Morning News Digest: May 26, 2010

FDU poll: Christie favorables at 44%-42%

Gov. Christopher Christie has a 44%-42% job approval rating, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released this morning. The governor has an upside-down 58%-33% approval rating among public employee households, and is at 48%-36% among non-public employee households. 

Christie was at 43%-32% in a March FDU poll. (Editor, PolitickerNJ)

4th District Dems target DeCicco

The fault lines in the 4th District grew starker in the aftermath of last week’s legislative session. State Sen. Fred Madden (D-Washington Twp.) and Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Washington Twp.) prodded Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco (R-Franklin Twp.) to apologize to South Jersey seniors and disabled citizens for voting against the restoration of their property tax rebates after DiCicco initially declared his support for senior rebates. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Jets Owner Instrumental in Luring Super Bowl  

The idea for the New York area hosting an outdoor Super Bowl was hatched nearly four years ago, when the Giants and the Jets agreed to build a new stadium together in the Meadowlands. The Jets’ hopes for an enclosed stadium on the Far West Side of Manhattan had fallen through, even though N.F.L. owners had awarded them a Super Bowl that was conditional on getting the stadium built. So when the teams joined forces, the Jets’ owner, Woody Johnson, brought with him the pie-in-the-sky notion that the game should come to New York, anyway. (Battista, New York Times) 

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie defends cuts, promotes property tax cap in Rutherford 

Governor Christie on Tuesday told a borough teacher to find another job if she did not feel she was compensated enough as he defended his state budget cuts and promoted a plan to cap annual growth in property tax collections. He also told an 89-year-old former mayor she’d have to wait until next spring for a rebate she’d been getting for more than a decade in the late summer. And he told a parent that cuts to services, including the local library, are needed because “we are out of money.” (Jackson, The Record) 

Poll: NJ voters split on Christie job performance

A new poll finds New Jerseyans split down the middle over the job performance of Gov. Chris Christie. Public employees definitely don’t like what they see. Others are inclined to view him more favorably. (AP)

 State Democrats drop the hammer on N.J. Tea Party

 State Democrats came out swinging Monday, on the eve of oral arguments in state Supreme Court over whether a Tea Party group has the right to recall Sen. Bob Menendez. The party’s state leader said the group’s leaders deny evolution, cast doubt on the legitimacy of President Obama’s citizenship and want to cleanse the New Testament of language with liberal bias. (Friedman, The Record)

 Effort to recall Menendez heard in state supreme court

 A 1787 letter from George Washington did not appear to trump other texts and events Tuesday as the state Supreme Court hit the history books while hearing arguments on a Tea Party-connected group’s effort to recall U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. In a case that is being watched in several states, the recall committee with ties to a Sussex County Tea Party group is seeking the removal of Menendez, D-N.J., whose term expires in 2012. The Committee to Recall Senator Menendez says the senator is a big spender, and it opposes his support of the recently passed health care reform law. (Ackermann, The Record)

 Bill could stop NJ Transit hikes

 An emergency transit funding bill introduced Tuesday by Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, both D-N.J., could bring $125 million to NJ Transit to roll back fare increases and restore services cuts. The state’s two senators joined other Democratic senators to introduce a bill that would authorize $2 billion in emergency funding for transit agencies nationwide to reverse fare increases and service cuts. (Higgs, Gannett) 

N.J. taxpayers question school administrators’ pay

 Lately, when Cheryl Gismonde logs onto her Facebook account, she often finds messages that veer wildly from the usual array of restaurant recommendations and photos of other people’s children. A recent post from one of her friends reads: “Burlington County has 39 school districts!! So let’s figure the average Super makes $150K, maybe an assistant at $100K, and a Business Administrator at $90K. That’s approx. $13 million and some of these Supers have districts with just 2-3 schools. Entirely too much $$ wasted on positions that arent hands-on with the ki. . .ds.” (Osborne, Inquirer) 

Ingle: Falling revenue could cause bigger cuts 

If new revenue projections hold, there could be steep cuts above those already announced by the Christie administration.The Asbury Park Press obtained an analysis by the Office of Legislative Services saying taxes and other revenue for the budget year that ends June 30 will be $402 million less than expected. (Ingle, Gannett) 

 Stile: 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. George recently issued his own “go slow” message to fellow Republican Governor Christie, urging him to take his foot off the pedal of his budget-cutting crusade. (Stile, The Record) Morning News Digest: May 26, 2010