Jaffe Morning Briefing: Aug. 13, 2014


The Morning Briefing will be on summer hiatus beginning Monday, Aug. 18, returning Sept. 2.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – If you were to track the Governor’s travels with pushpins and a map, you would either need more pins or a more detailed map. That’s because he seems to be hitting every town in the union this summer to shake out the GOP faithful for money. Today, he is in Birmingham to rake in cash with Gov. Robert Bentley and will tour the non-profit “Southern Research Institute” before shoveling some general, undeclared candidate quotes to reporters.

ATLANTIC CITY – Future historians will likely have plenty to say about the Revel – the $2.4 billion gleaming structure that carried such hope and promise for New Jersey’s gaming mecca. But, today, the focus is more about what to do with the bankrupt mass, with word that it is set to close on Sept. 10 after two years of well-documented failure. Someone needs to swoop in quickly before it becomes a shuttered, rusting hulk; an eternal monument to overconfidence.

FREEHOLD – The wheels came off the campaign bus for a Republican seeking the state senate seat in the 13th district last year, when the campaign manager decided to send out a 4 a.m. “robocall” that urged voters to support the three incumbents just hours before polls opened, Politicker reports. The campaign manager must have figured such an annoying call would tick off a chunk of the electorate, propelling his long-shot Tea Party candidate to victory. The campaign manager was indicted earlier this week for impersonation. Perhaps impersonating a professional.

MENDHAM – Unless you live in a cave and read the Morning Briefing by candlelight, you know the ALS Foundation has a brilliant viral campaign underway: The Ice Bucket Challenge, which has raised $4 million since the first dumping on July 29. Never one to miss a viral opportunity, Gov. Chris Christie posted a video on his Facebook page with his kids dumping water on his head and sending out his own challenge to three pals: Sen. Cory Booker, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Jimmy Fallon.

TRENTON – While the Governor is happy to show the world he can withstand a dousing of ice water, The Record reports he has been less than willing to respond to requests through the Open Public Records Act. The newspaper reports his administration is waging 20 simultaneous legal battles to keep government documents out of public view. Reporters want his hotel receipts for all those out-of-state trips and the reasons staffers gave for leaving their jobs after the GWB debacle. Reason for denial? Threats of terrorism, overly vague language and protecting the governor’s privacy. The Record contends this may be the biggest public-records bottleneck since OPRA became law in 2002. We’ll never know; that information is confidential.

HADDON HEIGHTS – NJTV traveled to the legislative offices of former Rep. Rob Andrews to assess the level of constituent service. Andrews resigned six months ago; NJTV’s Michael Aron found six leaderless people working on constituent matters, noting one staffer was engaged in a thrilling game of solitaire. The situation poses two key questions: Shouldn’t there be a temp congress member assigned to the First District until the special election in November? Or, better yet, can this be an exercise in assessing how long a district can muddle on without representation in Congress? Perhaps the magic number is 50 years.


It was this day in 1981 that the last episode of “The Waltons” aired on CBS. Good night, John Boy.

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