Morning News Digest: February 5, 2009

SECAUCUS DEMS TO NAME POTENTIAL SUCCESSORS

Secaucus Democrats will meet tonight to nominate potential successors to Councilman Richard Kane, who has resigned his post to take a job that conflicts with his political duties. Mayor Dennis Elwell, who chairs the town’s 28-member Democratic committee but will not vote on the nominees, said the 7 p.m. vote will take place at La Reggia Restaurant. The council will select one of the three nominees at Tuesday’s regular meeting. Kane resigned on Monday after taking a job with a Connecticut-based corporation that works with federal, state and local pension systems, Elwell said. Kane’s work for the company could create a conflict with his duties for the town, Elwell said. (Van Dusen)

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

GUN-CONTROL GROUP RANKS JERSEY SECOND IN NATION

New Jersey is second to one when it comes to sensible gun laws, the Brady Campaign announced Wednesday. That state is behind only California when it comes to gun control, according to a rating system used annually by the group. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was started by the former White House press secretary Jim Brady, who was shot during the 1981 assassination attempt on then-President Ronald Reagan. “New Jersey continues to make progress when it comes to common-sense gun laws,” said Paul Helmke, Brady campaign president. “We will continue to push to make it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons.” But gun owner advocates have a different view. The laws, they say, make it harder for legitimate owners. “Pistol permits are taking some people up to six months,” said Robert Viden, of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. “I think (the state gun laws) need a lot of improvement. There’s a backlog of four to six months. You would think that could be improved with the modern system of electronics they have.” (Cohen, Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/186/story/393159.html

MORRIS COUNTY PROSECUTOR ASKS FOR INCREASED BAIL ON POSSIBLE ILLEGAL ALIENS AWAITING TRIAL

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office wants the bail increased on another suspected illegal alien held in jail on criminal charges and who has a federal immigration detainer placed on him. It’s the second such motion in the past three weeks by the prosecutor’s office seeking a significant bail increase on an illegal alien, to keep the defendant held in the Morris County jail instead of possibly posting bail and being turned over to the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and deported. That’s what happened in December when an illegal alien in an unrelated case posted bail and was picked up by ICE, and then consented to deportation before his local criminal case was resolved. (Lockwood, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/morris_county_prosecutor_asks.html

MAJORITY IN N.J. BACK OBAMA’S STIMULUS PLAN, POLL FINDS

A poll finds a majority of New Jerseyans support President Obama’s stimulus plan, but are unsure if it will help either the national economy or their own pocketbooks. The Quinnipiac University poll released today found 53 percent of respondents backing Obama’s plan, while 36 percent oppose it. But while 51 percent are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” the plan will help solve the nation’s economic problems, 47 percent are “not too confident” or “not confident at all.” (AP)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/majority_in_nj_back_obamas_eco.html

N.J. TOP COURT WILL RULE ON UNION RAT TACTICS

The state Supreme Court today will rule on the future of a 10-foot, pink-eyed inflatable rodent that has joined union picket lines across New Jersey and is now in the middle of a free speech debate. The state’s top court is set to issue a decision on whether a Mercer County town can prohibit a rat used by a labor union to bring attention to its cause. (Martello, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/state_supreme_court_to_rule_on.html

EX-SPARTA MAYOR MAY LEAD COUNTY GOP

A former Sparta mayor may take the reins as chair of the Sussex County Republican Committee when the group selects a new chair Saturday. Ailish Hambel, a Sparta council woman for 10 years and mayor for two terms, is the lead candidate to replace Rich Zeoli, who in December announced he would step down as chair to vie for the county freeholder seat held by Glen Vetrano. Zeoli’s resignation went into effect Sunday. Following the meeting is the committee’s annual Lincoln Day Luncheon at the Lafayette House, which will be attended by all four GOP candidates for New Jersey governor — Assemblyman Rick Merkt; the former Mayor of Bogota, Steven Lonegan; Mayor of Franklin Township in Somerset County, Brian Levine, and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who on Wednesday officially announced his plans to run. So far, Hambel is the only member who has announced an intention to fill Zeoli’s spot. (Tatu, NJ Herald)

http://www.njherald.com/story/news/05GOPPREVIEW-web

KARROW TO FILL LANCE’S SENATE SEAT

TRENTON —Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow, R-Raritan Township, will be sworn Monday, Feb. 9 to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Leonard Lance, who is serving his first term in Congress. Advertisement “I am humbled by and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the next senator from the 23rd Legislative District,” said Karrow, a Hunterdon County native. “The residents of this district deserve nothing but the most attentive, dedicated and accessible of legislators and that is exactly what I plan to be. Congressman Lance set the bar high while serving the residents of the 23rd District, and I intend to keep it there.” The 23rd Legislative District includes 46 municipalities in Hunterdon and Warren counties. Karrow will serve on the influential Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Karrow’s 23rd District assembly seat will be filled on Feb. 21 during a meeting of the Hunterdon and Warren County Republican committees at Clinton Township Middle School. The candidates for the seat are Hunterdon County Freeholders Matt Holt and Erik Peterson, and Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio.(O’Brien, Courier News)

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20090204/NEWS/902040359/-1/newsfront&referrer=NEWSFRONTCAROUSEL

CHRISTIE BEGINS RACE FOR N.J. GOVERNOR

Former U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie began his Republican primary campaign for New Jersey governor yesterday, promising to “make the tough decisions without sticking my finger in the air to see which way the political wind is blowing.” Christie, in an appearance in Haddon Heights, then did something rarely seen in a competitive Republican primary: He talked about cities as if he were a Democrat. “In order to grow our economy and improve our state, I will propose a plan to renew our cities,” he said, promising to promote “public safety, economic growth, improved public education, and housing that working men and women can afford.” “Demanding change and accountability in urban education is not only necessary for us to have an educated workforce for New Jersey’s future, it is the morally right thing to do for every urban family in New Jersey.” (Burton, Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20090205_Christie_begins_race_for_N_J__governor.html

N.J. STUDENTS’ SCORES HIGHER, BUT BAR IS TOO

TRENTON – New Jersey students continued to improve on state tests taken in 2008, but they also faced revised state standards that keep raising the bar for what they are expected to know. The result is a target that is constantly shifting – a score that was considered passing in 2007 was no longer good enough in 2008. “Comparatively, students did better,” Education Commissioner Lucille Davy
said Wednesday. “But it was harder to pass some of the tests.” The New Jersey Department of Education released the annual school report cards Wednesday, offering both a profile of the more than 2,300 schools in the state and the results of state tests taken by students in grades three through eight and high school last year. (Press of Atlantic City)

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/185/story/393578.html

WEINBERG TAKES A WAIT AND SEE APPROACH ON ARIYAN

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) said that she’s taking a wait and see approach on whether newly elected Bergen County Democratic Chairman Michael Kasparian’s selection of Joe Ariyan as the party’s general counsel – his first and so far only appointment – sets a unifying tone for the party. “I am waiting to see what’s going to happen with all the other appointments. I’m waiting to see when he’s going to convene the meetings of elected officials and the executive board. And I’m waiting to see what kind of bylaws changes Mr. Ariyan is interested in leading us toward. Then I’ll make judgment,” she said. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/matt-friedman/27124/weinberg-takes-wait-and-see-approach-ariyan

NEW LONEGAN RADIO AD BURNISHES CONSERVATIVE CRED

Gulping at the last bit of oxygen left in the political news cycle after former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie formally entered the governor’s race and remained mostly coy about his positions on economic and social issues, Steve Lonegan’s campaign today released a new radio ad positioning their candidate as the true conservative champion in the contest. “Only Lonegan” exalts the former Bogota mayor’s record as a tax cutter who kept taxes below the rate of inflation, and led back-to-back charges against former Gov. Jim McGreevey’s gas tax hike and Gov. Jon Corzine’s toll monetization plan. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/max/27142/new-lonegan-radio-ad-burnishes-his-conservative-cred

PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS PALLONE’S CHIP LAW

Since Congressman Frank Pallone is the Sponsor (or Author) of the Children’s Health Insurance Program legislation that Barack Obama is signing into law today, I think he deserves some frontpage space: (Blue Jersey)

http://www.bluejersey.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=10393

FULOP ANNOUNCES HE’LL RUN TO KEEP COUNCIL SEAT AS INDEPENDENT

After flirting with running on a slate in this spring’s municipal elections, Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop announced today that he will maintain his independent status in his reelection campaign. He said he had considered joining forces with mayoral candidates Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, state Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith and former state Assemblyman Louis Manzo because it would save a lot of money, but he said he didn’t want to engage in “mud slinging.” (Clark, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2009/02/fulop_announces_hell_run_to_ke.html

VETERANS GROUPS TO RECEIVE UNCLAIMED VETS’ REMAINS UNDER NEW STATE LAW

Veterans organizations throughout New Jersey would be allowed to receive the unclaimed cremated remains of their fellow servicemen under legislation signed today during an emotional ceremony military members said was long overdue. Gov. Jon Corzine signed the bills (A2613 and S1579) at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown where more than two dozen veterans gathered to show their support. (Spoto, Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/veterans_unclaimed_remains_to.html

JERSEY CITY RESIDENTS LEARN HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN CITY GOVERNMENT

About 30 people came to Frank R. Conwell Middle School tonight to learn how to get more involved in local government. The hour-long presentation was sponsored by Civic JC and conducted by the Citizens’ Campaign, a New Jersey non-profit with the goal of “developing a new generation of citizen leaders” and “cultivating a culture of service.” (Clark, Jersey Journal)

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2009/02/jersey_city_residents_learn_ho.html

 

Morning News Digest: February 5, 2009