Morning News Digest: April 27, 2010

Greenwald targets Christie’s state school aid freeze, prompting Malone counter

In his cross-examination of Department of Education Commissioner Bret Schundler, Assembly Budget and Appropriations Chairman Lou Greenwald attacks the basis of Gov. Chris Christie’s argument for victory in the wake of last Tuesday’s statewide School Budget vote-downs. “I don’t believe anyone votes against their kids because the governor says to do that,” Greenwald tells Schundler. “People voted against the budgets because their property taxes were out of control.” (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Governor Christie vs. the Teachers: Nastiness in New Jersey

Even given the current decibel level in politics, the nasty din surrounding the customarily snore-inducing rubber-stamping of local school board budgets in New Jersey last week was something to behold. (Applebome, New York Times)

Schundler: teacher wage freezes would yield $765 million 

Tool kit legislation championed by Gov. Chris Christie would provide local governing bodies with more negotiating leverage and slice down salaries while save teachers’ jobs overall, says state Department of Education Commisisoner Bret Schundler. But the detailed contents of that tool kit are still not available as teachers in multiple school districts face the chopping block, even in school districts where teachers allowed certain salary give-backs if not full wage freezes. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

No safety impact in DOT’s budget cuts 

The state Department of Transportation’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget will be about 4 percent slimmer, but while some road improvements could be delayed, safety and maintenance projects will not be put on hold, Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson says. “We will make sure we adequately provide for safety and the state of good repair,” Simpson said at a state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing Thursday. “We have a robust safety plan. We want to push the numbers of (traffic) deaths down.” (Higgs, Gannett) 

Beck, O’Reilly coming to A.C. Hilton; Clinton, Cheney to follow? 

Tickets went on sale this morning for a June 24 joint appearance by Fox News stars Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly at the Atlantic City Hilton. And word is former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Dick Cheyney are also headed to the casino. (Darrow, Inquirer) 

Tea Party in North Brunswick brews political action for November elections 

 Sunday afternoon was overcast and cold at Babbage Park. But the 50 county residents who gathered for the Tea Party picnic could see a silver lining on Election Day seven months away. “Just because it’s damp today, it’s not going to dampen our spirits for what we stand for, and that’s pretty much limited government,” Republican candidate for Middlesex County sheriff, Keith B. Hackett, said. (Bichao, Gannett)

North Haledon mayor at odds with Governor Christie’s message

An oversized “Keep Kids Alive — Drive 25” road sign sits in a corner of North Haledon Mayor Randy George’s office, a leftover from a public-safety campaign. (Stile, The Record)

Offshore drilling hearing scheduled today in Newark

New Jerseyans are getting their first opportunity to comment on an Obama administration plan to allow oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. (Associated Press)

Chris Christie for president?

The newly minted Republican governor of New Jersey is mentioned everywhere these days. Wall Street Journal columnist Bill McGurn has praised Christie for reviving “Reagan Republicanism — Jersey style.” The Weekly Standard calls Christie “the unlikely conservative rock star.” National Review declares “Viva Christie!” And in The Post, George Will has called Christie “the Trenton Thunder.” (Thiessen, Washington Post)

Teachers Prepare For Possible NJ Student Walkouts

School officials across New Jersey were bracing for possible mass student walkouts Tuesday.  (CBS) Morning News Digest: April 27, 2010