Exxon Mobil and the administration vs. NJ’s environment Progressives had hoped for a crackdown against the polluter Exxon, instead they received a sellout against New Jerseyans and their environment. The judge yesterday ruled the consent agreement of only $225 million “was fair and reasonable.” Of the $225 million, $50 million will go to legal costs, $50 million to environmental cleanup and $125 million to the state’s General Fund.
Sen. Raymond Lesniak said he believes Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan’s concerns could give him an opportunity to appeal the judgment.
Margaret Brown, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, called it a “slap on the wrist for Exxon that will do little to undo the damage.” For comments from other environmentalists go here.
NJ sports betting gets another thumbs down. A federal appellate panel once again upheld a federal ban on New Jersey’s bid to allow sports betting at the state’s racetracks and Atlantic City’s casino.
DEAL OR NO DEAL? Christie and Rabbi/politician Shmuley Boteach urge opposition to the Iran deal. Christie joined Jewish groups at Rutgers University to criticize the proposal and pressure U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and the NJ congressional delegation to oppose the deal. Christie said, “It’s not about politics.” The Star-Ledger reports, “Both Boteach and Sen. Menendez have received financial support from casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson who opposes the Iran deal.”
No War in Iran Action. Join move-on.org protestors today at Noon in front of Rep. Scott Garrett’s office at 266 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, NJ 07452.
CHRISTIEOLOGYChristie in South Carolina: Monmouth University poll reports that the governor as a first choice is 12th and as a second choice is 11th. His favorabily rating is negative 42% to 34%.
Moran: Christie on Bridgegate: “Telling it like it isn’t, again.” “Christie claimed that his administration was not under investigation at the time he deleted a series of text messages regarding the scandal.”
Gun proposals reflect Christie’s rightward shift on guns.
Newark’s St. Michael’s Medical Center saga continues. The bankrupt St. Michael’s and the community want it to stay open, Barnabas Health (the largest NJ hospital chain) wants to purchase and then close it to reduce competition, Prime (out-of-state and for-profit) wants to buy it, invest capital and keep it open, and a state-funded consultant recommended it be converted into same-day treatment centers. The bankruptcy judge has ordered bids be submitted by November 3. Ultimately, as health lawyer John Jacobi points out, Saint Michael’s future rests in the state’s hands with the Health’s Commissioner’s “mandate” to decide “what is best for the people of Newark.”
After union’s encouragement for Guv campaign, Sweeney says, issues like New Jersey’s flagging Transportation Trust Fund, higher education development and economic initiatives would be essential to his potential gubernatorial run.”