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Prieto expecting Hasenbalg’s post

By David Wildstein, January 05 2018 1:22 pm

Speculation that outgoing Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is headed to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, first reported in November by InsiderNJ, appears to be correct.  Prieto is under the impression that Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has committed to giving him the President/CEO position currently held by Wayne Hasenbalg.

The prospects of a $225,000-a-year gig to oversee the Meadowlands sports arenas and race track could explain what looks like an alliance between Murphy and the lame duck Assembly.

This week, Prieto killed legislation to subsidize PSE&G’s nuclear power plant in Salem County – an issue of tremendous important to Senate President Steve Sweeney, who represents Salem and fast-tracked the legislation.

My sources suggest that Prieto killed the bill at the request of Murphy.  If that’s accurate, it’s not a bad trade for one of the top-paying jobs in the incoming administration.  But it will exponentially increase the friction between Murphy and Sweeney.

In a statement, Prieto denied promising to post the bill, and said he “only agreed to hear testimony on it so all sides could have their voices heard.”

Prieto, the Hudson County Democratic Chairman, was deposed from his Speaker post by Craig Coughlin, who will take office next week.  South Jersey Democrats allied with Sweeney helped make that happen.


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