“Private lawyers hired by Gov. Chris Christie’s office after the George Washington Bridge scandal erupted are on pace to bill taxpayers roughly $3 million for their work, and it appears well over half that tab is being incurred for events unrelated to whatever led to the lane closures in Fort Lee,” the Daily Record repoorts.
“Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was originally hired for an internal investigation of the bridge incident and cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office inquiry. But its work rapidly expanded to include a review of the allegations leveled by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that federal Sandy aid was withheld by the state because of the city’s unwillingness to approve an unrelated development project.”
Conservative activists across the country are watching to see if N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will sign or veto a bill that reduces the allowable size of ammo magazines from 15 to 10 rounds. While his presidential aspirations have been damaged by Bridgegate, he’s not necessarily out of the running in 2016 yet: Conservatives say he probably would end his candidacy by signing the bill.
“Given the polarizing power of Chris Christie, it comes as no surprise that protests have greeted the announcement that the governor will deliver the commencement speech May 16th at Rowan University’s 2014 graduation ceremony,” New Jersey Monthly reports.
Rutgers graduation planning has become an embarrassment to the university. First, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was invited to speak — but she backed out after protests from students and faculty. Then paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand said he had been invited to speak, then uninvited in favor of former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean.
Warning to everybody who still wants to bring a Super Bowl to Philly: It might be more trouble than you expect. Newsworks reports that New Jersey lost $5.6 million transporting riders to and and from the stadium for January’s big game — despite reaping more than $1 million in ad sales along the route.
One reason for the loss: The agency expected to transport 10,000 people to the game — and ended up taking 30,000.
And that sounds pretty incredible. Then again, just imagine what those numbers would be like if the transit system had actually worked well.
Newsworks reports: “A new poll finds that two-thirds of New Jersey residents believe the state is not back to normal 18 months after Superstorm Sandy. Just one in 12 of those who say the recovery isn’t complete are optimistic that it will be in the next year, according to the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll out Wednesday. And 13 percent don’t think the state will ever return to normal.”
The Star-Ledger reports: “A total of 2,955 gay couples were married in New Jersey from Oct. 21, when same-sex weddings began under the orders of a state judge, through the end of March, according to the state health department. At the same time, 43,619 heterosexual couples were wed. That means about one of 15 marriages performed in the state during that period were for same-sex couples.”
The paper adds: “Activists said they expect the pace will increase as the wedding season begins next month. One observer said gay marriages could bring up to $94 million to New Jersey’s economy over the next three years. She suspects many couples from Pennsylvania, which does not allow gay marriage, will also cross the border to get hitched.”