Morning News Digest: Friday, December 5, 2008

Bryant can't use campaign funds to pay trial tab

Former Sen. Wayne Bryant cannot tap into $640,000 in campaign funds to pay the legal bills for his federal corruption trial, a state appeals court ruled yesterday. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. employers to save $33M as workers' comp costs drop

Employers will see a slight drop in the tab for workers' compensa tion insurance coverage next year, reversing a seven-year run of rate hikes, the panel that determines premium rates for the $1.9 billion program said in a recent notice. (Dunstan McNichol, The Star-Ledger)

Gas station association calls for attorney general's resignation

An association that represents hundreds of New Jersey gas station owners yesterday called for state Attorney General Anne Milgram to resign for issuing a June report it said "offered up the heads of innocent gasoline retailers" who were portrayed as having cheated customers. (Edward Colimore, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Fatal crash spurs legislative action

Resulting from a Gloucester County tragedy, Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed "Mackay's Law" Thursday, a measure to protect families of car crash victims against paying exorbitant towing and storage fees following an accident. (Trish G. Graber, Gloucester County Times)

State Republicans gearing up for primary

Republican gubernatorial candidates have been busy this week building support for a primary election that is still a half-year away. (Cynthia Burton, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Rible troubled by possibility of divisive GOP primary

UNION – As former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie publicly mulls a run for governor, Assemblyman David Rible (R-Wall) says he believes the Republican Party should rally around one candidate for governor before the June primary. (

Sussex County Republican chairman steps down to run for freeholder

Sussex County Republican Chairman Richard Zeoli will step down from his leadership post to run for the freeholder seat being vacated by seven-year incumbent Glen Vetrano, who has decided not to seek reelection next year. (

Filing a jobless claim proves a hangup for many

Nearly 100 unemployed people packed a state Department of Labor and Workforce Development office in New Brunswick yesterday, complaining of trouble filing unemployment claims. They learned an important fact about the modern system. (Brian T. Murray, The Star-Ledger)

Homeland Security secretary returns to his hometown

UNION – Talk to people in New Jersey’s legal profession and no one denies that what Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff perhaps lacks in charisma or courtroom presence, he compensates for with something more fundamental: profound powers of reason. (

Jackson could be next EPA administrator

Barack Obama may be dipping into his own environmental team for an administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He may be looking to tap former New Jersey environmental protection commissioner Lisa Jackson. (Politico)

Bayonne campaign signs must come down

So you want to preserve bragging rights and keep that "Mark Smith for Mayor" sign posted on your building for all the world to see? (Ronald Leir, The Jersey Journal)

Joe the Party Boss to plead his case

Embattled Democratic Party Chairman Joe Ferriero will personally plead his case to a panel of party elders Monday night, hoping to defuse pressure on him to resign, party officials said today. (Charles Stile, The Record)

Camden firing adds to leadership tensions

The state-appointed overseer of Camden has fired a city department chief who also serves as the mayor's spokesman, creating new questions about the balance of power in the state-run city. (Matt Katz, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Electric rate cut coming?

VINELAND — Residents and businesses could see a change early next year in how much they pay for electric service. (Kristi Funderburk, The Daily Journal) Morning News Digest: Friday, December 5, 2008