Morning News Digest: March 19, 2009

Secaucus mayor picks his running mates An incumbent, a political newcomer and a surprise pick were announced as running mates

Secaucus mayor picks his running mates

An incumbent, a political newcomer and a surprise pick were announced as running mates by Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell during last week's Mayor's Ball at La Reggia Restaurant. (Kim, Jersey Journal)

Middlesex County Dems nominate Assembly, freeholder candidates

Middlesex County Democrats tonight quickly nominated 10 Assembly and three freeholder candidates, all but one of them incumbents. Gov. Jon Corzine appeared at the Pines Manor in Edison, where the county Democratic committee also endorsed him for re-election. (Haydon, Star-Ledger)

Mayor Healy's opponents say Jersey City property shouldn't be used for campaigning

It was big and green and unmistakably owned by Jersey City. Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy's re-election campaign is getting slammed by opponents for using a Jersey City Incinerator Authority platform truck — adorned with a "Team Healy" banner — during Sunday's St. Patrick's Day Parade. (Hack, Jersey Journal)

Bayonne councilman swaps county jobs

Bayonne First Ward Councilman Ted Connolly is working for Hudson County again — but in a new position. On sick leave from his old job as coordinator of the 911 emergency call center in the Sheriff's Office since August, Connolly started working on Monday as a communications operator at $40,000 a year — a big drop from his previous $74,300 supervisor's pay. (Leir, Jersey Journal)

Plainfield officials say Muhlenberg hospital owners reneged on agreement with city

Plainfield officials today called on the state to withhold a massive bond commitment to the owners of the now shuttered Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center, charging the company walked away from a deal with the city to provide additional services to residents. (Friedman, Star-Ledger)

N.J. extends benefits for survivors of public employees who die in military

New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine has signed a measure extending payment of accidental death benefits to survivors of public employees who die while serving on active duty in the military. (AP)

Union City Mayor/state Sen. Brian Stack named to state Senate Judiciary Committee

State Sen. Brian P. Stack has been appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, effective immediately, according to an announcement by state Senate President Richard J. Codey. (Hack, Jersey Journal)

$12M sale of tract near in WT

WASHINGTON TWP. Township and county officials are moving toward their goal of acquiring an embattled 126-acre farm here and preserving it using open space funds. (Beym, Gloucester County Times)

Corzine eyes change on property-tax write-off

Gov. Corzine is reconsidering plans to suspend New Jersey's property-tax deduction, saying he might let residents who earn less than $150,000 keep the write-off. (Tamari, Inquirer)

Corzine e-mail case is closed

The New Jersey Supreme Court yesterday rejected a Republican effort to force Gov. Corzine to release e-mail exchanges with his former girlfriend, who was president of the largest state workers' union. (Lu, Inquirer)

Recession may slow N.J.'s open space purchases

Former Gov. Christie Whitman issued $1 billion in bonds to buy land and preserve it as open space. Former Gov. Jim McGreevey beefed up statewide efforts to curb suburban sprawl. Gov. Corzine backed a bond issue that voters approved in 2007. (Burton, Inquirer)

N.J. Supreme Court won't hear Corzine e-mail case

TRENTON — The New Jersey Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to force Gov. Jon S. Corzine to release e-mail exchanges with his ex-girlfriend, who leads a public employee union, ending a potential distraction to his fall re-election bid. Republican Party leader Tom Wilson had sought a court order forcing Corzine, a Democrat, and his staff to make public e-mails they exchanged with Carla Katz during labor talks in 2006-07. (AP)

Few towns opting for pension deferrals

TRENTON Many municipalities, fearful of even heavier debts down the line, are passing up on deferring half of this year’s state pension obligations, a step that was approved in a bill passed this week with an eye to aiding struggling municipalities in tough budget years. “We’re not doing that in Ventnor. Definitely not,” City Commissioner John Piatt said. “That’s just kicking the can down the road … so we’re not considering it.” (Harper, Press of Atlantic City)

N.J. sues Verizon over FiOS adclaims

New Jersey sued Verizon Wednesday, claiming it used "deceptive and misleading" marketing practices for its FiOS television, telephone and Internet services. The company, though, said most of the issues raised in the litigation stem from the startup of the business two years ago and have since been addressed, for the most part. (Shipkowski, AP)

Frustrated it's not the fight he envisioned, Lonegan insists it's a fight he can win

WEST ORANGE – Steve Lonegan left the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick dinner Tuesday night at the Mayfair in West Orange knowing the narrative gathering out there among the insiders – that he’s finished against Chris Christie, who keeps racking organizational support in the lead up to the June Republican Primary. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Corzine: 'I am glad this is all over'

Governor Corzine today expressed relief that the question of whether he will be forced to reveal his email correspondence with ex-girlfriend/former union leader Carla Katz has been resolved by the State Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson’s case. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

State advocate: Reduce number of juveniles in centers

A report released today by the state's acting Child Advocate urges New Jersey to continue reducing the number of juveniles locked up in detention centers, and to increase investment in programs that provide an alternative to incarceration. (Cowen, Record)

Paterson mayor decides against furloughs

PATERSON — The mayor has scrapped initial plans to furlough city hall workers following a meeting with union leaders. Following their suggestions, Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres said he would instead institute five days of deferred pay. (Mandell, Herald News)

1 in 5 agencies considering layoffs, survey says

One in five New Jersey law enforcement agencies are considering layoffs due to economic conditions, according to a survey released today by the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association. Local governments have already told 325 officers they will be laid off in the coming months, and association president Anthony Wieners said 297 positions have been eliminated in the last three years. (Megerian, Record)

Morning News Digest: March 19, 2009