Morning News Digest: August 21, 2009

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone moves site of Red Bank town hall meeting to hold larger audience

A town hall meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. will be moved to a larger venue to accommodate the expected crowd, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press. (The Star-Ledger)

Independent Chris Daggett proposes 'luxury tax' on gubernatorial campaign spending

Taking a page from Major League Baseball's playbook, independent gubernatorial candidate Chris Daggett said today that self-funded candidates should pay a "luxury tax" on spending over a certain level in campaigns. (Graber, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. corruption sting leads to first indictments of public officials

A federal grand jury in Newark today handed up the first indictment in last month's sweeping public corruption sting, charging two Jersey City officials with conspiracy to commit extortion. (Ryan, The Star-Ledger)

Gov. Corzine seeks release of records for Chris Christie's tenure as U.S. Attorney

Gov. Jon Corzine's campaign today filed a legal challenge with the U.S. Department of Justice to force the release of federal records concerning Republican Chris Christie's tenure as U.S. Attorney. (Margolin, The Star-Ledger)

Plane crashes while trying to land at Teterboro; 2 injured

Two people were seriously injured when their small plane overshot the runway at Teterboro Airport, hit a tree and came barreling down onto the lawn of a business on Route 46 early this morning. (Davis and Cunningham, The Record)

Ethics issues have Christie on defensive

Since the day he announced his candidacy, New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher J. Christie has been pitching himself as the corruption-busting lawman who will return ethics to state government. (Lu, The Inquirer)

2 Jersey City officials charged in corruption bust

Two Jersey City officials were charged Thursday in the first indictments in connection with last month's corruption sweep that ensnared 44 people. (Henry, AP)

DREAM Park to host veterans picnic

Saturday's "Welcome Home" veterans' picnic will be held at the DREAM Park rain or shine and organizers are urging the public to attend the free event and show their gratitude to those who have served them. (Driscoll, Gloucester County Times)

Board to face judge again

A Clayton man's claim that much of Gloucester County's business is done behind closed doors was revived on Thursday following the release of a three-judge Appellate Court panel ruling. (McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)

Corzine beats Christie in cockroach race

If you have any faith in the prediction powers of cockroaches, Jon Corzine will win November's gubernatorial election. (Press of Atlantic City)

Atlantic City Housing Authority settles on new executive director

Officials have decided to offer the Atlantic City Housing Authority executive director's post to a Morristown man with nearly four decades' experience in the field. (Previti, Press of Atlantic City)

NJ Dems press Christie to reveal ties to old job

State Democrats pressed Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie to explain any ongoing ties to his old job as U.S. attorney as they filed a legal claim Thursday for no-bid contract records and business trips he took as the state's top prosecutor. (AP)

Holmdel to reassess property values

The township is spending $99,200 to reassess the value of all properties in the municipality. (Asbury Park Press)

Pitch for ward system in New Brunswick met with skepticism at mayor's forum

A presentation on the advantages of a ward-based government was met with tough questions Thursday at Lord Stirling School as the mayor held his second forum on the city's form of government. (Kaltwasser, Courier News)

Sourland purchase deal may be sweet for Somerset County

The puzzle pieces keep coming together for an area in the southern part of Somerset County known for its natural beauty, wildlife and passive recreation possibilities. (Bricketto, Courier News)

Camden on right track, Vega says

A day after announcing his resignation, Camden's police director talked of accomplishments made at the department and more work that needs to be done in an open letter written to city residents on Thursday. (Mast, Courier-Post)

Arbitrator rules Manzo owes fundraiser $23k

Former Assemblyman and five-time Jersey City mayoral candidate Lou Manzo, who was arrested last month on corruption allegations, owes a former campaign fundraiser about $23,000, an arbitrator ruled today. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Corzine and Christie meet at swearing-in of Passaic prosecutor

Gov. Jon Corzine's ceremonial swearing-in of Camelia Mercedes Valdes as the new Passaic County prosecutor this evening featured the shared-stage presence of Republican gubernatorial rival Chris Christie, who smudged somewhat the Democrats' hopes of a singular Corzine imprimatur on the first Latina prosecutor in New Jersey. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: August 21, 2009