Morning News Digest: Monday, November 24, 2008

STATE GOVERNMENT
Bank sells state bonds, then warns of default

After making millions selling New Jersey bonds to investors, Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs told other wealthy clients they could profit by betting the Garden State may not be able to pay off its bonds as scheduled, according to a confidential presentation made two months ago. (Dunstan McNichol, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-12/1227417449161150.xml&coll=1

Corzine says state, local gov’t needs $700B stimulus package from feds

Gov. Jon Corzine said today that a federal stimulus package worth $600 to $700 billion is needed for state and local governments, and that President-elect Barack Obama should name his treasury secretary “sooner rather than later.” (The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/11/corzine_calls_for_economic_sti.html

Corzine touts imminent expansion of seniors’ tax freeze

EDISON — With the Senate poised to give final approval next week to broadening the Senior Freeze program, Gov. Jon S. Corzine Friday touted the plan, part of the state’s response to the recession that looks to help the elderly pay their property taxes. (Gannett) http://www.app.com/article/20081122/NEWS0301/811220301/1007/NEWS03

State lacks financial incentives to sell concept of school mergers

Local school officials always grumble about top-down proposals when the state says their districts should merge to save money. (Julie O’Connor, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-12/1227417393161150.xml&coll=1

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

Pick ends speculation on Corzine in cabinet

The apparent selection of Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve, as President-elect Barack Obama’s treasury secretary ends speculation that the post would go to Governor Corzine, a former chairman of Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs who helped recruit Obama to run for Senate in 2004. Corzine repeatedly said he wanted to keep the job he had, but kept the door open by saying any candidate would have to serve if the president asked for help. (The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/politics/Pick_ends_speculation_on_Corzine_in_Cabinet.html

Alexander scheduled to stay in NJ, but could go to D.C.

Mark Alexander, state director of the Obama campaign during the primary and a senior policy director during the general, has not been offered a position in the president-elect’s administration. (PolitickerNJ.com)

http://www.politickernj.com/max/25658/alexander-stay-new-jersey

When it comes to re-election, Dems trust Team Obama

When State Democratic Chairman Joseph Cryan focused his players in the middle of the Obama presidential campaign, he told them to get ready for a long game, a two-year operation, in fact. (PolitickerNJ.com)

http://www.politickernj.com/max/25656/when-it-comes-corzine-re-election-democrats-trust-team-obama

BRYANT TRIAL
Christie proved himself a man of convictions

The U.S. attorney for New Jersey stood outside a federal courtroom in Trenton on Tuesday, holding a press conference about a politician convicted of corruption. This time it was former state Sen. Wayne Bryant, the South Jersey power broker found guilty of bribery. (The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/11/christie_proved_himself_a_man.html

Bryant verdict clouds pensions

One of the fraud allegations lodged against former state Sen. Wayne R. Bryant had never been considered a crime in New Jersey until 12 jurors convicted him of it Tuesday. (Troy Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20081123_Bryant_verdict_clouds_pensions.html

ATLANTIC CITY
Politician admits role in blackmail

ATLANTIC CITY – Already serving a 40-month federal prison term for bribery, former City Council President Craig Callaway pleaded guilty yesterday to helping set up a political rival in a videotaped sex session that was used in a blackmail attempt. (Associated Press)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20081122_Politician_admits_role_in_blackmail_of_A_C__rival.html

INAUGURATION DAY
600 tickets for Hudson, thousands making requests

Hudson County’s three congressmen have just under 600 tickets between them for President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20. (Paul Koepp, The Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index.ssf?/base/news-3/122733871288410.xml&coll=3

TRENTON
Retailers upbeat amid grim times

The worst national economy in decades may be descending on a time normally filled with holiday cheer, but area retailers are offering sales, extending hours and keeping a positive outlook as they try to entice shoppers. (Andrew Kitchenman, Trenton Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/times/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1227503113268540.xml&coll=5

BERGEN COUNTY
DiGaetano’s options fuel political rumor mill

Former Assembly Majority Leader Paul DiGaetano’s increased visibility in North Jersey politics this year has political observers in both parties speculating about his next move. (Charles Stile, The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/politics/DiGaetanos_options_fuel_political_rumor_mill.html

VINELAND
Thompson is newest freeholder

VINELAND – The county Democratic organization on Saturday nominated Nelson Thompson, union member and county Planning Board member, to replace Doug Rainear on the freeholder board. (Joe Green, Bridgeton News)

http://www.nj.com/bridgeton/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1227511518206980.xml&coll=10

HUNTERDON COUNTY
Schulter works in Holt’s corner

Former Republican state Sen. Bill Schluter wants to see his old seat kept in moderate Republican hands, and he thinks Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt is the man to do it. (PolitickerNJ.com)

http://www.politickernj.com/matt-friedman/25647/schluter-works-holts-corner

Morning News Digest: Monday, November 24, 2008