Morning News Digest: November 5, 2012

Still without electric power, hard-nosed Belmar rights itself in the aftermath

BELMAR – They call it the Irish Riviera, and with good reason.

In the best of circumstances, you’d never confuse it with Monte Carlo, but to look at the faces in the stained glass glow of Sunday mass you can tell unbridled luxury was never the priority.

Epitomized by a doughboy statue honoring the war dead, the shorefront toughness here paid off in the face of Hurricane Sandy.

On Monday, rescue workers led by Councilman Brian Wilton rowed and swam as many as 150 people to safety.

No deaths. No serious casualties. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)


At ground zero for GOP GOTV, Gilmore battles doggedly for votes

TOMS RIVER – The myth tells of a warrior who must contend with the invulnerable tide, and in political terms that frigid, foreboding clime right now belongs to Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore, long his party’s South Jersey GOTV shaman.  

The double doors opened and in walked Gilmore, who went up a hallway packed with people in cold weather gear, all here during special hours on a Sunday to vote in this Republican Party stronghold decimated by Hurricane Sandy.

“Thank you for voting today, thank you,” said Gilmore, his hand reaching and finding willing hands extended along the line of those masses crammed into the Ocean County Clerk’s Office. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)


Some electricity still down but political power not out in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK – The worst storm in New Jersey history wrecked the state this week, and this morning Steve Adubato stood at the front of a room and watched the well-oiled, functioning gears of the North Ward machine.

In droves, Democrats – many of them delivered by bus – poured into the Flamboyan Manor and kept coming.

They needed an overflow room in the basement wired with sound.

A few blocks away, men in coats stood in long lines holding gas cans praying the gas wouldn’t run out before they made it to the pumps. The cars backed up on 21 bumper to bumper.

The politicians here weren’t immune. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)


Guadagno: Email and fax voting available to voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy

The New Jersey Department of State today issued a directive to county elections officials to permit New Jersey registered voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote electronically. This directive also is intended to assist displaced first responders, whose tireless recovery efforts away from home have made voting a challenge. (Staff, PolitickerNJ)

Farewell Missy, and thank you

Today is a sad day at PolitickerNJ as we say goodbye to one of our own. 

Missy Rebovich, who for the past two years has been the woman behind our morning Wake Up Call, is leaving us.

Missy is moving on to an exciting position with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and while all of us are saddened to see her leave our team, we are confident she is heading for great things.


Christie: Praise of Obama after Sandy won’t change my vote for Romney

It was hard to tell if Gov. Chris Christie was amused or annoyed when asked yesterday about the chatter surrounding his lavish praise for President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy.

Christie gave an intentional cough before launching into an answer in front of hundreds of cold but friendly Hoboken residents: “This is the kind of silliness that really drives me crazy.” (Friedman, The Star Ledger)


N.J. Gov. Chris Christie embraces federal government in Hoboken

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continued to express gratitude for the federal government’s help  at a televised news conference Sunday in Hoboken, N.J.

With Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at his side, Christie sent love to New Jersey residents for their recovery efforts and promised guff – “my type of gentle persuasion” – to utility companies to help the nearly 1 million customers in the state who still lack power, most in central and northern New Jersey. (Pearce, L.A. Times),0,5743921.story


Christie Talks ‘New Normal’ as Power Comes Back in N.J

The number of New Jersey residents without power from superstorm Sandy fell below 1 million yesterday, Governor Chris Christie said. Yet a fresh storm may be just a few days away, bringing high winds and flooding rain.

“For those of you out there who don’t have power and are at a neighbor’s house or at a friend’s house or the Elks Club, I know when I tell you we’re under 1 million people from 2.7 million, it’s not going to mean a damned thing to you unless your power’s on — I get it,” Christie said at a news briefing yesterday. Sandy blacked out more than half the state Oct. 29. (Jones, Dopp and Varghese, Bloomberg)


New Jersey Shore, ravaged by Sandy, might never be the same

POINT PLEASANT, N.J. — There were all of 21 homes on the little cul-de-sac. There wasn’t much space between them and nobody much cared — after all, Riviera Court was surrounded on three sides by water, and everybody’s “yard” was a dock, a boat and a route to the sea, which seemed like such a nice thing just a week ago.

Lori Rebimbas was at home when Hurricane Sandy arrived with sinister clouds, then shrieking wind. It was the water that chased her out, rising to her knees in 10 minutes. As she drove into the darkness, trees tumbled and electrical wires lashed and sparked behind her.

When she made it back, Rebimbas found that the tidal surge from Bay Head Harbor had flooded her neighbors’ homes and crashed through her front door. She stepped inside, onto shattered glass that squished in the carpet. Her bobbed hair fell limp around her face. She lighted a candle in what used to be the living room, and wept.

“I just want a home,” she said. (Hennessy-Fiske, Gold, L.A. Times),0,3657494.story


With one eye on recovery from Hurricane Sandy, state keeps watch on approaching nor’easter

With another storm headed up the coast, state and federal officials have turned their attention to moving Hurricane Sandy evacuees from shelters into temporary housing.

A nor’easter is expected to hit the same area as Sandy did sometime Wednesday evening and to punish New Jersey with strong winds through Thursday. (Goldberg, The Star Ledger)


Half of polling places knocked out by Sandy restored

More than half of the polling places knocked out by Hurricane Sandy were patched up and working smoothly Sunday, but with hundreds of locations still damaged, destroyed or without power, many wary voters cast their ballots early.

Sandy’s devastating run through New Jersey wrecked 900 polling places — nearly a third of the approximately 3,000 sites. By last night, all but about 300 had been repaired, said Ernest Landante, a spokesman for Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. (Rizzo, The Star Ledger)


NJ election boards prepping for intense Election Day

Election officials from around the Garden State say that the alleged mix-up over voter registrations for residents who took part in a Motor Vehicle Commission license renewal/voter registration program is just one of a series of challenges that municipalities will face Tuesday.

“We’ve seen a couple of cases of that issue with the MVC registration process,” said Essex County Clerk Christopher J. Durkin. “I don’t believe that it was really huge in scope but in our case, the people who were affected double-checked months earlier to make sure they were cleared to vote. In this case, they weren’t registered, so it was straightened out with the commissioner of voter registration before it became an issue.” (Chmiel,


If Obama loses….

A defeat for Barack Obama on Tuesday would be no ordinary loss for Democrats.

It would be a traumatic experience: the death of the dream of liberal realignment embodied in Obama’s insurgent 2008 campaign. And it would be all the more distressing to Democrats because so many of them fervently believe they will win tomorrow. (Burns, Haberman, Politico)


If Romney Loses…

For Republicans, the only thing harder than losing to Barack Obama might be explaining it.

By any reasonable standard, Obama is a seriously vulnerable incumbent: a president overseeing a limping economy, whose party got thumped in the 2010 midterm elections, and whose signature  accomplishment of health care reform is highly controversial. Whatever his strengths on national security and personal likability, Obama probably began the 2012 campaign as the most beatable sitting president in 20 years. (Burns, Haberman – Politico)


The best stories of 2012

For more than 18 months, reporters have been chronicling the 2012 presidential election. But now that it’s almost over, most of the work seems to have disappeared into history: a stack of clips and an endless stream of tweets that fizzled out in ever-shorter news cycles. By the time the winner takes the oath of office, the stories will be all but forgotten.

But some will remain. The big stories. The stories that defined the campaign. (Byers, Politico)

Christie was Mitt’s first choice for VP

One of the most tantalizing subplots of the 2012 campaign has been the curious and sometimes controversial performances of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Now, campaign insiders tell POLITICO that Christie was Mitt Romney’s first choice for the Republican ticket, lending an intriguing new context to the continuing drama around the Garden State governor.

The strong internal push for Christie, and Romney’s initial instinct to pick him as his running mate, reflects how conflicted the nominee remained about choosing a running mate until the very end of the process. At least on the surface, Christie and Paul Ryan are about as opposite as two Republicans could be: a brash outsider from the Northeast versus a bookish insider from the heartland. (Ryan, Vandehei – Politico)


Wanted: A winner by Wednesday

NEW YORK — Any stock trader will tell you that if there’s one thing investors hate, it’s uncertainty.

With President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney virtually tied in polls before the election Tuesday, uncertainty abounds.

“It’s crazy-close,” says Kim Forrest, a senior equity analyst and vice president at Fort Pitt Capital, a financial management company in Pittsburgh. “It’s so up in the air, it really could go either way. In the short term, the markets will be happy that it’s over.”  (Rothwell, AP)


Utility companies post town-specific plans for estimated power restoration

When will your power come back?

A roadmap to utility restoration is now being posted on the state’s website at the direction of Gov. Chris Christie, who ordered the power utilities to begin providing outage estimates for their customers. (Sherman, The Star Ledger)



From the Back Room

Clinton does a robocall for Menendez

Wishing New Jerseyans well in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, former President Bill Clinton did a robocall for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today. (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



Doblin: Looking for the faces of mass transit

A WEEK after Hurricane Sandy, the effectiveness of three regional leaders has been much dissected by the media and public. Governor Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been front and center these  past seven days. (Doblin, The Record)


Chris Christie has the chance to be a real leader on climate change

In light of horrific wildfires, a historic drought and now the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy, the political understatement of the year has to be President Barack Obama’s recent comment to MTV. Asked about climate change’s absence from all presidential debates for the first time in a generation, he said, “I am surprised it didn’t come up.”  (Sirota, The Oregonian)

Morning News Digest: November 5, 2012