With Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and South Jersey power broker George Norcross engaging in a public battle today, the question is: who will win the North vs. South war as top New Jersey Democrats wrestle for the upper hand in Trenton?
â€œResidents throughout the State should ask themselves some simple questions — why is an insurance broker, a non-elected official, who has made tens of millions of dollars on the backs of public taxpayers actively involved in drafting Atlantic Cityâ€™s takeover bill and then lobbying for it all over New Jersey?,” Fulop said in a mass email sent to StevenFulop.com subscribers.
“Why is a non-registered lobbyist who is an insurance broker actively calling Assembly members throughout New Jersey? Does anyone in New Jersey actually believe that what is happening is in the best interest of Atlantic City or New Jersey? I think it is really in the best interest of certain individuals. Just look at the track record here.â€
Norcross, a top force in New Jersey politics for decades despite never holding office, has recently made headlines for making it clear he wants Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) ousted from his post (h/t The Record).
He wasted little time in responding to Fulop, stating “my father always told me never to interrupt someone making a fool out of themselves,” adding that the likely gubernatorial candidate had become “unhinged” since Norcross would not support his candidacy for statewide office next year.
Fulop has already denied the claim.
Currently, Prieto is pitted in a bare-knuckle brawl against Gov. Chris Christie (R) over how to bail Atlantic City out of their $437 million debt – a municipality Norcross has always had a vested interest in.
Prieto favors a plan that leaves AC’s collective bargaining agreements in tact, also providing benchmarks for the city to meet in the next few years to stave off bankruptcy, while Christie and Norcross favor state Senate President Sweeney’s bill that would call for a state takeover of Atlantic City.
Sweeney’s bill has already passed through the state Senate, while Prieto is expected to introduce his bill in the state Assembly on Thursday.