Morning News Digest: Friday, January 23, 2009

Corzine Wants To ‘Shape' Federal Stimulus Bill

TRENTON – In an effort to get as much money as possible for New Jersey from an estimated $825 billion federal stimulus plan being considered by Congress, Gov. Jon S. Corzine on Wednesday announced he formed a committee to study the emerging stimulus legislation and advise the state's congressional delegation on how to help shape it. (Scott Goldstein, NJ Biz)

GOP chief set to ask justices for Katz e-mail

The chairman of New Jersey's Republican Party said yesterday he will ask the state Supreme Court to order the release of e-mail messages exchanged by Gov. Jon Corzine and his ex-girlfriend, Carla Katz, while she was a labor leader. (CLAIRE HEININGER, Star-Ledger)

Happy Birthday, Senator Lautenberg

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg is 85-years-old today. (

Senator wants Chrysler loans canceled if Fiat takes control

WASHINGTON-Chrysler LLC should be forced to pay back its $4-billion loan from the U.S. Treasury should Fiat S.p.A. take control of the automaker, a U.S. senator told President Barack Obama today. (Justin Hyde, Free Press)

Balut gets in the governor's race

Promising to run a feisty grassroots campaign against Gov. Jon Corzine, Perth Amboy Councilman Ken Balut released a crossing-the-Rubicon email this morning requesting support in gathering signatures and small dollar donations for his Democratic Primary showdown with the vastly better-known and better-financed incumbent. (

Republicans to replace Leonard Lance with Marcia Karrow or Michael Doherty this week

New Jersey Assembly members Marcia Karrow and Michael Doherty both want the state senate seat recently vacated by Leonard Lance. Only one of them can have it. (Express-Times staff)

Ex-Mayor Mims Hackett faces sentencing for official misconduct

Former Orange Mayor Mims Hackett is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Newark this morning to be sentenced for submitting fraudulent receipts for meals and other travel expenses. (The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk)

If Rothman ever moves up, he would do so with Kasparian's support, says new chair

HACKENSACK – New Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) Chairman Michael Kasparian said he would support U.S. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) should Rothman at some time in the future see an opportunity to pursue a run for a vacant U.S. Senate seat. (

N.J. company faces lawsuit, criminal charges in death of teen

The mother of a Utah teenager who died after a month in a wilderness boot camp is suing the West Caldwell-based Community Education Centers, Inc., (CEC) alleging that the staff at their facility in Colorado ignored signs of what turned out to be a staph infection. The company is also facing a criminal trial in March. (

Buttressed by Jersey power structure, ‘unpretentious' Healy runs on his record

JERSEY CITY – Professing to be an agent of "change you can see," Mayor Jerry Healy launched his bid for a second term tonight in the politically muscle bound company of Gov. Jon Corzine, Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), State Party Chairman Joe Cryan, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and no fewer than three congressmen. (

Kasparian assumes leadership of BCDO, and pledges independent organizational audit

HACKENSACK – Paramus-based developer Michael Kasparian became the new chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) tonight with well over 500 county committee votes cast in his favor at a special convention held in the Hackensack Middle School. (

Stumbing block to confirmaton of N.J.'s Lisa Jackson as EPA chief resolved

WASHINGTON-A stumbling block to quick Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency has been resolved. (AP)

Rockaway picks GOP to fill council seat

ROCKAWAY-A Republican will take the vacant seat won in November by Democrat Scott Hiler, who resigned Dec. 31, 2008, before he took the oath of office. (Matt Manochio, Daily Record)

Mercer County projects should boost job market

TRENTON-The nation's economic crisis has had ripple effects across the region, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said during his sixth annual State of the County address yesterday. (CARMEN CUSIDO, TIMES OF TRENTON)

Hamilton seeks $36.9M for jobs

HAMILTON-As federal officials discuss authorizing a $550 billion investment to create jobs and invigorate the slumping economy, the township is seeking its share of the pot. (RYAN TRACY, TIMES OF TRENTON)

Hudson to Prez: Change needed for jobs, homes

The day after President Obama's historic swearing-in, Hudson County residents wished him good luck and had a common request: Fix the economy. (TOM SHORTELL, JERSEY JOURNAL)

Marlboro laying off nine employees

MARLBORO – The township has notified nine municipal employees of plans to lay them off, according to Mayor Jonathan Hornik. (Alesha Williams Boyd, Asbury Park Press)

Freeholders speak up for Riverfront prison closure

BELLMAWR – Camden County freeholders threw their support Thursday behind the state's plan to close Riverfront State Prison, offering to help redevelop and revitalize North Camden. (ADAM SMELTZ , Courier-Post Staff ) Morning News Digest: Friday, January 23, 2009