Morning New Digest: April 1, 2010

N.J. political website’s April Fool’s Day hoax targets newspaper, Democrats The phone at Orin Kramer’s Manhattan office began ringing early

N.J. political website’s April Fool’s Day hoax targets newspaper, Democrats

The phone at Orin Kramer’s Manhattan office began ringing early yesterday about the same time his e-mail mailbox began filling up with similar-sounding queries from friends, reporters and state officials. (Heyboer, Star-Ledger)

Stile: Christie resisting Tea Party pressure to join lawsuit against health care law

Governor Christie strode into a patriotic ceremony at the Lawrenceville armory on Wednesday, a confident “commander in chief” clasping a $141,000 check for struggling families of soldiers.  The New Jersey Air and National Guard members, dressed in battle fatigues and boots, greeted him with a standing ovation.

Animated in the South Ward: Baraka pursues Booker and James targets two-jobs issue

Much rides on the South Ward shoulders of Councilman Oscar James II, who tonight as a member of the Booker Team but also as a man in his own fight, in his own ward, faced the son of one of the sole surviving frontline members of the beatnik generation, whose hard-edged poetry echoes the older cadences, but who is also finally alone on stage. Referring to James as his brother, a spirited Ras Baraka, son of Amiri Baraka and the principal of Central High School, went directly after the top of James’s ticket: Mayor Cory Booker and argued for ward representation unshackled from the Booker express. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

McCann’s war: former JC mayor goes toe-to-toe with teachers’ union in re-election year

The harder the teachers’ union works against his re-election, the more Gerald McCann’s re-election to the Jersey City School Board looks like a walk, argues the city’s former mayor, who in his battle with the teachers locally has ironically become Gov. Chris Christie’s highest profile school board totem ally. In a ground level replication of Christie’s Statehouse calls for teacher salary givebacks, the big city Democrat who once said Michael Chertoff would be better suited behind the wheel of a garbage truck than at the helm of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, helped derail a budget containing teacher raises of 4.35 and 4.7 percent. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

FDU poll on Revel bailout propels Doherty

State Sen. Mike Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) highlighted the numbers behind the numbers in today’s Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) poll concerning the state’s $350 million bailout of a stalled Atlantic City casino project. “The more people know about it, the more people are against it,” said Doherty, just one of two state senators who voted against the bailout earlier this month. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Martinez will be Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney 

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman has named Michael Martinez, former federal prosecutor, as Executive Assistant United States Attorney, the offices number three post. Martinez worked for the U.S. Attorney from 2000 to 2009, serving in the Appeals Division, Government Fraud Unit, and Securities and Health Care Fraud Unit before becoming Acting Chief of the Terrorism Unit. He tried the government’s case against former Cendant Corporation chairman Walter Forbes.

”Mike is one of our Office’s most distinguished alumni. He is a great trial lawyer, an outstanding oral advocate, and hugely respected and admired by his colleagues for his great judgment. It is terrific to have him back,” Fishman said.
 (Editor, PolitickerNJ)

N.J. teachers union skeptical of Christie overtures on wage freeze 

Governor Christie has publicly called the state’s largest teachers union the “bully of State Street” run by “crass union bosses.” But a bit less vocally, he’s been trying out a new tactic. Politeness. Twice in the past eight days, Christie has written to Barbara Keshishian, president of the New Jersey Education Association, to encourage her to endorse his proposal that teachers accept one-year wage freezes. (Friedman/Fleisher, The Record) 

NJ Democrats criticize Obama’s drilling policy 

New Jersey’s Democratic Senators and a Shore-area Congressman have spoken out against President Obama’s plan to open parts of the American coastline to oil and natural gas drilling. Each raised concerns that an oil spill could endanger Jersey shores and the state’s coastal economies. Obama’s plan could allow drilling on the coastline just south of New Jersey, all the way to Florida. (Tamari, Inquirer) 

Gov. Christie’s approval slips at polls 

Gov. Christie’s approval numbers have slipped since giving his budget speech earlier this month, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll released this week. Thirty-eight percent of voters now say they have a favorable view of the governor, down from 47 percent earlier this month. But 43 percent of those polled still approve of the job the governor is doing (down from 52 percent earlier this month). (Lu, Inquirer) 

Poll: Jerseyans strongly oppose casino tax break 

New Jerseyans strongly oppose granting a state tax break to an Atlantic City casino under construction, according to a new poll. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll found that 60 percent of respondents oppose granting a tax incentive worth up to $350 million to the Revel casino project. (Parry, AP) 

Camden mayor to release transition team’s reports 

Three months into her term as Camden’s mayor, Dana L. Redd formally accepted her transition team’s reports yesterday at a City Hall event filled with city officials and community leaders. But Redd did not release the document with the specific proposals or detail what the recommendations were. The transition team’s reports will be posted on the city’s Web site today, she said. (Katz, Inquirer) 

NJ has low response to census 

U.S. Census Bureau officials are concerned because fewer New Jerseyans are returning their census forms compared to the rest of the nation. Census Bureau director Robert Groves says the response rate is low in the state’s urban areas. Only 27 percent of Newark residents have mailed in their forms and 33 percent of Elizabeth residents have complied. (AP) 

Ingle: Christie, veto this one (Part III)

 New poll shows 60 percent of respondents oppose granting a tax incentive up to $350 million to the Revel casino project in Atlantic City, which is backed by Morgan Stanley itself the object of a federal government bailout. The Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll showed only 27 percent support the tax giveaway. If the potential were that good, private concerns wouldn’t be asking for a public handout. (Ingle, Gannett) Morning New Digest: April 1, 2010