The Morning Digest: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

State vows readiness for huge turnout

With a record voter turnout forecast for next week’s presidential election, Gov. Jon Corzine and other state officials said yesterday New Jersey is prepared to handle a flood of people at the polls. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

State clarifies rules on Election Day

TRENTON — New Jerseyans in line to vote, whether in the building or at the end of a line that stretches three blocks away, will be allowed to cast their votes on Election Day as long as they’re in the queue by 8 p.m. (Gannett)

CWA says Corzine-Katz messages may have been illegal

The court battle over whether e-mails between Gov. Jon Corzine and Carla Katz should be made public took a new twist yesterday when her former union questioned whether the two engaged in illegal contract bargaining. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

Another investigation probes UMDNJ’s alleged Medicare overbilling

The state’s medical university is the target of another investigation by the U.S. Attorney, following allegations that it overcharged Medicaid and Medicare by millions of dollars even while under the supervision of a federal monitor. (The Star-Ledger)

Assembly OKs bills to boost N.J. economy

TRENTON — The Assembly passed nearly two dozen economy-related bills Monday, including measures to expand property tax help for senior citizens, ease certain business taxes and create a $50 million fund to help small businesses get financing they need. (Gannett)

GOP request for records criticized

Senate Democrats said yesterday that requests by Republican Assembly staffers for dozens of public records over two years suggested a costly fishing expedition by the GOP on state time. (The Star-Ledger)

Senate candidates differ on bailout

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and his Republican opponent, former congressman Dick Zimmer, found some common ground last night, agreeing that Israel is the United States’ strongest ally in the Middle East and deserves its wholehearted support. (Robert Schwaneberg, The Star-Ledger)

Lautenberg, ZImmer show support for Israel

CALDWELL — Incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg and his challenger, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer, burnished their pro-Israel and other credentials Monday night, taking turns addressing a synagogue audience here. “They (Israel) will defend themselves with the help of the United States if necessary,” vowed Lautenberg, a Democrat. (Gannett)

Garrett, Shulman spar in 5th District race

In the final days of his campaign for re-election, U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett, (R-5th Dist.), is swinging back at his Democratic challenger, Dennis Shulman, on several fronts. (Jim Lockwood, The Star-Ledger)

Former McCain political director calls Garrett a ‘nut’

Political operatives take note: if you’re going to call a member of your own party a “nut,” you might not want to say it to the daughter of his opponent. (

GOP calls summit ‘election eve stunt’

MILLVILLE — Republican freeholder candidates are calling an upcoming county-sponsored emergency economic summit an “election eve publicity stunt” from Democrats. (Joseph P .Smith, The Daily Journal)

Sunset measure for ‘distressed’ city aid advances

Legislation designed to make seven of New Jersey’s eight so-called “distressed cities” — municipalities sharing $153 million in special state aid — account for how the money is spent and wean themselves off the relief within five years was approved by a Senate committee yesterday. (Tom Hester, The Star-Ledger)

Predatory lending is an issue in state

Soon after the New Jersey legislature passed a tough law aimed at controlling predatory lending, State Sens. John Adler (D., Camden) and Gerald Cardinale (R., Bergen) teamed up to sponsor a bill that weakened it. (Cynthia Burton, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Menendez set to headline Obama event in Essex

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) is scheduled to return to Floridaon Thursday and Friday of this week to stump for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il.). (

Morris clerk hopeful says poll books not updated

A candidate for Morris County Clerk charged Monday that some voters will have to file provisional ballots because county officials failed to update local poll books in a timely manner, but officials say any delay was simply due to registrations being routed through Trenton. (Michael Daigle, The Daily Record)

Businesses get tax break, more years to deduct losses

Handing businesses a change in tax law they have sought for years, state lawmakers yesterday gave final approval to a bill that allows companies up to 20 years to charge losses against future earnings. (Dunstan McNichol, The Star-Ledger)

GOP wants county financial summits quarterly

MILLVILLE – The Republican’s slate of candidates for freeholder on Monday called an emergency financial summit being held Wednesday an “election eve publicity stunt.” (Matt Dunn, Bridgeton News)

Mayor is the issue, and he isn’t even running

SADDLE BROOK — A stormy relationship between Democratic Mayor Louis D’Arminio and the Democratic-dominated Township Council is becoming a major campaign issue as six candidates vie for three open council seats. (Stephanie Akin, The Bergen Record)

New bill would offer more veterans a boost on Civil Service exams

A state Senate committee unanimously approved a measure today that would allow certain people who qualify as veterans under federal law, but not under New Jersey law, to receive extra credit on Civil Service exams. (The Star-Ledger)

Atlantic City set to delay smoking ban for one year

ATLANTIC CITY — Smoke ’em if you got ’em. That could be the situation again in Atlantic City’s 11 casinos as early as tonight. The City Council is poised to give final approval to a measure postponing a ban on smoking on the casino floor for one year due to the worsening economy. (Associated Press)

GOP duo hoping 2nd time is the charm

HALEDON — Two young Republicans, Danny Shakoj and Amaf Jarkasi, are looking to bring a new perspective to the all-Democratic Borough Council. (Heather Kays, The Herald News)

Counties getting $1M each for bridge repair

Each of New Jersey’s 21 counties can expect $1 million from the state Department of Transportation to help repair bridges. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Parents oppose uniform policy

Parents, students and other concerned residents packed the Blackwood Terrace administration building for the board of education meeting Monday night to voice their opinions on a proposed mandatory uniform policy for the district. (Jessica Driscoll, Gloucester County Times)

The Morning Digest: Tuesday, October 28, 2008