Morning News Digest: September 29, 2009

Control of freeholder board at stake in Salem

Last year, Ben Laury, a councilman in the tiny Borough of Elmer, came within seven votes of becoming a Salem County Freeholder. This year he’s trying again, with one important difference: there is no presidential race that will drive Democrats to the polls in the same numbers as last year. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Corzine has lame excuse for ducking gay-marriage issue

The governor had a friendly audience of college kids during his appearance at Rider University last week. But there was one guy who put him a bit off-balance. (Mulshine, Star-Ledger)

District 36 Dems poised to run TV ads with Codey as GOP works voter discontent

Thirty-six District Republican Assembly candidates Don Diorio of Carlstadt and Carmen Pio Costa of Nutley figure they can target their rivals on plenty of issues, from property taxes to the EnCap debacle, to the incumbent Assemblymen Gary Schaer's (D-Passaic) and Fred Scalera's (D-Nutley) record of regularly voting with Gov. Jon Corzine. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Christie accepts WBGO debate

Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie has accepted an invitation to debate Gov. Corzine and independent candidate Christopher Daggett on public radio. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Trail Mix: Daggett does property taxes

While Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican challenger Chris Christie trade jabs over personal loans, driving records and hedge fund investments, independent candidate for governor Chris Daggett today will unveil his plan on an issue voters truly care about: property taxes. (Star-Ledger)

Likely Secaucus mayor has suit against the town

Independent Michael Gonnelli, who is running unopposed for mayor, said he could find himself in an "awkward position" if his 2005 lawsuit against the town and several officials is not settled soon. (Van Duren, The Record)

Christie works on women’s issues at campaign stops

Facing attacks on his proposals for women's health care, Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie hit back Monday, saying Gov. Jon Corzine's policies have hurt women. In small-group discussions in Bergen and Camden counties, Christie tried to broaden the debate from mammogram coverage, where he has been on the defensive, to education and the economy. (Heininger, Star-Ledger)

Tax series gets rave reviews; reporter joins Gearheart

The Tax Crush series brought to New Jersey by Gannett Newspapers and New Jersey 101.5 FM is getting attention all over. “Governor Corzine promised he would increase the homestead rebate program by 10 percent each year he was in office. The only thing that has increased during his tenure are property tax rates. (Ingle, Gannett)

Long-time editor of Star-Ledger to retire

The longtime newsroom head of New Jersey's largest daily newspaper is retiring. Jim Willse plans to step down as editor of The Star-Ledger of Newark next month after a 15-year run that saw the newspaper win two Pulitzer Prizes and a host of other national journalism awards. (AP) Morning News Digest: September 29, 2009