Morning News Digest: April 30, 2010

Federal trial of former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas, aide postponed 

The federal corruption trial of former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas and his onetime aide, Melvin Ramos, has been been rescheduled for September. U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton Tuesday granted a motion by Vas’s defense attorney, Alan Zegas of Chatham, to postpone the trial until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling in three cases concerning the federal law involving the public’s right to “honest services.” The law has been used against public officials in corruption cases, but has come under fire. (Serrano, Gannett)

New Jersey governor undeterred by union lawsuits

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to press ahead with additional pension and health benefits changes for public workers despite two lawsuits challenging reforms he recently signed into law. (Delli Santi, Associated Press)

Sweeney: if Christie doesn’t re-appoint moderate Wallace, he’s caving to the right

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said the only way New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Wallace would fail to get renominated is if Gov. Chris Christie kowtows to the extremities of the Republican Party and decides to jettison the veteran judge. “John Wallace is not an activist judge,” said Sweeney. “He is not a liberal. He is very much a moderate. His record displays that. The only way John Wallace doesn’t get re-appointed is if Chris Christie caves into the right wing of the Republican Party. If we’re going to politicize the judiciary, we might as well live across the river where they elect their judges. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Christie: decisions as gov not harder than those of U.S. Attorney, just more of them 

On the eve of his first 100 days in office and with a factory workforce looking on as conveyors bearing newly built cardboard boxes trundled in the background, Gov. Chris Christie turned inward and reflective. “The decisions are not more difficult than they were as U.S. Attorney, there are just so many more of them,” said the governor, moments after touring this family-owned box manufacturing plant. “The pace is very rapid in this job; the decisions are coming at you much more rapidly.” (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Friends, critics reflect on Christie’s first 100 days 

At its heart, Gov. Christie’s guiding philosophy boils down to simple supply-side economics: reduce taxes and cut red tape to create more jobs and wealth. The Republican governor has spent his first 100 days in office doggedly hewing to that principle, come what may. (Lu, Inquirer) 

State Sen. Allen returning to work

State Sen. Diane Allen (R., Burlington) will return to work on Thursday, ending a six-month hiatus during which she was treated for oral cancer. Allen, 62, of Edgewater Park, said Wednesday that she planned to attend a Women’s Legislative Caucus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. (Burton, Inquirer) 

N.J. Gov. Christie lauds Paterson box maker as economic success 

A Paterson box maker that has shrugged off the economic downturn and continued to grow, with government help, drew praise Wednesday from Governor Christie, who cited it as the kind of entrepreneurial success needed to help the state rebound. Christie, touring the Fifth Avenue plant of Accurate Box Co., used the occasion to reiterate his belief that lower taxes and reduced regulation are the ways to promote economic development. (Morley, The Record) 

N.J. Gov. Christie faults school administrators, teachers union for student walkout 

In his first public comments since a massive student walk-out, Governor Christie Wednesday criticized administrators for not stopping protests during the school day and said he believed the teachers unions were behind the demonstrations. “Most parents would think that the principals, the superintendents and others should be exercising control over that,” he said. (Fleisher, The Record) 

Stile: Lonegan – Christie budget isn’t conservative enough

 Steve Lonegan, a voice of fiscal doom crying out from a far right corner of the New Jersey political wilderness, offered this prophecy Wednesday about Governor Christie’s budget: Christie’s defiant stand against renewing a tax surcharge on incomes of $400,000 or higher is a lost cause. His proposed steep cuts in aid to suburban towns and schools will ignite such an outcry that majority Democrats, and some skittish Republicans, will be forced to support the surcharge. (Stile, The Record)

Ingle: Seriously, Guv., how you feel about it? 

Gov. Christie has been getting more national publicity than any governor since that guy in Illinois who apparently tried to sell President Obama’s Senate seat. Except in Christie’s case, it’s praise. An Oregon paper even said that state needed its own Christie. Naturally, talk turns to the next presidential race in 2012. Our guy says, knock it off. “Absolutely no interest,” he said. (Ingle, Gannett)

Source: Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa charged in insurance fraud

Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa surrendered to Bergen County authorities Thursday night in Paramus to face an insurance fraud charge, a law enforcement source said.  (Alvarado, The Record)

Candidate’s brother and sister-in-law, Paramus cop among 7 charged in Park Ridge voter fraud case

Seven people have been arrested in a Park Ridge voter fraud case tied to the Nov. 3 Borough Council election, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said Thursday.  (Superville, The Record)

Port Authority cops: Staff cuts leave sites, like GWB, unguarded at times

Port Authority’s police say they are understaffed, forcing them to leave critical infrastructure — such as the George Washington Bridge — unguarded at times.  (Davis, The Record) Morning News Digest: April 30, 2010