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The Morning Briefing - January 7, 2015

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Fingers are crossed that Gov. Chris Christie will be announcing a run for President later this month. A Washington Post report says his timetable has been moved up because Jeb Bush entered the race and is already dipping in the pool of center-right donors that Christie wants to woo. Hard to imagine Christie sitting this race out, as he would willingly be taking himself out of thespotlight. (As if that is even possible.) Oh, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he is running yet again, ginning up even less excitement than in 2008.

GREEN BAY – The daily update about the Cowboys-Packers playoff game this Sunday has nothing – yet again – to do with football. Now, the American Democratic Legal Fund has filed a state ethics complaint against Gov. Chris Christie for accepting all those free tickets and airfare from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The fund found a smoking gun: the Cowboys are part owners of a company that has a contract with the Port Authority. And who endorsed the contract in a 2013 press release and wields enormous power over the Port Authority? Yep, New Jersey’s #1 Cowboys fan.

MOONACHIE – Bergen County is trading Mercedes for matzo. A day after it was learned Mercedes is moving its U.S. headquarters – and 1,000 jobs – to Atlanta, matzo maker Streit’s announced it is moving from the Lower East Side to Moonachie, CBS reports. New Jersey will now proudly be the matzo-making capital of the country, with Streit’s squaring off against Manischewitz, right down the road in Newark. Suddenly, Passover is even more exciting.

IRVINGTON – Let’s just assume there is plenty more to this story. NJ.com reports a female police captain from Irvington is suspended without pay after repeatedly ramming into a car driven by Newark Councilman John Sharpe James, NJ.com reports.  The police captain is out on bail, but facing some stiff charges of assault, stalking, harassment and weapons offenses in the incident Monday. Here’s how it apparently went down: She begins yelling at James at his house. He drives off, she follows, smashing his car along the way. James then heads over to the home of daddy, former Mayor Sharpe James, who is able to get the situation under some control. To repeat: Let’s assume there is much more to this.

EDISON – A retired janitor may be spending his golden years back at work, writing check after check to the Edison Board of Education for accidentally setting fire to the James Madison Elementary School, gutted last March. The Home News Tribune reports a municipal court judge is mulling over if the janitor should pay restitution for tossing a lit cigarette into a trash can, sparking the blaze. The janitor paid a $200 fine, apologized to all and quickly retired. But in an era when it costs, say, $30 million to build a school, perhaps a couple extra bucks a week will be sought.

IN THE MEDIA

MADISON, Wis. – We are only seven days into the year, but a reporter for the Associated Press may have already asked the most obvious question of the year. Someone decided to ask Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker if he would join potential 2016 presidential rival Gov. Chris Christie at Lambeau Field on Sunday to vociferously root against his beloved hometown Green Bay Packers. "Never. Never." Walker said.  Perhaps the appropriate follow-up question could be: “Governor, do you think Bart Starr was a Nazi cross-dresser who hated cheese?”

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

SANTA FE, N.M. – A 1970 yearbook photo has reared its ugly head for a New Mexico woman. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a novelty company has been selling her photo on a flask with a tagline that reads: “I'm going to be the most popular girl in rehab.” The woman alleges in federal court that the Brooklyn company used her yearbook photo without her permission to manufacture a countless number of flasks and then defamed her, forever depicting this teetotaler as America’s favorite booze-bag.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 2013 that the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics estimates at least 17 billion planets exist. So, no, your newly cracked phone is not an intergalactic crisis of epic consequence.

 

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