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Forward 50 2014

Loretta Weinberg

Don’t mess with Loretta Weinberg. The Senate Majority Leader of the New Jersey Senate may be 79 years old, but she still knows how to throw a political punch.

Three years ago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie suggested that the press “take the bat out on” Weinberg. This year, he’s been dodging her blows.

Weinberg serves as co-chair of the State Senate’s committee to investigate the so-called Bridgegate scandal, which started last September around over some traffic cones on the George Washington Bridge and has wound its way into the governor’s office.

Calling herself a “feisty Jewish grandmother,” Weinberg has been Christie’s most prominent local Democratic opponent throughout the scandal.

In January and February, Weinberg’s committee was a subpoena hothouse, sending dozens of demands for documents to Christie staffers and others. That slowed in April, after a state judge ruled that two former top Christie aides had a Fifth Amendment right to dodge the subpoenas, and again over the summer, after the U.S. attorney investigating the scandal asked the committee not to interfere with ongoing criminal investigations.

Still, Weinberg has stayed at the center of the action. In October, she pushed through a new law to strengthen whistleblower protections for government workers in New Jersey.

And she’s continued to get in those digs about Bridgegate at the governor.

“Every time I think I can no longer be surprised, I am,” Weinberg told the Star-Ledger in September.

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