Morning News Digest: July 21, 2009

Donovan wasn't a match

Bergen County Clerk Kathleen Donovan mustered her game face Monday in her Hackensack office cluttered with files and a gallery of photos chronicling her long career in the New Jersey Republican Party. But the genial, wide-eyed grin that established Donovan as a popular, moderate brand in Bergen politics masked genuine disappointment. In the click of an early-morning cellphone call, Donovan was scratched off Republican Chris Christie's short list of lieutenant governor candidates. It was to be another day of processing passports, managing land records, ironing out voter registration squabbles. She would not be making history. (Stile, The Record)

Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno: Property-tax promise goes by the boards

For New Jersey politicians, there's nothing like the boardwalk in summer. (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)

Corzine gets C- grade from voters, poll finds

A poll shows New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine gets poor grades among voters. (AP)

Union County legislators push for tighter regulations on freight trains carrying toxic chemicals

Freight trains carrying loosely guarded toxic chemicals pass through densely populated New Jersey cities every day, and Union County Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-22nd Dist.) and state Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari (D-22nd Dist.) said today they are pushing for legislation to protect the public from a terror attack. (Caroom, The Star-Ledger)

Assemblyman Joseph Vas has criminal case tranferred to Monmouth County court

State criminal cases against Assemblyman and former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas and two co-defendants have been transferred to Monmouth because one of the defendants is related to a judge in New Brunswick. (Haydon, The Star-Ledger)

Chris Christie introduces Monmouth Sheriff Kim Guadagno as GOP lieutenant gov. candidate

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie today chose Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno to join his ticket as candidate for lieutenant governor in the first New Jersey campaign to feature that office. (Margolin and Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

BREAKING NEWS: Jersey City police officer wounded in shootout dies

A Jersey City police officer critically wounded in a shootout with two robbery suspects last week died this morning. (The Record)

Ex-councilman faces weapons, restraint charges

A controversial former councilman faces weapons and restraint charges after holding three teenagers at gunpoint at his house early Monday, police said. (Bautista, The Record)

Wayne Bryant corruption sentencing this week

If prosecutors have their way, former Sen. Wayne Bryant would serve eight to 10 years in federal prison for corruption charges the once-powerful official was convicted on last year. (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

Complaint against Andrews dismissed

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint against Rep. Rob Andrews brought by a watchdog organization that accused the congressman of abusing campaign funds to buy nearly $1,000 worth of new clothes. (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

Camden chief: Extend state control until 2030

The Gov. Corzine-appointed chief operating officer of Camden has recommended that the city remain under state control until about 2030, saying the local elected politicians don't have the "guts" to make unpopular decisions. (Katz, The Inquirer)

Christie picks Monmouth sheriff as running mate

Republican gubernatorial nominee Christopher J. Christie played it safe yesterday with his choice of Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno as a running mate. (Burton, Inquirer)

U.S. attorney probes 3 failed N.J. golf complexes

A federal grand jury is investigating three failed billion-dollar golf complexes – including two in Camden County – that were to be built atop contaminated sites using public financing, according to a subpoena received by the governor's office last week. (Hefler, Inquirer)

Corzine's disapproval rating at 51 percent

As Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine seeks re-election, most registered voters think the incumbent has no major accomplishments to point to from his first term in office, according to a new Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll. (Clurfeld, Asbury Park Press)

UAW, Harrah's wage multimedia war

Clashing billboards by the United Auto Workers union and Harrah's Entertainment line major thoroughfares leading into the resort. The two sides have also turned to television, radio and newspaper advertisements to slam one another over unsuccessful contract negotiations for dealers at two Harrah's-owned casinos. (Ortiz, Press of Atlantic City)

Wildwood Crest prepares for trial in case of bayberry removal

The case against a motel owner and landscaper charged in February with improperly cutting down hundreds of bayberry plants along the borough's dunes at Cardinal Road is heading to trial. (Gilfillian, Press of Atlantic City)

South Amboy budget, trash collection ordinance still on hold

A proposed garbage ordinance hailed by some city officials last month as "thinking out of the box" may soon be canceled, officials said. (Rommel, Courier News)

Call for volunteers goes unanswered in Glassboro

It has become harder than ever for fire officials around the state to attract and retain volunteers, and Gloucester County's busiest single-station fire department is among those that are short-handed and calling loudly for help. (Rosen, Courier-Post)

Christie fills out the GOP ticket

Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie has selected Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno as his party's candidate for lieutenant governor. (Jordan and Symons, Courier-Post)

Newly minted Dem could vote for Christie – because of Guadagno

Before he changed parties and became a Democrat serving on the Marlboro Township Council with popular Mayor Jon Hornik, Councilman Jeffrey Cantor was a hard-charging GOP candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder running on a ticket with sheriff's candidate, Kim Guadagno. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

For the record: DiVincenzo doesn't want LG

Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo officially scratched himself off a shortening – and then lengthening – and now indeterminate lieutenant governor gossip sheet tonight, saying he wouldn't take the job if Gov. Jon Corzine offered. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Morning News Digest: July 21, 2009