Weekend News Roundup for Jan. 5-6, 2019

NATIONAL

Money, meet where mouth is. GOP Rep. Walter Jones suggests Trump use his own money to pay for some of his wall. Nancy Pelosi jokes she’d kick in $1 to the wall. Reiterates Democrats will not cave on this wall. This is Day 16 of Trump’s government shutdown, which 45 says could go on for ‘months or years.’

Cory Booker has nicer school pals than I did. Cory Booker’s former classmate is ready to bet $10 million on his run for the White House

Tom Moran: Booker for president? First, two big hurdles: A bachelor hasn’t been elected since 1886. And also, there’s all that big Wall Street money.

Maine ranked-choice voting: A full 7 weeks after Election Day, departing Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin finally dropped all legal challenges and acknowledged his loss to Democrat Jared Golden in Maine’s 2nd District. Poliquin had waged a legal battle contending that Maine’s new instant-runoff voting law, also known as ranked-choice voting, violated the Constitution after Poliquin earned a slim plurality among first-preference votes only to see Golden prevail in the final round by a 50.6-49.4 margin once votes were assigned to subsequent preferences as minor candidates were eliminated. Outgoing Maine Gov. Paul LePage, re-elected in 2014 with considerable help from Gov. Chris Christie, scrawled “Stolen Election” on the form that officially certified the election results. Idiot.

As promised, House Dems unveiled a symbolic first act that has zero chance of making it past the GOP Senate & White House, but signals the new Dem majority’s direction. H.R. 1, which they call the ‘For the People Act,’ addresses cleaning up policies in 4 areas – voting, political money, redistricting and ethics.

Rep. Bill Pascrell has led the effort to see Trump’s tax returns made public. Trump was elected president without showing his tax returns. Democrats want to prevent that from ever happening again.

JERSEY

When the sate newspaper collects and analyzes data the state has failed to: The Ledger’s Force Report: How should we read it when the state fails us? 

Going to jail – or not – for Chris Christie.

Bridgegate: Bill Baroni drops his appeal, seeks to start serving his sentence ASAP.  Bridget Kelly fights on, her lawyer pledging they’ll go all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Carl Golden on the Phil Murphy-supporting PAC that blew past a self-imposed deadline to report its donors and now doesn’t want to.

Mayor Reed Gusciora: In Trenton this year, the mayor sees dollar signs

Fred Snowflack covers Morris County’s reorg, where the locals tend to think their county is delightful, and a county vote on a new courthouse may disturb the calm.

Coast Guard working around ethics rules so enlistees can accept help during shutdown.

Drew Sheneman cartoon (above) & commentary: NJ Transit ringing in the new year

Jim McGreevey’s career in Jersey City may end Monday, as he faces a hostile board of directors meeting

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