Morning News Digest: April 16, 2010

ELEC: Booker Team has nearly $2 million cash on-hand; Minor alone reports $56k in hand

The Booker Team in Newark this reported $7,029,051 in total receipts with $1.9 million cash on hand, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). Mayor Cory Booker is running with Council President Mildred Crump, At-Large Councilman Luis Quintana, At-Large Councilman Donald Payne, Jr., At-Large Councilman Carlos Gonzalez, Central Ward Councilman Charles Bell, East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador, West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice, North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, and South Ward Councilman Oscar James, Jr. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Segura leads Trenton mayoral field with dollars raised

Trenton mayoral canididate Manuel “Manny” Segura leads the field of reporting candidates in money raised between Jan. 1 and March 31, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). Segura, an at-large candidate, raised $56,381 from various statewide sources toward his campaign. The candidate reports $22,604 cash on-hand. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Practically unopposed in North Ward, Ramos the cash leader among incumbent Newark councilmembers

 Among those Newark City Council people filing their own campaign reports with the state Election Law Enforsement Commission this week, North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos proved the powerhouse in fundraising ability. A member of the North Ward Democratic Organization and an acolyte of Steve Adubato’s, Ramos reported raising $456,211, with $216,583 cash on-hand. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

NJ public worker unions plan rally in Trenton to protest Gov. Christie’s budget 

The state’s embattled public worker unions plan a massive rally in Trenton next month to protest Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed budget. “This rally will be a huge outpouring of those of us who will be affected if Chris Christie gets his way, and we are going to tell the State Legislature that it’s time to stand up to his budget priorities,” said Communications Workers of America State Director Hetty Rosenstein in an email newsletter sent today to union members. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ) 

In Phila., Christie promotes N.J. businesses 

On the day that New Jersey reported a slight drop in its March unemployment rate, Gov. Christie visited Philadelphia and Burlington County to discuss how he hopes to attract new businesses and opportunities for New Jersey workers. Standing before a mirrored solar-technology test bed at the Lockheed Martin facility in Moorestown, Christie outlined plans for a privately funded nonprofit, Choose New Jersey, to “sell our state” to businesses. (Conaboy/Lu, Inquirer) 

NJEA: Thousands of teachers could retire if benefits changed under Christie plan 

Teacher retirements could jump seven-fold, with as many as 30,000 veteran educators exiting before the next school year if the Christie administration alters benefits and pension rules, the NJEA said Thursday. The state teachers union warned of chaos in the classroom and “irreparable damage to every school system in the state” following news that the administration is working out the details of a plan to change the rules for those who receive medical benefits and pensions through the state. (Alex, The Record) 

N.J. Democratic lawmakers, advocates question cuts to safety net programs in Christie budget 

With millions of dollars in proposed cuts to health care, housing and public assistance programs, Democratic lawmakers and advocates for poor and disabled people Thursday sharply questioned Governor Christie’s contention that his budget represents “shared sacrifice” for all state residents. Democratic members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee pressed Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez to defend reductions in what they called key safety net programs. (Livio, The Record) 

Stile: Democrats can give in to Christie and still win 

Newly emboldened Democrats are already plotting their endgame strategies for an all-but-certain budget showdown with Governor Christie. The planning is built around a common theme that boils down to this: If Christie refuses to renew a surcharge on wealthy taxpayers, Democrats won’t stand in his way. (Stile, The Record) 

Stile: Teachers union supporters picket North Jersey assemblyman’s fundraiser

More than 200 teachers union supporters picketed a North Jersey lawmaker’s fundraiser Wednesday night, angered over Governor Christie’s school aid cuts and his attacks on New Jersey Education Association. The union’s North Jersey leaders mobilized the protest outside Republican Assemblyman Scott Rumana’s $250-a-person reception at Portobello’s Restaurant in Oakland after learning that Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno would attend. (Stile, The Record) 

Ingle: Environmentalists very unhappy with Christie 

The BPU, under the direction of Christie appointee Lee Solomon, agreed to permit Atlantic Electric to sell open space deemed critical to the environment to a connected developer despite a better offer by Green Acres to buy it. In doping so, the BPU overruled the hearing officer and ratepayer advocate. The land in question is the 1,400 acre Holly Farm in Millville. (Ingle, Gannett) Morning News Digest: April 16, 2010