What’s Happening Today Tue. 02/11/2014

Yesterday The Select Committee Investigation Panel in a very business-like, rapid-fire fashion returned from a closed session and quickly voted on motions to take all necessary steps to enforce the subpoenas for documents which Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly have failed to produce. The four Republicans abstained, saying they did not have enough time to consider the matter. The eight Democrats voted Yes. Co-Chair Sen. Weinberg then gaveled the hearing closed.

The meeting stood adjourned with inquiring minds learning little that was new. Later it was announced that 18 subpoenas are being issued. Included is a subpoena for the logs of Christie’s use of the State Police helicopters. There have been unconfirmed reports he may have used a helicopter to view the traffic disruption during the Fort lee lane closures. It was at its worst in the mornings.

Chris Christie visits Chicago today. Will he be thinking about former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who is currently in prison, the needs of the Republican Governors Association or the serious problems back home? The Chicago Sun Times reports the four Republican gubernatorial candidates competing in Illinois have no plans to join Christie at the fundraising events. One event open to the press is at the Economic Club of Chicago. As with similar Christie trips to Florida and Texas, the Democratic National Committee is planning a press conference attempting to link Illinois Republicans to the New Jersey bridge scandal. How long can Christie continue this gig if the Republican candidates for governor whom he is supposed to help don’t want to meet him?

Meanwhile back in NJ today: a rally in Fort Lee, ELEC and an oversight committee meetings in Trenton, and a Sandy Block Grant public hearing at Richard Stockton College – below the fold.

Back in New Jersey today in Fort Lee the Washington-based Progressive Change Campaign Committee and New Jersey Working Families Alliance plan a press conference and rally with people stuck in the September traffic. They also plan to release a petition signed by 20,000 New Jersey residents demanding the Governor’s resignation. A spokesperson says, “Either the Governor recklessly abused the powers of his office to punish the constituents of his political enemies, or he is so oblivious to what happens in his office that his closest advisers could have perpetrated the scheme without his knowledge.”

In Trenton the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission, 11:00am, will consider whether the Christie reelection campaign may raise and spend campaign funds in a post-election setting to cover the costs entailed in the subpoenas issued by the Joint Legislative Select Committee on Investigations and the United States Attorney for the District of NJ. In addition the NJ Attorney General has received “several” requests from state employees for the payment of attorneys fees in the ongoing bridgegate probe. No decision on the request has yet been made.

The Senate Legislative Oversight Committee: 10:00am, meeting today to hear testimony from invited guests regarding the serious problems associated with the processing of applications to Sandy homeowner relief programs. Two key invited guests, Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs Richard Constable and Sandy “Czar” Marc Ferzan, may not appear. Christie’s cabinet members all too frequently show disrespect for the legislature in refusing to appear at hearings. Do they have something to hide? Go HERE for live audio.

New Jersey’s plan for spending its next $1.46 billion Sandy-recovery block grant: A public hearing with State officials there to help those impacted, 4 – 7pm, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s Performing Arts Center, Galloway.

With Christie’s administration cracking at the seams and so many issues to contend with in NJ, does he really have the time to be traveling out of state to support Republican Governors.? I don’t think so.

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