Wake-Up Call: Thursday, July 17, 2008

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can

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.

Lautenberg's fiscal lead is immense

Even after an expensive primary battle, four-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has three times as much cash as his Republican opponent, former congressman Dick Zimmer, according to their latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. (Robert Schwaneberg, The Star-Ledger)


Firm subpoenaed in Ferriero case

A politically connected Hudson County public relations firm has been drawn into the intensifying federal probe of Bergen County-based Democratic powerbroker Joseph Ferriero. (Charles Hack, Jersey Journal)


Katz remains on the outside

TRENTON – A federal judge yesterday declined a request from ousted union chief Carla Katz to reinstate her as head of the largest state worker union. (Associated Press)


Corzine's crucade a farce?

Governor Corzine’s crusade to clean up New Jersey’s corroded campaign finance system fizzled to an unspectacular endat Bob Torricelli’s barn door. (Charles Stile, The Bergen Record)


Legislators and state officers eyeball predator program

New Jersey corrections officers, the mother of Megan Kanka and former Sen. Peter Inverso have teamed up to launch a pre-emptive strike to warn the public that the state is considering privatizing the sexual violent predator program. (Kevin Shea, The Trenton Times)


All of this because of football

It started with a feud between high school kids on a football field. It has already led to the censure of state Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto.

Tomorrow a Superior Court judge will be asked to decide whether a civil lawsuit against the justice should proceed to trial or be thrown out (Kate Coscarelli, The Star-Ledger)


Less cash means fewer attack ads

Television viewers in late October and early November may be in for a treat: Far fewer political attack ads from New Jersey candidates. (Herb Jackson, The Bergen Record)


Home flippers are going to jail

A federal judge sentenced two women yesterday to more than a decade each in prison for defrauding several banks out of more than $14 million in a home-flipping scheme in North Jersey. (Jeff Whelan, The Star-Ledger)


Watchdog unit shines slight on Werner

The leader of the New Jersey agency that helps victims of violent crimes has been relieved of his duties after issues were raised by the state's government watchdog. (Associated Press)


Cutting service and raising taxes

Roberts presented his proposed spending plan for the fiscal year that began July 1 at a press conference yesterday morning and then again at last night's City Council meeting. (Carly Baldwin and Amy Sara Clark, Jersey Journal)


Is it real?

The state Department of Education is reviewing the validity of doctoral degrees obtained by the Freehold Regional High School superintendent and another administrator. The degrees were issued by an online school that Alabama officials this week chastened as an "apparent diploma mill." (Joshua Riley, Asbury Park Press)


Raising the bar

New Jersey made it harder yesterday for public school students to prove their proficiency on state exams — a change that could cause more schools to run afoul of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The action by the state Board of Education, which approved raising the scores for reading and math tests in grades 5 through 8, highlights how remarkably low the threshold for the scores had been. Students scoring as low as 33 percent correct had been deemed proficient. (John Mooney, The Star-Ledger)


Ensuring fair taxes

PATERSON – For years, City Council members have tried to get Passaic County officials to explain sharp annual increases in Paterson's county tax burden. Now they want to go to court to ensure city residents are being taxed fairly by the county. (Paul Brubaker, The Herald News)


Uncontrollable tax hike on the horizon

MOUNT ARLINGTON — Although officials have tried to keep the municipality's expenses down, increases in "uncontrollable" costs are forcing the borough to increase the municipal tax rate by 43.6 percent, according to mayor Art Ondish. (Michael Scholl, The Daily Record)



Camden children rock the vote

CAMDEN — The 90-degree heat here Wednesday afternoon did not stop two city youths from encouraging people to vote. (Jeremy Rosen, The Courier-Post)


Paulsboro budget buckles under pressure

As towns across the county are struggling to balance their budgets in the face of ever-increasing fuel costs, increases in pension and benefit costs and cuts to state aid, the budget in Paulsboro is buckling under the added burden on a recently settled tax appeal that slashed the borough's ratable base. (Slobhan A. Counihan, Gloucester County Times)


Mayor resumes old tradition

VINELAND — Mayor Robert Romano took a walk around the city early Wednesday morning with various officials and department heads, resuming a tradition once practiced by his late father, former Mayor Joseph Romano. (Robert Press, The Daily Journal)


Democrat lead remains in Seventh District

The latest campaign finance figures add fuel to Democrats' hopes for seizing the 7th Congressional District from Republicans this fall, showing Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) maintaining a wide fundraising lead over state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon). (Gabriel H. Gluck, The Star-Ledger)


Open space funding rejected

Many town officials in Gloucester County are reeling from a recent appellate court decision that found municipalities cannot require housing developers to either set aside land for open space and recreation or pay a fee instead. (Stephanie Brown, Gloucester County Times)


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: Thursday, July 17, 2008