Wake-Up Call: Monday, July 7, 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.

The battle begins here

TRENTON — November may still be months away, but the campaigns of U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg and Republican challenger Dick Zimmer are already starting to rough each other up. (Associated Press)


Zimmer's uphill battle

As Dick Zimmer was about to step behind a lectern bearing a "Zimmer for Senate" poster at the Valero service station in Fair Haven on Tuesday, James Laurie was pumping $4.09-a-gallon gas.

Asked whether he knew who was about to speak, Laurie, an 18-year-old student at Brookdale Community College who lives in Keansburg, replied,"I do not." (Robert Schwaneberg, The Star-Ledger)


Optimistic for McCain

ASBURY PARK – As the son of a WWII infantryman who also served in the Korean War, state Sen. Sean Kean (D-Monmouth) found himself drawn to the presidential candidacy of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). (PolitickerNJ)


Dems still missing a candidate

For the Democrats of the 1st Congressional District, the mystery continues.

It's been a month since the primary and nothing has changed in terms of finding a candidate. (Pete McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)


Picking a pal

TRENTON – When Governor Corzine formally announces his plans to seek re-election, a new question will soon surface: Who's your running mate? (Associated Press)


Just how far can schoolboard rewards go?

TRENTON — School districts shall not award administrators bonuses without measurable objectives. Or use glossy colored mailers when cheaper printing options are available. They can give superintendents use of a taxpayer-funded car — but not a luxury model. (Gannett State Bureau)


Trump questions Corzine's political path

Now that Governor Corzine has all but formally declared plans to run for re-election next year, at least one celebrity wonders why he bothered running for governor in the first place. (Charles Stile, The Bergen Record)


Stem cell turnaround

TRENTON – New Jersey's bid to make itself a leader in stem-cell research was stymied last year when voters rejected borrowing $450 million to fund research. Now a leading advocate has a new plan: encouraging private investors to bankroll stem-cell-research loans. (Associated Press)


Democrats battle for offshore drilling ban

A group of prominent New Jersey Democrats today plan to criticize Republican efforts to lift a federal ban on offshore oil drilling. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)


Legislators defend earmarks

WASHINGTON — New Jersey House members have inserted $53 million worth of special projects called "earmarks" for military bases, hospitals and universities in bills that would set the spending levels or lay out funding priorities for 2009. (Raju Chebium, The Courier-Post)


Corzine: Whatever it takes

TRENTON – After months of earnest campaigning on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gov. Corzine now says he'll do whatever it takes to help Barack Obama get elected president. (Associated Press)


GOP stands tall

Republicans in Mercer County say they believe they can win back power at the county level despite their disadvantage in voter registration figures and the Democrats' dominance of the county government. (Meir Rinde, The Trenton Times)


Making history in West Orange

The new West Orange council has named Renard Barnes its president, making him the first black leader of the township council. (Kevin C. Dilworth, The Star-Ledger)


The price of sand

Consider on this holiday weekend that the economics behind the cost of Jersey Shore beach tags amount to voodoo. (Gannett State Bureau)


Obama tee causes controversy

A First Amendment dust-up is brewing at the Hudson County Correctional facility in Kearny over a corrections officer wearing a Barack Obama T-shirt to work. (Earl Morgan, The Jersey Journal)


Battling boosting benefits

TRENTON Two years ago, local legislators proposed a sweeping plan to reduce pensions and benefits for future public workers, declaring them a contributor to the state's highest-in-the-nation property taxes and dramatically out of touch with what workers faced in the private sector. (Trish G. Graber, The Sunbeam)


Squandered resources

It should be a simple question: Where did all the money go?

The state and Bergen County paid out $232 million in loans to EnCap Golf Holdings to help transform polluted Meadowlands landfills into a village of 2,600 homes and a golf course. (Maura McDermott, The Star-Ledger)


Education plan starves city mayors

Gov. Jon Corzine's right.

When municipal and educational aid are added together in the just-signed state budget, most municipalities, including those in Hudson County, come out ahead of what they received last year. (Ken Thorbourne, The Jersey Journal)


Sparring in Somerset

Summer usually brings political doldrums to Somerset County, but this year the opposing freeholder candidates already are sparring over issues small and large. (Joe Tyrrell, 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: Monday, July 7, 2008