Morning News Digest: May 4, 2010

Greenstein launches campaign with broadside at Christie

In what many political observers anticipate will be a dipstick special election on the tenure of Gov. Chris Christie, Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) kicked off her 14th District campaign against state Sen. Tom Goodwin (R-Hamilton) this afternoon in a suburban Italian restaurant packed with Democratic Party power players. “In just the first 100 days or so of the Christie administration, we’ve seen the direction in which the Republican Party, including Tom Goodwin, want to take us,” said Greenstein, a public interest attorney born and raised in the Brooklyn projects. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

If the contest is Trenton against the establishment, Weeden argues he has the record

Fighting the local political establishment, Trenton mayoral candidate Frank Weeden pulls to a stop on Wayne Avenue in a pickup truck plastered over with campaign signs. “Maybe I’m a dreamer,” says the lone white candidate in a ten-man field dominated by African American candidates. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Sweeney on Wallace rejection: ‘big mistake’

 Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) called Gov. Chris Christie’s decision not to re-appoint state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace “a big mistake.” In a telephone interview with, the senate president said the governor’s move to pull the moderate African American Wallace and nominate former state Deputy Attorney General Anne Patterson ranked with Christie’s decision not to reinstate the millionaire’s tax as two of Sweeney’s biggest differences with the governor throughout the course of Christie’s 100-day plus tenure. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Looming fight over justice could impact N.J. Supreme Court for decades

 On a court known nationally for its judicial activism, state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace’s legacy may be bound to the one ruling that wasn’t his to make: Governor Christie’s decision to deny him tenure. Christie’s action, unprecedented since the state revamped its constitution in 1947, fulfilled a campaign promise to reshape the court and drew cheers from the right. (Ackermann, The Record) 

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie: Vouchers offer a ‘final solution’ for school system 

A voucher system that lets any child in New Jersey go to any school, public or private, is the “final solution” to an overly expensive system that continues to fail too many children, Governor Christie said Monday. Christie told an enthusiastic school choice advocacy group in Washington that he will expand the number of public charter schools and supports a bipartisan bill to provide thousands of public scholarships so children in failing districts may attend private or parochial schools. (Jackson, The Record) 

N.J. Gov. Christie’s Supreme Court pick a longtime GOP donor 

Governor Christie’s pick for the state Supreme Court has been a generous donor to Republicans over the last 17 years. Since 1993, Anne Murray Patterson has donated $23,680 to state and national Republican candidates and political committees, according to the Web sites of the state Election Law Enforcement Commission and the Federal Election Commission. (Friedman, The Record) 

Former North Brunswick police director lands job with U.S. Attorney’s Office 

 Former North Brunswick Police Director Thomas Maltese will coordinate law enforcement efforts with other agencies for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, the office announced today. As law enforcement coordinator, Maltese will also serve as the manager of security for the office. (Serrano, Gannett) 

Ingle: Maybe we can kiss auto inspection goodbye 

For more than a decade I’ve campaigned to do away with state auto inspections for mechanical defects, and now it looks as if it’s finally going to happen, but not because it doesn’t make any sense. It’s the economy. In the early ’80s when I wrote a column in Atlanta, I mounted a successful campaign to rid the citizens of having to take their cars to private garages to get them inspected. Numerous motorists complained they were ripped off, sometimes at high cost. (Ingle, Gannett)

 Ingle: ACLU joins marriage equality fight 

The ACLU has joined other groups calling for marriage equality in New Jersey. In a friend of the court brief, the ACLU said civil unions have not provided the equal protection the court promised in 2006. “By devaluing certain families and setting them apart from others, it affects how those families are treated in schools, in hospitals, and in almost all daily transactions. Children are most harmed of all,” said ACLU-NJ Legal Director Ed Barocas. (Ingle, Gannett) Morning News Digest: May 4, 2010