Hey look, former Gov. Chris Christie is saying he might run for president again in 2024.
The latest dispatch comes from an interview with The Hill, helpfully transcribed by NJ Advance Media’s Brent Johnson.
“I would certainly, you know, look at the race in 2024 and I would not back off from that at all. I feel like there are a lot of atmospheric things that happened in the lead up to the ’16 race, especially the Bridgegate matter, which now has been dismissed by the United States Supreme Court in a 9-0 vote that there was no crime committed there,” Christie said. “And yet the media and others convicted people before they even had a trial, and it materially affected my ability to run for president. Now that we’ve had that cleared away and it’s no longer a controversy, you know, from my perspective, maybe 2024 is time to try to go after that job again.”
This is a slightly stronger statement than Christie has previously given on the topic, but it’s really nothing new. See here, here and here for a few examples.
It’s always seemed that the Acela intelligentsia has put more stock in Christie’s future than others. The evidence? Well, he ran for president in 2016 and he barely registered. But they keep asking.
Christie said the Bridgegate scandal has now been “cleared away” by the Supreme Court. But it hasn’t been. Bridgegate damaged Christie’s prospects — and it wasn’t the only thing that damaged him — because his aides orchestrated a traffic jam for petty political revenge. That’s what the media focused on, and there’s no dispute that that’s what happened. Things don’t look any better to the public just because the Supreme Court ruled that federal law against that conduct doesn’t exist. Saying you’ve been vindicated doesn’t make it so.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Please do not pander to the LGBTQ community when you want votes. We need people in Washington who will stand up for us and you have proven you are not one of them. Oct 21 will be 7 years since the Supreme Court granted legal marriage in NJ for same sex couples. You are too late.” — Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin on Tom Kean Jr.’s gay marriage evolution
HAPPY BIRTHDAY — Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, TapInto’s Michael Shapiro, Dem Pollster Tom Bonier
WHERE’S MURPHY? — In Trenton for a coronavirus press conference at 1 p.m. Media: CNBC at 4:10 p.m., 1010 WINS at 5 p.m.
CORONAVIRUS TRACKER — 423 newly-diagnosed cases for a total of 175,915. 28 more deaths for a total of 13,635 (and 1,947 probable deaths)
PROGRAMMING NOTE — NJ Playbook will be on hiatus next week, but I’ll still be writing articles, so don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
MORE LIKE BURROWING BILL, AM I RIGHT? BECAUSE DEBT — Senate panel advances borrowing bill as legal challenge looms, by POLITICO’s Katherine Landergan: The Senate budget committee advanced legislation Tuesday that authorizes state officials to borrow up to $9.9 billion to plug budget holes that are anticipated as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. … Sweeney says a bailout from Washington could mitigate the need for borrowing. Murphy has long advocated for a millionaires tax and could push the idea again when he releases his updated budget next month. Sweeney, however, said Tuesday that tax increases are a “last resort,” and that he’d like to see some reforms he’s pushed in the past — like school consolidation — to save money. That said, he didn’t entirely shut the door to the possibility of taxes… Republicans and business organizations also warned that the burden of this borrowing will be felt for decades. Moreover, Republicans on the budget committee slammed Democrats for rushing the bill and say they will file a lawsuit for circumventing the voters.
TEACHERS TO RECEIVE ONE APPLE PER DAY — NJEA may demand Covid-19 testing, mandatory masks and more before schools reopen, by POLITICO’s Carly Sitrin: New Jersey’s largest teachers union may demand that school districts provide Covid-19 tests for all students and staff, require masks and other strict social distancing standards before schools reopen in the fall. A draft proposal from the New Jersey Education Association, which represents more than 125,000 teachers statewide, indicates the union is considering demanding more rigorous reopening standards than those put out by the state Department of Education. According to the document, the union wants — at minimum — district-provided Covid-19 tests for all teachers and students a week prior to reopening, that cloth masks be worn “door-to-door” from the time a student leaves their house to the time they return home, weekly on-site Covid testing, thrice-daily screenings for students and staff and other social distancing and disinfection requirements.
MIGHTY FINE OF YA — “N.J. won’t fine travelers from coronavirus hotspots who don’t provide info, unlike N.Y., Murphy says,” by NJ Advance Media’s Brent Johnson: “New York is now requiring travelers arriving at its airports from states on a quarantine list to fill out a form with contact information and details about their trip — or receive a $2,000 fine — to help make sure they’re following a regional quarantine advisory to protect against the coronavirus. So will neighboring New Jersey — which is also asking for out-of-state travelers to quarantine — follow suit with a similar fine? Gov. Phil Murphy said no Tuesday morning, though he stressed he’s ‘very concerned’ about surging cases across the U.S. ‘New York and New Jersey do things a little bit differently,” Murphy said during a radio interview’”
—New York and New Jersey add 4 more states to travel quarantine list
EVICTIONS —“NJ could face ‘tidal wave’ of evictions if rent relief stalls,” by WNYC’s Karen Yi: “Although Gov. Phil Murphy has issued an indefinite moratorium on evictions, and the housing courts have suspended trials, landlords have still filed more than 15,000 eviction cases in the last three months, Gothamist/WNYC found. While the number of cases filed between April and June is 55% lower than the cases filed during the same time period in 2019, housing attorneys say it’s indicative of what’s to come: a surge of evictions once the moratorium lifts and courts reopen. ‘It will explode into a tidal wave if we don’t do something,’ said Staci Berger … Housing advocates are asking lawmakers to pass what they call the “people’s bill” that would give tenants up to six months to pay back each month of owed rent”
MURPHYCARE — New Jersey looking to replace expiring federal tax on health premiums with state fee, by POLITICO’s Matt Friedman: New Jersey lawmakers are moving quickly to replace an expiring federal tax on health plans with a state tax. State Senate health committee Chair Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex) and Assemblymember John McKeon (D-Essex) have introduced a bill that would charge insurers a 2.75 percent assessment on “net written premiums. » Vitale said the bill, NJ S2676 (20R), is designed to replace an identical federal assessment — aimed at making health plans for individuals and small businesses more affordable — when its repeal takes effect at the end of the year. He said that if those plans become too expensive, more people could drop health coverage, creating a “death spiral.”
—“NJ hospitals say insurance companies have denied more than 1,000 claims for COVID-19 care”
PREDISTRICTING — “N.J. Census data expected to be certified by June 17,” by New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein: “The U.S. Census Bureau expects to certify New Jersey’s population no later than June 17. New Jersey was informed of the new target date on Monday on a call with census officials organized by the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), the New Jersey Globe has learned. The state Office of Legislative Services participated on the call.”
—“Murphy says legalizing weed is ‘incredibly smart’ to offset budget woes triggered by coronavirus”
—“Possible unintended consequences in redistricting constitutional amendment”
—“Let’s not forget ‘the forgotten ones’ still locked down in nursing homes | Opinion”
—“’Freeholder’ title is a feudal anachronism that confuses voters | D’Amico”
—“Lawmakers want to comp restaurant owners who lost money on indoor dining prep”
GUNSMITH — Giffords, the gun control group founded by former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, has endorsed a New Jersey Republican for reelection, for the second cycle in a row. The group is backing U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, who supported the Background Checks Act of 2019, along with Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitpzatrick — their first Republican endorsements in this election. Gabrielle Giffords: “When an overwhelming majority of Americans demanded universal background checks, they answered the call to protect our communities from the epidemic of gun violence. At a time when Washington seems more divided than ever, these champions proved it’s still possible to pass real, bipartisan reform to build a stronger, safer America. Giffords is proud to support these leaders in their fight for meaningful change.” The group has already endorsed Democratic Sen. Cory Booker and Democratic Reps. Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill and Tom Malinowski.
ENVIRONMENT — Judge poised to side with New Jersey, other states in ozone case, by POLITICO’s Alex Guillén: A federal judge said on Tuesday that he is likely to side with New Jersey and other states that sued EPA to force the agency to take action on pollution from upwind states. Background: The states previously won a lawsuit against EPA over interstate ozone pollution, arguing that EPA had a duty to issue federal plans to curb emissions from seven upwind states. EPA fulfilled that duty by issuing two implementing rules related to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule — the CSAPR update of 2016 and the CSAPR close-out of 2018. But both rules were faulted by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last year and remanded to EPA. New Jersey subsequently sued, arguing that the rules’ remand meant EPA was once again in violation of its requirements to act on emissions from the seven upwind states. Also on this new lawsuit are New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware and New York City.
—Trump administration drops plan to deport international students in online-only classes
—Steinberg: “Tom Moran derides a winning political reformer (Amy Kennedy) and acts as an apologist for a losing political boss (George Norcross III)”
—“Family of girl killed in Paramus bus crash secures seat belt measure in infrastructure bill”
MURPHY THREATENED TO SEND IN THE SANDWORMS — “Shore town sees political revenge in dune destruction flap,” by The AP’s Wayne Parry: “New Jersey’s threat to make a shore town rip out a sea wall and other oceanfront structures feels like political retribution, North Wildwood officials say. North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello, a Republican, said Tuesday it’s more than a coincidence that shortly after he criticized Democratic Governor Phil Murphy’s reopening of the shore economy amid the coronavirus outbreak, the state Department of Environmental Protection hit his town with numerous violations notices and threats of costly repair work. North Wildwood officials say the sea wall was built without a required coastal construction permit — but with full knowledge of state officials — only after years of requests for storm protection were ignored by state and federal authorities, which the city says ultimately led to storms wrecking the dunes and wetlands.”
HENCEFORTH TO BE KNOWN AS BURLINGTON VOTE FACTORY — “Burlington County to end ‘freeholder’ title,” by The Burlington County Times’ Lisa Brodt: “Burlington County’s top elected officials will no longer be known as freeholders, an antiquated term that has come under fire in recent weeks as a symbol of racial injustice. Burlington County Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson announced the change Tuesday afternoon and said the county would immediately begin phasing out the term ‘freeholder’ from county materials and communications. ‘Continuing our work to end systemic racism must be everyone’s objective and eliminating an antiquated title from an era when slavery and racism was tolerated is one step we can take right away,’ Hopson said in a news release”
—Levinson: “‘Freeholder’: So unique to N.J., so inclusive (for a while)”
POST-TRIAL INTERVENTION — “Parsippany residents demand council fire town clerk after domestic abuse allegations,” by The Record’s Svetlana Shkolnikova: “A group of township residents are calling for the firing of Parsippany’s municipal clerk after he was placed under court supervision stemming from an arrest on domestic violence charges. Nearly 50 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding that the township oust Khaled Madin over allegations that he beat and choked his wife, Monica Madin, Parsippany’s municipal prosecutor and his partner in a Morristown law firm. Khaled Madin, 37, entered a court program for first-time offenders in Juneafter being charged with owning a prohibited weapon.”
MOVIN’ ON UP — “Jefferson Republicans elect transgender municipal chairwoman,” by New Jersey Globe’s Nikita Biryukov: “Republicans in a Morris County conservative stronghold elected a 27-year-old transgender woman to chair their Municipal Committee on Monday. Republicans in Jefferson… have voted to award Jade Kohut another term as municipal chair. Kohut had served as the local party’s chairperson for two years before revealing to Jefferson Republicans that she was undergoing sex reassignment therapy. She was re-elected unanimously Monday night. ‘You’re never quite sure how people will react, but the Jefferson Republicans told me frankly that if I continued to do a good job, they would continue to vote for me,’ Kohut said.”
—“Freeholder Hertzberg said he’ll run for Sparta Council seat to fix issues”
— “Old Bridge schools sued over teacher using N-word in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ lesson”
—“Asbury Park Black Lives Matter protesters recount arrests, Antifa questions. ‘I got punched in the face’”
—“Paterson cop arrested in FBI corruption probe accused of assaulting man in 2018, lawsuit says”
—“There’s a growing trust between Newark police and the community | Opinion”
—“Judge temporarily halts [Penns Grove] councilman from his appointed seat”
—“Wildwood officer under investigation after video shows him punching male on the ground”
—“Lawsuit: Jersey City BOE clerk was cyber bullied, harassed during ‘unfair’ union election”
—“Borgata set to reopen July 26”
—“South Jersey real estate market has come ‘roaring back’ in recent months, agents say”
PIPELINES — “Public resistance and high costs are canceling pipelines across the country,” by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Andrew Maykuth: “Not long ago, builders of fossil fuel pipelines in the U.S. followed a standard pattern: The operator made a business case for the project, lining up committed shippers, customers, and investors. Regulators obliged by granting a certificate of public need, which includes the power to acquire easements from property owners even if they object. But building a pipeline these days has become increasingly more challenging and expensive, as aggrieved property owners and climate activists have joined to rally political opposition to energy infrastructure projects as never before, and have scored a series of major legal victories … And New Jersey last week suspended permits for New Jersey Natural Gas’ Southern Reliability Link after a drilling accident damaged a Monmouth County home … The political landscape has changed dramatically in New Jersey since PennEast was announced in 2014, and was supported by former Gov. Chris Christie … Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat elected in 2017, has taken a hostile position toward the project, challenging PennEast in court.”
FRAMPTON STILL ALIVE — “Classic rocker Peter Frampton can’t believe the beach crowds at the Jersey Shore,” by The Asbury Park Press’ Chris Jordan: “Classic rocker Peter Frampton came alive when he saw the crowds on the Long Branch beach on Sunday, July 12. Frampton, whose hits include the album ‘Frampton Comes Alive,’ could not believe what he saw as he shared a photo of the scene late on Sunday. ‘Are we sure this is today? Is it photoshopped? Are people really this stupid?, asked Frampton when he retweeted an nj.com picture of the beach.”
—“Rowan University is among first in the region to hold in-person commencement”