9:23 AM, Feb 24, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey will announce in a speech in Trenton Tuesday that the New Jersey Education Association has endorsed the Republican's "roadmap" for pension reform. Christie, who made a national name for himself over his public battles with teachers unions in the Garden State, will be coming "full circle" by having the the state's largest teachers union "come to the table" to negotiate a proposal.
According to the governor's office, Christie will ask the state legislature to vote for a set of reforms to the state's pension program, while Christie has said the state will make a $1.3-billion payment to the fund. The governor had attempted to cut $1.57 billion from the fund in his budget, but on Monday a New Jersey judge ruled with public-sector unions, who argued the cut was against state law.
Here's more on Tuesday's announcement, from the Star-Ledger:
The NJEA has been a fierce opponent of the Republican governor since he was first elected in 2009. The teachers union opposed his initial efforts for pension and health care benefit reforms and spent more than $30 million since 2010 to combat Christie.
According to remarks provided by the governor's office ahead of the speech, Christie will call on the Legislature to "act in a bipartisan, constructive way to achieve needed changes to a problem that is so big" that doing nothing "will only ensure our state's fiscal standing will never improve and we will never grow economically."
"I am committed to working with each and every one of you in good faith to make a promise to the people of this state that we will not push this off," Christie will tell lawmakers, according to speech excerpts.
There is no final agreement between Christie and the NJEA on a pension-reform plan, the governor's office clarifies. The two parties have simply agreed to work together to develop a proposal for the legislature.
Christie has inspired anger and much more from teachers union officials, particularly during his push for reform of New Jersey's defined benefits program for state employees during his first term. One union leader from a local NJEA affiliate once "joked" about wishing for the Christie's death.
Christie is believed to be considering a bid for the White House in 2016.
8:35 PM, Jan 26, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Governor Chris Christie is warning folks to get home by 9 p.m., before the worst of the snow storm is expected. New Jersey (and other states) are expecting to get hit by a blizzard tonight.
6:00 PM, Nov 3, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Whether or not Jeff Bell comes from behind to win the New Jersey Senate race, he deserves credit for having run a classy, ideas-focused race. That's epitomized by his "closing argument," reproduced below. If a majority of New Jersey voters actually read this email, I do think Bell would win. The media complain a lot about the low quality of campaigns these days—but when an underdog candidate runs a high-quality campaign, they don’t bother covering it. It would be good if some of them acknowledged Bell's attempt to elevate the political discourse.
3:02 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
The Obama administration is suddenly a champion of states' rights when it comes to the Ebola quarantine controversy.
2:09 PM, Oct 14, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Jeff Bell used to email us to pitch articles for THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Now he emails asking for help for a TV buy in his New Jersey Senate race.
Jeff's articles were always interesting and contrarian. His race is, too. With no TV so far, only radio and mail, he's drawn within nine points of Cory Booker. Watch the ad below:
9:41 AM, Oct 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Federal authorities are investigating possible corruption in a Newark government agency that was chaired by Democratic senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. The New York Post has the story:
The inquiry centers on alleged misappropriation of taxpayer funds first uncovered by the New Jersey Comptroller’s Office and a local watchdog group.
11:29 AM, Oct 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New Jersey senator Cory Booker, a Democrat, leads his Republican challenger Jeff Bell by just nine points in a new poll from the Stockton Polling Institute. The survey of likely voters found 48 percent supporting Booker and 39 percent supporting Bell. The results show the race tightening from the previous Stockton poll in September, which had Booker leading Bell by 13 points.
5:06 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new ad from the conservative American Principles Fund targets New Jersey senator Cory Booker, saying the Democrat is a crooked pol who uses his power to "enrich himself."
8:28 AM, Oct 2, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The new Quinnipiac poll of the New Jersey Senate contest shows Jeff Bell only 11 points down to Cory Booker, 51 to 40 percent, among likely voters. It goes without saying that a race can move a dozen points in the final five weeks of a campaign—especially when a little known challenger (but one who's well-regarded by those who do know of him) is taking on a pro-Obama incumbent who's barely above 50 percent in an anti-Obama, anti-incumbent year.
3:29 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll of the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey reveals an astonishing trend: Cory Booker, the state's Democratic senator running for a full term this fall, frequently polls below 50 percent support against his Republican challenger, Jeff Bell. The latest survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University shows 42 percent of registered voters say they support Booker, while 29 percent say they support Bell. Twenty-seven percent, meanwhile, say they haven't made up their minds yet.
Or does it?7:14 AM, Aug 27, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Do Washington Republicans smell blood in New Jersey? The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the GOP's Senate campaign apparatus, issued a press release Wednesday knocking New Jersey's Democratic senator Cory Booker for being a "tax & spend liberal."
The release groups Booker with another incumbent Democrat, Alaska's Mark Begich, as two former mayors (of Newark and Anchorage, respectively) with liberal records. Here's an excerpt:
Majority don't trust Fed to fix it.1:01 PM, Aug 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Things are getting more expensive, and the American people know it. A new poll from Rasmussen Reports found three-quarters of Americans say they are concerned about inflation, with 81 percent saying they are paying more for groceries and 71 percent saying they expect to pay even more for groceries a year from now. Here's more: