Morning News Digest: Monday, January 5, 2009

Senators consider successor to Christie

Three prominent criminal defense lawyers and a former high-level state prosecutor are among those interviewing with New Jersey’s two U.S. senators to succeed Christopher Christie as the state’s U.S. attorney. More political campaigning to come in new year. (Joe Ryan, Josh Margoiln, Star-Ledger)

Malik plans slate to run for City Council

Abdul Malik, founder and executive director of the Jersey City-based Association of Pakistani-Americans for Community Organization, says he’s fed up with the career politicians running Jersey City. (Tom Shortell, Jersey Journal)

Campaign funds spent on parties, gifts – and a bit of voter outreach

Rep. Bill Pascrell hired Irish dancers and a cigar roller and paid for $23,000 worth of parties for fellow Democrats at conventions in Atlantic City and Denver, all part of the $1.2 million he spent to get reelected. (Herb Jackson,

Ferguson reflects on career in politics as he leaves Congress behind

CENTRAL JERSEY -More than a year after declaring he would not seek re-election, U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-New Providence, said he has no regrets about his decision. (Martin C. Bricketto,

N.J. fight on “straw” gun buys heats up

New Jersey could soon become the fourth state to limit handgun purchases to one a month, a move aimed at fighting “straw” gun buyers who purchase weapons legally and pass them to criminals. (Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Trenton Bureau)

NJ may consider driving privileges for immigrants

TRENTON, N.J. – A panel advising Governor Jon Corzine on immigrant issues is considering recommending the state allow undocumented immigrants “driver privilege cards” and in-state college tuition rates. (Associated Press)

Next Federal Bailout May Go to States; Democratic Governors Seek $1 Trillion

Governors from Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Ohio are seeking funds to deal with unprecedented state budget shortfalls in 41 states and Washington, D.C. (Fox News)

There may be some state aid available for Kessler, Corzine says

MAYS LANDING – Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Friday there’s still some slim hope of providing state financial help to the financially struggling William B. Kessler Memorial Hospital in Hammonton. (Thomas Barlas, Press of Atlantic City)

Colts Neck panel names ex-mayor rec director

COLTS NECK – The Township Committee hired outgoing Mayor Thomas E. Hennessy Jr. as full-time recreation director at its organization meeting Sunday. (Sametta M. Thompson, Asbury Park Press)

Morning News Digest: Monday, January 5, 2009