Wake-Up Call: Thursday, August 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.

Rasmussen: Lautenberg breaks 50 percent

A Rasmussen poll shows Sen. Frank Lautenberg hitting the 50% mark that pundits say is so crucial for any reelection effort. (PolitickerNJ)


Rone exit stirs mild public response at city council meeting

NEWARK – The seat on the far side of the dais was empty.

That’s where Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone sat for Newark City Council meetings in the chamber on the second floor of Newark City Hall. (PolitickerNJ)


ACLU to appeal exit polling ruling

Members of the press and public interest groups must get advance approval to conduct exit polling on Election Day and cannot distribute leaflets — even if they simply state a voter's rights, a unanimous state appeals court ruled yesterday. (Kate Coscarelli, The Star-Ledger)


Democrats unleash dirt-diggers on clerk

Kathleen Donovan has fielded a wide range of requests from political dirt-diggers over her 19 years as Bergen County clerk. (Charles Stile, The Bergen Record)


Feds drop cast against New Jersey construction official

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors have decided to drop the extortion case against a New Jersey construction official charged earlier this year in a sweeping indictment targeting the Gambino organized crime family. (Associated Press)


Who's funding Ferriero?

Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero has collected more than $195,000 in a private fund from donors — including county contractors and public employees — interested in securing his position as the leader of the county party. (Oshrat Carmiel, The Bergen Record)


Report: Jersey residents pay highest taxes

TRENTON — New Jersey taxpayers bear the heaviest state and local tax burden in the country for the third year in a row, according to a report released Wednesday by a fiscal policy organization in Washington, D.C. (Lisa G. Ryan, Asbury Park Press)


Efforts fail to keep special interests out of voting

An experimental, taxpayer-funded "clean elections" program has failed to live up to its goal of getting special interest money out of politics, according to a study released yesterday by the Center for Competitive Politics. (Robert Schwaneberg, The Star-Ledger)


Bill on police payment may lack Corzine support

Legislators gathered Wednesday in Buena Vista Township in support of state Sen. Jeff Van Drew's measure to use a surcharge on traffic offenses rather than a tax on rural municipalities to pay for their State Police coverage. (Sam Fran Scavuzzo, Press of Atlantic City)


Sarlo proposes boat speed legislation

TRENTON – A New Jersey lawmaker wants to force boaters to take it slow on inland waterways by imposing new speed restrictions. (Associated Press)


Rutgers fills seven spots of review committee

Rutgers officials yesterday named the remaining seven members of a special committee that will review the policies and prac tices of the university's athletics department — including a former state Supreme Court justice, a one- time federal judge and a member of the board of governors. (Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin, The Star-Ledger)


Planning groups ask Corzine to OK Highlands plan

Three planning groups have come to the aid of the embattled regional master plan for the Highlands, urging Gov. Jon S. Corzine to allow the document to take effect. (Colleen O'Dea, Daily Record)


Council OK for stadium turf job

The Jersey City City Council unanimously approved a new contract yesterday to replace the artificial turf at Cochrane Stadium, but officials repeated that it probably won't be ready for the start of the high school football season. (Paul Koepp, Jersey Journal)


Cherry Hill group wants public posts open to all

A Cherry Hill group wants to require appointments to public boards to be open and available to all residents. (Karen Langley, Philadelphia Inquirer)


Mayor takes foot tour of downtown Vineland

VINELAND — If you're a business owner on Landis Avenue and have something you'd like to talk about with the city, no worries — the city is coming to you. (Robert Press, The Daily Journal)


Freeholder hopeful pans lease renewal

A Republican freeholder candi date attacked the all-Democrat freeholder board for approving a new Trenton Thunder lease that reduces the team's payments to the county and gives it naming rights to Waterfront Park. (Meir Rinde, The Trenton Times)


Smith believes in FBI's case

The FBI's conclusion that scientist Bruce Ivins was solely responsible for mailing anthrax-laced letters convinced one New Jersey congressman, but other state officials said there are still unanswered questions. (Robert Schwaneberg, The Star-Ledger)


State allocates massive security cash

New Jersey is distributing more than $22 million in federal homeland security grants to its 21 counties. (Associated Press)


National Park tax bill to rise by $285

The average homeowner can expect to pay an additional $285.99 in taxes under the proposed 2008 budget. (Slobhan A. Counihan, Gloucester County Times)


Ill councilman misses meeting

Councilman Ted Connolly did not attend last night's Bayonne City Council caucus or the special meeting that followed it because he is ill, city officials said last night. (The Jersey Journal)


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, August 7, 2008