Morning News Digest: November 12, 2010

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Legal battle: three vie for chairmanship as Greenstein moves up to senate

TRENTON – One battle begets another in politics and Democratic Party victory in the 14th Legislative District unleashes yet one more struggle: this time within the ranks of the majority party as at least three assembly people vie to replace state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) as chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.   (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



GOP freeholders-elect tap Caliguire for transition chair

The Bergen County Republican Freeholders-elect today announced their selection of former freeholder Todd Caliguire of Ridgewood to chair their transition team.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



‘People’s Tool Kit’ offers ways to rein in spending

If you’re impatiently waiting for state government to deliver the much-ballyhooed toolkit, a good-government group is pitching some do-it-yourself projects it says can ease your property taxes.  (Symons, Gannet)



NJ voters support state worker layoffs, furloughs and salary freezes, poll shows

A new poll finds widespread support for state worker layoffs, furloughs and wage freezes to combat New Jersey’s fiscal woes.  (The Associated Press)



Sen. President Sweeney introduces bill to create oversight panel for NJN transfer from N.J. control

In the latest effort to decide the future of the New Jersey Network, Senate President Stephen Sweeney has introduced a bill creating a seven-member bipartisan Restructuring Committee to handle the transfer of the public broadcasting system from state control to a nonprofit corporation or other entity.  (McGlone, The Star-Ledger)



Department of Community Affairs audit reveals problems and irregularities

It was big pot of federal stimulus money aimed at jump-starting the state’s economy, but an audit of a weatherization program found only a fraction of the $119 million allocated to New Jersey has been spent, and some of that went to unreasonable expenditures.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



Schools outline plans to improve

When the state’s Department of Education released its annual Adequate Yearly Progress report last week, it showed 209 additional schools in the state — public schools and public charter schools included — failed to meet the standards for two consecutive years, bringing the total number of Schools in Need of Improvement to 657 for the 2009-2010 year.  (Rothschild, Courier-Post)



Obama urged to address child issue

A New Jersey congressman urged President Obama to raise the “unresolved and heartbreaking issue” of “left-behind parents” when the president meets with the Japanese prime minister at a Pacific Rim trade conference this weekend.  (Jackson, The Record)



To Congress with mantra ‘Why not me?’

Bobby Schilling has spent the last decade perfecting his pizza crust. (The secret? A hint of whole wheat flour in the dough.) But this year, like dozens of other previously apolitical Americans, the cheerful father of 10 looked at the Congressional candidate arena and got to thinking, “Hey, why not me?”  (Steinhauer, The New York Times)



From the Back Room



Mattes to leave public payroll

Bari Mattes, senior advisor to Newark Mayor Cory Booker, will leave the administration to focus fulltime and in a private capacity on fundraising for the mayor’s political arm.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



What’s $3 billion among friends?

For weeks the ARC tunnel project walked the streets of New Jersey as a zombie, once dead, then resurrected only to be killed again.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Veterans Day…

The veteran I know best is my father.

Like a lot of men of his vintage, ca. 1924, he served during World War II; in the Pacific Theater aboard the U.S.S. Cheleb.  (Jim Hooker, guest columnist for PolitickerNJ)


Cocktails shaken and stirred on video

THE POPULAR words in New Jersey at the moment are tool kit. While legislators in Trenton argue over who has the biggest hammer in the box, a Passaic school teacher fell victim to a very large screwdriver.  (Doblin, PolitickerNJ)



‘Poster Boy’ contract pre-approved by Christie administration

Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Christie questioned why the school board in Parsippany would vote Superintendent LeRoy Seitz a five-year contract extension long before his contract is up and several months before superintendents will be capped at $175,000. In the fifth year, Seitz would be paid $234,065, or $59,000 more than the governor.  (Ingle, Asbury Park Press)



Though Newark is tapped out, layoffs are still a question

The notices posted around Newark City Hall, like the ones that went out to hundreds of city employees, explain that municipal workers may lose their jobs for reasons of “economy and efficiency.” And today is supposed to be layoff day.  (Whitlow, The Star-Ledger)



Morning News Digest: November 12, 2010