Wake-Up Call: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey's top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning.

Corzine calls for Obama support

In a rousing campaign-style speech at a Democratic fundraiser last night, Gov. Jon Corzine called on his party to deliver New Jersey to Barack Obama this year, and he made clear he'll be seeking another term as governor next year.

"I want a Democratic president in the White House when I'm running for re-election in 2009," Corzine told about 250 contributors at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. "We are going to win in the fall of 2008 and the fall of 2009."(Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)


Living in a scam

The New Jersey Attorney General filed mortgage-fraud lawsuits yesterday in three counties against 36 defendants, including a South Jersey company accused of running a "rent-to-own" housing scam. (Troy Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer)


Corzine drills McCain on oil policy

Gov. Corzine and other New Jersey advocates criticized Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain Tuesday for supporting elimination of a ban on drilling for oil off much of the nation's coastline, including the Jersey Shore.

"I don't think you're going to find a governor or the citizenry believing that we ought to move to offshore drilling," Corzine said on CNBC. (Asbury Park Press)


Digging deep into debt

TRENTON – New Jersey legislators are moving forward with plans to borrow $3.5 billion for school construction without voter approval.

The Senate budget committee tomorrow is to consider authorizing the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to borrow the money, largely for urban schools. (Tom Hester, Associated Press)


Tough times for New Jersey's poor

One of every five New Jersey families does not earn enough to afford the basic necessities — housing, food and child care — though most households have at least one breadwinner, according to a study released yesterday.

The report by the Poverty Research Institute highlighted the characteristics of these 500,000 households to debunk stereotypes about the poor and encourage lawmakers to fund more effective programs. The study found 85 percent of these families had at least one person working, although not everyone held full-time or year-round employment. Only 6 percent of them received welfare.

"Public policy is horribly out of touch with what real people have to face in terms of their economic reality," said Melville Miller, president of Legal Services of New Jersey, which founded the Poverty Research Institute. (Susan K. Livio, The Star-Ledger)


NJ budget cuts $100 million from spending

State leaders released details of a proposed $32.9 billion budget agreement yesterday that restores some funding for municipalities and health care, aiming to help property taxpayers and the state's most vulnerable residents.

The proposal cuts spending from the budget pitched by Gov. Corzine in February by about $100 million. (Adrienne Lu and Jonathan Tamari, Philadelphia Inquier)


Really, I'm not kidding

VINELAND – David Kurkowski is running for Congress. Really.

Kurkowski, the Cape May City councilman and Democratic nominee in the 2nd Legislative District, warded off rmors he is not committed to staying in the race against U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd. (Daniel Walsh, Press of Atlantic City)


Solving the energy crisis

ATERSON — Three members of the state's Democratic congressional delegation on Monday blamed the oil companies, Republicans and the Bush administration for soaring gas prices.

In a press conference at a Citgo service station on Preakness Avenue — where the cash price for unleaded regular gas was listed at $3.95 a gallon — New Jersey Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez and House Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-Paterson, said that Democrats were working hard to pass legislation to reduce the price at the pump burden for New Jersey families. But they said their efforts were being thwarted by Republicans who they said were beholden to the oil industry. (Denisa Superville, The Herald News)


Ortiz defeated in heated runoff

Bergen County chairman Rob Ortiz was defeated tonight in his bid for reelection, by a challenger who said Ortiz had not delivered on his promises to the party. (Oshrat Carmiel, The Bergen Record)


Sergeants are here to stay

HAMILTON — The township council unanimously approved an ordinance last night allowing the police department to keep two more sergeants and three additional patrolmen on staff than previously permitted.

But the council members also unanimously delayed a vote on an ordinance that would eliminate two captains, two lieutenants and a deputy chief from the police ranks. (The Trenton Times)


Municipalities mauled by budget proposal

Many local municipalities have been stung by the state's $32.86 billion 2009 budget deal reached Monday between the Legislature and Gov. Jon. S. Corzine. The plan has mayors reeling over possible municipal ramifications. And some have been forced to make changes.

Gloucester Township Mayor Cindy Rau-Hatton said the governor has passed the burden to municipalities that have no one to pass it on to but residents. (Jeremy Rosen, Courier Post)


Granting access

TRENTON — A Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that the state can access patient records at eight assisted living facilities in New Jersey — including three in Cumberland County — to determine whether residents were threatened with eviction after spending their life savings at the homes. (Trish G. Graber, Bridgeton News)


Get that lead out of here

The city of East Orange yesterday signed an agreement with the New Jersey Public Advocate that calls for the community to aggressively respond to and prevent the problem of lead paint poisoning in children.

The pact, designating East Orange as a "Model Lead-Safe City," was signed in City Hall by state public advocate Ronald K. Chen and Mayor Robert Bowser. (Kevin C. Dilworth, The Star-Ledger)


With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey's top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning. Wake-Up Call: Wednesday, June 18, 2008