Morning News Digest: May 6, 2010

New Jersey Papers Split Joint Bureau For more than a year, rivals at The Record of Hackensack, N.J., and The

New Jersey Papers Split Joint Bureau

For more than a year, rivals at The Record of Hackensack, N.J., and The Star-Ledger of Newark have shared a statehouse bureau in Trenton.

But things are apparently not all bliss for this consolidated union. Recently, the Record staff relocated from the shared digs outside of the capitol building to a new location inside the statehouse. (Strupp, Media Matters)

Stile: Christie’s latest battle could end in cease-fire

Governor Christie opened a new front this week in his Endless War on the Trenton status quo by refusing to keep a centrist on the state Supreme Court. Christie’s got so many fights running that it’s hard to keep track. (Stile, The Record)

The Newark Mayor’s Debate

The candidates mingle in the television studio here at Cablevision headquarters in downtown Newark for the lone debate co-sponsored by the network and WBGO among Mayor Cory Booker and his challengers: Clifford Minor, Yvonne Garrett Moore and Mirna White. Minor sits in a chair in the sound proof room when Booker arrives with campaign manager Pablo Fonseca. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Anger at NJ-PAC: Booker rips press over Christie queries at ceremony

Seldom angry in public, Mayor Cory Booker admitted the press ruffled him today at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as they closed in with questions about differences with Gov. Chris Christie, who had just left the theater after pledging his partnership with the city. “Questions about the caustic coagulation of current events,” Booker fumed at the microphone, his back to the Phantom of the Opera interor of the 13-year-old arts center. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Donovan scores major union endorsement

 The New Jersey Laborers Union is backing Republican Kathleen Donovan in her bid to unseat Bergen County Executive Dennis C. McNerney, a two-term Democrat.

”Through the years, no matter which political party was on the rise or what party was down, Bergen residents time and again re-elected Kathe Donovan for public office. There is a reason for that. It is because of her consistency of effort, her commitment to put people first and her ability to solve problems and create opportunities,” said Raymond Pocino, the Laborers Vice-President and Eastern Regional Manager. (Editor, PolitickerNJ) 

Christie, Senate playing political chicken over Supreme Court nominee 

Gov. Chris Christie expects Democrats to blink first as both political parties settle into a high-stakes game of political chicken over the future of the state Supreme Court. Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) is blocking Christie’s nomination of attorney Anne Patterson to replace Justice John Wallace. Yesterday, the governor said he doesn’t expect that to last. (Megerian/Friedman, The Record) 

Guadagno, state budget committee look for more ways to cut spending 

Call it government in action: Moments after Secretary of State Kim Guadagno said yesterday she was “completely overstaffed,” the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee helped her find some $400,000 in departmental salary savings. Guadagno, also the state’s lieutenant governor, said she will go through her $43.7 million budget for more savings and supply those figures to the budget committee by the end of the week, signaling she could lay workers off next year, since “whatever programs we are eliminating, then we should eliminate the staff.” (Ackermann, The Record) 

Coalition of African-American leaders blast Christie’s decision 

A coalition of African-American leaders blasted Governor Christie’s decision not to re-nominate state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace today at the Statehouse. “There are some people who are in disbelief, some people who are disappointed, and there are some people who are just straight up disgusted,” said Jerome Harris, president of the New Jersey Black Issues Convention. (Friedman, The Record) 

Judge Ashrafi named to appellate court 

 New Jersey Supreme Chief Justice Stuart Rabner today signed an order appointing Judge Victor Ashrafi of Somerset County to the Appellate Division effective Aug. 1. The Appellate Division of the Superior Court is New Jersey’s intermediate Appellate Court. Appellate Division judges hear appeals from decisions of the trial courts, the Tax Court and state administrative agencies. The Appellate Division decides approximately 7,000 appeals and 7,500 motions each year. (Gannett) 

NJ gov delays date for financial disclosure forms

 Gov. Chris Christie has pushed back this year’s deadline for public employees, including himself, to disclose details about their incomes and assets, a move some Democratic lawmakers claim goes against the Republican’s campaign promise of more transparent state government. During last year’s campaign, Christie said financial disclosure reports required of statewide candidates and officials should match federal disclosure requirements. (DeFalco, AP) 

Mob kin granted license to do NJ casino work 

They have relatives in the Mafia, but no one ever accused Joseph N. Merlino or his mother of being mobsters. On Wednesday, mother and son felt vindicated when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission granted their concrete reinforcing company a license to work in the Atlantic City casino industry. That long-sought permission came 22 years and two rejections after they first sought a license for their company, Bayshore Rebar of Pleasantville. (Parry, AP)

Morning News Digest: May 6, 2010