Morning New Digest: April 5, 2010

Will Christie begin to remake top court?

Conservatives have long blamed the New Jersey Supreme Court for making a mess of some of the state’s most vexing issues, from affordable housing to public school funding. Now those same conservatives are calling for Gov. Christie, a Republican, to start overhauling the court by replacing Justice John E. Wallace Jr. instead of renominating him when his first term ends May 20. (Lu, Inquirer) 

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20100404_Will_Christie_begin_to_remake_top_court_.html

Booker officially launches his re-up campaign with call for full council re-election

 

Driving an up-tempo message of unity, Mayor Cory A. Booker stood at the pulpit of New Hope Baptist Church this morning and launched his campaign for re-election with an appeal for support for his entire city council slate. “The campaign has begun; let’s get out there and bring our city together,” said the mayor, whose knack for public-private partnerships has yielded security cameras monitoring eight square miles, the first AIDs housing in a decade, and a profusion of big name contributions from people like TV behemoth Oprah Winfrey, who forked $2 million over to the city for affordable housing. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/max/38144/booker-officially-launches-his-re-election-campaign

Christie urges NJEA acceptance of salary freeze proposal, which teachers dismiss as gov ‘slush fund’

In the same letter he sent today to Barbara Keshishian, president of the New Jersey School Board Association, and Marie Bilik, executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association, Gov. Chris Christie urged education associations and local school boards to adopt a proposal to provide additional state aid to school districts that have enacted year-long salary freezes. “The additional state aid to those districts that make the right choice and join in the shared sacrifice will ensure that more teachers stay in their jobs, more students will be able to participate in extracurricular activities, and protect educational services. While it is not the easy choice, it is the right choice and it shows we put New Jersey’s children first,” said Christie. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

http://www.politickernj.com/max/38115/christie-writes-teachers-prez-urges-acceptance-salary-freeze-proposal 

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 the rival ticket: Mayor Cory Booker; and argued for ward representation independent of the big money Booker express. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

http://www.politickernj.com/max/38122/animated-south-ward-baraka-pursues-booker-and-james-targets-two-job-issue 

Speziale challenger says old lawsuit not a factor in sheriff’s race

Felix Garcia says his campaign to unseat Jerry Speziale as Passaic County sheriff is no grudge match. But there’s bad blood between the two lawmen that goes back to 2003, when Speziale fired Garcia as undersheriff — and Garcia countered with a civil rights suit resulting in a cash settlement. Garcia, who last week was selected by the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization to run for sheriff, claimed in his lawsuit that he was a victim of both racism and politics within the Sheriff’s Department. He maintained that Speziale, a Democrat, fired him because he was both a Latino and a Republican with close ties to the former sheriff, Edwin Englehardt, a Republican. (Cowen, The Record) 

http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/89665887_Candidates_had_sparred_before.html

State ‘spends’ over $15 billion on would-be taxes 

 New Jersey foregoes more than $15 billion a year in tax revenue through various credits, deductions, exemptions and other special provisions in the state’s tax code, a new state report shows. A 35-page report on these so-called “tax expenditures’ was released quietly last month by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, to comply with a new law passed by the Legislature in January and signed by lame-duck Gov. Jon S. Corzine. (Symons, Gannett) 

http://www.app.com/article/20100404/NEWS0301/4040333/1007/NEWS03/State-spends-over-15-billion-on-would-be-taxes 

Justice’s fate puts heat on Christie 

Conservatives have long blamed the New Jersey Supreme Court for making a mess of some of the state’s most vexing issues, from affordable housing to public school funding. Now those same conservatives are calling for Gov. Christie, a Republican, to start overhauling the court by replacing Justice John E. Wallace Jr. instead of renominating him when his first term ends May 20. (Lu, Inquirer) 

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20100404_Justice_s_fate_puts_heat_on_Christie.html 

Ingle: Not exactly all for one and one for all 

Gov. Christie’s budget cuts show that unionized education system workers are far from united, as younger teachers discover some older colleagues don’t practice that collegial spirit the teachers’ union long promoted when opposing things like merit pay. Some tenured educators say they shouldn’t have to freeze their salaries for a year even if the raises they covet are greater than the rate of inflation, and they see no need to pay 1.5 percent of their salaries for health care benefits just to save the jobs of fellow teachers. (Ingle, Gannett) 

http://www.app.com/article/20100404/OPINION05/4040323/1093/NEWS03/Not-exactly-all-for-one-and-one-for-all 

Stile: Democrats are making the most of Christie’s blue law misstep 

Governor Christie’s blue law repeal blunder is bearing political fruit for Bergen County Democrats. And until he ditches the plan from his budget — or legislators find a way to lop it out — Christie’s proposal provides Democrats an ample springtime bounty of attack fodder. (Stile, The Record) 

http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/political_stile/89860192_Democrats_are_making_the_most_of_Christie_s_blue_law_misstep.html

 Kelly: Christie should talk with educator 

David Verducci has never met Chris Christie. But he wants to, soon. This could be bloody. Verducci, the first-year Glen Rock schools superintendent, has written a letter to Christie in which he tells the governor that educators are “not the enemy” and want to become the governor’s “partner in the endeavor to fix New Jersey.” But Verducci also compares Christie to a “schoolyard bully.” (Kelly, The Record) 

http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/kelly/89665557_Educator_s_plea_to_talk_shouldn_t_be_ignored.html

Morning New Digest: April 5, 2010