion with four former governors at the League of Municipalities conference, it was Democrat Jim McGreevey — whose torrid political history is the root of one of Christie’s biggest current troubles — who acted as the governor’s biggest defender … ‘[In sort of the lane in which I live and work, I think the governor has made great strides,’ said McGreevey, who now runs a prisoner re-entry program, which includes drug treatment and gets state funding. ‘I’ve been blessed to work with the governor … on prisoner reentry.’” >

—“President-elect Trump troubles 101st League of Municipalities Meeting” >

DEPRIVING WIZ OF HIS TROPHY — “Christie impeachment unlikely, legislative leaders say,” by POLITICO’s Matt Friedman: “Leaders of New Jersey’s state Senate and Assembly said Wednesday that they are not eager to begin impeachment proceedings against Gov. Chris Christie over Bridgegate or to re-start a legislative investigation into the scandal. ‘I’m not looking to start an impeachment proceeding at this time,’ said Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Democrat from Hudson County, during a discussion with his three fellow legislative leaders at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities conference.” >

—“5 things to know about John Wisniewski, the newest Democratic N.J. governor hopeful” >

THE DIE IS CAST — “Fulop Surfaces at Caesars” >

BUSTING A CAP — “Proposal to increase superintendent salary cap draws mixed reviews,” by POLITICO’s Linh Tat: “Nearly six years after instituting a salary cap which critics say has caused many school superintendents to flee the state, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is proposing to increase the limit and offer other financial incentives to encourage school chiefs to remain in their districts … Under the current cap, superintendents can earn a maximum base salary of between $125,000 and $175,000, depending on the size of their districts. According to the proposed amendments, which would be valid for seven years, superintendents could earn up to $147,794 in districts with fewer than 750 students, or $169,689 in districts serving 750 to 2,999 pupils. Superintendents in districts with 3,000 or more students could earn $191,584. School systems with more than 10,000 students could continue to apply for a waiver to the cap, although they would be limited to one waiver request for the term of a contract … Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, said in a phone interview that the proposed amendments represent “‘ very important step in the right direction in maintaining the talent we have here in New Jersey.’ He added, however, that his group had been hoping that the caps would "go away completely.’”>

THE D ON AC —“Former governor says Atlantic City takeover 40 years overdue,” by The Press of Atlantic City’s Nicholas Huba: “Increased state oversight of Atlantic City is something that should have happened four decades ago when voters approved gaming in the city, according to former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco. ‘It would have been better to do in 1977,’ said DiFrancesco, who served as governor from Jan. 31, 2001, through Jan. 8, 2002. ‘I think that would have been the appropriate time for the state to develop some form of control over the development of the casino industry and Atlantic City, so there would have been a plan back then.’”


—“Sweeney talks Christie, Trump and the fate of Atlantic City” >

—“'Business as usual, for now' after Atlantic City takeover” >

TRAIN CRASH — “Engineer in Hoboken train crash had undiagnosed sleep disorder, lawyer says,” by The New York Times’ Emma G. Fitzgibbons: “The engineer, Thomas Gallagher, recently learned he had severe sleep apnea, according to his lawyer, Jack Arseneault. The test results were sent to federal officials on Oct. 31, he said. Mr. Gallagher, who told officials he did not remember the crash, believed the diagnosis might explain what happened, his lawyer said. ‘It made sense to him because of his experience with the crash that he did everything that he would normally do,’ Mr. Arseneault said in an interview. ‘He checked his speed, blew the whistle, rang the bell, and the next thing he knew he was on the floor.’” >”

HITTING NADLER — “New Jersey electeds assail New York officials for ‘vitriolic’ stance on bus terminal,” by POLITICO New York’s Dana Rubinstein: “The day after Rep. Jerry Nadler and a band of New York colleagues questioned the integrity of the most powerful New Jerseyan on the Port Authority board and demanded he recuse himself from talks over how to build a new bus terminal in Manhattan, a group of New Jersey officials derided Nadler’s stance as ‘vitriolic,’ incoherent and counterproductive. Nadler’s position ‘completely undermines a joint planning process involving elected officials from both states,’ wrote New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, both Democrats, along with Senate Republican leader Tom Kean Jr. and Assembly Republican leader John Bramnick, among others.” >

TIME TO HIRE MASTRO — “They spent $1M of your money on Bridgegate. Now they want a refund.” by NJ Advance Media’s Claude Brodesser-Akner: “ The co-chair of the Legislature's committee investigating the Bridgegate scandal is demanding the panel's own lawyer refund $1 million to taxpayers, saying the high-profile legal firm had a conflict of interest … Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said she wants Jenner & Block to refund all fees to taxpayers from its work for the Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Investigation because the firm began defending United Airlines last year in a federal criminal investigation of former Port Authority chairman David Samson. The Legislature's panel focused on politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, which is operated by the Port Authority. Legal experts say the law firm may have violated state and American Bar Association conflict of interest rules by taking on United as a client. ‘It's only in New Jersey that we get in this morass, but we couldn't even count on the people representing us,’ said Weinberg.” >

DOWNGRADE #10 — “Wall Street downgrades Christie's legacy,” by The Record’s Charles Stile: “Now comes a new account from the number crunchers at S&P Global Ratings. Analysts downgraded New Jersey’s credit rating Monday and warned that the state’s fiscal health will only worsen in the post-Christie world if reforms are not enacted. If his handlers ever get around to gathering material for their first, hagiographic draft of the Christie years, they will have plenty of highlights to cite -- changes in the rules governing teacher tenure, historic bail reforms affecting first-time offenders, a boast that he held the line on most broad-based tax increases, and a restructured system for the state’s medical schools and universities. But there are some major blots that they won’t be able to airbrush out of the narrative. Wall Street’s three major credit rating agencies have now downgraded New Jersey a combined 10 times under Christie, repeatedly citing the woeful state of the public pension portfolio. No governor in the United States has ever amassed that many downgrades.” >

GUNS & AMMO — “N.J. should require photo I.D., electronic tracking for ammo sales, commission says,” by NJ Advance Media’s S.P. Sullivan: “A decade after a state commission recommended changes to New Jersey's ammunition sales laws, the investigative body says there are still loopholes allowing fraud and straw purchases for those who aren't allowed to have firearms. A new report from the State Commission of Investigation found laws enacted to prevent such abuse still allowed buyers to illegally obtain ammunition. The report also found police efforts to track ammunition sales had been "stymied" by an "antiquated system" used to log transactions. The findings could renew debates over firearms in the Democrat-controlled Legislature, which in recent years has passed a number of measures further tightening gun control in the Garden State only to see them vetoed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie.” >

OLIVER WANTS SOME MORE — “Amid wreckage everywhere, the party goes on in Atlantic City,” by PolitickerNJ’s Max Pizarro: “Stellato with the microphone in his hand spoke openly about Sumter as a candidate for lieutenant governor, which sources continue to say is real, the consequence of Murphy world kissing the Currie ring. Sumter’s the state chairman’s literal and political goddaughter. She and Currie may have to fight for the spot, however. A source told PolitickerNJ on the way out of the fiesta that rival bosses want Murphy to select Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) as his running mate.” >

HARD TO READ — “N.J. hospital is killing dogs for medical training, group claims,” by NJ Advance Media’s Kathleen O’Brien: “A national physicians' group is taking a hospital to task – via billboards – for its use of live dogs in its residency training program. The hospital, Morristown Medical Center, defended the use of dogs in a four-hour offsite training session as an essential way for its emergency medicine doctors to learn crucial skills. Those skills cannot be learned through simulation or by using training devices, said hospital spokeswoman Elaine Andrecovich. The plea from a dog stares down from two billboards erected earlier this week near the Morristown train station: "Don't kill man's best friend for medical testing … The Washington, DC-based non-profit targeted Morristown because the hospital remains one of the few in the country that continues to use live animals in its training. The group, founded in 1985, lobbies to eliminate animal testing and pushes for plant-based nutrition. While the animals sometimes survive the surgical procedures demonstrated on them, all are killed after training is completed, Pippin's group claims.” >

HOMELESSNESS — “Report: homelessness criminalized in some cities,” by NJTV’s Michael HIll: “They don’t have much. Not even a place to live, but thanks to local laws against sleeping, sitting, lying down and living in cars in public, they can get shelter in jail. Criminalized for trying to live — that’s how the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty sees it in its new report. “In part a poor, short-sighted and frankly lazy response to growing visible homelessness,” said Tristia Bauman, senior attorney at National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. The report tracked 187 cities for 10 years. It found Newark, Trenton and Atlantic City have such laws to remove the homeless from public view.” >

TRUMPBOTOMY — “Rutgers prof given psych evaluation after anti-Trump tweets,” by NJ Advance Media’s Kelly Heyboer: “A Rutgers University professor says he was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation by police after someone at the school felt threatened by comments he made about flag burning and gun control in light of Donald Trump's election. Kevin Allred, an adjunct professor on the New Brunswick campus, said on Twitter that New York police came to his Brooklyn home Tuesday night and told him Rutgers called them because they were concerned about statements he made on campus and on Twitter. Allred has posted dozens of anti-Trump tweets since the Republican's presidential win last week. They included tweets showing a flag burning and comments about gun control.” >

—“WATCH: Rutgers students walk out of class, march to protest Trump” >

AWWW — “Princeton school bus driver's note to parents goes viral,” by Anna Merriman for “Cindy Clausen, a bus driver for the school district, sent the note to the children's parents, saying she's watched as the brother and sister repeatedly go out of their way to help and be kind to a fellow classmate with a disability, according to the note, posted on Clausen describes how the siblings frequently ask to sit with their classmate and how they encourage him as he walks to his seat, noting the classmate has difficulty walking. She ended the note saying, "I know you know how wonderful your children are, but I wanted you to know that it shows!”>

WHO AMONG US? — “Woman drove over 2 miles with a person on her hood after Jersey City crash: cops,” by The Jersey Journal’s Terrence T. McDonald: “A Newark woman is accused of driving more than two miles with a woman clinging to the hood of her Honda Accord following an accident in Jersey City last month. Talika Lesaine, 30, of North 13th Street, is charged with aggravated assault, endangering an injured victim by hitting her with her vehicle and possession of a weapon – the car – for an unlawful purpose, the criminal complaint says.” >


—“6 Bridgegate reporters recap how it all came crashing down | Christie Tracker Podcast” >

—“Union City mayor latest to assure unauthorized immigrants” >

—“Bayonne Bridge project reaches milestone: Elevated roadway installed” >

—“DRPA approves capital budget” >

—“Hillside mayor to get cop's emails, phone records in traffic summons case” >

—“NJ ELEC: Ewing Mayor Steinmann, campaign treasurer violated election finance rules” >

—“The N.J. towns with the most Gary Johnson and Jill Stein votes” >

—“Pleasantville school board refuses to fire ‘Speedy’ Marsh” >

—“11 must-read tweets from marijuana advocate NJ Weedman” >

—“Bon Jovi helps save Ben Franklin's damaged grave” >

- Want to make an impact? POLITICO New Jersey has a variety of multi-platform solutions available to reach and activate the most influential people in the Garden State. Have a petition you want signed? A cause you’re promoting? Share your message with our influential readers to increase awareness and drive action. Contact Chris Falls to find out how:

**DOWNLOAD POLITICO’S TRANSITION TRACKER: POLITICO will deliver breaking news notifications on the incoming administration -- directly to your iPhone's lock screen. Using the unique capabilities and speed of Apple Wallet, Transition Tracker alerts users to all the key personnel and policy decisions as they're made by the president-elect. This is

currently available only for iPhone users via Apple Wallet.

Download the pass , available for readers using iPhones, here.

FOR MORE political and policy news from New Jersey, check out Politico New Jersey’s home page:

SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook: … New York Playbook: ... Florida Playbook: ... New Jersey Playbook: ... Massachusetts Playbook: ... Illinois Playbook: ... California Playbook: and our friends at POLITICO Brussels Playbook: ... All our policy and political tipsheets

>This story tagged under:
  • Thursday,
  • Wednesday,
  • Tuesday,
  • Monday,