Morning News Digest: October 5, 2009

Doblin: Plan 9 from Outer Space (and Jersey)

Ed Wood's fim 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' is supposed to be the worst film ever made. I’ve never seen it. But to paraphrase Governor Corzine: At least Ed Wood had a plan. Election Day is four weeks away. Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie is seeing his once double-digit lead over Corzine disappearing. The contest is a virtual tie. Not good for a challenger when faced with an incumbent who has very deep pockets for television commercials. Christie could blame Corzine’s negative ads. They are having an effect. Christie could blame independent candidate Chris Daggett for having a winning personality. During the first candidates’ debate on Thursday, Daggett, while a slow starter, was a hoot. But if Christie loses on Nov. 3, it will not be Corzine or Daggett who did him in. It will be a work of his own doing. He has no economic plan. (Doblin, The Record)

Corzine’s Wall Street résumé loses value for voters

When Gov. Jon S. Corzine crossed from the gilded halls of Goldman Sachs to the gritty trenches of New Jersey politics, his Wall Street pedigree was an incalculable advantage that served as the very basis for his candidacy. (Kocieniewski, New York Times)

Christie website intrigue; Requesting Codey’s financial records; Cory Booker hits the suburbs

Underlying the federal corruption trial of former Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero this week was a bit of cyber intrigue. (The Auditor, Star Ledger)

Can Christie hold lead? Devil may be in lack of budget details

For most of this year, Christopher J. Christie has protected a commanding lead in the race for New Jersey governor by adhering to a simple strategy: trumpeting his own record as a corruption-fighting prosecutor, battering Gov. Jon S. Corzine for raising taxes, and promising to slash state spending — without saying precisely how. (Kocieniewski, New York Times)

Chris Christie: an empty suit taken to the cleaners

Chris Christie began this campaign telling voters he’s no good at math. He’s ending it by showing them he’s not too hot at English either. Christie’s dismal performance in that debate Thursday night came at the end of what was easily the worst week in his campaign. (Mulshine, The Star Ledger)

Healthcare debate comes to gov’s race

Health care reform has become a major topic in New Jersey's gubernatorial race. Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine and his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, have been sparring over whether to force insurance companies to cover screening tests like mammograms or waive the mandates to cut costs. (Delli Santi, AP)

Daggett’s plan rearranges taxes

One of the top three candidates for governor came out with details for helping the state's long-beleaguered property taxpayers. Unfortunately, it is a plan to rearrange taxes, not cut spending. Independent Chris Daggett proposes to expand the state's 7 percent sales tax to personal, professional and household services — ranging from lawyers to haircuts, for instance — and use that new sales tax money to cut property taxes. (Ingle, Gannett)

Daggett: time’s right for independent

Chris Daggett is serious enough about his independent campaign for governor to travel to Maine to get tips from Angus King, that state's former two-term independent governor. And patient enough to wait more than four years. (Symons, Gannett)–Time-s-right-for-independent

As property taxes become a burden, can backlash be far off?

The list from census data isn’t all that surprising, but there it is. (Applebome, New York Times)

If Sweeney wins position, he’ll close in on goal

Should Stephen Sweeney succeed in his coup to become Senate president in 2010, he would be that much closer to what many believe is his ultimate goal. (McCarthy, Newhouse)

For Sweeney, tough way up

Stephen Sweeney, a state senator with a low profile but broad shoulders, had picked one of the toughest political fights in Trenton. (Tamari/Hefler, Inquirer)

Merlino witness refuses to testify

A key government witness abruptly decided to stop testifying against a construction company owned by relatives of two Philadelphia mobsters because he received a threatening telephone call, a prosecutor said yesterday. (Parry, AP)

WSJ aims at Christie

The Wall Street Journal, that bastion of conservative think, might have meant to fire a warning shot across Chris Christie’s bow. If so, it aimed a little low.(Ingle, Gannett)

Mighty HCDO has fallen; no dinner, just breakfast

Pssst! Hey, you! Yeah, you, the rank and file of the Hudson County Democratic Organization. What happened to your club? You used to be big. Now you're a shadow. Is the HCDO out there holding big events for their gubernatorial candidate, incumbent Jon Corzine? Where are the big rallies like those once held in Journal Square? (Torres, Jersey Journal)

Ferriero did not secure funds for Bergenfield, official testifies in corruption trial

A former Bergenfield administrator testified Friday that former county Democratic chairman Joseph Ferriero did not play a large part in the borough's bid to secure funding for preservation of a historical site, according to a report in The Record. (The Star Ledger)

Capital Games

Democrats may be taking a beating on cable news and even Jon Stewart's Daily Show, but Sen. Bob Menendez is optimistic it will all turn around by the time voters go to the polls in the next congressional election in November 2010. (Jackson, The Record)

Pay-to-play ordinance limits money to Green Book candidates

A local ordinance to limit campaign contributions from professionals who do business here to prospective township candidates is in effect — just in time for a new election season. (Levoy, Gannett)

For the latest stories from PolitickerNJ, click here: Morning News Digest: October 5, 2009