Wake-Up Call: Wednesday ,October 22, 2008

Budget shortfall weighs on Corzine

Staring at a possible multibillion-dollar gap in next year’s budget, the Corzine administration is already getting stingy. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1224650140218730.xml&coll=1

Witnesses attest to Bryant’s honesty

Former State Sen. Wayne Bryant had a reputation as an honest man who obeyed the law, and was not alone in farming out legal work to associates while working for a Gloucester County social services agency, defense witnesses in his corruption trial said yesterday. (Jonathan Tamari, Philadelphia Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20081022_Witnesses_attest_to_Bryant_s_honesty.html

Obama snares $2.1M from N.J. donors

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama received $2.1 million from New Jersey donors in September, as the Illinois senator set a one-month fundraising record by collecting $153 million from donors nationwide. (Gannett)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20081022/NEWS01/810220352

Bribe gets Orange’s Hackett 9 months

Former state assemblyman and Orange mayor Mims Hackett Jr. was sentenced yesterday to nine months in federal prison and two years’ probation for accepting a $5,000 bribe. (Kevin C. Dilworth, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1224650152218730.xml&coll=1

Poll finds support for Corzine’s financial plan

New Jersey voters are optimistic, but not overwhelmingly confident in Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s plan to help residents weather the current financial crisis, a Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll has found. (Gannett)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20081022/NEWS01/810220353

Union County Clerk says voting machines are unreliable

Citing concerns over the vulnerability of New Jersey’s electronic voting machines raised in a Princeton University professor’s report, the top Union County election official is encouraging residents to vote by mail. (PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/matt-friedman/24666/union-county-clerk-says-voting-machines-are-unreliable-encourages-voting-mail

GOP legislator throws hat in race for governor

A state lawmaker from Morris County will today become the first candidate to formally declare he is running for governor in 2009.

Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Morris), who formed an exploratory committee in August, has scheduled a morning news conference outside the governor’s mansion in Princeton to make the announcement. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1224650143218730.xml&coll=1

Control up for grabs in Moorestown and Mount Laurel

It’s not just the freeholder election that will measure the current strength of the long-dominant Burlington County GOP. (Maya Rao, Philadelphia Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20081022_Control_up_for_grabs_in_Moorestown_and_Mount_Laurel.html

Former court clerk admits fund theft

A former finance clerk in Mon mouth County faces up to five years in prison after admitting yesterday she stole more than $6,000 in court funds. (Maryann Spoto, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1224650199218730.xml&coll=1

Kean says Palin may have hurt McCain’s chances in New Jersey

With two polls released this morning showing Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain in the Garden State by between 17 and 23 points, former Gov. Tom Kean acknowledged that winning this state is a long-shot, and that Vice-Presidential Sarah Palin hasn’t helped. (PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/matt-friedman/24674/kean-says-palin-hurt-mccains-chances-new-jersey

Council president among those accused of bilking homeowners

The president of the Paramus borough council is among more than three dozen mortgage-loan providers, employees and lawyers accused of bilking struggling homeowners of millions of dollars using bogus “foreclosure rescue” schemes. (Maya Kremen, The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/politics/Council_president_part_of_group_accused_of_bilking_homeowners.html

Audit says agency chief charged $55K to credit card

The head of an insurance-funded state agency that helps set the cost of workers compensation insurance policies in New Jersey ran up $55,000 in credit card charges for travel, meals and sundries such as chocolates and gift cards over 21 months, a new state audit reports. (Dunstan McNichol, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1224650149218730.xml&coll=1

Bergen Republicans vs. BCIA

In Bergen County, the Republican freeholder candidates’ opposition researchers have been in overdrive, accusing the Bergen County Improvement Authority of being a mere patronage arm of the Bergen County Democratic Organization, and blaming the incumbent freeholders of doing nothing to stop it. (PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/matt-friedman/24685/bergen-republicans-vs-bcia

Union official: Brick workers afraid of layoffs

BRICK — A top union official said Tuesday that 225 members who work for the municipality are frustrated and afraid after the township revealed last week that layoffs may be pending. (Matthew McGrath, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/article/20081021/NEWS/81021105

Auditors discuss Trenton’s finances

TRENTON — The city received a clean audit for the 2006-07 fiscal year, although the auditor recommended the city make several changes. (Andrew Kitchenman, Trenton Times0

http://www.nj.com/news/times/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-15/1224648391157840.xml&coll=5

A big cost no matter what

Now it’s up to $2 billion and counting. That’s how much the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could wind up spending, once the bi-state agency figures out what it’s going to do with the Bayonne Bridge. (Ronald Leir, The Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/bayonne/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1224656794108620.xml&coll=3

Council helps Vineland electric utility meet state regulations

VINELAND — City Council is helping the city’s electric utility come closer to establishing compliance with the state’s mercury regulations. (Kristi Funderburk, The Daily Journal)

http://www.thedailyjournal.com/article/20081022/NEWS01/810220321

Wake-Up Call: Wednesday ,October 22, 2008