Howler, Atlantic City Optimism, NJ Lobbying Dollars – Friday’s Roundup

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The Route 40 Howler is back with a piece here looking at how the state’s lawyer in court (against the firefighters) this week suggested that one reason the state wanted to take over Atlantic City was so that it could “come after” the firefighters. The police and the county’s public employees are also in the state’s sights. “We have to be able to go after everybody,” explained the state’s lawyer.

Atlantic City Optimism
Away from the firefighters’ lawsuit, there was a tangible dose of optimism injected into the city with the news of the Taj Mahal purchase. Read Amy Rosenberg’s piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer here and The Press of Atlantic City piece, from Nicholas Huba and Erin Serpico, here.

NJ Lobbying Dollars
It’s that time of the year – the release of the annual lobbying reports. There was a turnaround in 2016, with the teachers’ lobby NJEA being pushed to second place behind Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative in the ranking of top spenders, NJ Spotlight reports. You can access the data here, via ELEC. For those following South Jersey lobbying, and our story on the Casino Association’s meetings with CRDA to discuss “economic development”, the filings show that the Association paid Philip Norcross’ Optimus Partners $175,500. Pier Renaissance, Bart Blatstein’s company, paid Optimus $90,000 for lobbying services last year before CRDA, the NJEDA and the NJDEP, the filings show. The PennEast Pipeline company – which is building the pipeline through the pinelands – spent $180,270.00 on its lobbying effort last year.

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The rest of the headlines from the last 24 hours include news on Marty Small’s Atlantic City mayoral race kickoff, an AC native running for governor and disciplinary action against four South Jersey medical providers over opioid prescriptions. All that and more below:

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