Morning News Digest: June 1, 2010

The Christie 2012 conundrum: Kean v. Kyrillos

The packed room at the Hilton looked like a holding chamber for past and future statewide Republican candidates.
State Sen. Tom Kean went to the podium to thank the young party hardies who backed him in the 2006 Senate race.
This was early 2007, and he didn’t yet sport the obligatory post-election blues beard, but he was still haggard with the loss to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez as he gave a nod of gratitude to Frank Luna and other emerging GOP activists. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

 Murphy lands Right to Life endorsement 

Anti-establishment Republican Justin Murphy today received the endorsement of New Jersey Right to Life in the 3rd Congressional District. “Honored, humbled and excited,” said Murphy of the endorsement from the state’s foremost pro-life organization. “I look forward to serving in Washington as a member of Congress who will work to build a ‘culture of life.’ I am proud to have NJRTL PAC’s endorsement. My conservative values are needed in Washington, not just for economic issues, but important cultural issues such as the sanctity of innocent unborn life.” (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Runyan has raised $226k, and has $135k on hand 

Third Congressional District candidate Jon Runyan reports $135,000 cash on hand, according to campaign consultant Chris Russell. It’s $2,000 less than what he finished the quarter with exactly a month and a half ago. Between then and now he reported raising just over $75,000. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Two Kinnelon Councilmen want to succeed Sisco

 For the first time in roughly 40 years, Mayor Glenn Sisco’s name will not appear on the ballot for the mayoral post in the June Primary. Two Republican councilmen, Robert Collins and Daniel O’Dougherty, will seek to succeed the popular mayor. No Democrats filed. O’Dougherty finished his second term on the council in 2006. He lost a mayoral bid to Mayor Sisco and was returned to the council in January. Collins was appointed to the council in August 2001 upon the death of Councilman Ted Kwasnik and has been elected to three full terms since then. (Walsh, The Record)

 N.J. GOP shows a taste for Tea 

Tea Party activism is a wild card in New Jersey’s congressional primaries June 8. A surge in interest in Congress has led to longtime Republican incumbents facing challengers, and multiple GOP candidates in traditionally Democratic districts that rarely see much activity. Activists riled by what they consider unresponsive, excessive government say they’re eager to back candidates committed to individual liberty and lower taxes. (Jackson, The Record) 

Gas tax hike: Are there any reasonable alternatives?

 The fiscal “fuel” gauge on the state Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for major road bridge and rail projects, is in the red zone and headed for “E.” By next year, all revenue from the state’s 14.5 cent-per-gallon gasoline tax will be used to pay off $11 billion in debt racked up over the years. That would leave no money to do road, bridge and transit projects, and would potentially jeopardize more than $1 billion in federal money the state needs to match. (Higgs, Gannett) 

Poll: Most favor investigations into N.J. health insurers 

Most people who participated in an online poll said state officials should conduct hearings and investigations into all health insurers in New Jersey. “Should state officials conduct hearings and investigations into all health insurers in New Jersey, following the news that several executives for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield received multimillion dollar increases to their compensation packages in 2009?” was the question posed last week on the Web site of the Asbury Park Press, (APP) 

Deadhead walking: Glouco prosecutor steps down 

What a long, strange trip it’s been. Not surprisingly, Steve Sand showed up at his retirement party last week at the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office wearing a Jerry Garcia tie while many of his colleagues dressed in tie-dyed shirts. Grateful Dead tunes held a steady rhythm as the county prosecutor, Sean Dalton, praised his assistant’s quick wit and sharp mind – the skills that over nearly three decades helped Sand put away criminals such as cop killer Robert “Mudman” Simon. (Boyer, Inquirer) 

Ingle: Cuomo wants to do Christie’s cap one better 

It comes as no surprise that Andrew Cuomo will run for governor of New York. What was unexpected is that the son of one of the more liberal governors to preside over the Empire State, Mario Cuomo, is a fan of our Gov. Christie’s proposed property tax cap. Andrew Cuomo, who is his state’s attorney general, even does Christie one better. Cuomo is calling for a 2 percent cap whereas Christie will settle for 2.5 percent, which is what they put in place in Massachusetts, the progressive Bay State once nicknamed Taxachusetts. (Ingle, Gannett)

Morning News Digest: June 1, 2010