Bipartisan Delegation from NJ, NY Pitch President Trump on Gateway Tunnel Project

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Will House Republicans take away Sandy funds after helping Harvey victims?

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Menendez Trial Set to Begin With Tensions High and Washington Watching

By NICK CORASANITI

THE NEW YORK TIMES

SEPT. 4, 2017

Even as he and his lawyers have been preparing for his trial on corruption charges, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey has maintained a busy schedule of political appearances.

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NEWARK — The senator paused in a corridor of the federal courthouse here last month to oblige a beckoning courtroom sketch artist.

The artist spun around her canvas and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey looked briefly at her sketch of the courtroom, the sharp royal blues of his suit and broad charcoals of his outline a familiar form to the former lawyer, but his place in the painting a jarring shift: the defendant’s chair. His smile mixed with a grimace before he disappeared through the double wooden doors to the courtroom.

The moment underscored the unusual predicament facing Mr. Menendez, a senior senator: For the first time in 36 years, a sitting United States Senator is facing a federal bribery trial, one that comes as a bitterly divided Congress reconvenes amid the unrelenting turbulence of the Trump administration.

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Unsafe Lead Levels Found in Drinking Water at 400 NJ Schools

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Guadagno and Murphy Will Have Debate Stage to Themselves

By Alyana Alfaro • 09/01/17

Observer

Kim Guadagno and Jack Ciattarelli debate during the primaries.

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It’s official: Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy will have the debate stage to themselves for two encounters in October.

A range of independent candidates will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot for the governor’s race, but only Guadagno and Murphy met the $430,000 fundraising threshold required by New Jersey election law to participate in the debates as of today’s deadline.

That $430,000 threshold is also the minimum required in fundraising for candidates who wish to participate in the state’s public financing program. Candidates who qualify receive two dollars for every one dollar raised. Murphy has received $3.3 million in public matching funds, while Guadagno has pulled in about $889,000, according to the latest reports from the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

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Spotlight on New Jersey’s Gubernatorial and Legislative Races

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As Essex County College Teeters, a Call to End Turmoil

A group of New Jersey religious leaders is calling for change at a public community college in Newark that is teetering on the brink of losing its accreditation after years of mismanagement and turmoil.

The religious leaders, outraged by the disorder at the school, Essex County College, plan to hold a news conference and rally before a board of trustees meeting Thursday night calling for an end to what they say is political interference by entrenched officials at the school that has undermined efforts to save it.

“We have to speak out now because we become complicit if we keep our mouth closed,” said the Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter, the pastor of Saint James AME Church in Newark. “We are the voice of the community, we have to be the voice for the voiceless. We have to speak up for the students, who will no longer have access to the quality education that they need, or even a shot at a better life, if the college fails.”

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Christie slams Cruz for exploiting Sandy for 'political gain'

TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie slammed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz Tuesday night for saying two-thirds of the Hurricane Sandy relief aid had "nothing to do with Sandy."

Christie, speaking on MSNBC a day after Cruz made the assertion on the same network the prior day, called the lawmaker out by name and accused him of exploiting national disasters for his own political gain.

Cruz had said the bulk of Sandy aid that helped New Jersey recover from Sandy was "filled with unrelated pork" and that it's "not right for politicians to exploit a disaster."

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In New Jersey Governor’s Race, Money Can Take a Circuitous Route

Sheila McPherson is listed as a homemaker on an Internal Revenue Service report from the Democratic Governors Association. This year, Ms. McPherson donated $80,000 to the association, the first time, records show, that she gave to the national group. She also sent $10,000 to the New Jersey Democratic Committee.

Mrs. McPherson, who lists her residence in Rutherford, N.J., is married to Kenneth McPherson, a lawyer at a powerful firm, Waters, McPherson, McNeill.

Had her donations gone directly to Philip D. Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor in New Jersey, it would have prevented her husband’s firm from getting any state contracts under a potential Murphy administration, the result of New Jersey’s strict pay-to-play laws. She also would have been able to give only $4,300 to Mr. Murphy directly.

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N.J. mosque, finally approved, now under attack by out-of-state bigots | Editorial

The fight over Bernards Township's first mosque appeared to be over. The small Muslim group that sought to build it won, local bigots and their enablers lost.

Yet as township officials now try to do the right thing and allow its construction, they're facing an entirely new adversary: out-of-town crazies.
 
A well-financed group of professional bigots based in Michigan is tying this township up in frivolous lawsuits - even after a federal judge already sided with the Justice Department's conclusion that the township discriminated against Muslims when it initially rejected the mosque.

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