NEWARK — A former aide to Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who is now on trial for her role in the George Washington Bridge lane closings, followed what she called “the company line” in icing out politicians and groups not supporting the governor, taking her cues from Mr. Christie and his closest advisers.
Prosecutors in federal court here used texts and emails to show the former aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, as an eager warrior in the ferocious politics of Mr. Christie’s world, modeling herself on the governor and his campaign manager, who encouraged her fondness for grudges and helped her develop a “dead-to-me gene.”
Under questioning from her own lawyer on Monday, Ms. Kelly described herself as “petrified” by a volatile, micromanaging governor. Trying to save herself from his next eruption, she said, she kept him informed every step of the way about the lane closings — believing they were just a traffic study, and not, as later revealed, a plot to punish a mayor who had refused to endorse the governor’s re-election.
By Brigid Callahan Harrison • 10/25/16
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Over the past several weeks as I’ve watched the ads concerning the north Jersey casino initiative, something has struck me as odd: The anti-expansion casino folks have dominated the airwaves, explaining that the initiative to expand casinos into north Jersey enables Trenton politicians an enormous amount of latitude in terms of which casinos will operate and where they will be located. But where are the proponents? Where is Jeff Gural, who proposed a new Hard Rock Meadowlands casino with great fanfare (and lots of political leaders by his side)? Where is Paul Fireman, who proposed a $4.6 billion casino in Jersey City?
My gut tells me that this equation is bizarrely out of whack. Who proposes a $4.6 million mega-development but then doesn’t bother fighting for it?
Well, the answer may be one of the more cynical stories of a very cynical age.
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on October 21, 2016
Defendant Bridget Anne Kelly, a former top aide to Gov. Chris Christie, arrives at the Federal Courthouse in Newark to testify in the Bridgegate trial on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016.
NEWARK – In an emotional day of testimony, Bridget Anne Kelly refuted the charges against her in the Bridgegate scandal, telling a jury she told Gov. Chris Christie in advance about the plan to close toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013, and had gotten his approval for what she thought was a legitimate traffic study.
She denied ever having any knowledge of the bizarre scheme of political retaliation alleged by federal prosecutors.
And she asserted that other higher-ups in the governor's inner circle were all well-aware of what was going on in Fort Lee, long before it played out, and that no one seemed that concerned about it.
"It just wasn't a big deal," she said.
The New Jersey State Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill requiring the state’s student loan agency to forgive the debts of borrowers who die or become permanently disabled.
The measure, approved by a 34-0 vote, passed the State Assembly last month, and now heads to Gov. Chris Christie, who has 45 days to either sign or veto it. The legislation would end the agency’s efforts to seek repayment from the families of deceased students, a practice disclosed in July in an investigation by ProPublica in collaboration with The New York Times.
“The trauma a family must be dealing with when they lose their child, and then to have someone banging on their door for money?” said Senator James Beach, a Democrat who was among the bill’s sponsors. “I think that’s outrageous.”
on October 18, 2016
Most voters aren't buying the Donald's latest act, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. They don't think his predatory comments about women were just "locker room talk." They don't believe his denials that he's never made unwanted advances.
They don't think his deflections about Bill Clinton's treatment of women – or Hillary's criticisms of the women who accused her husband of sexual misdeeds – are a legitimate issue in this year's election. Nice try.
Yet the majority of Republicans are still inclined to believe Trump's claim that the real reason he is losing is because of a rigged election. Two thirds of them now fear their votes will not be counted, according to an Associated Press poll last month. That's scary.
Jeff Gural, the New York real estate tycoon, on the roof deck at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J. Mr. Gural envisions a $1 billion casino at the racetrack. CreditFred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Billionaire real estate developer and horse breeder Jeffrey Gural has faced constant criticism during his long career in business – but nobody can ever say the man lacks persistence.
Facing dismal polls for the November ballot initiative he championed, which would have paved the way to convert his Meadowlands Racetrack to a full-fledged casino, Gural is now pulling out all the stops to keep expanded gaming on the agenda in Trenton.
With only three weeks to Election Day, and assuming rejection at the ballot box, Gural is pulling out a new card. The latest push comes from his political ally Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley), to whom Gural has donated over $3,600 through the years.
By Alyana Alfaro • 10/17/16
NEWARK – Former Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority Bill Baroni took the stand in Newark on Monday for the first time during the weeks-long Bridgegate trial. Baroni’s testimony featured a different sequence of events leading to the realignment of three local access lanes of the George Washington Bridge from September 9 to 12, 2013. While earlier testimony from David Wildstein, the witness for the prosecution who implicated Baroni, featured the former state senator as an integral part of the plot to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for a failure to endorse New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for re-election, Baroni maintained that he was unaware anything going on other than the traffic study Wildstein admits to having concocted as a coverup for the punitive nature of the lane changes and the subsequent gridlock in the GWB host community.
Here are eight claims Baroni made during his first day of testimony:
posted by Mark J. Bonamo | 109.40sc
October 15, 2016
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy found himself at the center of a bitter divide over charter schools.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) today approved a resolution calling for a moratorium on charter school growth despite an effort by New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy to put the brakes on the vote.
Murphy, who serves as a voting board member of the civil rights organization, tried to open a discussion about the controversial resolution that has bitterly divided the African-American community in Newark and across the nation.
But other NAACP board members were not in a mood for dialogue and pushed forward with the resolution, one of 47 adopted by the organization during its meeting today in Cincinnati.