Morning News Digest: May 27, 2010

McNerney blasts Christie over town hall choice

A day after Gov. Chris Christie scrapped publicly at a town hall meeting with a teacher over education cuts, Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney searched for a way to link the governor to more child-deprivation. Locked in a re-election campaign against Clerk Kathe Donovan, McNerney wanted to know why Christie’s town hall was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Rutherford.
(Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Segura to Jackson: surrender

It was already a contest. Now it’s a contest with fangs attached. Receiving word today that DPW director Eric Jackson has no intention of abandoning the race for mayor of Trenton until his legal team assesses the results of a recount from the May 11th election, At-Large Councilman Manuel Segura urged Jackson to “keep his promise” and yield. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Diaz joins Zimmer in backing Christie’s 2.5% spending cap

Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz, a Democrat, joined a roster of 56 Republican mayors from Middlesex, Monmouth, Burlington, Ocean, Hunterdon and Mercer in support of Gov. Chris Christie’s Cap 2.5 constitutional amendment and reform agenda. Diaz (pictured) added her name to that of Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer as the second mayor from a solid Democratic Party-dominant city to endorse Christie’s spending cap. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Larsen goes after Lance on cap and trade 

The “David Larsen” signs have sprung up around the 7th Congressional District as the Tewksbury businessman attemps to dislodge freshman U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Lebanon), and today the campaign released an animated web ad excoriating Lance for his yes vote on cap and trade. The ad features a cartoon version of Lance standing comfortably between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

 N.J. Supreme Court hears tea party’s push to recall Menendez 

In its understated chamber on the top floor of the Hughes Justice Complex, the New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in the first legal test of a growing political movement to recall several U.S. senators. “The nation is watching. Yes, indeed,” said Andrew Schlafly, attorney for the tea party group trying to recall U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.). “New Jersey is a leader in this area.” (Burton, Inquirer) 

Constitutionality of housing bill questioned 

Proposed legislation that would change the way affordable housing is apportioned and built in the state may not survive a constitutional challenge. That was the finding of the Office of Legislative Services regarding the bill (S1) sponsored by state Sens. Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, Christopher Bateman, R-Somerset, and Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May. The OLS analysis, in a letter dated April 13 but released Wednesday by the Fair Share Housing Center in Cherry Hill, says the Legislature does not have the statutory authority — under the two state Supreme Court Mount Laurel decisions in the 1970s and 1980s — to amend the Fair Housing Act and abolish the Council on Affordable Housing, which the legislation would do. (Bowman, Gannett)

 Additional Turnpike widening contracts OK’d 

The march of construction contracts of sections of the New Jersey Turnpike widening continued Wednesday with quick approval of a $33.48 million contract to rebuild the exit 8A interchange in Middlesex County by the authority’s board of commissioners. Commissioners also awarded a smaller $1.7 million contract to Lehigh Fabrication LLC of South Plainfield for fabrication of 17 variable message overhead sign structures for the supersized highway between exits 6 and nine. The company was the lowest of five bidders. (Higgs, Gannett)

 Ingle: Attack on Big Joe Henry unwarranted, petty politics

 Not all disruptive politics and outrages originate in the Statehouse. This one didn’t, but it has people from one end of New Jersey to the other mad at hell for good reason. It started when the nonprofit Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank asked 101.5 FM weekend radio personality Big Joe Henry to host the annual Basie Awards, the equivalent of the Tony Awards for the Monmouth County high school community. He agreed to do it without compensation. (Ingle, Gannett) Morning News Digest: May 27, 2010