President Obama “has no plans to campaign on behalf of” state Sen. Barbara Buono (D), who continues to badly trail Gov. Chris Christie (R) in the polls. (AP)
Buono’s campaign “expressed no disappointment with the news Friday, and it emphasized that the White House has not ruled out an appearance with Buono — one just isn’t currently planned.” (Bergen Record)
HE’S NOT THE ONLY ONE: National Democrats “largely taken a pass” on the race, “deciding their money is better spent elsewhere or that there are more inviting targets at the moment than a Republican who embraced” Obama last year in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. “The Democratic National Committee, which is still operating in the red and without an executive director, has not made a major investment there. Organizing for Action, the rollover of President Obama’s campaign apparatus, is adamant that it’s not doing partisan politics and hasn’t gotten involved, either. … The Democratic Governors Association is unlikely to invest in the race unless it gets close — which is not impossible, but hard to see happening with about 80 days left. And there’s little evidence the group sees its mission as knee-capping a potential 2016 front-runner.” (Politico)
Buono wasn’t the first choice of the state or national party. After Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) and several other Democrats passed on the race, she emerged as the consensus candidate by default. Given that and Christie’s huge advantage in the polls, it’s no surprise that she’s receiving limited help. But Democrats are missing out a golden opportunity to stunt Christie’s momentum as he prepares for a 2016 presidential run.
FIRST TIME, LONG TIME: Christie guest-hosted WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show on Monday. Christie is filling in for host Boomer Esaison, who is on vacation. The governor, “a frequent caller to the Boomer & Carton program,” previously guest-hosted in May, 2011. (WFAN)
— Kevin Brennan
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Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is expected to plead guilty to a raft of new tax and fraud charges filed against him by special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday. Gates is expected to cooperate with Mueller's investigation.
Robert Mueller announced new charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort advisor Rick Gates. "The new indictment contains 32 counts, including tax charges." The pair had been indicted on 12 charges in October. Since then, Gates's attorneys have asked to be excused from the case.
The FBI has reported that it failed to respond to a warning from "a person close to" Nikolas Cruz, the teen accused of killing 17 people at Parkland High School on Thursday. "It was the second time the FBI apparently failed to follow up on Cruz." On the first occasion, it failed to properly investigate Cruz after it was reported to them that he left the following comment on a Youtube video: "Im going to be a school shooter."
Florida Governor Rick Scott called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign following revelations that the FBI had failed to adequately investigate multiple warnings about Parkland High School gunman Nikolas Cruz. “The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,'" said Scott. '...We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act.'" According to an FBI statement, the FBI failed to inform local offices of information regarding "Cruz's desire to kill people, erratic behavior, disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting."